What Do Yacht Crews Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Yacht Crews

The Yacht Crew operates the yacht, tends to owners and guests, and maintains the interior and the exterior of the yacht. There are many positions, each with separate responsibilities from cleaning the cabins to navigating the waters.

Interest Match

The Yacht Crew is responsible for operating yachts and serving clients. A typical Yacht Crew includes a variety of positions such as Deckhands, Stewards, and Cooks. There are also many operational roles including Engineer, Second Officer, First Officer, and Captain.

Deckhands and Stewards are entry-level positions. Deckhands focus on upkeep for the exterior of the yacht while Stewards tend to the interior of the yacht and the needs of owners and guests. The crew for high-end yachts may also include professionals from a variety of backgrounds, such as Diving Instructors, Nannies, Security Guards, Bartenders, and Masseuses.

What they do

The Yacht Crew operates the yacht, tends to owners and guests, and maintains the interior and the exterior of the yacht. There are many positions, each with separate responsibilities from cleaning the cabins to navigating the waters.

Deckhands Perform General Maintenance

As one of the entry-level workers on the Yacht Crew, the Deckhand performs the most tedious tasks, such as general maintenance for parts of the yacht. Most of the general maintenance is completed during the off-season when the yacht is docked. Experienced Deckhands and Ship Engineers handle the most complex maintenance tasks while the less experienced Deckhands assist.

Deckhands Wash and Sweep Decks

Deckhands are responsible for maintaining the exterior of the yacht, which includes the decks. The Deckhand may need to wash and sweep the decks at least once per day to remove dirt, debris, and salt residue from the water. Along with cleaning the decks, the Deckhands may clean other areas of the yacht. Common cleaning duties include washing windows and polishing stainless steel fixtures.

Stewards Clean and Prepare Rooms for Guests

If the Yacht Crew includes Stewards, the Stewards are the ones who clean and prepare the rooms for guests. They wash linens, make beds, and clean the bathrooms. In some cases, the Deckhand may also perform some of these duties.

Stewards May Handle Special Requests and Serve Meals

Stewards are responsible for ensuring that guests have a good time. They frequently handle special requests, such as acquiring a specific meal or planning a leisure activity. Stewards and Deckhands may assist with leisure activities, such as snorkeling or diving. If any planned activities require special equipment or skilled professionals, the Steward or the Deckhand may make the required arrangements.

Captains and Officers Navigate the Yacht

The Captain, First Officer, and Second Officer are responsible for ensuring that the yacht safely reaches its intended destination. The Captain assumes primary responsibility for the operation of the yacht. If anything goes wrong, the Captain takes the blame.

The First and Second Officer often perform operational duties while the Captain works with the owner or guests to ensure that they have a pleasant experience. The Captain also supervises the rest of the crew, including the Stewards and Deckhands.

What is the job like


You Can Get Away From Everything

The Yacht Crew spends a lot of time out at sea on yachts, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

You Meet Interesting People

Jobs on yachts attract people from all walks of life, allowing you to meet and interact with a wide range of characters.

You Have Lots of Down Time

While you may work long hours, you also have lots of downtime between jobs or when the yacht is docked at a port.

You Get to Travel

Working a yacht may take you to some of the most interesting locations on the planet.


It Is Hard Work

Entry-level jobs, such as Deckhand and Steward, involve hard work and thankless tasks such as mopping decks and cleaning cabins.

You Work Long Hours

Some trips may last for weeks, during which you will work long days.

Where they work

Rental Companies
Private Yacht Owners
Yacht Management Companies

Yacht Crew work on yachts. The yachts may be owned by rental companies or private owners. The crew is typically provided by employment agencies that specialize in providing crew for maritime vessels. Some agencies provide a combination of yacht sales, charter, management, and crew services.

How to become one

Step 1: Spend Time on the Water

One of the biggest challenges of joining a Yacht Crew is overcoming seasickness. High school students can overcome this challenge by spending more time on the water. Consider joining a boat club.

Step 2: Complete an STCW Maritime Training Course

Almost anyone working on a commercial ship or a yacht needs to complete a safety course. The most common requirement is the completion of an STCW “Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping” (STCW) maritime training course.

Step 3: Apply for Entry-Level Positions

After completing a safety course, start applying for entry-level positions on yachts. Deckhand and Steward are the two most common starting points for Yacht Crew.

Step 4: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree is necessary for those who plan on progressing beyond Deckhand to become a Ship Engineer, Officer, or Captain. The most common degree for Ship Engineers is Marine Engineering.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

The Yacht Crew needs to include dedicated, self-motivated individuals as they often have a lot of tasks to complete with minimal supervision. Having good people skills is also beneficial as Yacht Crew needs to remain courteous to guests. Individuals that are good listeners are also likely to advance quickly as you need to be able to follow orders from other crew and guests.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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