Online Superyacht Deckhand Course

Fundamental deckhand knowledge and skills in an online format

Looking to build essential knowledge skills from from a true yachting insider in a self paced online format? Don Mckee, a former Chief Officer and Captain on yachts up to 90m and YOA Yacht Crew Placement Agency owner is here to guide you through the fundamentals, no matter where you are in the world. This course includes a day of organised day work on a yacht, provided you are in a suitable location.

As a new crew member entering the industry, practical experience is important, but mental preparation and understanding of the fundamental tasks at hand is crucial.

Your first job as a deckhand is a a learning curve that requires respect and a willingness to learn. You are not expected to perform the tasks of an experienced deckhand from the day you join.

That being said, being prepared for the tasks at hand, guided by a real industry professional will allow you to excel and progress, provided you have the willingness and attitude to not only work hard, but also learn from those above you.

Although this is an online course, a real day of day work is offered through our network of yachts around the world. This will not only allow you to show the attitude and skills that you have developed through the course but it will also introduce you to active industry professionals. Your performance and attitude will be referred back to our recruitment agency which runs parallel to our organisation.

  • How, when and where to find work
  • Duties as deck crew
  • Visas & CV’s
  • General deck related duties with practical applications
  • Teak maintenance
  • Painting, Varnishing and Fairing
  • Watch keeping
  • Rope work including splicing and knots
  • Mooring operations
  • Anchoring procedures

Don McKee began his career at sea in 1999 as race crew on 1987 America's Cup 12 Meter sailing yachts in the Caribbean, and left the industry in 2014 after having working his way from Deckhand to Chief Officer and Captain on yachts up to 90m in length.

As principal of YOA Super Yacht Training, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge with those intending to enter the yachting industry, and provides ongoing guidance to his students throughout their careers.

R 6000 per student

"I have recently completed the online deckhand course presented by YOA and Don McKee, and I felt the need to express my satisfaction on this course. I had my doubts before starting the course about the lack of practical experience that comes with doing an online course, but those doubts quickly went away when I enrolled and started doing the course. The combination of very well-presented videos as well as detailed information about everything you need to know for your journey of becoming a deckhand, resulted in my expectations being completely blown away. Combine all the above with the fact that Don really goes the extra mile with additional documents such as the ‘training record book’ and Seafarer rights and medical info, it becomes clear that this course is the perfect course for people looking to do their deckhand course at their own time and pace. Therefore, I would strongly recommend this course to anybody who is looking to start their journey to become a deckhand on board a vessel. You will not regret it!

Kind regards

Davey Nel


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- Study from any location (provided you have a strong internet connection) - Timing and location options of your practical skills day is dependant of your location

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