Deckhand and Stewardess, both serve the most important purpose for any superyacht to function. They are the lifelines of a yacht, especially when there are guests to worry about. Deckhands and stewardesses are an integral part of the vessel.

What Purpose does a Deckhand or a Stewardess serve on a Yacht?

a. A Deckhand’s Purpose

When you talk about deckhands, mainly you would think about the superyacht maintenance work. While that is true, a true deckhand is a basic yet very flexible element of a yacht. They work hard (up to 10-12 hours) to keep the ship well-maintained and the service standards high.

However, as we have said, they are the maintenance crew of the ship. Taking care of the deck, ship’s hull, interior decks, tenders, jetskis, and so on is their main responsibility. The maintenance usually includes cleaning, repairing, painting the decks and other superyacht properties.

However, a deckhand’s job is flexible and apart from cleaning and maintaining the deck, they also may have to do the following:

  • Knowing how to use radio equipment and other navigational tools.
  • Knowledge regarding knots is needed by a deckhand.
  • Cabin preparation. Generally, this is a stewardess’ job but it can be a flexible task for a deckhand too.

Above all, as the superyacht industry is well-known for its high, elite service standards, a deckhand should be presentable. A deckhand should know good etiquette, should be appropriately groomed and dressed and should handle all the tasks in a professional manner.

b. A Stewardess’ Purpose

While a stewardess’ role might be less physical, it does not make it easy. Just like a deckhand, a steward/stewardess also works long hours especially to keep the onboard guests and passengers content, and the interiors livable to the standards of the yacht.

A stewardess’ main role is to interact with guests and serving them. These guests are elite, coming from a variety of elite-class backgrounds from all over the world. As these people are from different backgrounds and cultures, a rich, diverse set of cultural knowledge will come in handy for a stewardess.

Also, a stewardess should be proficient in understanding food and drinks, serving methods, understanding food hygiene, and so on. At Sail and Power SA, we provide a separate course just to prepare our stewardess for such tasks.

Apart from that, a stewardess is required to have an STCW certificate, RYA PB2 certificate, and ENG1 medical certificate. It also pays off to have an SRC VHF Radio Course and other complementary achievements and records such as relative work experience.

Is This Really Worth It?

The deckhand/stewardess job is highly demanding and taxing. On busy days, it can actually really get on your nerves, making you work up to 14 hours. Or in an emergency situation.

Yes, it is really taxing, and getting a decent position can be challenging. However, if you are an adventurous spirit with no bounds, working on a superyacht might be THE career option for you— a lifelong, fulfilling career.

Let’s talk about what everyone likes to see: money! The employers in the superyacht industry are aware of the hardships of working on a superyacht and they reward you generously. You can easily expect around R30 000 to R40 000 entry-level salary. Plus, there will be tips!

Although the work is taxing, you get to experience a one-of-a-kind lifestyle on a luxurious yacht. Also, you get to visit new places you’ve never seen before, meet new people, and experience different kinds of waters and the sky. For an adventurous spirit, this would definitely be their calling.

If these pros are outweighing the cons for you, then this industry will most likely treat you well!

I’m excited! Where do I begin!?

Well, for starters, you may consider contacting us and telling us what you wish to work for, so that we can point you in the right direction. Or, you can refer to this article for an outline: Finding Entry-Level Deckhand Work in South Africa.

No matter which position, the employer always looks at you for your presentable, humble attitude, your knowledge regarding high-standard etiquette, and how willing you are to take on any kind of role. CV presentation and your work experience come after as many yachts may just give you onboard training.

Related: Writing a CV for a Deckhand Job on a Yacht

If you are a newbie or in need of a refresher course, contact Sail and Power SA today. We have special courses curated for both: deckhand and steward/stewardess positions. Also, note that anyone can be a steward/stewardess or a deckhand. These are not gender-specific roles.

We look forward to hearing from you!