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Yachtie Guide: yacht bosun salary & job description

Imagine getting paid to speed around in tenders, practice watersports and make sure a multi-million dollar luxury superyacht looks its best at all times. Well, welcome to the life of a yacht bosun.

A bosun is a relatively new term for the leader of the deck team – someone who knows exactly how to make the yacht sparkle while keeping the guests smiling. Find out what to expect from a bosun salary, what a bosun does on a yacht, the qualifications needed to become a bosun and our top tips for securing a role.

“Cotton Crews app has been the best app for finding yacht work. The work Cotton Crews does is amazing and it was the perfect place to go for both crew placement and cabins.”

What is a typical bosun salary?

A bosun salary generally ranges between $3,500-5,000 per month, starting at $3,000 for those with minimal experience. Factors that might lead to a higher bosun salary include watersport certification, such as those all-important diving or kitesurfing credentials, and engineering experience or qualifications.

The size of the yacht is also an influencing factor – working on superyachts over 70 meters can earn you up to $6,000 per month, but it may also mean a lot more work. Meanwhile, a lack of shipyard experience may mean you earn less than other bosuns working on similar sized vessels.

While there is no typical bosun salary, you can expect a significant pay rise from your previous job as an experienced deckhand (or lead deckhand on a larger yacht), reflecting your increased duties.

What is a bosun on a yacht and what do they do?

What qualifications do you need to become a bosun?

Like the sound of #bosunlife? Here are the credentials you need to take on the role.

  • MCA STCW Basic Safety training
  • 2-3 years as a deckhand and a strong understanding of yachting
  • Tender driving proficiency
  • Practical knowledge of water sports activities
  • Depending on the size of yacht, an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or an STCW’95 OOW yachts certification may be required

While the following are not necessities, they will certainly make you stand out when looking for positions.

  • MCA Yacht Rating Certificate
  • RYA Power Boat level 2 or IYT Tender Driver Licence
  • GMDSS VHF/SRC Radio Operators Certificate

How to transition from deckhand to bosun

Now we’ve covered what a bosun is on a yacht you may well be thinking it’s your perfect job – a chance to spend your days in some of the world’s most incredible destinations, working onboard a vessel that is beyond your wildest dreams. So, how to get there?

Progression in yacht jobs generally comes from a willingness to work hard and prove your dedication to life at sea. Whether you’re in one of your first deckhand jobs or are just trying to get your foot in the door with daywork, rest assured it’s all about working your way up. While you prove yourself, training in as many watersports as possible is one way to make a Captain notice your yachting CV, as are any navigational or security qualifications.

Being a bosun will definitely involve a lot of hard work – from long hours to physically grueling duties – however it is also highly rewarding, offering the opportunity to manage your own team, take on more responsibility and earn that top-end bosun salary.

Check out our available bosun yacht jobs on our free Cotton Crew Jobs app. Download the app here: