Yacht crew covers a whole host of positions and luxury yachts of all sizes have certain jobs but there are other roles which only the largest yachts have. Typically a yacht’s crew is divided into the main and most common departments – Bridge, Engine, Deck, Interior – though there are other areas in which an Owner or Captain may need personnel for example Security or Personal Staff. Below are the main categories you find on board crewed superyachts and within each section you will find more information on each of the principal roles.
The bridge crew are a highly experienced team that commands the bridge. Responsible for navigation, passage planning, safety, and watch leaders, they must have a strong understanding of all international rules and regulations. These include the Captain or Master, the Chief Officer and the First Officer.
The terms Chief Officer and First Officer are typically used for crew on vessels that are near or over 3,000GT or registered as passenger vessels requiring a Chief Mate 3,000GT or Chief Mate unlimited STCW REG II/2 licence.
The Captain or Master is in full command of the yacht. The position ranges from managing a fulltime staff of one to a large operation with many departments, personnel, and a large budget. Qualifications for this position range from a 200 ton licence up to a Master Unlimited depending on the tonnage. Learn more about the role of Captain here.
The Chief Officer or First Officer is the second in command, often expected to act as relief Captain, as required. They are primarily responsible for all bridge duties and managing the smooth operation of the deck department, its general maintenance and supervision of the deck team. Learn more about the role of Chief Officer or First Officer here.
The Officer Of The Watch position is usually found on larger yachts and is an important role covering primarily the safety of the yacht and anybody found on board. A deputy to the Chief/First Officer, the Officer Of The Watch will also help with them with their duties. Read on for more information about the role of Officer Of The Watch.
At the heart of every yacht’s success lies its maintenance and engineering. Onboard Engineers are responsible for the smooth functioning and operation of the yacht. Expert mechanical knowledge and technical skills are required. For those who excel, a number of opportunities exist for career progression.
The Engineer is responsible for the maintenance of the engines and all things mechanical on board the yacht – essentially the role is about ensuring the smooth operation of the vessel from a technical standpoint. The role of Engineer requires specialist knowledge in plumbing, mechanics, refrigeration hydraulics and more. Read on to learn more about the role and its requirements.
The Deck department is concerned with all aspects of exterior maintenance for the yacht. Deck jobs start as a Junior Deckhand and as you progress with licensing this moves you up to experienced Deckhand, Bosun then Mate. Once you start working on yachts with more tonnage you step into the Bridge department as 2nd Officer, First Officer, and progress to Chief Officer. Ultimately you will reach the top tier as Captain or Master. This requires training, learning, schooling, hard work and complete dedication to your career path.
The Bosun is normally the person in charge of the Deckhands and is below the First Mate or Second or Third Officer depending on the size of the yacht. To be a BOSUN involves experience as a Deckhand and there are various certificates required. Read on to discover more about the role of a Bosun.
The Deckhand’s key responsibilities are the cleanliness and maintenance of the exterior of the yacht, including everything outside, on top of, and underneath the vessel. You will learn many skills as a deckhand and as you increase in size of vessel the responsibilities vary. Read on to learn more about the role of Deckhand.
Yacht interior positions include Steward/ess roles, Galley personnel and the Purser.
The yacht Steward/ess role can vary from a sole Steward/ess position on a small vessel or a Laundry, Housekeeping or Service Steward/esses on larger yachts, reporting to Head of Housekeeping and Head of Service and ultimately to the Chief Steward/ess. Likewise, the galley personnel can vary from a Sole Chef to an Executive Chef running a team of cooks. The Purser role is found only on larger vessels where this dedicated position is justified.
The person in this role is responsible for the presentation of the interior of the yacht including cleanliness and service to guests. There will be several stewards or stewardesses on larger yachts and the responsibilities divided between them, headed up by the Chief Steward/Stewardess more commonly referred to as the Chief Stew. Read more about the responsibilities of a Steward/ess here.
The Chef on board luxury yachts has the important job of creating culinary delights for the guests on board. Working with provisioners to source the best ingredients and to create outstanding menus allows you to use your flare and creativity to produce the best outcome within the budget available and using the sometimes limited space of a yacht galley. Read on to learn more about the role of chef on board a luxury yacht.
The purser is a role within yacht crew on larger vessels normally and involves working with numbers and budget management. An administrative role, Pursers often come from a background of Steward or Stewardess. Learn more about the role of Purser and the required skills and experience by reading on.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the positions you will find to apply for on our website but an overview of the main roles. As with all things luxury there are often bespoke requirements particular to individual cases so there is never a case of one size fits all. Jobs in yachting can also include nannies, masseuse, beautician, dive instructor and the list goes on. To browse all the vacancies available through TCN visit out Looking for a Job page and get searching!