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How to Become a Deckhand on a Superyacht: A Step-by-Step Guide

Home Blog How to Become a Deckhand on a Superyacht: A Step-by-Step Guide

working as a deckhand on a yacht

Embarking on a career as a deckhand on a superyacht offers an unparalleled blend of adventure, luxury, and the opportunity to travel the world. Whether you’re drawn to the pristine beauty of the open sea or the meticulous care of magnificent vessels, becoming a deckhand could be your gateway to an extraordinary lifestyle. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to start your journey, covering everything from necessary qualifications to finding work.

What Is a Deckhand?

A deckhand is an essential crew member on Superyachts, responsible for maintaining the vessel’s exterior, assisting with docking, and ensuring safety equipment is up to par. Beyond upkeep, deckhands play a significant role in guest experiences, facilitating water sports activities and managing tender operations to transport guests. With a focus on detail, physical stamina, and a commitment to service, deckhands are key to both the operational efficiency and the luxury experience on board. This position offers a unique blend of adventure and professional growth for those passionate about the industry.There is a clear pathway leading deckhands from their starting point as a junior deckhand to becoming a captain which we will cover later on.

working as a deckhand on a yacht

What Does a Typical Day Usually Look Like For a Deckhand?

A typical day for a deckhand varies from boat to boat and depends if there are guests on or off.With guests on , the deck crew usually start early in the morning going around the yacht to make sure all the furniture is uncovered, decks are clean , paint is shiny and everything is looking presentable for when the guests come out.The deck crew will set up the watersports equipment and launch tenders into the water to have them ready on standby for guest operations. Throughout the day the deck crew will be on standby waiting for guest requests taking them in tenders ashore ,exploring or to carry out watersport activities which could include jetskis, sea bobs, kayaks, surfing , wakeboarding, flight boards , snorkelling, diving and much much more.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Deckhand On a Superyacht?

  • STCW Basic Safety Training : The cornerstone certification for maritime professionals, covering safety protocols, firefighting, and sea survival techniques.( Mandatory )
  • ENG1 Medical Certificate : A health certification confirming you’re fit for sea duty.( Mandatory )
  • Powerboat Level 2 / IYT Small Powerboat & RIB Master : Often required for handling the yacht’s tenders and smaller boats. ( Some yachts mave have this as a mandatory requirement )
  • Superyacht Deckhand Training : ( Not mandatory but highly recommended )
  • LROCP (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency) VHF/HF Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate Course  ( not mandatory but recommended )

Where Can I Complete The Qualifications?

STCW 95  –  https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/

ENG1 Medical Certificate: –  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mca-approved-doctors-overseas/mca-approved-doctors-overseas

Powerboat Level 2 / IYT Small Powerboat & RIB Master: https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/tender-driving-iyt-rib/

Superyacht Deckhand Training: https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/superyacht-deckhand-course/

For AMSA Medical:   https://www.sonichealthplus.com.au/services/legislative-medicals/maritime

LROCP (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency) VHF/HF Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate Course : https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/vhf-marine-radio-operators-certificate/

What Transferable Land Skills Are Good To Have For a Superyacht Deckhand?

Carpentry:  Carpentry skills are indispensable for maintenance and custom fittings, ensuring the yacht’s aesthetic and structural integrity. Your ability to craft and repair woodwork is crucial for preserving the luxury and bespoke nature of superyachts.

Videography & Photography:  In an era where digital presence is key, your videography and photography skills can be used to document voyages and market the yacht’s charter services, enhancing its appeal to potential clients.

Diving:  Diving skills open up underwater maintenance and exploration services, adding an exclusive experience for guests and ensuring the safety and cleanliness of the yacht’s hull.

Fishing:  Knowledge of fishing can enhance the guest experience, offering personalised excursions and the thrill of catching fresh seafood for onboard meals.

Swimming & Surf Instructing:  Proficiency in swimming and the ability to instruct guests in water sports like surfing enrich the array of activities offered, ensuring guests have a memorable and active stay.

Fitness Instructor:  As a fitness instructor, you can lead personalised workout sessions, helping guests maintain their fitness routines while enjoying the luxury of the yacht.

Driving Boats:  Skill in driving tenders and other small boats is essential for transporting guests, leading excursions, and ensuring the smooth operation of all water-based activities.

Painting/Varnishing:  Expertise in painting and varnishing is crucial for the upkeep of the yacht’s appearance, protecting it from the elements and maintaining its value.

Watersports Instructor

Watersports instruction encompasses teaching and guiding guests in activities such as jet skiing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. For superyacht crew, being skilled in watersports instruction not only enhances the guest experience by offering fun and engaging activities but also ensures safety and confidence in the water

deckhands

Can Deckhands Have Tattoos?

The yachting industry values professionalism and a certain standard of appearance. While visible tattoos may not be a deal-breaker on all yachts, they can limit your job prospects. It’s advisable to be upfront about any visible tattoos when applying for positions.

Each yacht has its own unique culture and policies, particularly when it comes to tattoos. While some yachts are more lenient, embracing both small and large visible tattoos, others may enforce strict policies against them. It’s important to be transparent about any visible tattoos you have. However, there’s no need to disclose tattoos that are not visible.

Is It Hard Being a Deckhand?

It’s not all watersports and driving multimillion-dollar tenders , there are long days of work , loads of physically demanding work and a lot of job/yacht-specific skills to learn which only comes with experience working on Superyachts.There will be a lot of working outdoors in hot weather, a lot of yacht maintenance & cleaning.There will be a lot of hard work however there are so many rewarding experiences and memories that outway by far all the hard work.Make sure you have a can-do, positive attitude and don’t be afraid to help other departments on the yacht if you have spare time , it goes a long way.

How Much Do Junior Deckhands Earn?

Salaries for deckhands can vary widely based on the yacht’s size, the vessel’s itinerary, and the deckhand’s experience.

Junior Deckhands : Starting Salary: Junior deckhands, who are just beginning their careers in the yachting industry, can expect to earn between $2,500 and $3,500 USD per month. These entry-level positions provide the foundational experience necessary for a successful career at sea.

Experienced Deckhands : Salary Range: As deckhands gain experience and demonstrate their skills, their earning potential increases. Experienced deckhands can expect to earn between $3,000 and $4,500 USD per month, depending on the yacht’s size, the complexity of the itinerary, and the specific duties they are tasked with.

Lead Deckhands : Salary Insights: Lead deckhands, who have additional responsibilities and may oversee junior deckhands, can see their salaries increase to between $3,500 and $5,000 USD per month. Their role is more demanding, requiring not only a thorough understanding of deck operations but also leadership skills.

Bosuns: Earning Potential: Bosuns, who are responsible for supervising the deck crew and maintaining the exterior of the yacht, can earn between $4,000 and $6,000 USD per month. Their salary reflects their critical role in ensuring the vessel is in pristine condition and their ability to manage the deck team effectively.

Officers: Salary Range: Officers on yachts have significant responsibilities, including navigation and safety management. Their salaries can range from $5,000 to over $8,000 USD per month, depending on their rank, the size of the yacht, and their specific duties. Chief officers, who are second-in-command, can expect salaries at the higher end of this range.

