The superyacht crew jobs must be covered by well-trained professionals. They must be able to follow strict rules and regulations and take directions.
Deckhands are the entry-level position on a boat and can be obtained without prior yacht experience. The duties revolve around cleaning and maintaining the exterior of a vessel. They are also involved with a number of other tasks like tender driving, beach setups, watersports and line handling. During yard time, more complex maintenance tasks can be performed, such as stripping, varnishing, and sanding both the main boat and the tenders.
Depending on the size of the vessel, there may be several deckhands or there may be a larger team. On larger vessels, the team will work to a set schedule that is based on guest trips while smaller yachts are less structured and the crew have to be flexible with their time off.
Deckhands receive a competitive salary, and they can expect to work on the yacht most of the time. If you have a passion for sailing and are looking for an alternative to the nine-to-five working routine, this is definitely an option worth exploring. There are a number of formal maritime training courses that can help you achieve this career. The career can be challenging, but it is certainly rewarding and there are very few jobs that can beat being on the water all day!
The First Mate, also known as the Chief Officer is second in command and takes over when the Captain is not available. They are also the division head of deck and responsible for all cargo on board. This includes the loading, unloading and maintenance of the yacht while at sea.
They must be experienced sailors and have a Master’s license. They are responsible for the safety and security on board, including the crew and passengers, as well as the equipment and cargo. They also oversee navigation to ensure that the ship steers clear of hazards and remains on course. They must be ready to take control of the ship during navigational watches between 0400-0800 hours and 1600-2200 hrs.
A Bosun is usually an experienced Deckhand who manages the junior hands. They are responsible for coordinating the use of the yacht’s toys and boats, as well as storing and launching them. They also assist guests during outdoor activities. They are also the first point of contact in case of boat emergencies or a man overboard.
A Purser is a senior staff member that handles all money matters onboard the yacht. This includes payroll, accounting, and purchasing. They are also responsible for the yacht’s log book, navigating and line handling during cruises. They may also act a liaison between Captain and crew or the passenger’s agent.
Bosuns are the superior of deck crew sailors and it’s their job to manage, motivate and assist in all maintenance tasks. They also act as the go-between between deck ratings and officers. Bosuns receive a premium due to their experience and responsibilities.
The bosun is responsible for the overall upkeep of the exterior of the yacht. This includes docking, anchoring, delegating daily duties to other deckhands, and maintaining toys, tenders, etc. They may also be in charge of the yacht’s laundry and cleaning.
This role requires a high level of fitness as the work is physically demanding. Some may also find it difficult to cope with the long hours or varying sea conditions. This job is for those who love the sea and are willing to work hard to maintain a yacht.
The career progression of a bosun begins as a trainee ordinary sailor (OS). After gaining experience, a bosun is promoted to able sailor and then chief petty officers. Eventually, the bosun is promoted to boatswain and after enough experience, they can be considered for a position on a superyacht. Usually, bosuns need to be highly technical about the ship’s geographic position and other details. The ability to communicate in English is a must as well.
The second engineer is a highly-skilled position that requires a high level technical knowledge. Responsible for monitoring and troubleshooting the vessel’s systems, they also perform emergency maintenance when necessary. Additionally, they manage and maintain the engine room crew and equipment. This includes hiring new engineers, training them, coordinating maintenance and upgrades, managing project management, maintaining budgets and costs, and managing purchasing and inventory.
The bosun, often an experienced former deckhand, leads the exterior crew and oversees the other junior hands. They’re in charge of cleaning windows, daily washdowns and painting, among other tasks. They are also in charge of interacting with guests about the yacht toys, boats, and shore trips. Bosuns must have a keen eye for detail and excellent carpentry, plumbing and skilled manual labor skills.
The purser is responsible for all financial matters at the yacht including payroll, hiring, and accounting. This is a senior position on a yacht, but smaller yachts might eliminate this role. The head steward or assistant is the primary guest service provider onboard, working closely with passengers and guests as they assist them daily with everything from meal planning to grocery shopping. They also assist with general maintenance and upkeep of the interiors, from laundry to restocking items. This team coordinates with the galley to prepare and present meals. In addition to the core responsibilities of this team, they are required to attend regular courses and attend events.
The engineer keeps all the yacht’s systems running. This department is very similar to commercial ship engineering. From air conditioning, plumbing and engines to the engine room. It’s more hands-on and the qualifications for an engineer on a yacht are more specific. Many yachts require engineers to have formal training.
The first mate is a captain’s right hand. Like the Captain they supervise the crew and the yacht’s operation, but do not have navigational duties. They also assist the Captain in charter planning and management. They are a critical link between the Captain and all other departments.
Chief stewards are experienced members of the inside crew who manage the interior staff. They set and enforce service standards for food and beverages, cabin preparation and other guest services. They are the first point of contact for guests when it comes to meal and beverage service. They also schedule, train and supervise junior crew.
The second steward will be the Chief Stew’s right hand on yachts that are over 38 meters. They are the backup stewards for the chief steward. They provide an extra set of eyes and help with tasks that the chief may not be able to do. They are often asked to lead one of the other meals since the Chief Steward leads dinner. The second steward manages and trains the junior crew, while the chief stew is in charge of dinner.
Stewards and stewardesses are in charge of the yacht’s interior. They work closely with the Chief Stwardess to create a luxurious and comfortable environment for guests and owners. They are heavily involved in the Galley department, which is run by the chefs.
A Steward/Stewardess on a charter yacht will earn more tips than one on a private yacht during winter – this is because people on a charter are paying to use the vessel and therefore feel obliged to leave some form of recognition for the crew. It is important to remember that a Steward/Stewardess cannot be seen as an income-generating machine. Customer service and professionalism are paramount.
Daily tasks vary depending on the size and occupancy of the yacht and any guests or events taking place onboard. They may be asked to set the tables, make snacks and drinks, help moor the yacht, and be on hand at all hours of the day and night for any requests from guests or owners.
Most stewards or stewardesses will need an ENG1 medical certification. This is a medical appointment with a MCA approved doctor who will conduct a complete health check, including measuring height and weigh, eyesight and listening and asking questions about medical history. They will also be required to complete a food safety course; this is typically an online or in-person course covering why it’s important that all crew know how to handle and store food safely.