If you’re new to the industry and looking for a yacht job, it’s tough to know what yacht positions to go for. Generally speaking, you can choose from interior positions (yacht stewardess or chef) or exterior positions (deckhand or junior engineer) or a hybrid role like (deck/stew or deck/engineer). Deckhands are responsible for the exterior of the yacht, assisting the mate and senior deck crew in boat maintenance, washdowns, docking and line handling and general yacht upkeep. If you love working outside and being able to live on the water – find a job on a yacht as a yacht deckhand is for you! Here are some steps to finding your first job as a deckhand:
What skills are required for deckhand jobs?
Having experience on the water will definitely help your CV. It doesn’t necessarily have to be tender driving and line handling, but that would be a huge plus. There are plenty of transferable skills that you can bring from land for every yacht job! If you’re trying to find your first job on a yacht, it’s likely that you’ll have to start as a junior deckhand before working your way up to becoming a bosun or mate. Here are some skills that are beneficial for deckhands to have:
- Water sports experience (surf, kite boarding, flyboarding, wakeboarding, jetski, etc….instructors also a plus)
- Experience driving tenders/inflatable
- Scuba diving – bonus if you’re an instructor
- Being able to tie lines (“ropes” as land people call them)
- Knowledge of common knots
- First aid
- Swimming (should be obvious when working on the water)
- Some hospitality (must be good with people) – all crew on yachts are in some form of hospitality
- Bonus skills: electrical, plumbing, IT, carpentry, etc. Things are constantly breaking on yachts, and having relevant technical skills are valuable
Create a Deckhand Yacht CV
You will want to tailor your CV to the position that you are looking for. Include any water sports you have experience with, especially if you have certificates to match. Make sure you include all yachting experience in one section and then a separate section for any relevant land based experience (check our list of relevant skills). Be sure you aren’t making mistakes common mistakes on your CV. Crew Compass even provides a template that you can work from.
It’s important to know that yachting CVs are different than land CVs – for starters, they feature a headshot photo! When a captain is hiring, they’re going to be looking at your headshot (a great CV photo will get you noticed right off the bat), your basic certificates and qualifications (like STCW, ENG1, etc), daywork/boating experience, relevant skills, and water talents/activities.
Daywork can help you build out a great yachting CV, increase your experience, and gain exposure to other senior crew who’s network could ultimately find you a job on a yacht! However, skills aside, your attitude, personality, demeanor and overall positive energy will make you memorable.
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Finding Daywork on Deck
What is daywork you ask? Think of it as one-day yachting internships to gain real world experience on yachts while getting paid a great day rate. Expect about $120-180/day depending on the job! It is important to find any day working opportunity you can, especially exterior work. Find daywork through yachting apps (like our Crew Compass JOBS app), dockwalking (literally, walking the docks with your CV), check job boards on Facebook groups, ask the crew house you’re staying in, ask other employed yacht crew.
Be open to any kind of yacht daywork, as long as it gets your foot in the door with what you want to do. Learn how to do wash downs, exterior detailing, stainless polishing, bilge painting, and teak maintenance like a pro.
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