The Bosun runs the deck team and reports directly to the Captain, Chief Officer and Deck officers for the smooth running of the day to day deck cleaning, maintenance, and other deck activities including watersports, beach excursions, tender runs, stores and garbage runs. It’s a demanding role where you can be responsible for between 1-15+ deckhands.
You would work closely with the Chief Officer to plan and execute the short and long term deck maintenance plan, and ensure that this is carried out in a safe manner in line with the yachts SMS. The bosun is responsible for the yachts tenders, PWC and watersports equipment, working closely with the engineers to report any issues. Responsibility includes often being one of the main tender drivers, responsible for the launch and recovery of all craft.
As Bosun, an important role is for you to promote deck professionalism and tidiness at all times, and ensuring that maintenance is carried out to the required safety standard. It can be a challenging role to be the go-to person between the deckhands and the captain & officers; you want to be one of the team on deck, but are also expected to be their superior and filter orders from the bridge, something many people find a challenge when they initially step up.
Daily responsibilities will change depending on whether you have guests on or not; you may be organising all the cleaning and safety equipment for a full wash down, or arranging all the toys, umbrellas, chairs, tables, ice boxes and all the other equipment the guests want for a beach day, or if you’re in the yard it could be cracking on with the paint or varnish job you’ve got going on or getting all the crew together for a provisioning delivery.
The role can also be split with watchkeeping duties so you’re expected to hold a navigational, anchor or port watch on the bridge where you will be one of the responsible crewmembers for the vessel and ready to call on the deck officers or captains should you need them.
For those who are doing courses and tickets to further their career, the bosun role can be a stepping stone towards achieving an officers role, but is an important one where you can learn the vital skills of people management and team dynamics to get the best out of the crew and the best for the owners or guests. On many large yachts, the Bosun role is a long term career, one where you can be managing a large deck team, often with the support of a relief bosun or lead hands so you can delegate tasks and projects for small teams to deliver on. The benefits of which can include rotation and responsibility of up to 20 deckhands.