Level 3

Study maritime superyacht crewing and become a deckhand

Have you ever dreamed of working on a superyacht? This course opens the door to an exciting career working on board luxury boats. You could find yourself sailing the Pacific one season, and the Bahamas the next.

Programme highlights

Have you ever dreamed of working on a superyacht?

Study this course and you will open the door to an exciting career working on board luxury boats. You could find yourself sailing the Pacific one season, and the Bahamas the next. Crew members are currently in demand in this industry.

In just 12 weeks, you will get the practical experience and the skills and knowledge required to work under supervision as crew on vessels operating in unlimited waters.

This programme will cover:

  • Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) basic safety certificate to be crew onboard superyachts both in New Zealand waters and internationally. This includes basic sea survival, fire fighting, first aid, personal safety and social responsibilities, crowd management and security awareness training.
  • RYA (Royal Yachting Association) certificates: Powerboat Level 2 and Personal Watercraft Certificate (Jet Ski).
  • IAMI (International Association of Maritime Institutions) GUEST certificates in yacht interior, basic food service and introduction to wine, bartending and mixology.

You will also learn basic skills in food safety and barista, floristry, yacht deck maintenance, watchkeeping, diesel and outboard maintenance, and CV writing.

Students have to pass a medical fitness assessment for the lifesaving and firefighting components. If you would like to use this qualification internationally you will need to complete a Maritime Rules Part 34, Medical Fitness certificate.

Please note: In order to gain work experience on a super yacht, you must meet their employment criteria, which includes being over 18 years. Applicants who are under the age of 18 should contact the School to discuss their options.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


Open entry for domestic students

There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.

Important information

Entry to this qualification is open but completion does not guarantee the award of a Maritime New Zealand licence.

All persons wishing to qualify for a seafarer licence must also check the Maritime New Zealand prior certification and minimum service requirements for that licence. Also: Seafarers Framework which outlines medical fitness requirements https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/default.asp and Maritime New Zealand Part 34:Medical Standards https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/Part34-maritime-rule.pdf.

Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?

Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.

Programme structure

Programme structure

You will need to complete the below six courses (75 credits):

942.344 Core safety training (20 credits)

Provide an introduction to the Certificate in Superyacht Crewing Programme with an overview of the Superyacht industry Safety requirements.

943.348 Yacht watchkeeping (10 credits)

By the end of this course, students will be able to assist the operation of the vessel by developing navigational skills to support bridge Watchkeeping.

943.349 Yacht seamanship (15 credits)

By the end of this course, students will be able to sail as a competent crew member on a yacht and act as tender crew to support the operation of the vessel and its equipment.

943.350 Yacht engine operation and maintenance (10 credits)

To develop a basic understanding of inboard (diesel) and outboard engine operation, with emphasis on safety, routine servicing and simple troubleshooting to support the operation of the vessel.

943.351 Yacht deck maintenance (10 credits)

Assist with maintenance and operation of a range of deck equipment specific to the requirements of the vessel.

943.352 Yacht interior skills (10 credits)

By the end of this course, the students will be able to provide high standards of on-board passenger services and ensure passenger service, care and support.

Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?

Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.

Careers and pathways

Further training or study

Graduates may progress to qualifications recognised internationally under the STCW:

Graduates may also progress to marine engineering qualifications recognised internationally under the STCW:

Career opportunities

Crew on a superyacht (deckhand).

Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.

Information is correct as at 31 January 2024. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.