Q&A with Deckhand Reid Mark Sinnicks

21 March 2023 By Claire Griffiths

Claire Griffiths is Dockwalk’s contributing editor in the Mediterranean. She fled to the sunny south of France from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Claire has a background in journalism for national and regional UK press and a career in political and corporate PR prior to that. Claire’s hobbies include eating, sleeping and dancing at inopportune times. She tries to avoid sheer drops and Olympic bobsled runs. Email Claire at

Name: Reid Mark Sinnicks
Position: deckhand
Yacht: M/Y Lady Lilian
LOA: 36.9M/121' 1"
Builder: Benetti
Time in Current Position: three months
Time in Industry: seven months
Previous Vessel: M/Y Yvonne
Nationality: South African

Deckhand Reid Mark Sinnicks
Credit: Claire Griffiths

There isn't really a tough part to the job — it's just about keeping everything in check, neat, and in order.

To get started, I'd advise getting over to Europe or wherever you want to get involved in the industry and make good connections with people because it has a lot to do with who you know sometimes. Also, staying active on Facebook and with all the agencies helps. You can't just sit at home and expect to get a job.

To impress on the job, make sure you have a good eye for detail, and make sure you do your tasks to the best of your ability, because if you do it half-heartedly, it will be noticed. My goal would be to pull my way up through the ranks. I'm obviously starting out as a deckhand and I'd like to experience this for a while then make my way up to chase-boat captain, then possibly become a captain on a boat.

I used to race in motocross semiprofessionally, but that became a bit expensive. My parents insisted I got a degree, so I graduated in interior design. When Covid-19 hit, I decided to start my own health juice business called Sipanova. That's been running now in South Africa for about a year, but I've always wanted to come over here and work on boats.

Extra skills help, especially nowadays. A lot ofboats are looking for people who are content creators, divers, or kite surfers, because guests like to go above and beyond now and do those types of things. So, if you can teach them, it definitely helps.

I've learned on the job to have a good attitude to work, be a good team player and get along with other crew the best you can, and make sure you create a good environment to work in.

Getting to Antibes from South Africa and finding myself a job by myself are big achievements for me. I'm proud of getting into the industry and finding a job. Obviously, there are some more achievements to come as I pull myself up the ranks.

The best part of my job is that, in a sense, I have the freedom to make decisions about what needs to be done. Obviously, there is a list of tasks, but I can arrange my time and decide the order they need to be completed in.

My best tip is to get to know your boat very well, what the products are, and what they are used for, then you can keep the boat well managed and neat.

This article originally ran in the February 2023 issue of Dockwalk.


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