If your dream is to travel the world or get away from your desk, then working as a Deckhand on a Superyacht could be the job you are looking for. Before you start your new career you will need a few essential skills and qualifications to prepare you for the industry.
Our Deckhand course has been designed for aspiring Deckhands who want all the qualifications, experience, and mentoring to start a career on a Superyacht. As well as practical skills, we provide industry guidance, CV mentoring, and confidence to start your new career.
The Superyacht Deckhand course comprises two of our most popular programmes:
Week 1: STCW Basic Safety Training week, required by all crew working at sea.
Week 2: Superyacht Deckhand course. We will teach you all the skills you need to perform your role onboard, these include:
- RYA Powerboat Level 2
- Ropework, splicing and the essential knots you should know as a Deckhand.
- Two days on our motor boat where you will learn how to drive and maintain a mini Superyacht!
And loads more. Please see the full itinerary below for a fill list of skills covered during the two-week course
Our Career Support Service
As well as practical skills, customers benefit from our bespoke Careers Support Service, which provides mentoring and support to ensure you are ready to start your new career. Our Career Support Service has everything you need from CV guidance to prepare you for life in the Superyacht industry, including:
- A dedicated, personal mentor and coach will be on hand to support and guide you throughout your course.
- One-to-one CV writing sessions; we guide you through writing a yachting CV, provide CV templates, and help you complete your Yachting CV.
- Industry presentation on ‘how to find work’ to prepare you for life onboard, registering with recruitment agents, visas, bank accounts, and more.
- Seafarers tax advice. Flying Fish are registered tax agents, and we can provide expert advice on how to keep on top of your accounts.
- Guidance with covering letters and employer references.
- Interview techniques.
- Regular meet-ups in Antibes with one of our Flying Fish Mentors.
- Access to our exclusive Flying Fish WhatsApp group, where we and other course graduates share job opportunities.
- Six months of ongoing career support.
Almost all customers choose our accommodation option. Flying Fish crew houses in Cowes are comfortable and centrally located—just a 5-minute walk to the town and our training centre. You can mix and socialise with other people on the course who, like you, will start a career in the Superyacht industry.
Please select the accommodation option below if you want to stay with us.
Why train with Flying Fish
- Flying Fish limits student numbers to small groups. This means you have the opportunity for one-to-one time with our expert Instructors.
- We are the only company providing hands-on practical motorboat experience.
- We provide shared self-catering accommodation in crew houses 5 minutes from our training centre in Cowes.
- Flying Fish offers a free and exclusive Career Support Service.
Don’t take our word for it; check out what our past students have to say about their time with Flying Fish!
Becoming a Deckhand
If you’re eager to learn more about the role of a Deckhand, then you can find out everything about the role in our blog Becoming a Deckhand.
All crew who want to work on a commercial vessel, including Superyachts, must hold an ENG1 Medical. We recommend you complete the ENG1 Medical before the start of your course, as it confirms you are fit to go to sea. However, it is not a booking condition, so you can book your course without it.
- STCW Basic Safety Training
- MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) course
- RYA Powerboat Level 2
- Two days aboard a functioning vessel covering:
- Motorboat Handling
- Lines, fenders and mooring protocol
- Digital navigation
- Vessel management and crew skills
- RYA Personal Watercraft Course (PWC)
- RYA VHF Radio
- Ropework, essential knots, and splicing
- Maintenance day, teak work, repairs, washdowns, cleaning the stainless yacht maintenance
- Careers Support Package
- CV Clinic, industry guidance, and mentoring with one of our experts
- Industry preparation with one of our experts
- Antibes career event
- Small student groups for a personal approach and one-to-one time
You must be 18 years old or older to train with Flying Fish.
The course is suitable for complete beginners or those with experience who are looking to work as a Deckhand on a commercial yacht.
To work on a Superyacht you will need to complete an ENG1 Medical and we recommend you complete this prior to the start of your course, though this is not essential.
The course comprises fun, action-packed practical and theory exercises that will gain you certificates required to work as a Deckhand onboard a Superyacht.
Here is an overview of the course structure:
Week 1 – STCW Basic Safety Training
STCW Basic Safety Training is a compulsory set of qualifications for ALL crew who work on Superyachts. This six-day course is made up of several elements.
Fire Fighting, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (PSSR), Sea Survival, Elementary First Aid, and Security Awareness.
Week 2 – The day job
The next week is spent learning new skills you will need as a Deckhand.
VHF Radio Operators Course – 1 day
RYA Radio VHF Short Range Certificate (GMDSS/DSC) teaches you marine radio techniques and emergency procedures.
Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
PDSD is for crew members required to perform a security-related duty onboard a yacht over 500 Gross Tonnes. The one-day, MCA-approved course provides the essential training to enable you to perform your role onboard.
Motorboat course – 1 day
You spend a day on our 40′ motorboat learning vital skills, from driving a twin-engine boat to all the knots, terminology, anchoring, picking up mooring buoys, navigation, and so much more.
Ropework course – 1 day
Here you will learn more advanced knots. We will show you how to splice braided and three-strand rope and tie a soft shackle!
RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance – 1 day
Many Superyacht tenders will have inboard diesel engines, so understanding the basics is a great idea. The course teaches you how an engine, fuel, water, and cooling system works. You will also learn how to keep the engine healthy, fault finding, and common problems.
Yacht maintenance – 1 day
We will be onboard one of our yachts, getting to know the products and cleaning techniques used on a Superyacht, how to clean the yacht, stainless steel, windows, and polishing. You will learn how to clean teak and how to maintain the yacht to a high standard.
RYA Powerboat Level 2 Course – 2 days
The crew will need RYA Powerboat level two to drive the yacht’s tenders. This is a great fun, practical course, awesome fun and
PWC (Jet Ski) course – 1 day
This practical, exciting course will teach you all there is to know about Jet Skis and how to use one safely. Jet Skis are often found on luxury yachts, and it’s the crew’s job to know how to use the toys!
Exclusive Career Support Service
Our Careers Support Service is exclusively for customers enrolled onto our Deck and Steward/ess course. We will guide you through all the details about working on a yacht, from paying tax to bank accounts, salary guides, your role onboard, and how to write a yachting CV.
We appreciate that taking the next step is a big decision, so we have partnered with Ideal4Finance to help you to train for your future career with ease. With no obligation and a quick and simple application process, what have you got to loose?
Flying Fish UK Ltd is an introducer appointed representative of Ideal Sales Solutions Ltd T/A Ideal4Finance. Ideal Sales Solutions is a credit broker and not a lender (FRN 703401). Finance available subject to status. The rate offered is always provisional and will depend upon your personal circumstances, the loan amount and term.
What our previous customers have to say
What an absolute honour and pleasure it was being a part of Flying Fish family for the 2 weeks I completed with them! From the professional, helpful and attentive staff to fun, laughter and memories.
Staff are amazing and so kind! Great course and great accommodation. Lovely location and an all round great friendly atmosphere.