Captains: Top Earnings: Captains, who have the ultimate responsibility for the yacht, its crew, and its passengers, can earn from $7,000 USD to well over $20,000 USD per month. The captain’s salary is influenced by the size of the yacht, the complexity of the voyages undertaken, and their level of experience.

Factors Influencing Salaries

 Yacht Size: Larger yachts typically offer higher salaries due to the increased workload and expertise required. Experience and Qualifications: Crew members with more experience and specialized qualifications can command higher salaries. Charter vs. Private: Crew on charter yachts might earn more due to tips from guests, whereas private yacht crew salaries are often more stable but without the added bonus of tips.

What Does The Career Progression Look Like To Go From Deckhand To An Officer ( MCA Route ) ?

working as a deckhand on a yacht

How Do I Find Superyacht Job Position Listings?

The best place to look is on crew agency websites or job search platforms like  Yotspot  which has a large number of job listings you can look through,  create a profile and update your account with your CV and all your certificates then you will be able to apply for jobs.

Below is a list of almost all the crew agencies from around the world that you can sign up with to increase your chances of landing a job. It is a lot of work creating profiles and uploading documents, however, it could increase your chances of being connected with the right job at the right time.

DOWNLOAD THE CREW AGENCY LIST

yotspot photo

Are There Facebook Groups That Post Job Listings?

Yes, there are multiple facebook groups that post job listings all the time , it’s great to sign up with as many as you can to increase your chances of finding a job. Please note: make sure to clean up your Facebook profile before signing up to the groups as future employers may see your profile and you want to make a good first impression.

Some groups include:

Antibes Yacht crew 

Palma Yacht

Australian Pacific Yacht crew 

working as a deckhand on a yacht

How To Become a Deckhand In Australia?

The process involves specific training and certifications, especially due to the requirements set by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way into this career:

1. Understand the Training Requirements

The foundational step to becoming a deckhand in Australia is to complete the necessary safety training. While the training is broadly similar across different countries, there are specific requirements for those intending to work on commercial vessels within Australia:

  • STCW Basic Safety Training: This is a mandatory course for anyone working at sea, covering essential safety procedures, firefighting, first aid, and personal survival techniques. In Australia, the AMSA requires crew members working on commercial vessels to have an AMSA-compliant Certificate of Safety Training (COST).
  • General Purpose Hand: The Australian General Purpose Hand Near Coastal Certificate I in Marine Operations qualification will enable you to work as a deckhand on Australian Registered commercial or private vessels
  • AMSA Medical: If you wish to work on commercial vessels in Australia you will need an AMSA medical to ensure you are fit to work at sea you can find centres to complete the medical here – https://www.sonichealthplus.com.au/services/legislative-medicals/maritime

2. Choose the Right Certification for Your Career Path

Depending on where you intend to work, you’ll need to choose the appropriate certification:

  • For Private and Foreign-Flagged Vessels in Australia: If your goal is to work on private or foreign-flagged vessels within Australia, you can use an MCA-approved STCW 95 certificate issued by the Marshall Islands, which SCA (Superyacht Crew Academy) offers. This certification allows you to work on private and foreign-flagged vessels in Australia, providing a pathway to gain experience before potentially heading overseas.
  • For Commercial Vessels in Australia: If you aim to work exclusively on commercial vessels in Australia, such as charter boats or tour boats, you should obtain an AMSA Certificate of Safety Training (COST). This certification is specifically designed to meet the requirements for crew members on commercial vessels operating within Australian waters.

3. Gain Experience

  • Start Locally: Gaining experience in Australia before heading overseas is highly recommended. Working locally allows you to understand the industry better, build your resume, and develop the necessary skills in a familiar environment.
  • Consider Temp Work: Temporary positions can provide valuable experience and insight into the life of a deckhand. These roles can also offer networking opportunities, which are crucial in the yachting industry.

4. Plan Your Career Path

  • Decide on Your Long-Term Goals: Whether you wish to explore international waters or prefer to stay within Australia, your career goals will influence the type of experience and certifications you should pursue.
  • Continuous Learning: The yachting industry is constantly evolving, so staying updated with the latest safety protocols, regulations, and skills is essential for your career development.

Once you have completed your training sign up to as many Australian agencies as possible to increase your chances of landing a job , you can find a list of the Australian agencies below.

MARINE JOBS AYC MYS SUPERYACHT CREW CHAPMAN YACHTING SUPERYACHT CREW INTERNATIONAL CREW PACIFIC CHAMPION CREWING

What Are The Next Steps To Becoming a Deckhand?

Now you are ready to travel and become a deckhand on superyachts it is time to get certified, get all your qualifications mentioned earlier below:

  • LROCP (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency) VHF/HF Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate Course

Figure out where you want to look for work and head there to be based in the yacht hub to be around for interviews and networking.

Create your CV/resume and sign up to crew agencies online , creating your profiles and applying for jobs.

Attend job interviews and hopefully land your first deckhand role ( make sure to practice interview questions beforehand )

We interviewed a Superyacht captain with some really helpful advice on what to do and what not to do in interviews you can check it out below

EXPERT JOB INTERVIEW ADVICE FROM A SUPERYACHT CAPTAIN

Becoming a deckhand on a superyacht is an exciting path that offers more than just a job – it’s a lifestyle. With the right qualifications, a proactive approach to job hunting, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, you can embark on a rewarding Superyacht career. The world of superyachting awaits those with the courage to pursue their dreams of traveling , making good memories and friends.

Ready to Travel The World As a Superyacht Deckhand?

We have the necessary courses you need to start as an entry-level deckhand, head over to the link below for some more course information.

STCW 95+10 – https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/stcw-95-10/

Superyacht Deckhand Course – https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/superyacht-deckhand-course/

Superyacht Deckhand Package – https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/superyacht-deckhand-package/

GPH ( General Purpose Hand ) – https://www.sydneymaritimeinstitute.com/deckhand-gphcourse

Best of luck with your career as a Superyacht Deckhand!

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Superyacht Crew Academy

Superyacht Crew Academy Provides training and certification for people who wish to work on Superyachts anywhere in the world and within the Australian Maritime Industry. Legal Name: Club Sail Pty. Ltd. Trading as: Superyacht Crew Academy Registered Training Organisation no. 91462

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My Crew Kit

How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

In order to work onboard a superyacht you must complete the following steps:.

  • Learn About Deckhand Duties
  • Understand How The Deck Structure Works
  • Complete Deckhand Training
  • Complete "How To Work On A Superyacht Steps"
  • Learn Additional Skills
  • View Current Deckhand Job Vacancies

Male superyacht Deckhand with a handheld radio getting ready to drop anchor, with a blue sky in the background

1. Learn about deckhand duties

Before looking for a job as a superyacht deckhand, it is important to have a good understanding of the duties associated with the role. It is a physically demanding position that requires determination and hard work. Working in a team while learning from experienced crew members is the key to becoming a successful deckhand.

Duties change depending on the yacht's schedule. This results in a wide range of responsibilities with emphasis on the cleanliness of the vessel, tender driving, lookout duties and general maintenance.

