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Guide to Deckhand Jobs

Job Description : Employment Opportunities : Education / Certification Requirements : Salary / Pay Packages

Deckhands, also known as ordinary or able seamen in the merchant navy, are the entry positions for a career at sea. To begin with, all crew must have completed their STCW’95 qualifications. This means that fire fighting at sea, first aid at sea, sea survival, pre-sea and social responsibility courses must have been completed at a recognized and certified training institution.

For a deckhand job in the luxury yacht industry a competent crew certificate is, if not a requirement, certainly a strong recommendation. On large charter yachts you will even find newly qualified offshore yacht masters working as deckhands to gain the necessary experience. Here previous experience in a variety of fields may be advantageous. Any engineering or hospitality experience would prove very useful on board, while a diving ticket is a great qualification.

The responsibilities of a deckhand include cleaning, varnishing and painting, polishing, tender operations (small-boat handling skills required) and working the lines/ropes. This is a hard work position with long hours, but can have the added benefit of substantial tips on the larger and busier charter vessels.

Most luxury yacht deckhand work will be in the Caribbean / US or Mediterranean / European waters of operation. Seniority comes with experience and ability -– one month paid leave and travel expenses are the norm. Salaries for deckhands range from $2000 to around $3000 a month.

Regular visas are required for the country of registry; thereafter the boat will organize crew visas. If working in U.S. waters you would be working on a foreign-flagged vessel as U.S. vessels in those waters must be crewed by U.S. citizens.
On the commercial side, cadets serve around 3 years, earning around $600 a month and will undergo training by the company and at the company’s expense. This is a more structured environment, with clearer demarcation of duties (specific to different vessels), but certainly including maintenance and rope work. Here you will earn leave of around 8 days per month worked and expect to be at sea or on board for 3 to 4 months at a time. Visas and travel expenses arranged.

Jobs for Deckhands in South Africa (& for South African citizens internationally)

Employment opportunities exist in the South African charter, sports fishing and marine leisure industries where deckhands are obviously required, but areas of operation are restricted and often only available in the bigger centres. The South African marine eco-tourism industry is a big employer in this field, with commercial shark-diving, whale watching and other ferry operations all having minimum safe manning requirements. These jobs can be fun with a high interaction with clients required. Salaries will vary in different companies, but would be around $450/R3000 a month, depending on experience and other qualifications.

Search for Deckhand Jobs:

: Luxury Yachts : Merchant Offshore :

1st Crew are experienced in the placement of suitably qualified applicants seeking employment on luxury yachts to mega yachts and jobs on ships to super tankers, both internationally and in South Africa. We offer a managed marine recruitment service to yacht and ship owners.

Information about other marine crew jobs:

: Deckhand : Deck Stew : Steward · Stewardess : Chief Steward · Stewardess : Purser : Bosun : Mate · Mate Coastal :
: Chef : Deck Officer : Master Coastal : Chief Mate : Engineer Officer : Chief Engineer : Master · Yachtmaster · Captain :