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Deckhand job
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 12:41 PM
Joined: 24/04/2014
Posts: 3

Hi guys! I am currently finishing my A levels this summer and plan on doing my STCW 95 this summer in Antibes, then hopefully go out and find a job either this summer or next summer. I am a complete newbie to this industry, but I have lots of boating experience on sailing yachts, slowly gaining the miles to do my Yacht master. Can you give me a few pointers on what to do and where to go, how to dock walk, and also advice on accommodation in Antibes. Lastly, I am considering only being a deckhand for a gap year depending on if I pass the Medical for the Royal Navy. can you give me some pointers on crew agencies and where to go/look, and if it is a viable option against the Navy if I do not get in. (UK based) Many thanks Adam
Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2014 5:49 AM

I tell you what might be a good idea: completely forgetting wasting your time and money on attempting this industry. Rather than taking potential jobs and experience from those who actually want a career rather than just a gap year jolly, why not swan off to Thailand and spend your money on cheap beer and fantastic experiences, living like a king on a minimal budget rather than a vice versa scenario of you paying €8 for a pint in order to sit in an overcrowded weird smelling bar in the faint glimmer of hope that you'll be able to speak to someone who works on a boat who won't want to speak to you but will humour you for all of 5 minutes, naively thinking you can get a job through them, which is mostly untrue.

Too many people have worked very hard to get where they are and continue to do so in an increasingly competitive industry [comment edited by moderator]

Gabriel Poirier
Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2014 3:21 PM
Joined: 21/05/2008
Posts: 31

To anonymous: It takes a strong personality to hide like you are doing. It is easy to call people name when you are to weak to put your name out. 

To Adam: If you are not already there with  your STCW, power level 2, some experience in the service industry and the will to bring something to the yachting, you are at the wrong place. There is already to many people looking for not enough job. Good luck.

Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2014 7:51 PM
Joined: 19/10/2010
Posts: 11

Right? Because someone looking at a career in the Royal Navy is an idiot, unlike you, anonymous dockwalk troll.

I agree with G.P.  though, it is a lot of investment for less than a year of work. Most yachts don't want someone who can only work for them for under a year, but if you want to learn about the industry, you might look into doing temporary kinds of work- day working on a refit or doing deliveries. Larger yachts will look for licensed crew for deliveries, but you may find deliveries on smaller yachts. That could give you plenty of insight into yachting, and relieves you of having to look for a long term job for under a year, and relieves the yacht that potentially hires you of replacing you as soon as you've finally learned the job.  Then if you decide against the navy or aren't accepted for whatever reason, you'll have some experience from day working or deliveries to look for a full time deck position. 

There is a strong Royal Navy presence in yachting, so if it does interest as a career you it may be something you take up when you're done with the service. Good luck. 

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:35 PM
Joined: 22/11/2010
Posts: 1

There are plenty of people who got into the industry and have been doing it for years after doing it as a 'gap year'- there are also lots of seasonal jobs which are only for the summer season; quite often career yachties don't want these jobs, so I can't see why you wouldn't get onto a boat if you try hard enough and aren't too picky?

I think some people on here are too snobby. As long as a worker has the right attitude or work ethic; who cares if they want to do it forever or not?

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:53 AM
Joined: 05/06/2008
Posts: 12

When boats sit backside on the dock most of the time, demanding only soapsuds and polish, then yes, big motor yachts can provide a comfortable nursery for those still unable to tie a knot, having no procedural experience and unable to stand a secure watch or trace a leak.   

The problems arise when one actually has to go anywhere.   Then the almost total lack of seamanship creates stress among the inexperienced and tiredness in the few experienced who often have to do double duties.   The multi million dollar vessel is protecting the crew rather than the other way round and, as has been seen in recent years, when something simple fails, the domino effect of naive decisions can lead to the loss of the ship.  

The requirement of the average owner,  assuming its not just to show off,  is leisure time in a safe, relaxed and evidently professional environment.   To that end one tends to avoid temporary 'snowboard' crew, preferring lifetime professionals, usually Southeast Asian, who stay the course year after year, only requiring the basic elements of human existence such as reasonable remuneration as well as reasonable consideration. In return they provide a secure and wholly relaxed environment which is, in the end, sort of the point.  




Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:02 PM
Joined: 20/03/2014
Posts: 1

Hey, I am my second year out of school and trying my hardest to get a job in the industry, however so many people are not considering me because I am too young or thinking I am on a gap year! I've wanted to work in the industry my whole life, make it my career, and trying my hardest to prove them wrong! Any suggestions on how to prove to people on boats I am capable and willing?
Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:23 PM
Joined: 27/01/2009
Posts: 18

In 1982 I took a 'vacation' in FLL and was shortly on a delivery to St. Thomas. In 2008 I 'retired' from my 'gap year' career as captain on a 118' Westport. Now my wife and I run charters in France on our own 89-year-old Dutch canal barge. Whose to say whether or not a 'gap year' job will turn into a career? Attitude, compatibility and a desire to learn (or previous knowledge) should be the measuring stick. Not whether the candidate knows then what his/her life path will be. Just sayin'.
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 12:43 PM
Joined: 21/10/2014
Posts: 4

 Hi everyone,

My name is Sam and I am 19 years old and based in the UK.

I am looking to get into the superyacht industry as a deckhand.

I ve got some qualifications:  




NVQ L2 in boat building and repair 

Eng 1 medical 

Padi openwater

I have some experience on small vessels up to 30ft but no experience on superyachts.

Is it worth me going to Antibes (for example) next year to get some day work and experience, then hopefully get a full time position. 

Do I need a seamanship discharge book? 

Hope you can help

Kind Regards 


Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 8:52 PM
Joined: 20/12/2014
Posts: 2

I'm 25 years old. I live in Ukraine, I worked 5 years steering sailors in the Merchant Navy, really want to go on a yacht. I do not have bad habits. lifelong exercise in good shape. not afraid of hard work, I have experience in high-altitude painting works, working with spray paint, still working varnishing and painting wooden products.I have extensive experience in all deck operations, as well, I have all the necessary documents for the work on the ship, the STCW-95 certificates and diploma steering-deckhands. And now studying at the Naval Academy. English at a conversational level and I have a US visa. I am very hard working and work well in a team and are very friendly. I would very much like to work on yachts. Regards,Badzhakov Sergiy
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