Find out more about the role of a deckhand

Detail of beautiful Superyacht, deckhand lifting the huge fender of the starboard side of the megayacht, spotless grey and white superstructure

2. Understand the deck structure

A deckhand is the lowest-ranked member of the deck team. When starting out, it is essential to have a good sense of situational awareness while learning from others wherever possible. Respect the higher-ranked crew and always do your best to fulfil the requests to the absolute best of your ability. Ask questions and ensure that you operate in a manner that is safe. The deck structure varies depending on the size of the vessel. The duties and responsibilities of a solo deckhand/mate on a small vessel will be different from that of a deckhand in a larger team.

Find out more about the structure of the deck department

3. Complete Deckhand Training

There are certain training courses that all superyacht deckhands have to complete (and pass). In addition to the mandatory certifications & licenses, there are additional courses that may help you stand out amongst the crowd. Training courses are a significant investment and it is important to find a package that is best suited to your budget. My Crew Kit has broken down the training options below.

Find out more about deckhand training courses

Crew sitting in a small powerboat during their level 2 training to work on yachts

4. Complete the steps on how to get a job on a Superyacht:

Now that you have a good understanding of what being a deckhand is about, it is time to take action. You will only become employable once you hold the correct certification and documentation. Visas are required in order to travel to superyachting hubs where you will attend interviews. You need to register with crew agents and ensure that you are applying for jobs wherever possible. Building a positive reputation together with a strong network of individuals involved in the industry is key.

Follow the steps to start working on a superyacht

5. Find opportunities to learn additional skills!

There are a lot of experienced crew members to learn from and there is a lot of information on the internet to study (in addition to the courses that you study). Take advantage of every opportunity possible. Make sure you create a strong brand image of yourself and ALWAYS go the extra mile, even if there is no tangible benefit. Act in a professional manner and remember that every contact you make is a potential reference.

When an opportunity presents itself, make sure that you are prepared. Know your knots as well as your COLREGS. You will encounter situations where you can stand out or be seen as "another deckhand". Chief Officers and Captains are looking for well presented, professional crew who work well in a team and are willing to learn. Put yourself out there, work hard and most importantly enjoy what you do. Good luck!

Deckhand driving a tender boat

6. View the latest deckhand vacancies!

In order to find a job as a deckhand, you need to keep track of the latest deckhand vacancies. We have made this easy by displaying the latest deckhand jobs from various crew agencies.

View Deckhand Jobs

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Become a Superyacht Deckhand

  • Begin a career on a Superyacht
  • Career paths

A Deckhand is an entry-level position, and the role can vary from yacht to yacht. However, the first responsibility for a Deckhand is the meticulous cleaning and maintenance of the exterior of the yacht, which must be kept in pristine condition at all times.

More than that, though, working as a Superyacht Deckhand is an exciting and rewarding career kick-starter that will see you travel across the globe, make amazing new friends and gain a plethora of new skills and experiences!

If you want to become a Deckhand then click the button below and start your new career today.

However, if you’re still not sure then continue reading to find out more about working as a Deckhand on a Superyacht.

How much does a Deckhand make on a Superyacht?

A Deckhand’s salary ranges between €2,000 to €3,500 a month, though the average is €2,500. Almost all Superyachts pay is in Euros. The salary can depend on many factors, the main one being the yacht’s “crew” budget.

The owner or management company will agree on a budget that the captain uses to hire crew. Each yacht will have a different budget, which can lead to small variations in the amount yachts pay their crew.

Your total salary can also depend on whether you work on a charter or private yacht. On a charter yacht, it is customary for charter guests to tip the crew, the tip is normally around 10% of the charter fee. Chartering a Superyacht can set you back anywhere from €250,000 to €1 million per week.

Tips are split evenly between the crew and on average your tip can be anything from €2,000 – €5,000 for a week’s charter. Tips are paid on top of your monthly salary. Our  guide on Superyacht salaries  will explain more. Remember, you live onboard the yacht so there are very few living expenses.

What qualifications do I need to be a Deckhand?

here are three areas to consider when it comes to qualifications and experience. The first two are mandatory, the third depends on you, what work experience you have or job you have been doing to date.

  • ENG 1 medical  required by all crew who work at sea. If you are thinking of becoming a Superyacht Deckhand we recommend you complete the ENG1 medical before completing Step 2.
  • STCW Basic Safety Training  is a set of compulsory safety qualifications required by all crew in case there is an emergency onboard. STCW is a six-day course comprising; sea survival, first aid, fire fighting (great fun), and health, safety, and security.
  • Get some experience  we will explain more below but you don’t have to come from a yachting background to work on a Superyacht.However, it does help if you know the basics. Yachts want to see that you have a good work ethic, like the outdoors, and can get on with people.If you have a background in; hospitality, Engineering, Carpentry, Electrician, Water sports instructor, Divemaster, to name a few, then this will look great on your CV.

It is true that for any new job, the more experience and skills you can offer the better. So, if you are new to yachting and want to get qualified before heading off, we can help you get started.

How do I become a Deckhand with no experience?

You don’t need to be a  Yachtmaster  or have worked on a yacht to become a Deckhand on a Superyacht. Most Superyacht crews don’t come from a boating background. Once onboard, the yacht’s crew will show you the ropes and what is expected.

However, any experience in water sports, diving, or on boats will help. Don’t worry if you haven’t worked in a practical role or been on boats.

Apart from the compulsory qualifications mentioned above, what is common among all crew is the desire to work outdoors in the sunshine.

What all Superyachts look for is a  good attitude , a desire to work hard, and to be part of a team. If you have a good, positive attitude, then you can go far. Flying Fish can provide all the qualifications and skills you need to get going; all we ask is for you to provide bring a good work ethic and a positive attitude.

What does a Deckhand actually do?

Well, that’s hard to explain in just one article! All crew work, eat and sleep onboard, the yacht will become your home, the crew your family.

The yacht will look after you, the chef cooks all your meals while onboard. Your contract will specify your duties, salary, working hours, and holiday entitlement. The yacht will supply your uniform and provide further training if necessary.

The role of a Deckhand will vary from yacht to yacht, depending on the size, how many crew, whether it is private or charter, the owner, Captain, and many other factors. However, the deck team’s main role is the cleaning and maintenance of the exterior of the yacht and its toys.

You will be tasked with washing the yacht, cleaning the windows, scrubbing the teak decks, and polishing the stainless. When the guests are onboard you may drive the tenders, and jet-skis, help with water sports activities, and even time in the bridge on lookout duties.

What is a typical working day like as a Deckhand?

Your working day will typically start at 8:00am and finish at 6:00pm, usually six days a week. When on charter, or if the owners are onboard, your work hours will differ. Unsociable hours are common when guests are on board.

Do I live on board?

You will share a cabin with another Deckhand. The cabins are small but comfortable, with an ensuite bathroom. There is access to the internet via that yacht’s Wifi system, so you can keep in touch with friends and family at home.

How do I find work on a Superyacht?

There are three ways crew can find a job:

  • Most crew travel to Antibes, France, described as the hub of yachting in the Mediterranean. The Med season runs from March through to October.
  • Online, we talk a bit more about “going online” below.
  • Contacts. If you know somebody already working on a Superyacht, then it is possible to find work through their connections.

Almost everybody that is looking for a job on a Superyacht travels to Antibes, France. On arrival, crew tend to stay in a crew house, such as the  Crew Grapevine  used as a base to look for work.

