Deckhands on luxury yachts get to travel all over the world. Moreover, when not working, they get to enjoy the pleasures of exciting and often exotic ports of call. But if you're just starting out looking for deckhand job opportunities, where do you go?
The easy answer is: Anywhere the big yachts go. You may find mega- and superyachts almost anywhere there is coastline and good port facilities. If you're in the United States, for example, you may well encounter some billionaire's luxury vessel at the moorings in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York or Miami, just to name a few.
To stand the best chance of finding deckhand opportunities, you must go to where the big yachts congregate in large numbers. That means, first of all, the ports of the Mediterranean, and secondarily, the ports of the Caribbean. These are also the ports that will have active firing agencies that are dedicated to filling crew jobs on those big boats.
The great thing about the yacht ports of the Mediterranean is that many of them are close to one another. Even if you're traveling on a shoestring budget and a tight schedule, you will not find it difficult to check out a few of them within a short time period. My favorite place to start: St. Tropez in France. This is the practice of the world headquarters for the superyacht set. Other great yacht ports include Nice, Cannes, Barcelona and Ibiza, just to scratch the surface in the western Mediterranean. The eastern Mediterranean has its share of fabulous yacht ports, too.
The Caribbean will be more accessible to North Americans. Traveling from port to port will be slightly more difficult here than in the Mediterranean – you can not take a train or a bus from one island to the next – but that just means you'll be spending more time aboard one boat or another, which is one of your objectives anyway (the other being to land a job on a boat).
If you can not get to the Mediterranean or Caribbean, though, do not despair. If you live anywhere near any ocean coast, you can find a deckhand opportunity. It will not necessarily be on a superyacht, but the variety of boats that need crew members is huge. Getting your feet wet aboard a boat (so to speak), whatever the vessel type, can serve as the gateway to an temporary job aboard the yacht of your dreams.