Click for Walker List Your Boat Click for Cross Click for Nordhavn Click for JetForums

Deckhand and other questions

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by directorbman, Jul 29, 2011.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. directorbman

    directorbman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Ecuador
    Hello, first of all I apologize if this is in the wrong section. I would of posted in the frequently asked yacht questions section but it will not let me post there.

    A little about me. I have been day sailing for over 10 years, and have a infinity for boats and traveling. I grew up on lake Hartwell in SC and was taught how to sail by a veteran friend of my dads, on his 15 footer and 26 footer. I would do everything on the 26 from steering, to docking, trimming sails, as well as foredeck spinnaker trimmer, and maintenance on the boat, varnishing wood, take the windows out and re-calk, wash bottom etc etc. We also took both boats into the local racing regattas. Anyways without getting to long I am 27 now and considering a career choice into the yachting industry

    I have been on the forum for 3 days reading about 3 hours a day. I am about worn out with all the info. But it is all very intriguing and interesting.

    My first question (which a search did not pop up) is after getting my STCW95, and ENG1 - when I go to apply or run up and down the docks for a Job as a deckhand, and I actually get a job, what kind of money can I expect to make? I realize this can vary greatly depending on boat location, boat size/crew size, and duties the deckhand is required to do. But is there some sort of standard. I see that captains make $1,000 per foot annually, and that rate is actually going up based on changing times. So is there some general rule of thumb to go on or where should I start to figure out deckhand salary expectations.

    My second question is. As per this website http://www.mptusa.com/professional/captains_licenses.html#yachtmaster to get your yachmaster MCA Recognized and Accredited by the RYA Captains license they require
    1: 50 days sea time and at least 2500 miles traveled
    2: 5 days as captain
    3: 5 passages over 60 miles, 2 overnight, and 2 as captain

    What does that mean, and how do they even verify that you have been at sea 50 days and 2500 miles?

    Thirdly, what if I don't want to be restricted to 200gts and 150 miles of coastal? What licensing is next. What are the requirements, and how long does it take to get.

    Fourth. Sorry haha.. :eek: I was reading something about the owners insurance needing to accept the captains to captain the yacht. Is this correct. If so, as long as your all up to date with your papers, do they just accept you, what are the odds of getting denied?

    Again I appreciate it. I know this might be kind of long. But you know us fellow new guys.. We are always eager to learn some more. :D
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,258
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Welcome to YF directorbman.
    First let me mention that the $1,000 a foot figure you quote is for a f/t captain on a private yacht. It can easily be years or never before you get a boat. There aren't that many of them compared to the number of captains out there. Some are selling boats, some are doing construction, and some are running water taxis. DK what that pays now, but back in the 90's it was $7.00 and hour plus tips. Which brings us to your last question. An insurance company wants to know what license you hold, but what they're really interested in is your experience. They can absolutely tell an owner that you are unacceptable, and deny coverage.
    For U.S. licenses we use a sea service form. It's very much on the honor system, however you and the person certifying your time are risking federal jail time if you're caught lying. For OUPV and small tonnage licenses you can even self-certify by showing that you've owned an appropriate boat for a certain period.
    Your tonnage and type of license again is bassed on your experience.
  3. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,422
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    You will probably start in the neighborhood of $2000-$2500/month


    I'm going to take the second and third part together and recommend that you follow the path of the US Coast Guard. The MCA/RYA/Marshall Islands/Cayman Islands/etc./etc./etc. are all restricted to yachts. As US license can only by obtained by US citizens and is recognized worldwide for commercial and private vessels.
    So, if you're having trouble finding a deckhand position, the RYA license would not allow you to run a water taxi for $7/hr :D
  4. Wally

    Wally New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    seattle
    You can read for many more hours the answers to these questions at dockwalk.com
  5. directorbman

    directorbman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Ecuador
    mmmm I might be in Ecuador but I am still American, born and raised. I will also be holding a European passport within the next 12 months. (family from there so I am eligible to that status) What sort of European Captains licensing would I be able to get. Can I use it in "Marshall Islands/Cayman Islands/etc./etc./etc." as well as other US territories, Australia, Asia?

    I suppose the above is not a huge factor for me - I was not wanting to push hard for Captain in the first place and now seeing the deckhand pay rates, and the possibility of yachts not being available (too much competition from other Captains huh?) the whole thing I was trying to do is go for a 1-5 year run and make a stash of cash - seeing as you can save much of what you earn - flights, board, food included in job...

    So the 2k to 2,500 is a bit of a damper. I was figuring at least double that. By the time I fly to a location to take the course I'll be out the door a months wages before I even get started.

    Ive been a handyman for about 15 years. I started out building picknick tables and Adirondack chair when I was like 12, they were good enough that more then one neighbor would buy them. Now that I am older graduated to two story house painting, tiling, light electrical, re plumbed the whole house etc.

    Is it possible to get a deckhand job without the STCW95, and ENG1? What about private yachts. That was my aim anyways.

    If I really need those, then is it possible to get the Captain or boat owner to pay for those things?