If budget is a concern, then crew join forces and rent an Airbnb between them. The advantage of a crew house like the Crew Grapevine is that the owners (ex-yachties) actively help you find a job.

The way you find a job on a Superyacht is quite unique. From your base in Antibes, you would travel to other ports in the local area, walk the dock and chat with the crew working onboard to see if any positions are available.

Superyacht crew who have the evening off will go to the local bars to unwind. This is the perfect chance to get to know people working on Superyachts and build connections in the industry.

Go online to look for a work

All Superyacht recruitment agents post positions on their respective websites. Once qualified, new, or “green crew”, as they are known, would register with the agency and complete their registration form. You would then get in touch with the agent to start searching for that dream job.

The recruitment agent’s job is to match the right candidate for the job being advertised. There are many recruitments agents out there, we work closely with  YPI  a Superyacht recruitment agency based in the South of France.

A quick Google search for “ Superyacht Recruitment Agents ” will bring up a list.

Yotspot  is a very popular website that matches yachts with quality crew.

Facebook  is another medium that yachts use to post jobs. To keep up to date, is it worth joining a couple of the Superyacht Facebook groups. Yacht crew jobs and Palma yacht group are two examples.

How long does it take to find work on a Superyacht?

Over the 12 years we have been running our Superyacht Deckhand programme, most customers find a job between one and four weeks. We have had customers that have found a job in a day and others that have taken six weeks to find that perfect job.

The time it takes to find a job is down to you. You will need to be proactive, up early, and make sure you are at the front of the queue. From our experience, people who work hard and explore every opportunity will find a job quickly.

Every Captain or Officer that calls us for a reference asks the same question – does the candidate have a good attitude? You need to be hard-working, happy to work long hours, and used to mucking in. Have a can-do attitude and a willingness to go the extra mile to help your fellow crewmates.

When is the best time to look for work on a Superyacht?

Traditionally Superyachts recruit for the Mediterranean season  any time between February to May.  That being said, yachts recruit all year round. We have seen many graduates find work in July and August when the season is in full swing.

The next key recruitment period is between September and November as yachts prepare for the Caribbean season. Yachts will cross the Atlantic anytime between December and January to cruise the Caribbean or the US for the winter.

Superyacht crew who have had a busy Mediterranean season may decide to take the winter off, which leaves opportunities for new crew to enter the industry.

Can I make yachting a career?

Yes! Thousands of crew who start out as a Deckhand climb the career ladder, first qualifying as a Lead Deckhand, then onto Officer and finally Captain. Okay, that sounds simple, but many have achieved their dream of becoming a Captain of a large Superyacht.

Running a yacht is not easy and requires a lot of qualifications, time at sea, excellent communication and management skills, and a deep understanding of the yachting industry.

Below is the career pathway from Deckhand to Master (Captain). The good news is there is a structured pathway, so you know what skills and sea time are required.

How do I become a Superyacht Deckhand?

This is where we come in. Flying Fish runs a two-week Superyacht Deckhand course that includes all the qualifications and skills you need to get started in the industry. Everything from the STCW Basic Safety Training to a bespoke programme to teach you all you need to know to get started.

The course is great fun, you will learn loads of new skills and meet like-minded people who, like you, are thinking about a different career path.

Superyacht Deckhand Course

If you want to travel the world on a Superyacht, earn an enviable salary and make some incredible friends for life, becoming a Deckhand is the way to go!

The course is suitable for complete beginners or those with experience who are looking to work as a Deckhand on a commercial yacht.

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  • Yacht Department Directory, About Deck Department, Deck Department
  • Deck Department

About the Deck Department

deck article 01

The deck department on board a superyacht is a dynamic, multifunctional department that involves duties ranging from skippering an Atlantic crossing to taking guests on jet-ski tours of some of the most beautiful hidden bays in the world. The work is extremely varied and an assortment of skills are necessary to be successful.

This department is responsible for the following aspects of the yacht operation:

  • owner communication
  • financial administration
  • bridge operations
  • exterior repair and maintenance
  • tender and water sports operations
  • safety procedures

The development path for an individual wishing to pursue a career on deck is very specific and requires achieving certain milestones. As an entry-level deckhand, focus should be on learning as much as possible from senior deck crew. Daily duties will include cleaning, polishing and exterior maintenance. As ordinary as these jobs may seem some days, the importance of learning good techniques and basic skills is crucial to continued progression in the superyacht industry. At the beginning of your career it is important to document all the skills you learn as well as your sea time.

As you graduate from rookie status after one year onboard yachts, the next step will be to develop boat handling skills and pursue your first deck license which might be a 100T USCG or MCA Y200. You will also continue to learn more advanced maintenance and repair techniques. This is the stage in most deck careers where the decision is made to pursue yachting as a long-term profession, investing the time and money necessary to progress.

Continuing to build your career as a seafarer with three or more years of experience will likely involve obtaining more advanced licenses. The educational requirements are demanding and expensive – they are an investment in your future. However, it is important to balance time at school with continued experience on board yachts, refining your skills and building sea time. During this stage of your career, you will become more involved in bridge operations and navigation.

The role of a captain aboard a luxury yacht is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world, and with this opportunity comes great responsibility. The captain is ultimately responsible for the safety, well-being and experience of every crew and guest on board. In addition to managing the deck team, they also possess primary responsibility for financial administration and owner communication. Captains are professional seaman, expert problem solvers and are able to manage every situation with poise and exemplary leadership.

Career Path

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Yacht Deckhand Jobs

If efficiency, organisation and the safe handling of a superyacht are all things that sound appealing to you, then perhaps you should consider a career as a yacht deckhand. An entry-level position on a yacht, this role can be seen as the first step to a long and fulfilling career working onboard yachts. Yacht deckhands are important crew members, as the role covers a broad range of tasks – from cleaning and maintaining the exterior of the yacht, to driving tenders and supervising guests during watersport activities and excursions on land. Depending on the size of a yacht, there are usually between one and ten deckhands, so being an abled team player, sociable and a hard worker are all a must!

Yacht deckhands roles are very rewarding and the perfect stepping-stone for a stable career in yachting. Once you have completed the STCW’95 Basic crew training, you can begin looking for a job as a yacht deckhand. Browse through our full deckhand job offerings for more information.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

As a deckhand, a lot of the daily duties and tasks include maintaining and overseeing the yacht’s exterior, washing and polishing it, learning more about yacht maintenance, safety operations and systems-line handling. Deckhands also assist the deck officer with any maintenance projects, such as sanding, caulking and varnishing. It is also up to the deckhands to accompany and supervise guests during watersports and water activities, drive tenders and assist with any additional tasks.

YACHT DECKHAND SALARIES

Deckhand salaries can vary slightly, depending on the size and type of yacht. Data shows that deckhands on a motor yacht earn between €2,000 and €3,000 a month, depending on the size and their experience. Deckhands working on sailing yachts may earn a bit less, between €1,800 and €2,900 a month.

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Working on a Luxury Yacht

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Yacht crew salary guide

A Yacht Deckhand is an entry-level position for those looking to work as a part of the Deck crew team onboard a yacht.

Deckhands are an integral part of the yacht crew in the day-to-day running of the yacht. They are responsible for the daily maintenance of the yacht, involving hands-on tasks to ensure it remains in immaculate condition for all guests at all levels of the yacht. 

