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A deckhand is part of the main exterior team responsible for maintaining the outer areas of the superyacht and activities.

Day to day responsibilities will include:

  • Wash downs of the yacht
  • Basic maintenance
  • Varnishing and painting
  • Launching and driving tenders
  • Assisting with bridge watches, navigation etc
  • Assisting guests with water sports and fitness (where specialist skills allow)
  • Assisting with safety checks & drills
  • Sometimes assisting the engineers


Career ladder

Deckhand career ladder

The size of the deck team will depend on the size of the yacht, but after gaining one year’s experience onboard, it’s not unrealistic to move into a more senior deckhand role.

Within two to four years, you could be a Bosun and on a path to Officer. If you plan to progress to Captain, you could achieve this after 10+ years.

Senior roles on deck require additional training and certifications, which may sometimes be paid for by the yacht or that you will need to fund yourself.


A steward/ess is part of the interior team responsible for looking after the guests and the inside areas of the yacht.

Day to day responsibilities will include:

  • Maintaining the cleanliness of the interior
  • Serving the guests drinks & meals
  • Making of beds and general housekeeping
  • Laundry for guests and crew
  • Assisting with drills
  • Assisting with cooking on occasion
  • Assisting with beauty/personal care treatments (where specialist skills allow)


Career ladder

Stew career ladder

Depending on the size of yacht, an entry level steward/ess could expect to progress to a more senior role within two years or less.

After around four years, you could become a Head of Housekeeping/Service or even a Chief Stew.

The next step is to take on a Purser role, which are often only available on 70m+ yachts, and involved yacht and crew administration and accounting.


Junior engineers onboard superyachts often come from a commercial shipping background or with some kind of trade experience behind them such as electrical or mechanical. The other route in is to take a deck role and learn the engineering side in your downtime.

Day to day responsibilities would be limited to:

  • Cleaning and basic maintenance in the engine room
  • Assisting with safety drills
  • Shadowing senior engineers
  • Servicing and maintaining onboard equipment such as toys and tenders


Career ladder

Engineer career ladder

Your role progression as an engineer will largely depend on your background and skills and also which tickets and additional training you are willing and able to get.

Junior engineers often take roles on smaller yachts to gain experience in a more senior role before stepping back up to 1st Engineer and Chief Engineer spots on larger yachts again.

Therefore, depending on whether you are motivated by money, seniority or salary, it could take anywhere between five and 10 years to go from 3rd to Chief Engineer.

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