Crab Boat Captain

posted: 04/11/12
Read more Read less
Captain Johnathan Hillstrand
Get More H

On a crab boat, where lives and large fortunes are at stake, the captain is responsible for everything. Captains must manage the deadly hazards that abound on a crab vessel and protect the lives of their crews, who are constantly in peril on the relentless seas. On top of that, they must have the know-how to find and haul in a profitable catch every season.


Crab boat captain who can handle nerve-wracking pressure on unruly seas.

Job Description:

As commander of the vessel, the crab boat captain is responsible for the navigational strategy of the entire venture. He or she must interpret weather patterns and set the course to find the biggest haul possible. Duties must be carried out while steering the ship through unpredictable waters and deadly storms, in bitterly freezing temperatures. The captain must calmly and coolly handle emergency situations, which are a daily occurrence on-board a crab vessel at sea.

In short:

The ability to stay alert to protect the lives of the crew for extended periods of sleepless days is essential.

The captain must also manage the entire crew to foster the all-important atmosphere of teamwork necessary for a successful season. This entails earning their respect while at the same time quelling flaring tempers and controlling your own. It's also essential for the captain to maintain strict safety procedures and ensure the crew is following through with them at all times. This poses a significant challenge because deckhands work on icy surfaces while managing heavy machinery. Captains must make sure greenhorns are frequently breaking off the ice that forms along the rails and deck.

Be prepared to pony up:

Captains finance the entire enterprise, paying for all supplies, including fuel, maintenance and insurance, not to mention food for the crew. In return, however, they also receive the biggest cut of the profits, which, in the crab fishing business, can be a pretty handsome sum.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will have grown up in the industry. Previous experience as a captain preferred, but at the very least, a candidate should have several years experience as a deck boss. Should be an expert navigator who has a proven track record of finding the best fishing locations and bringing in profitable hauls.

Candidate must possess the fisherman's instinct — that ethereal, intangible, yet deep understanding of the dynamics of the sea.

Above all, the captain must work well under pressure and be willing to put the lives of the crew before his or her own in an emergency situation. He or she must recognize the responsibility to the crew and their families to keep them safe.

Why You Should Want This Job:

This position is perfect for the kind of go-getter who thrives on adventure and likes to wield the weight of responsibility.

More on
Deadliest Catch