Depending on the size of the yacht, there may either be only one Deckhand onboard or a team of Deckhands, all working to clean and polish the exterior to maintain the highest of standards. Deckhands are generally supervised by either a Lead Deckhand, Bosun, or a Chief Officer, depending on the size and structure of the yacht.

What does a Deckhand do? | Deckhand Job Description

A Deckhand’s main responsibility is to execute any task their senior gives them, in a timely and precise manner. These tasks predominantly comprise of maintaining the exterior of the yacht. 

Daily tasks vary and can include wash-downs, polishing, varnishing, teak cleaning, sanding, painting, and general maintenance. They may also be asked to drive or assist with the yacht’s tenders.

The responsibilities of a Deckhand include:

Regular wash-downs of the yacht

Deck scrubbing

Stainless polishing

Cleaning of deck lockers and bilges

Performing general maintenance duties such as sanding, painting, varnishing, etc.

Assisting with docking operations and anchoring

Assisting guests as required during water sports

Driving state-of-the-art yacht tenders

Soft and hard skills required to be a Deckhand

As an entry-level position, a yacht Deckhand job does not necessarily require any previous yachting experience, but it does require patience and a positive mental attitude. 

The competition for Deckhand positions is often very fierce so having any extra skills can really make a difference. Tender driving skills, carpentry, water sports, videography and mechanical knowledge can all help one get ahead of the competition so it's strongly advised to point them out on the CV.

On a personal level, a yacht Deckhand should be sociable and show a fondness for working as part of a team. They are often sporty, athletic people who enjoy being outdoors and are ready for new challenges and adventures.

The skills of a successful yacht Deckhand include:

Ability to take direction

Good work ethic

Physical fitness and strength

Positive attitude

Ability to learn on the job

Good eye for detail

Varnishing skills

Painting skills

Tender driving skills

Knowledge of water sports

Mandatory certificates needed to work on board a yacht 

All crew members regardless of position and seniority need to have a valid STCW Basic Safety Training certificate, along with a recognised Seafarers medical certificate, the most popular being the ENG1 which is issued by an MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) professional medic. 

Without these two certificates, it is not possible for crew to work on board a yacht and a Recruiter will not be able to assist you in finding work onboard a yacht. For more information about mandatory certificates please visit our Mandatory Certificates Guide .

Are you ready to secure a Deckhand position on board a yacht?

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Each of our recruiters is specialised in crew placement for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview on board a yacht. They will also advise you on how to best present your experience and skills and prepare for a yacht job interview.

YPI CREW TEAM

Ypi crew recruiters in charge of deckhand recruitment.

Fiona Murray, Head of Bosun and Deckhand Department, YPI CREW Yacht Crew Agency

Fiona Murray

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Bosun and Deckhand Recruitment Specialist

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Superyacht Deckhand job description

Superyacht deckhand

A deckhand is the entry level for almost all professional crew jobs on superyachts. 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. You could be the only deckhand on board, but on larger superyachts there may be as many as five or more deckhands working.

Your day will typically start very early and end very late. You will be involved in a number of tasks, including:

  • Fibreglass restoration
  • Line handling
  • General exterior maintenance
  • Driving tenders and/or toys
  • Escorting guests when they use the toys
  • Diving (if qualified)
  • Helping interior staff serve meals or clean cabins
  • Occasional assistance with the Chef in the galley

The deckhand is also normally responsible for the general day to day operation and maintenance of jet-skis and other toys and tenders.

The deckhand’s role is incredibly varied and gives an excellent opportunity to learn about the general operations on board a superyacht.

Required Skills and Experience

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 over other candidates.

If you’ve never worked on a yacht before, it doesn’t mean that you are unsuitable for consideration.  Captains have, in the past, hired crew with a variety of backgrounds such as hospitality and hotels, cruise lines, recent graduates, mechanics, engineers, tour leaders, divers and anyone who can prove they have the willingness to learn and the right work ethic.

Required Certification

Qualifications and certification are not normally needed to become a deckhand – experience is generally more important, but RYA qualifications such as Day Skipper, Power Boat Level 2 and VHF/SRC Radio Operators Certificate or IYT Tender Driving Licence may be beneficial. As an alternative the MCA approved Yacht Rating Course is acceptable. As you progress you will be expected to achieve the MCA Yacht Rating Certificate.

You may be required to hold the MCA STCW Basic Safety certification, and if you wish to progress from the deckhand role this certification is likely to be required for higher positions.

Salary Range

At entry-level a deckhand could expect to earn between £1,250 and £1,750 per month. An experienced deckhand could expect up to around £1,750 or £2,000 per month.

Career Progression

Superyacht Crew A Deckhand is an excellent place to start your career on board a superyacht as it gives you a good grounding in day-to-day operations.

A Deckhand may choose to continue working in a deck role, and progress to the position of Bosun. Alternatively he/she may prefer to move into the Engineering department as an Engineer, or get into the Service department as a Steward/ess.

Marine Industry Experience as a Deckhand on board a superyacht would be valuable in a whole host of other crew positions. For example in the Leisure sector holiday companies employ both engineering and stewarding crew for their flotillas.

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.

A superyacht deck crew officer washing the boat

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;

  • Fibreglass restoration
  • 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
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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How Much Does a Deckhand Make on a Yacht? (Salaries)

how much does a deckhand make on a yacht

Who doesn’t want to sail the high seas in the lap of luxury? Life on a yacht is the pinnacle of maritime leisure and relaxation so it’s definitely not something everyone can afford. But what if you were told you could experience life on yacht and get paid for it to boot? Welcome to a day in the life of a yacht deckhand!

Okay, so maybe you’re not going to be the guest of honor. But there are a lot of perks to being a deckhand. Of course, the salaries might not be too grand, however yacht guests have been known to give eye-popping tips. Wondering how much does a deckhand make on a yacht? Here’s the low-down.

Salary Range for a Yacht Deckhand

The salary of a deckhand on a yacht depends largely on the size of the vessel. For the most part, people will only hire a deckhand if their boat is in the superyacht category. That means a yacht that’s over 80-feet long. However there are some private yacht owners who hire a crew even if they’re operating something smaller.

As you might expect, a deckhand salary will increase as the size of the yacht increases. That means the bigger the boat, the bigger the bucks. It’s also worth considering your level of experience and designation on the boat.

There are three different deckhands found on a yacht. The first is the junior deckhand, the second is the deckhand, and the third is the lead deckhand. These job levels receive varying salaries, with each one earning more than the last.

Junior Deckhand

Junior Deckhands on a yacht earn around $2,000 to $3,000+ per month

Yacht Deckhands earn between $2,800 to $3,500+ per month

Lead Deckhand

Lead Deckhands earn roughly around $3,500 to $4,000+ per month

What’s nice about the deckhand job is that you get to work closely with the guests on the boat. That means you might be rubbing elbows with celebrities, politicians, and other prominent public figures. The deckhand also gets the most tips on board, so that salary might not be your only income stream.

Interested in Other Deckhand Salaries? See How Much These Earn:

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Salaries for Private vs Charter

If you’re looking to snag a job on a yacht, it’s important you know the difference between a private and charter yacht. The private yacht is essentially a vessel that’s used strictly for the benefit and enjoyment of the owner. So the only guests you’re going to be seeing are the ones they invite on-board such as their family and friends. You answer directly to the owner and they also pay your salary.

