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Superyacht Bosun job description

Superyacht bosun

The Bosun, sometimes known as the Leading Hand or Senior Deckhand, is likely to be an experienced Deckhand who is able to take on extra responsibilities. The Bosun is responsible for maintaining the exterior of the yacht immaculately and is in charge of the Deckhands. The Bosun undertakes the role of organising deck operations, which usually includes storage, use and maintenance of toys and tenders, equipment, deck maintenance and deck supplies. The Bosun often undertakes bridge watches when at sea.


The Bosun will probably be the main tender driver, and will normally oversee activity on the passerelle (gangway) and will serve in a security role, making sure that guests are embarking and disembarking safely, while ensuring that no one enters the yacht without proper authorisation. It is likely that the Bosun will spend a great deal of time with guests or owners when on board, and therefore a positive attitude and a keen eye for details and service are paramount.

Required Skills and Experience

In order to become a Bosun you would probably have a background in yachting and boating and would generally need experience as a Deckhand. You should have a good understanding of exterior and general deck duties on a luxury yacht and an ability to delegate duties and work assignments to deckhands. Previous experience of helming guest tenders is a distinct advantage. You should be happy working as part of a team and will be prepared to work long hours and be flexible with duties involved.

Required Certification

Officially there are no mandatory requirements for certification or qualifications for Bosuns, however the following would be beneficial:

  • MCA Yacht Rating Certificate
  • RYA Power Boat level 2 or IYT Tender Driver Licence
  • GMDSS VHF/SRC Radio Operators Certificate
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or IYT Master of Yachts <200gt
  • MCA STCW Master (Yachts) <200gt or STCW OOW (Yachts) Certification
  • MCA STCW Basic Safety Certificates are considered essential by many Captains.

Salary Range

A Bosun could expect to earn between £2,500 and £3,500 per month, but with experience this figure could rise to around £4,000 per month on larger yachts.

Career Progression

Superyacht Crew
A Bosun could expect to progress to the role of First or Second Officer, depending on the size of the yacht.

Marine Industry
A Bosun’s skills are relevant for a range of positions in the wider maritime industry, for example in Port Operations or in the Workboat sector. Opportunities are also available in the Leisure Marine sector, such as working in a marina.