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Superyacht Deckhand Career Course

Day Skipper Theory / VHF / PB2 / STCW / Deckhand / Diesel / Radar

This 34 day package is specifically designed to incorporate a variety of basic courses to help you build a CV and improve your chances of finding work in the yachting industry, especially the superyacht industry.


Course Description

We have structured the Deckhand Career Package to give you the best possible chance of finding employment without attaining the Yacht master qualification, however, that is the preferred qualification.

The course is designed for those who have a minimal knowledge of sailing. Students begin their practical training where they learn basic seamanship such as rope-work, sail handling, keeping a good lookout and assisting with all the day-to-day handling of a yacht.

After a week on the water (5 days and 4 nights) students move to the classroom where they spend another week (5 days) learning the basic theory involved in boating (power and sail), with an emphasis on safety, rules of the road and fundamental navigational methods.

This is followed by the STCW course (Standards of Training for Crew and Watch), where students learn basic first aid, fire fighting and life-raft training.

In the final week students will participate in an exciting 2-day Power Boat course on one of our 400hp Ballistic Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs). This Power Boat Level 1 & 2 course is now a prerequisite for most crew if they want to handle the yachts tender.

Students will then spend a day in the classroom earning their RYA VHF radio licence. The last  4 days are on the Deckhand course where maintenance, knowledge and application, wash-downs, teak maintenance, deckhand duties (navigational watch and guests on board), line handling and anchoring duties, etc are covered.

The courses also includes the RYA Diesel course and RYA Radar course.

Students learn how to assess damage and begin the repair process, starting with damage control and protection of surrounding areas, application of anti corrosive primers and fillers, all the way to applying the Polyurethane Topcoat. Another part of the maintenance section of the course focuses on woodwork and varnishing skills.

Protection of surrounding areas, correct taping up, knowledge of sandpaper, sanding with the grain, staying inside taped up areas, correct mixing and applying of the varnish. As an added benefit students also get help with tips on the interview process and creating a CV fit for the industry.

The Yacht owner or Captain is also legally obligated to implement a food security management system and might require you to attend a Food Safety & Hygiene Level 2 Training Course


  • Day Skipper Theory – 5 days
  • SRC/VHF Radio 1 – day
  • PB2 Powerboat – 2 days
  • STCW 10 – 11 days
  • Deckhand – 4 days
  • RYA PWC Jet Ski – 1 day
  • RYA RADAR 1 day
  • RYA DIESEL 1 day


Students stay on the boat during the RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper & Yachtmaster Practical courses to get a real feel for onboard living and is a mandatory requirement. A stipend for essentials (tea, coffee, cereal, milk, etc) is included in the course price. During the theory week and STCW, students have the option of staying at our Academy in the Waterfront.

For practical courses we ask that students bring a sleeping bag, towel, toiletries, change of clothes, and suitable wet weather gear. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also a good idea.

For the theory course students will need a 2B pencils, a pen, a notebook and where possible, their own Portland plotter and dividers (we can also loan to the student). We can also help with the purchase of any of these materials.

For STCW you will need your Passport or ID book on day one of your course. You will also need to wear old clothes for the fire fighting (MFF) element, for Personal Safety Training (PST) you will need swimwear, a towel and a set of clothes to get in the pool with.

PRACTICAL sailing courses start with a briefing at the school, 11 Portswood Road at 8.30am.

THEORY courses take place at the school and commence at 8.30am

STCW training takes place in the Cape Town foreshore, training starts promptly at 8.30am

STEWARDESS training takes place in Gordons Bay and/or Ocean Star Sailing Academy


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