The charter yacht is basically a yacht that’s rented out to a variety of companies like holiday makers and corporations who want to profit off of the yacht by selling cabin tickets or vacation packages. Charter yachts see a lot of guest variety, letting you deal with and serve lots of different people.

Generally speaking, charter yachts pay less in salaries because they know you’re going to be making more tips. On average, the tips can amount to around 20% of the charter cost, and is split between the crew members by the captain.

On a private yacht, you’re much less likely to get a tip but they are willing to pay more. Private yacht owners also tend to provide bonuses if you rub them the right way, so it’s really a matter of playing your cards right and pleasing your employer.

Yacht Deckhand Job Description and Responsibilities

yacth deckhand jobs

Okay, so maybe the money has made you seriously consider starting out as a yacht deckhand. But do you know what the job entails? There are quite a lot of responsibilities lined up for a yacht deckhand, and these include:

All hands on deck, and that means you, deckhand. The job of cleaning the yacht is all a part of the deckhand duty. You’re going to mop the messes, clean up after rowdy guests, and essentially make sure that everything stays clean and tidy to maintain the luxury feel.

But it’s more than just mopping and tidying. A deckhand also has to polish chrome railings, wipe glass panels to remove smudge marks, clean communal toilets, and maintain public areas after each use. You’re also going to have to clean unseen features of the boat like the inner machines and equipment that hide under the deck.

Basic Repairs

A broken air conditioner in stateroom number two? That’s your business. Minor and basic repairs of features around the boat are the deckhand’s responsibility. So expect to change a light bulb or two while you’re on board.

You should also have some basic knowledge on things like painting, caulking, filling, and varnishing, which you might have to do depending on the conditions on the yacht. Of course, for bigger maintenance problems like major repairs of equipment and machines, the engineers will be mostly responsible.

Safety Protocol Implementation

There’s a lot that could go wrong on a yacht. Slip and fall accidents, choking, and drowning -- these are just some of the dangers that await yacht passengers. That’s why all deckhands have to have some basic knowledge on life support and first aid.

But to prevent the need to use these skills all together, the deckhand makes sure that all passengers are observing proper safety protocol. That means reminding them when to wear a life jacket, and politely informing them of any potentially dangerous activity they might be doing on board.

Water Sports Assistance

Whether it’s water skiing or jet skiing, the deckhand is there to help. They’re the guys who handle the lines, deploy the water toys, and assist the guests for safe fun and enjoyment. They’re basically the all-around assistants on the yacht, doing what they can to maintain safety and keep the guests as comfortable as possible.

Not all yachts will have water toys though, but those that have them will require more than a few deckhands. On larger super yachts , lead deckhands are responsible for designating deckhands to different parts of the boat so that everyone gets the assistance they need.

Deckhands are the guys who see the deck most often. They’re the first to know when something is damaged, the first to know when guests need something, and the first to know when danger might be up ahead. So they should also be responsible for communicating with the rest of the crew.

These guys are in constant communication with the captain, engineers, stewards and stewardesses to maintain smooth sailing. They relay important information to the higher ups in order to curb potential accidents and to make the guests requests known in case they were approached for that specific purpose.

What Training is Required?

You can’t be a deckhand just like that. There are requirements and certificates you have to comply with to become fit for service. These training programs provide the necessary knowledge and skills to improve your performance and equip you for the unique challenges of the yacht deckhand job.

Certification of Medical Fitness

This is a compulsory requirement for all individuals hoping to apply as a deckhand. The certification of medical fitness confirms that you have no serious medical conditions that could affect your work on board. Remember, a huge chunk of your job is to keep everyone safe. If you have any conditions that require unique care, then you might not be able to fulfill your responsibilities.

Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping

This is another requirement for all of those applying for a spot on a yacht crew. The STCW provides basic training on fire fighting and prevention, personal safety and social responsibility, security awareness, sea survival, and emergency first aid. The goal of the training is to make sure the entire crew is prepared to face potential hazards as they arise.

Deckhand Training Course

While this one’s not required, it does help improve your chances of getting a job. The deckhand training course provides you all the basics of the job, teaching you the ins and outs of the work your occupation entails. You can also add on other courses like a personal watercraft certificate that lets you safely operate and deploy things like jetskis.

What Type of Person is Best Suited to the Job?

Not everyone is a fit for the deckhand occupation. That said, if you think you have most of the following qualities, you might find the work to be a good choice if you’re considering starting a career on the sea:

  • Works well in a fast-paced environment
  • Handy with tools
  • Good problem solver
  • Patient and courteous
  • Takes well to instructions and commands
  • Team player
  • Willingness to learn
  • Works well under pressure
  • Can work with minimal supervision
  • Good time management skills
  • Physically fit
  • Takes criticism and correction well

A deckhand is one of the lowest ranking jobs on the deck, so expect to get quite a lot of correction from your superiors. But aside from that, your guests might also find reason to criticize and correct your work. So it helps to be patient and thick-skinned if you plan to work in this demanding industry.

All in a Day’s Work

How much does a deckhand make on a yacht? Not a lot if we’re talking salaries, but those tips might make up for the meager pay. And when you consider the luxury facilities and the potential of rubbing elbows with the rich and the famous, it’s easy to see that the life of a yacht deckhand is anything but boring.

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Nick Mavar, deckhand on ‘Deadliest Catch,’ dies at 59

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Nick Mavar, deckhand on  Discovery  Channel’s extreme fishing reality series “ Deadliest Catch ,” died Thursday of natural causes, the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department in Alaska told  Variety . He was 59.

Police found Mavar dead Thursday in a boat yard in Naknek, Alaska. His family has been notified.

Mavar starred in 98 episodes of Seasons 1 through 17 of “Deadliest Catch” working as a deck hand on the Northwestern fishing boat. Mavar also appeared in several “Deadliest Catch” spinoffs, such as “Deadliest Catch: Legends Born & Broken” and “Deadliest Catch: Evolution of Danger.”

Nick Mavar, a member of a real-life boat crew featured on television's "Deadliest Catch" for 17 seasons, died of natural causes in Alaska at age 59.

Mavar exited the show in December 2020 after his appendix ruptured while filming, which revealed a cancerous tumor. He would eventually sue the boat’s owner Sig Hansen for $1 million over “failure to have an adequate plan in place” for a medical emergency while strict Covid restrictions were in place.

The lawsuit would later be re-aimed at “Deadliest Catch’s” production company after Hansen claimed Original Productions Inc. was to blame for implementing the protocols that delayed Mavar’s care.

Lawyers for the defendants denied the claims in court filings that said Mavar and third parties were responsible for actions that led up to his injuries and that the defendants never agreed to protect him from loss or calamity.

Nine years before, Mavar was a victim of another incident while filming “Deadliest Catch.” During an aggressive storm, a hook came loose and struck Mavar in the face, leaving him with a broken nose. Like the appendix scare, this moment would be documented on Discovery Channel’s YouTube channel.

After working on the reality TV show for over 15 years, Mavar spent his last days in Bristol Bay captaining his own salmon boat. Fans of the series have turned to social media to mourn his death.

