Q&A with Deckhand Barty Hills

22 May 2021 By Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy is the former managing editor at Dockwalk. 

Deckhand Barty Hills

Name: Barty Hills
Position: Deckhand
Yacht: Private
Length: 85M/278'10"
Years in current position: 4 months
Years in industry: 5.5
Previous vessels: M/Y Lady Marina, M/Y Stella Maris
Nationality: British

I am still relatively new to the industry, so my goal is to learn as much as I can from the experience around me while studying to do my Yachtmaster. I am also doing my Level 3 PT course online and would eventually like to combine fitness and yachting to create fun fitness/adventure holidays.

The toughest part of the job is missing the freedom of being able to just get off and go for a run and meeting up with your friends and loved ones whenever you want.

My advice for those looking to get started is to know your strengths, get your tickets, and network like crazy. Get out there and be yourself.

My advice for those looking to impress on the job is to get stuck into everything, turn up early with some good tunes and a smile on your face, don’t have an ego, and be willing to learn.

All the fun activities and skills/qualifications are a great bonus to have and will give you the edge in most roles. It’s just a shame I don’t have any yet!

I’m learning new things every day. But the basics that you do on a daily basis are the most important things to nail down. Don’t take time trying to dry every little drop; work faster and then look back and see if you have missed anything.

My most significant achievement would be continuously choosing to chase after things that excite me and will make me happy rather than staying in the comfort zone and doing a “normal” job. But my biggest achievement is starting a fun rugby team called The Flair Bears. This was after I overcame being diagnosed with and treated for a brain tumor. I wanted to create a fun team environment where we could play exciting rugby, spread positivity, and raise money for Brainstrust, a brain tumor charity.

I’ve had friends that have done yachting for a while, so once I became too old and broken to play rugby, I decided to make the transition and did my courses at UKSA on the Isle of Wight.

The best part of the job is having a different, usually incredible view for your “office” every day. And having the opportunity to swim in the most beautiful water.

My best deck tip: Nobody likes a kinky hose. When coiling a long hose, coil from the middle — it’s easier/faster to get any kinks out.

This column originally ran in the May 2021 issue of Dockwalk.


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