For a yachting novice, the different crew positions can get quite confusing. The amount of crew on a yacht often depends on the size of the vessel and needs of the program. Below are some typical yacht crew job descriptions that are helpful to understand. The list below is certainly is not an exhaustive list and meant to provide a general understanding of yacht crew hierarchy and responsibilities. With the changing landscape of yacht crew, there may be many specialized positions, crossovers and overlapping responsibilities depending on the type of yacht and size.

Crew Jobs

Deck

The deck department on board have various duties ranging from maintaining the exterior of a yacht, taking guests on snorkeling tours, maintaining jet skis and driving the tender to explore hidden bays and exclusive islands. The work is extremely varied and an assortment of skills are necessary to be successful.They are in charge of exterior maintenance, operations, and procedures.

  • Captain
    • As masters of the vessel, captains are the ones ultimately in charge of the safety and smooth running of the yacht. Must have knowledge of yacht management and safety, financial responsibilities, private and commercial programs, and navigational experience and know-how in various cruising areas.
      Job Responsibilities: SAFETY of the boat, passengers, and crew, crew hiring and management, shipyard and project management, legal and regulatory compliance, accounting, navigation
  • Junior Captain
    • Should also know about yacht management, safety and financial responsibilities, and the desire for advancement. Junior captains usually have less experience than a seasoned captain and will captain a smaller vessel before advancing in size and responsibility.
    • Job Responsibilities: Same as Captain
  • First Officer/Chief Mate
    • Should know of all bridge, navigation and deck procedures and should be able to teach the deck crew new maintenance and repair skills.
    • Job Responsibilities: Assisting captain in safety and administration, manages deck crew, maintains inventory and equipment, navigation, following deck budget, arrange safety drills
  • Officer of the Watch
    • Supports the First Officer with administrative duties.
    • Job Responsibilities: Assists first officer in safety and administration, “hands on” leader of deck crew, stowage, inventory and managing equipment, navigation watches
  • Mate
    • Must be a leader with a strong work ethic and well-rounded deck knowledge in repair and maintenance. Responsible for management of the junior deck crew members.
    • Job Responsibilities: Same as Officer of the Watch
  • Bosun
    • Must have good understanding of exterior maintenance and repair, great worth ethic, positive attitude, and desire to set a good example deck crew.
    • Job Responsibilities: Cleans and maintains yacht, product knowledge, maintenance and repair projects, guest liaison for water sports,
  • Deckhand
    • An entry level position with primary duties that include cleaning and maintenance of the deck and exterior.
    • Job Responsibilities: Assist Bosun and Mate, yacht cleanliness, continued education of yacht
  • Junior Deckhand
    • An entry level position that, requiring little to no experience, although some experience with boats or water sports expertise is extremely valuable.
    • Job Responsibilities: Same as Deckhand

Engineering

The engineering department is responsible for the smooth operations of the yacht. Engineers are responsible for the engine room maintenance, troubleshooting, as well as all technical and electrical systems onboard.

  • Chief Engineer
    • In charge of the engine room on the yacht. Must act as a leader and a strong manager while being technical. The bigger the yacht, the more engineers required to complete tasks and understand systems.
    • Job Responsibilities: All engineering systems, audio and visual, mechanical, electrical, hydraulics, sanitation technology, and safety management
  • Second Engineer
    • The right hand of the Chief Engineer must have knowledge of all yacht workings.Must complete maintenance, repairs, assist in projects, and work with outside vendors.
    • Job Responsibilities: Engine room safety, cleanliness, and maintenance, knowledgeable of systems on yacht
  • Junior Engineer
    • Entry level position in engineering that must be willing and ready to help out wherever is needed onboard.
    • Job Responsibilities: Same as Second Engineer, but also must assist in other areas on the ship when needed

Interior

The interior department is in charge of all hospitality, interior maintenance, and operations, event planning, assisting in administrative tasks for captain or guest, laundry, and guest services. These stewards/stewardesses are the “face” of the yacht and interact with guests frequently.

  • Purser
    • In charge of financial management and administration of the yacht under the captain’s direction.
    • Job Responsibilities: Financial administration of yacht, over all interior operations, interior inventory, interior purchasing and provisioning, liaising with guests and crew, guest activities, assisting with paperwork
  • Chief Steward/ess
    • Must be extremely skilled and professional in hospitality, different service styles, and interior maintenance.
    • Job Responsibilities: Setting schedules of stewardesses, interior cleaning and maintenance, interior inventory, interior accounting, guest liaison in meals and bartending, guest activities, stowage, assisting with lines and fenders
  • Head of Housekeeping
    • Takes care and maintains yacht interior.
    • Job Responsibilities: Detail cleaning and maintenance of interior, floral arranging, proper care for surfaces, inventory, working with Chief Steward/ess
  • Second Steward/ess
    • Supports Chief Stewardess and provides excellent service to guests.
    • Job Responsibilities: Guest service in meals and bartending, cabin detailing and service, polishing, restocking, laundry, stowage, assisting with lines and fenders
  • Steward/ess
    • A hard worker who takes care of tasks willingly and provides excellent service to guests.
    • Job Responsibilities: Makes service and cleaning schedules, interior cleaning and maintenance, liaison with guests for meals and bartending, liaison with Galley, guest activities, interior inventory and accounting, stowage, assisting in paperwork
  • Laundry Steward/ess
    • Manages and completes all laundry onboard.
    • Job Responsibilities: Guest and crew laundry, ironing and pressing, storage of linens
  • Solo Stew
    • Helps with service, interior maintenance, laundry, and guest provisions
    • Job Responsibilities: Guest service in meals and bartending, cabin service and detailing, polishing, restocking, laundry, stowage, assisting lines and fenders
  • Junior Steward/ess
    • Entry level job in assisting all stews.
    • Job Responsibilities: Same as Solo Stew

Galley

The Galley department is in charge of feeding the entire yacht — both guests and crew. Skills require adapting to cooking styles and dietary restrictions, maintaining strict health and safety standards, provisioning, budgetary and financial administration.

  • Executive Chef
    • Must be culinary trained and professional in planning, cooking, creating, preparing, budgeting, and inventory.
    • Job Responsibilities: Provisions food items, all meals and nutrition, food safety, adheres to budget, food/Galley inventory, Galley safety/standards, manages galley staff
  • Chef
    • Professionally trained chef in charge of both the guest and the crew meals while completely managing the galley.
    • Job Responsibilities: Same as Executive Chef
  • Sous Chef
    • A culinary trained chef who assists the head chef in all aspects of galley duties.
    • Job Responsibilities: Assists head chef, provisions food items, all meals and nutrition, food safety, food/galley inventory, galley safety/standards
  • Cook
    • Good for someone who loves to be and help out in the Galley. May be a combined role with a stewardess, as a cook/stew.
    • Job Responsibilities: Provisions all food, all meals, flexible with stew and deck duties

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