Mavar is survived by his wife, Julie.

working as a deckhand on a yacht

Nick Mavar, longtime deckhand on 'Deadliest Catch', dies at 59 after 'medical emergency'

working as a deckhand on a yacht

Nick Mavar Jr., a deckhand for the F/V Northwestern who was featured on the series "Deadliest Catch" over the course of 15 years, has died.

He was 59 years old.

Mavar died Thursday in Naknek, Alaska, following a medical emergency, Bristol Bay Borough Police Chief Jeff Elbie told USA TODAY Friday. The longtime fisherman, whose legal name was Nickola Mavar Jr., was pronounced dead after he was transported to a medical facility, according to Elbie.

USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for the F/V Northwestern and Discovery for comment.

TMZ was first to report the news.

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

In a statement to USA TODAY on Friday, F/V Northwestern Captain Sig Hansen shared, "I have known Nick Mavar for my entire fishing career, he has worked on our family boat for 25 plus years. He was more than a crew member, he was a very good friend and a right hand man."

He continued, "The passing of Nick Mavar spread through the fishing community like wild fire. This is no surprise because of how well known and respected he was by the fishing fleet."

Mavar appeared on 16 seasons of "Deadliest Catch," which started airing on Discovery Channel in 2005. Fifteen years after making his debut in Season 2, Mavar's final appearance on the Emmy-nominated show was in Season 17, which aired in 2021.

"Deadliest Catch," now in its 20th season, follows crab fisherman off the coast of Alaska as they continuously defy death during expeditions in the Bering Sea.

In December 2022, Mavar sued his employer F/V Northwestern, LLC, alleging he was "seriously and permanently injured" when he suffered a ruptured appendix while on board the ship "following a time period of repeated reports of pain and discomfort."

Mavar claimed his employer was negligent in failing to obtain timely medical care that would have prevented the rupture. A "cancerous tumor" was later found to be growing inside his appendix, he claimed. A trial date is scheduled for April 2025, according to King County Superior Court records.

Several months after Mavar's filing, the F/V Northwestern sued "Deadliest Catch's" production company for failing to provide appropriate medical care while requiring the vessel's adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The production company, in a June 2023 filing, asked the court to dismiss the case and denied "any and all liability, and denies that it acted negligently or contributed to any injury Mavar may have suffered that is or becomes the subject of this action."

The case is ongoing, though the judge ruled to suspend proceedings pending the resolution Mavar's case in Washington.

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Nick Mavar, Fisherman and ‘Deadliest Catch’ Star, Dies at 59

Mr. Mavar, who ran a fishing operation in Alaska, starred in the reality television show for 16 years and captained his own boat.

A man in an orange parka and trousers leans against a pile of snow that is about as high as his shoulder. The word “Northwestern” can be seen behind him.

By John Yoon

Nick Mavar, a commercial salmon fisherman known for his tenacity and resourcefulness who was also a deckhand on the Discovery Channel’s extreme fishing reality show “Deadliest Catch,” died on Thursday at a hospital in King Salmon, Alaska. He was 59.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Julie Mavar. His nephew Jake Anderson said that Mr. Mavar had a heart attack on Thursday while on a ladder at a boatyard in Naknek, Alaska, where he ran his fishing operation, and fell onto a dry dock.

The Bristol Bay Borough Police Department in Naknek confirmed that Mr. Mavar had died but declined to share more details.

“Deadliest Catch,” which follows crab fishermen on their strenuous and sometimes brutal job off the Alaskan coast, is one of the top-rated programs on basic cable, drawing millions of viewers.

The show premiered in 2005, and Mr. Mavar appeared in 98 episodes, working on a fishing boat called the F/V Northwestern until 2021.

He left the show while filming an expedition in 2020 after his appendix ruptured, revealing a cancerous tumor, Mr. Anderson said.

Mr. Mavar was also injured while shooting an episode in 2011, when a large hook came loose during a storm and struck him in the face, breaking his nose.

In the fishing community, Mr. Mavar was known for overcoming adversities, including the cancer and an earlier heart attack, said Mr. Anderson, who appeared on “Deadliest Catch” while crabbing in Bristol Bay with Mr. Mavar and other members of his family.

Nickola Mavar Jr. was born on Oct. 21, 1964, in San Pedro, Calif., to Nickola Mavar Sr. and Maureen (Whelan) Mavar.

He grew up in a fishing family, and his father was a fisherman who emigrated from Croatia in 1959. While a mechanical engineering student in California, the elder Mr. Mavar at first fished part time until becoming a commercial fisherman, according to an interview with an oral history program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

When the younger Mr. Mavar got his own start in fishing in the early 1990s, the cost of obtaining a permit and running a fishery meant he could not afford a fully functioning boat, Mr. Anderson said.

Mr. Mavar, lacking dish soap and sponges, often washed dishes with Windex, slept in trash bags to keep dry in a flooded boat, and reeled up the net by hand because of broken hydraulics, Mr. Anderson said.

“You could give the guy a tin pail, and he could make it catch fish,” he said. “You could give him a bicycle, and he could make it float.”

One of Mr. Mavar’s boats, named Miss Colleen after his sister, was purchased from his father when he retired, Mr. Anderson said. Soon, Mr. Mavar ran a fishery in Alaska, then took a job working for a boat owner, Sig Hansen, on the Northwestern, which brought him to the show.

“The passing of Nick Mavar spread through the fishing community like wildfire,” Mr. Hansen wrote on social media , adding that Mr. Mavar had worked on his family boat for more than 25 years and was a good friend.

After leaving the Northwestern, Mr. Mavar captained his own salmon boat in Bristol Bay and golfed frequently with Ms. Mavar, whom he married in 2021, Mr. Anderson said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Mavar is survived by his father; two children from a previous marriage, Myles and Emme Mavar; a stepdaughter, Jensen Weynands; two brothers, Brian and John; and a sister, Colleen.

Throughout nearly two decades on television, Mr. Anderson said, Mr. Mavar did not care much about the fame that came from being on the show.

“He was a fisherman through and through,” Mr. Anderson said, “and the camera was something that was just there.”

Emmett Lindner contributed reporting.

John Yoon is a Times reporter based in Seoul who covers breaking and trending news. More about John Yoon

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How to Work on a Superyacht, with no Experience

Working in the superyacht industry looks like the dream job, right? But, how do you get started with no work experience? With over 12 years in the industry, interviewing and hiring countless candidates across various positions, we know first hand what information you require to get your first real crew job on a superyacht. In this post we highlight some of the features of our “Beginners Guide to Yachting” Ebook which explains all you need to know from how to get your CV yacht perfect, typical daily stewardess or deckhand duties, how to find day wo rk, and more.

What kinds of entry level positions could I apply for? 

The two most common entry level positions on yachts are stewardess and deckhand jobs. These are both junior ranks whose primary concern is to keep the guests happy and ensure the interior and exterior are kept immaculately clean.

What previous experience is useful when looking for a job on a yacht?

While working on a yacht is certainly different to any land-based career, there are a few land-based jobs that would have equipped you with skills useful on a vessel.  Jobs that may be useful include: 

  • Hospitality-related jobs
  • Waiting tables in a high-end restaurant 
  • Child care or au pairing 
  • Carpentry 
  • Sports or diving instructor 

If you have already completed some form or degree or diploma in engineering or mechanics, this is also considered a huge plus. 

