Crab Boat Deckhand

posted: 04/11/12
Read more Read less
Freddy Maugatai
Get More H

A crab boat deckhand must be a jack-of-all-trades, willing to do whatever it takes to contribute to the team. The deckhand takes on any role necessary in grueling conditions in one of the most dangerous occupations on the face of the Earth. And because a crab boat crew shares the profits of the haul, deckhands endure the tempers and wrath of their fellow shipmates when they make expensive mistakes.


Deckhand who knows the ropes of a crab boat.

Job Description:

This position is responsible for doing anything and everything necessary to keep a crab boat running smoothly and productively. Duties range from menial grunt work to taking the wheel from the ship's captain. The deckhand is responsible for throwing the shot (rope) and buoys out to sea for setting crab pots, as well as helping to haul in the catch. This entails throwing a grappling hook out to retrieve the buoys and attaching it to the mechanical winch for lifting. The deckhand must also help steady the enormous, 800-pound pot for placement on the lift.

Other duties may include but are not limited to: repairing nets and equipment as needed, clearing the deck of ice, generally keeping the boat clean and taking on double duty as cook. All tasks are performed in freezing-cold temperatures and fierce winds. Getting caught up in the long ropes or lines strewn about the deck and being tossed overboard could spell death by drowning or hypothermia.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

No greenhorns need apply — all applicants must have previous experience on a crab boat. Those with extensive experience may also be eligible for a position as deck boss, managing other deckhands. Impeccable accuracy while tossing a grappling hook required. Should also be proficient at knot-tying, heavy lifting, using a knife and navigation. Expertise in the culinary arts a plus. Overall, should be willing to lend a hand at all tasks.

An eye for efficiency is key: An ideal candidate looks for and creates time-saving methods for speeding up every single necessary task in the crab fishing process. At the same time, a deckhand must be flexible enough to adapt to the atmosphere of teamwork already existing among crew members. Candidates must also be thick-skinned enough to take harsh criticism from a demanding captain.

Why You Should Want This Job:

In this job, you'll get fresh air on the open seas, work with your hands and be proud of your accomplishments in a thrilling environment. You'll feel like part of a team and get opportunities to rise in the ranks to someday captain your own crab boat.

More on
Deadliest Catch