Click for Ocean Alexander Click for Cross Click for Nordhavn Click for Llebroc Click for Fendertex

How to become a deckhand?

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by Fransisco, Aug 25, 2015.

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

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    Hello everyone this is my first post so hopefully it isn't in the wrong place...
    I have become really interested in becoming a deckhand for private yachts and would like some guidance on how to do so. After I graduate from high school later this december I plan on moving to Ft.Lauderdale with my grandfather to get my STCW Basic Safety Training. I happen to know a couple of Chefs who work on private yatchs and they say I will need a agent to get out there (Work on a boat)? Do I need to do any schooling or training program?

    I really appreciate any help I can get!
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    You're on the right track. Signing up with an agency isn't a bad idea, mostly though you'll need to walk the docks, and network starting with those chefs. They'll know other people from other boats.
  3. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    Thanks for the info! Glad to know that I'm doing thing right!
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Also NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK with every other deckhand and mate you come across. If they're more established and get 2 jobs at the same time, you might end up with one. Or it's a job they don't want they may call you. Also don't do anything stupid in front of other crew, like falling off the barstool at the local yachtie bar.
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    is not necessarily a career ender from what I can see on social networking.
  6. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    I'm not even 18 yet so I won't have to worry about that for a while lol
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Have you considered going on to college, maybe a maritime school? Even in this field you'll need it if you intend to make this your career. You could get a summer job working on one of the tour boats or dinner yachts to get some experience and sea time. There's a lot of sea dogs with no education or certifications pounding the docks. By 30 they're washing boats or washed up.
  8. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    I wanted to pursue being a deckhand as a way to travel and save money for college. I don't plan on making this a life long career, but you never know. If do decide I want to make it a career I'll definitely go school to become a mate or engineer. Would it be worthwhile just to do this for a couple years?
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,963
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    People do it as you describe. Now, personally, I would never consider hiring you. I want people who are interested in careers in the industry, not those looking for paid vacations or a break or me to facilitate their travel. Others may feel very different and might well be willing to take you on the terms you outline.

    If you want to do what you describe, then you need to go to maritime school and take the basic STCW. Do you have any boating experience or qualifications?

    I did just notice your age and so do give you some leniency on your post and desires but also think you need to understand this is a profession and it requires hard work and commitment.
  10. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    That makes perfect sense and I understand that, but I very well know that I will have to work hard.

    I plan on taking the STCW in Ft.Lauderdale after I graduate. I do not have any prior experience or qualifications unfortunately.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Have you pursued any type of work at all in or on the boats in your area?
  12. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    In my current situation I cannot take any jobs... My father just won't let me.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Absolutely yes. Today's culture is school, school, school, and most of those who follow it end up with a diploma that qualifies them to work at McDonalds, a ton of debt and no knowledge of how to work. Unfortunately diplomas and certifications are absolutely necessary to get jobs today, but you need a work ethic to be a worthwhile employee. I think that a year or two between high school and college spent working or in the military is a good investment for maturing and grounding. Just know that you'll need more schooling to create a career and support a family.
  14. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    Yea I know exactly what you mean. My parents are trying to force me to go straight into college when I don't know what I want to do and without any financial support. I've never had a real job, so hard work is what I need.

    Thank you for all the information NYCAP!
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Your parents are obviously caring and trying to point you in the right direction. But the difference between a degree from some of the schools you see advertised on TV and a degree from the right school and for the right major could be the difference between a solid career start and flipping burgers for the rest of your life while trying to pay off a huge debt. Sounds like some more discussion between you, them and a career counselor would be a good idea. Have you considered a stint in the Navy? Get your feet wet (maritime experience) and travel, while getting your education paid for. It's a pretty good alternative for a person who hasn't decided on a career path yet.
  16. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    My parents are stubborn and talking to them has never worked. I wouldn't consider the Navy. I think becoming a deckhand for a couple years would be the best thing for me. I do need to get my feet wet and should probably find a job on a boat while getting a certification.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    All good parents are stubborn and generally unreasonable. By the time you're 26 (maybe before), on your own and paying your own bills, they'll be entirely different people.:cool: We've all been where you are. Most just forget while they face diapers through teenager angst every day. In that case keep in mind the commercial dinner yachts and tour boats for a paycheck and experience while looking for a yacht job. Also boat yards and marinas. Good luck.
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,963
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Are you perhaps stubborn too in their mind, the way they perceive it? You're going to find people in life you must communicate with regardless of how difficult. Could be a boss or captain. So, I'd encourage you to communicate even if nothing changes and it's just agree to disagree.

    At the same time, I'd advise you to find someone else that you can talk to and discuss your future with in person. It can be a school counselor, another parent, a relative, or a captain you meet while checking out the docks. I couldn't communicate with my parents either, never really tried, as their priorities were much different from mine. Maybe I should have tried harder even if they still didn't understand. In my life I've been lucky though to find older people to mentor me and then in my personal life to find those that my wife and I now call our adopted parents. I'm not judging you or your parents but while coming to a yacht forum you'll gather some information, I just would encourage you to seek it in person. Find a deckhand and ask him how he got his job. Find someone you feel you can open up to and they'll listen.

    I knew a girl who couldn't communicate with her mother. It was almost a cat fight several times. But she talked to her mother's younger sister who just laughed and said, "Yes I've lived with it 30 years." However the younger sister then told her how she'd learned to deal with her sister, the girl's mother.

    You're looking for guidance in your life and really can't depend on a stranger online who doesn't know you at all to guide you properly. We all come from different perspectives. We'll share our knowledge and ideas. But we may be sending you the entirely wrong signals.
  19. Fransisco

    Fransisco New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    St.Petersburg, FL
    I really appreciate all your guy's adivce and help! When I get my first job I'll come back with some pictures and thankyou guys again!