Are there specific qualifications I need? 

Yes. You will need an STCW 10 certificate to understand basic safety protocols, as well as an ENG1 Medical Certificate to prove that your health is in good enough shape to join a vessel. Get Onboard Superyacht Academy offers complete STCW and ENG1 training in Cape Town, South Africa. These are the only compulsory documents needed, but if you are interested in a specific role, we offer specialised courses to equip you for these. 

How do I get my first job on a yacht?

Once you are qualified, follow these steps: 

  • Construct a CV. Be sure to include all relevant information and documents, as well as a friendly, yet professional photo of yourself. Download our free template for a starting point. 
  • Pick a location to start. Antibes in France, Palma de Mallorca in Spain, and Fort Lauderdale in Florida are great places to start out as a newbie. 
  • Find some day work. This is work outside of a formal contract, which may involve helping out for a day to several weeks. Day work is an excellent opportunity to network, build contacts in the industry, and get a foot in on your journey to securing a more permanent job. 

How much money do you make working on a yacht?

The standard entry level salary for a junior stewardess or deckhand ranges between €2,000 – €2,500 or $2,300 – $2,800 per month. This amount is generally tax free, although the onus is on each crew member to check with their home county about tax obligations. Certain countries are tax exempt, provided you spend more than six months out of the county.

Check out our salary guidelines for more information. Still have questions? Get in touch with us , we’d love to help you navigate the seas of yachting!

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1. what are the basic requirements you need to be eligible to work in the yachting industry, 2. what is the stcw and why do i need it, 3. what is the eng1 medical certificate, 4. what land based experience will help me find a super yacht job, 5. what are the different departments onboard, 6. what crew training is required for me to work as a junior deckhand.

  • Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper Theory
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  • Specialist Super Yacht Training Course (Deck Hand Training Course)
  • RYA Power Boat Level II
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  • RYA Competent Crew Certificate
  • RYA Day Skipper Theory and Practical Certificates
  • VHF Radio Operator’s License

7. What crew training is required for me to work as a junior stewardess?

  • Stewardess Course
  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • MCA Food Safety Level 2
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2

8. How do I book my training courses?

9. how do i get my first job on a yacht, 10. are these courses worth it, or am i just wasting my money, 11. will i get hired for my first job from south africa, 12. what is daywork, 13. what are the best locations to get a yacht job, 14. how much can a motor yacht stewardess or deckhand earn, 15. what are the negatives of working on a yacht, 16. what are the positives of working on a yacht, 17. is working on a super yacht for everyone, 18. what is the minimum age to work on a yacht, 19. is accommodation provided when i am completing my yacht training in cape town.

working as a deckhand on a yacht

‘Deadliest Catch' Alum Nick Mavar Dies, Former Northwestern Deckhand Was 59

Nick Mavar, who appeared on Discovery Channel’s reality franchise Deadliest Catch , died Thursday in Naknek, AK, Bristol Bay Police Chief Jeffrey Eldie confirmed to Deadline. He was 59.

Mavar suffered a medical emergency at a boatyard in Naknek Thursday afternoon, according to Eldie. Paramedics were called and he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead of what was determined to be natural causes, Eldie says.

Mavar appeared in 98 episodes on Deadliest Catch from 2005 to 2021, as well as several spinoffs including Deadliest Catch: Siberian Winter  and  Deadliest Catch: The Bait. Mavar served as a deckhand for maintaining Sig Hansen’s F/V Northwestern and its mechanical equipment. He departed the series after his appendix ruptured onboard in December 2020, a medical scare that was chronicled on the show.

Mavar later sued the owners of the F/V Northwestern alleging there wasn’t a proper plan in place to get him proper medical help during the pandemic. In turn, the boat owners sued the show’s production company also alleging "failure to have an adequate plan in place" to get outside medical help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was a familiar face to fans, given his status on the Northwestern, which is captained by the franchise’s de-facto elder statesman, Sig Hansen. Mavar was also uncle to onetime Northwestern greenhorn turned-deckhand turned-Saga captain, Jake Anderson.

played a key role in one of the show’s longest-running storylines,

Mavar’s death comes just days after Deadliest Catch Captain "Wild"  Bill Wichrowski publicly shared his prostate cancer diagnosis. Wichrowski’s deck boss on Deadliest Catch, Nick McGlashan, died in 2020 due to addiction.

More from Deadline

  • Hollywood & Media Deaths In 2024: Photo Gallery & Obituaries
  • ‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski Opens Up About His Battle With Cancer

‘Deadliest Catch' Alum Nick Mavar Dies, Former Northwestern Deckhand Was 59

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  1. Yacht Deckhand Crew Position

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    1. Understand the Training Requirements. The foundational step to becoming a deckhand in Australia is to complete the necessary safety training. While the training is broadly similar across different countries, there are specific requirements for those intending to work on commercial vessels within Australia:

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    Deckhand. Yacht Deckhands earn between $2,800 to $3,500+ per month. Lead Deckhand. Lead Deckhands earn roughly around $3,500 to $4,000+ per month. What's nice about the deckhand job is that you get to work closely with the guests on the boat. That means you might be rubbing elbows with celebrities, politicians, and other prominent public figures.

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  23. Nick Mavar, deckhand on 'Deadliest Catch,' dies at 59

    Mavar starred in 98 episodes of Seasons 1 through 17 of "Deadliest Catch" working as a deck hand on the Northwestern fishing boat. Mavar also appeared in several "Deadliest Catch" spinoffs ...

  24. Nick Mavar, 'Deadliest Catch' deckhand, dies at 59

    Nick Mavar, deckhand on Discovery Channel's extreme fishing reality series "Deadliest Catch," died Thursday, June 13, of natural causes, the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department in Alaska ...

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  26. Nick Mavar dead: 'Deadliest Catch' longtime deckhand dies at 59

    Nick Mavar Jr., a deckhand for the F/V Northwestern who was featured on the series "Deadliest Catch" over the course of 15 years, has died. He was 59 years old. Mavar died Thursday in Naknek ...

  27. Nick Mavar, 'Deadliest Catch' Star, Dies at 59

    The show premiered in 2005, and Mr. Mavar appeared in 98 episodes, working on a fishing boat called the F/V Northwestern until 2021. He left the show while filming an expedition in 2020 after his ...

  28. Nick Mavar dead: 'Deadliest Catch' deckhand was at 59

    Nick Mavar, a deckhand who served alongside Captain Sig Hansen on the Northwestern for 17 seasons of 'Deadliest Catch,' has died at age 59 after suffering a medical emergency at an Alaskan boatyard.

  29. How to Work on a Superyacht, with no Experience

    The two most common entry level positions on yachts are stewardess and deckhand jobs. These are both junior ranks whose primary concern is to keep the guests happy and ensure the interior and exterior are kept immaculately clean. ... While working on a yacht is certainly different to any land-based career, there are a few land-based jobs that ...

  30. 'Deadliest Catch' Alum Nick Mavar Dies, Former Northwestern Deckhand Was 59

    Mavar served as a deckhand for maintaining Sig Hansen's F/V Northwestern and its mechanical equipment. ... the boat owners sued the show's production company also alleging "failure to have an ...