    I have more to say but I think I better stop for now! :D


  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,258
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    A private boat can hire pretty much whomever they want. It's not until you get commercial or charter that things are needed. However, you have to be better and more qualified than your competition. In a place like Ft. Lauderdale that means newly minted captains, engineers, etc. looking for whatever work they can find on a boat hoping to work their way up... and some not so newly minted as well. You've got rich guys sons and daughters looking for a bit of adventure having taken every course daddy could pay for and most of them in their early 20's. Then you have the seasoned professionals. So you've got to ask yourself what you bring to the table besides a desire to work on a fancy yacht and to make some scratch.
  7. directorbman

    directorbman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Ecuador
    Nycap123, extremely good points. On a private yacht what typically is the deckhands duties? I was reading that they do everything from helping the owners family/guests launch their toys, to cleanup, and repair of the boat, varnish, paint what have you. But what is actually typical or is all of the above and more???

  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,258
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    A deckhands job is to do what needs to be done, same as everyone on a boat. On most private boats that means washing, washing, washing and polishing, because most boats don't move much. Setting lines and fenders when the boat is docking, and then doing whatever else needs to be done. Every boat will have different procedures. It's his job to learn how that captain , that owner and that engineer like things done and kept. The smart deckhand keeps his mouth shut and his eyes and ears open so he can learn. The more you know and the better your abilities, the more responsibility you'll be given.
  9. directorbman

    directorbman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Ecuador
    Yeah well reading through Dockwalk forums, seeing as everyone is sexually immoral, dishonest, and alcoholic. Bringing Integrity, work ethics, and morals to the industry will get me know where. So not only is the pay lacking, but you have to put up with some people/boats, getting really discouraged. :rolleyes:
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,258
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I've done a lot of different jobs in my life searching for the easy one. It doesn't exist. Everybody else's life looks so much better until you get it. Working on the water is more of a calling than a smart career move. Some of us need to feel the floor rocking to feel complete. Othewise though, it's a hard way to make a living. Very little security, some very long hours, sometimes not much money and, until recently, I've been pretty certain I was going to die at least 5 to 10 times a year. One thing I've learned over the years, and it applies to most jobs, the less you worry about making money, the more you seem to make. Another thing about deckhanding, if you have something else in your bag of tricks (working on an MBA or a degree in hotel management for instance), it's a great place to make connections.
    Sometimes it seems that the world is made up mostly of these, and they seem to be the ones who succeed. Not true. They just fade from view when their worlds collapse. Gamblers are a prime example. You never see a looser. Only his wife and family does. You only see them when they're loud and flashing cash. There are several people I'll never hire or recommend based on their reputations or my experience with them. You never get a 2nd chance to get your integrity back. Never let the boss see you drunk, and never never get a rep for being dishonest. Oh, and whenever you think to talk about someone, look over your shoulder. They're probably standing right there.
  11. directorbman

    directorbman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Ecuador
    No not trying to be a greedy guy to make a quick buck. I actually thought I had a plan if the income was more near 4k 5k a month. I was thinking of going on a 1-5 year run and have 150k to 250k saved and buy real estate in Ecuador. The gringo rental market is just booming here, and there are numerous (more then I can count) apartments being built here with the aim being gringos.

    I figured that living aboard with expenses paid would allow me to save. As it is now I work and then spend everything I make. I was looking at it in a way to get ahead in life.

    There may still be opportunity in it I suppose, just not sure where.
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,258
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    LOL:D :D :D That's a good one. Not unless there's a 90 year old cougar on board and you're real good. :D Deckies don't generally put all that much aside anyway. When they hit port they like to send some things home, and eat real shore meals once in awhile. Remember, where boats put in is tourist territory. Things are often twice as expensive as they might be a mile away. No, sorry to burst your baloon. You won't be getting rich as a deckhand
  13. tirekicker11

    tirekicker11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    SE Asia
    Get your commercial diving ticket. You're still young enough. You could even go for sat diving when you can stand the stench of 5 other guys locked up for a month in a steel tube. When you're smart and focussed (not "sexually immoral and alcoholic") you'll have your investment back in one month of work and you can earn a few of your Ecuadorian appartments a year.
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    I have watched this thread with a degree of interest in the advice given and the replies to it.

    I once worked on a big motoryacht with a couple who wanted to buy their own boat and sail around the world, they had a boat picture on the wall and colored in sections as they reached their savings targets. You could do the same with apartments - draw a building and color in the floors as you go.

    Given the amount of experience you say you have had as an amateur do you really think someone is going to jump up and grab you for a high paying prestigious job?

    If you want to make a career change and make some serious money you should consider getting the basic courses done and starting out lower down on the tree.

    Try to establish a reasonable time frame on a couple of boats, this looks a lot better on your CV than a lot of short term jobs.

    Once you have a couple of years experience and have developed a network of contacts you will often find that word of mouth is a great way to find new opportunities and if you have developed a good reputation you will find that sometimes those opportunities find you.
  15. Stephen Tree

    Stephen Tree New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Grand Cayman
    got to be honest and say that there is no work either in the commie dive business and doing your courses for that will be ALOT of money down the drain.
    Ive looked at doing that and after a few months of research went in a different direction, thanks goodness