How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

So you want to be a superyacht deckhand?

A deckhand is the entry level for almost all professional crew jobs on superyachts. The superyacht industry relies heavily on skilled deckhands to keep the world’s most luxurious yachts looking stunning.

Job role of a Superyacht Deckhand

The deckhand position will encompass many responsibilities, but most importantly, he/she will maintain the exterior of the yacht and keep it in pristine condition at all times.

Covering everything from the windows to sporting equipment, from changing sun lounger covers to varnishing the guard rails. You will also help with mooring and tender handling.

You could be the only deckhand on board, but on larger superyachts there may be as many as five or more deckhands working.

The deckhand’s role is incredibly varied, tasks include;
  • Cleaning
  • Painting
  • Sanding
  • Fibreglass restoration
  • Varnishing
  • Polishing
  • Finishing
  • Carpentry
  • Line handling
  • General exterior maintenance
  • Driving tenders

Personality traits

Working onboard a superyacht means you’ll have to demonstrate a professional, hardworking attitude at all times. You will need to be motivated to complete all tasks to the high standard expected. Typically your working day will start early, and finish late, so you’ll need to be energetic, enthusiastic and physically fit.

Skills required to become a superyacht deckhand

Deckhands do not have to have boating qualifications but having them is an asset. General seafaring skills are expected. Deckhands should ideally have some knowledge and experience of navigation, boat handling, engines and radio equipment. Any skills or experience in any of the above mentioned tasks would be a distinct advantage.

But if you’ve never worked on a yacht before, it doesn’t mean that you are unsuitable for consideration. Captains hire crew with a variety of backgrounds, such as, hospitality and hotels, tour leaders, cruise lines, graduates, engineers, mechanics, divers and anyone who can prove they have a good work ethic and a willingness to learn. If you’re interested in gaining a deckhand qualification, check our our superyacht deckhand course.

Superyacht deckhand salary

What are the benefits of working as a Deckhand?

For this entry-level role, you will earn a great wage of on average €2,000-€2,500 per month (tax-free), often with generous tips on top! With clear career progression along a structured route to become a Superyacht Captain, there’s plenty of opportunity to make this a rewarding, lifelong career.

Superyacht job salary ranges

So just how much can you earn while working on a superyacht? The following table shows salary ranges, tax free and not including tips.

Superyacht job salary ranges* (per month)
Job role Low High
Experienced Deckhand €2,500 €3,000
Junior Deckhand €2,200 €2,500

*These salary guidelines are based on the current yachting market as of January 2018. Actual salaries will always vary depending on a candidate’s specific experience, training, certification, and additional skills – as well as a particular yacht’s needs. Data provided by Camper & Nicolson International

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