Yacht Job Descriptions for Stews and Deckhands

Below are more detailed examples of day to day job descriptions and duties for deckhands and stews onboard a yacht for those of you who are STILL curious about what it’s like.  Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the:

 Ultimate Guide to Getting a Job on a Yacht.

Deck Stew Tasks AM (Guests On Board)

  • Check fenders and lines, adjust and blow up if necessary
  • Dry the boat & tender
  • Uncover deck furniture,
  • Put out cushions, towels, sunscreen, shoe basket
  • Wipe down furniture and metal with damp shammy if necessary
  • Put out boarding ladder if necessary
  • Wipe down windows if necessary
  • Restock fridges
  • Assist Stew with beds, heads, and breakfast as guests wake up
  • Assist in preparing for daytime activities if necessary (boat ride, snorkeling, etc.)

Deck Stew Tasks PM (Guests On Board)

  • Assist wherever you’re needed most, usually this is helping the stew with tending to the guests, rooms, and lunch, although you may be needed on deck for an outdoor excursion
  • You may have downtime during the afternoon, especially if all guests leave the boat, in which case you and the stew can take turns taking a break (if you’re lucky 🙂
  • In the evening you will either be assisting on deck, or  tending to the guests, and preparing for appetizers and/ or dinner.
  • Shortly before dinner, freshen up and change into your dinner attire
  • As guests are finished showering/getting ready for dinner, assist the stew with beds and heads, and serving dinner
  • Help set table, wash dishes, and put them away, (stay out of Tommy’s way!)
  • Continue to walk around the boat, and help where you’re needed.
  • As the sun goes down, take down the flag, and cover up all deck furniture except the aft deck, and any other areas the guests are sitting
  • Check fenders and lines
  • Turn on exterior and interior lights,  help stew drop the inside shades
  • After dinner assist with clearing the table, tending to the guests, and cleaning the galley
  • Continue turning laundry until guests start to go to bed
  • At this point some of the crew can probably be dismissed for the night as long as you all agree.
  • Once all guests have gone to bed, put away liquor bottles, turn off all exterior lights, adjust the interior lights, walk through boat and make sure everything is as it should be, lock all doors, and go to sleep, get ready to do it all over again 🙂


  • Ask all crew members if they need help w/ anything
  • Turnover laundry
  • Iron
  • Fold napkins
  • Clean Crew area, Captains room,  or your own
  • Dust and/or vacuum entire boat (only if guests are away.)
  • Check gold sinks in the guest heads for water spots
  • Organize stew closet, restock supplies
  • Take out the trash

Guests on Board Tips:

  • Be very quiet before guests wake up
  • Dry the boat deck and aft deck first so that you can uncover them, then proceed with the rest of the boat
  • Don’t use a squeegee, and be mindful of dragging the bucket, hitting the deck with your pole, and talking loudly, to cut down on noise, especially while guests are sleeping.
  • Use water sparingly, especially when showering, and washing dishes.

Stewardess Tasks AM (Guests On Board)

  • Dust
  • Tend to Guests as they wake up
  • Set up for breakfast
  • Beds and Heads
  • Beds:
    • Gather supplies from stew closet
    • Lift shade and remove porthole cover
    • Turn on daytime lights
    • Retrieve day covers and pillows from where they’re stowed (under bed)
    • Make the Bed*
    • Remove trash
    • Wipe down all surfaces with proper cleaner*
    • organize any of guests belongings that are out of place
    • Wipe down remote screens and place on charger
    • look for any dirty laundry they may want done
  • Heads:
    • Wipe down shower if it has been used
    • Collect all dirty laundry and make a pile
    • Replace and restock everything
      • Towels
      • Toilet Paper
      • Tissue Flower
    • Empty Trash
    • Wipe down all surfaces (Even if they look clean!)
    • Clean Head
    • Vacuum/Wipe Floor and the rest of the room
    • Do final walk through of room, remove all supplies and laundry
        • I like to do the bed before the head, the bed is the first thing you see as you walk by the room.  Also, they are more likely to come and use the head throughout the day, and this will prevent you from having to clean it over and over.
        • Wipe down all surfaces even if they look clean, might be an invisible chemical that could cause discoloration over time.
        • Be sure to look at all mirrors and surfaces from more than one angle because you can see  smudges and imperfections better from different light perspectives.
        • Avoid walking on bedding, especially pillows.
        • Common areas of neglect- the sink spigot, the mirror behind the sink, the metal light switch covers, the glass around the shower door handle, and close to the floor.
        • Be careful when opening bed hatches.

Guests on Board Tips

  • Be quiet when guests are sleeping, some tasks you should not do until they are awake:
    • Vacuum
    • Laundry
    • Dishes

Sample Check List for Deck Stew Before Getting Underway

(This may make your head spin, not necessary reading but some of you may still be curious… Feel free to skip to the next section!)

  1. Tie Down/Fasten Deck Furniture
    • Aft deck chairs
    • Boat deck chairs
    • Cover and bungee down inflatable
    • Covers outdoor bar
    • Remove loose items in Anchor Locker
  2. Regulator (Tender) Tow Set-Up
    • Towels Around Outriggers on Tender
    • Bungee Compartments Down
    • All compartments battened down
    • Check Gas/Batteries/Fluids
    • Bilge pump on?
    • Before hook up- Trim Engines
    • Radio Work?
  3. Other Preparations
    • Remove Windshield Cover
    • Take Down Burgee Staff
    • Regulator Tow Rope
    • Regulator
    • Engine Room Check- list, prepare sheet for underway
    • Be sure there is sufficient water
    • Turn off valves or systems- outdoor icemakers?
  4. Equipment Check
    • Engine Room- refer to list
    • Stabilizers
    • Thrusters
    • VHF charged
    • Nav lights
  5. Right before Departure
    • Remove Staples
    • Convert Power
    • Disconnect Power Chord
    • Turn off Converters? Breakers?
    • Turn off AC, Water Treatment, Fan
  6. Undocking
    • Decide order for untying lines and give each person a station (Captain’s choice.)
    • Bring lines to their respected location for stowing
    • Bring fenders to respected location for stowing and begin deflating (fastened)
    • Bring clips to respected location for stowing
    • Wipe down fenders and stow away all items in a good order.