The bigger the superyacht, the more yacht crew positions there are.
But, which yacht crew positions are there and what do they mean?
The Captain is the person who stands on top of the crew pyramid.
He is in charge and has the overall responsability. He has to manage the good running of the yacht and manages the crew.
His or her decision is final. The safety of the vessel and people onboard is his first concern.
He or she is the point of contact towards the owner or managing company.
On small yachts, the Captain might have to fulfill other roles like being the engineer.
On the biggest yachts, the Captain is surrounded by a team of deck officers.
Before you can become a Captain, you need to go through the ranks of deckhand and mate.
Being the head of the vessel, he or she should have the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill his job in the best way.
The Mate is the person just under the Captain. He or she assists the Captain and might need to take control in case the Captain is not available.
On bigger yachts, the Mate is called a Deck Officer and there can be a Second, a Third and a Fourth Deck Officer on the biggest yachts.
As a Mate, you are supervising the Deckhand(s). Normally, you have been a Deckhand before, so you know most of the skills. The skills and knowledge you gained before, you will now pass on to the Deckhand(s).
Especially on bigger yachts, the Deck Officer will be more in touch with the rest of the deck department and will be the eyes and ears of the Captain.
A Deckhand is the person who is responsible for the exterior of the vessel.
Cleaning, polishing, painting,... will be his or her task.
Also handling the lines while docking and controlling the windlass while anchoring are part of the deal.
Every yacht has a deckhand or at least someone who is doing these tasks. Bigger yachts have more than one and can have a Lead Deckhand or Bosun.
If you start out in yachting and you choose the deck department, this is the first step!
The Interior Department
The Steward(ess) is the person who is responsible for the interior of the yacht.
She cleans the cabins, serves the food, assist the owners and guests, decorates, plans,...
Bigger yachts have a Chief Stewardess, with a Second, Third or even a Fourth stewardess. She will run the whole interior and will do some accounts too.
The Engineering Department
The Engineer is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the vessel main engines, but also for every other piece of machinery, like the airconditioning, hydraulics, watermaker, multi-media system, fluid tanks,...
On small yachts where the law doesn't demand a formal engineer te be onboard, the Captain will do the engineering part.
On larger yachts, there will be a Chief Engineer with a Second or even a Third Engineer as assistant.
An engineer will be in constant communication with the Captain and will also involve some of the other crew in the boat's systems.
The Galley Department
The Chef is the boss in the galley. He prepares the menu, provisions, cooks and does the dishing up.
Only on the larger yachts, he or she get the help of a Crew Chef or another Chef who will assist the 1st Chef.
A Chef must have a stress-proof personality. He or she has to try to deliver the food that the owners or guests prefer and he has to feed the crew.
Everybody has different tastes and some have allergies or are vegetarian... Very hard to keep everybody happy!
Apart from the yacht crew positions above, you will also find masseuses, personal trainers, helicopter pilots, nannies and so on, but only on the biggest yachts around.
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