How to become a Deckhand – the most comprehensive course available to new Deckhands


Steve Bell

Steve Bell

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean – Power and Sail
RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor – Power and Sail
RYA Advanced Powerboat Instructor
RYA PWC Instructor

An experienced captain with many years and thousands of miles carrying out charters, deliveries and as a training captain.

Mark Wright

Mark Wright

MCA Master 500gt
RYA Yachtmaster Instructor Power
RYA Powerboat Instructor
RYA SRC Examiner


Mark is a vastly experienced captain with a wealth of experience in teaching RYA Yachtmaster Theory to both groups and individuals

Max Joseph

Max Joseph

Experienced deckhand on motor yachts of up to 28 metres,

Advanced Powerboat
RYA PWC Instructor 

RYA Powerboat Instructor

Experienced Williams Tender Operator


Charlotte Niven

Charlotte Niven

An experienced Captain with thousands of miles logged on deliveries and charters

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean

RYA Cruising Instructor

RYA Powerboat Instructor



how to become a deckhand. The best course AVAILABLE TO NEW DECKHAND LOOKING TO ENTER INTO THE Superyacht INDUSTRY

How to become a Deckhand?

Unless you are lucky enough to have contacts in the industry gaining your first job in the industry is difficult. What you need to do is to show your employer or Captain that you are going to be an asset on day one. To do this you need to gain knowledge and experience.


The Competent Deckhand Course was developed by a group of experienced  RYA instructors and mariners. Working as an RYA Instructor and seeing students new to the industry but unable to gain work due to a lack of practical experience.

Being based in the largest yachting capital of Europe, So many students new to the industry come to Mallorca to try to enter the industry. It can be a tough industry to get started unless you can show prospective employers that you have the experience. So many times I see job posted saying ‘no greenies’.

So many times I was asked ‘how can I gain experience when I can’t get a job?’

This Competent Deckhand Course will give you all this vital knowledge and training you need to start a successful career as a Deckhand.

The Course is run by a group of experienced mariners who know exactly what you need to start your career in the yachting industry.

We know that yacht captains are under pressure, and one of the biggest complaints we hear is the lack of competent deckhands. By completing the Competent Deckhand Course, you will demonstrate you have the skills and training to be a valuable member of any crew.

The how to be a deckhand Course is run over 14 days and includes a mix of both theory and practical courses and includes plenty of time to focus skills and understand the industry.

Having talked with so many employers over the past few years the Competent Deckhand Course will give you the experience and confidence you need to gain your first job in the Yachting industry and show your team you are an experienced player.

Your Course – How to become a Deckhand

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Theory is the most comprehensive theory course available -run over 6 days in a classroom including theory exams and teaching you everything you need to know about how to become a deckhand:

Collision Regulations – Lights Shapes and Sounds – who give was to who?

Tides including Tidal Heights, Tidal flow charts and secondary ports.

Passage Planning

Meterology and Weather Forecasting

Safety at Sea

Chart work

Compass and Position Fixing

This is a tough course and we recommend some pre-study before the course. Once you are enrolled in the course we will send you a login for the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship online course. This will give you some understanding on the basics of Boat terminology, navigation and tides etc.


Powerboat Handling

RYA Powerboat Level 2

RYA Advanced Powerboat – Night Operations

Competent Deckhand Williams Jet Tender Training



Short wave radio certificate allowing you to competently use a VHF radio


RYA PWC [Jetski]

RYA Personal Watercraft Certificate


Professional Practices and Responsibilities – Maritime Law


Competent Deckhand Courses:

How to become a Deckhand

Toys and Watersports Training

Docking Skills

Rope Work


Tenders Launch and Recovery

Cleaning and Preparation

Guest and Crew Interaction

Career advice and CV workshop

How to become a Deckhand



Understanding your job role as a Deckhand

What will I be doing?

Being a deckhand can involve lots of different jobs but when you start your career you are likely to be cleaning and then more cleaning.

Cleaning will involve all the exterior, hull, teak, glass and stainless steel to a very high standard.

Be prepared for long days and not much time off, most charter yacht Deckhands will be expected to work in excess of 12 hours each day. Change over days will also be very busy as you prepare the yacht for the next charter.

You will also be expected to help with lines and fenders when docking. You will help other crew dealing with water toys and maybe expected to drive one of the tenders.

You are likely to start as a junior deckhand and possibly have the chance to progress in your career to a more senior position.

If you have other qualifications such as Diving and Windsurfing, Kite Surfing and other water sports activities, these can help you progress in your career.


What is it like living on board? 

You are likely to stay on board with the crew and share a small cabin with another crew member. You will have a chef or cook who will prepare meals for the crew as well as the guests. Living with other crew in such a small environment mean that you have to respect each other’s space, make sure your personal hygiene is looked after and have empathy for the other crew.

By living on board you don’t have any living expenses and are able to save more of your salary and any tips.