Deckhand Ringa Paparahi

Deckhands may take care of passengers and assist in the operation of vessels such as harbour ferries and charter boats, or cast and haul in nets, lines or pots, and process fish on inshore or deep-sea fishing vessels.

Deckhands may do some or all of the following:

  • assist with berthing, casting off and anchoring vessels
  • assist with operating, maintaining and cleaning vessels and equipment such as nets and ropes
  • cast and haul in fishing nets, lines and pots
  • process and pack fish
  • help passengers on and off vessels, and look after cargo or passengers' baggage
  • prepare and serve food and drink
  • provide information and commentary for passengers
  • carry out emergency drills and procedures.

Physical Requirements

Deckhands need to have good hand-eye co-ordination, a good level of fitness and must be strong. Those serving the public must have a neat and tidy appearance.

Useful Experience

Depending on the industry you want to work in, useful experience for deckhands includes:

  • manual labour
  • experience as a hospitality crew member at sea
  • customer service work, especially in tourism or related areas
  • experience at sea, such as pleasure boating or volunteering for the coastguard.

Personal Qualities

Deckhands need to be:

  • able to work well as part of a team
  • disciplined, with good attention to detail
  • alert, and able to remain calm under pressure and in the event of an emergency.

Useful Experience

Depending on the industry you want to work in, useful experience for deckhands includes:

  • manual labour
  • experience as a hospitality crew member at sea
  • customer service work, especially in tourism or related areas
  • experience at sea, such as pleasure boating or volunteering for the coastguard.

Deckhands can earn around $39K-$55K per year per year.

Deckhands who gain relevant qualifications can progress into positions of more responsibility, such as leading hand or bosun, first mate and eventually skipper or ship's master. They may also progress to working on larger, more complex vessels.

Deckhands may specialise in a number of roles including:

Able Seafarer Deckhand
An able seafarer deckhand is a further advanced deck watch rating, and performs more advanced navigational watch tasks.
Bosun
A bosun is in charge of all deck crew on board a vessel and reports directly to the master.
Commercial Inshore Vessel Deckhand
Commercial inshore vessel deckhands assist inshore launch masters in the operation of vessels such as harbour ferries and charter boats.
Deck Watch Rating
As well as regular deckhand duties, the watch rating is part of the navigational watch.
Fishing Deckhand
Fishing deckhands shoot (cast) and haul in the nets, lines or pots on inshore and deep-sea fishing vessels. They may also process fish.
Maritime Tourism Deck Crew
Tourism Deck Crew host tourists and assure the safety and entertainment of those on board.
Superyacht Crew
A superyacht is a yacht that is 24 metres or longer, the crew follow orders of the captain and can do any job on board, from cleaning and hospitality roles to looking after passengers, as well as assisting in casting off and anchoring the vessel.
Deckhand

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