What’s a bosun?

Aside from a strange word, the simplest dictionary definition of a bosun is “a ship’s officer in charge of equipment and the crew.” The highest ranked member of a ship’s deck department, he or she is responsible for the rest of the yacht’s deck crew and all associated equipment.

Sounds simple, right? It’s anything but. There is way more to a bosun than the basic definition provided above.


There are no “standard” hours for a bosun on a yacht like Elysian. In fact, it’s unclear if the bosun ever sleeps or eats while guests are aboard. (They must, but they’ll never admit to it.)

The bosun truly plays 100 different roles, which can vary from one minute to the next. Some of the duties that a bosun performs, guests will never even know about – that’s part of the magic of being aboard.

The bosun is a teacher and a true teammate. Leading the rest of the deck crew throughout a wide variety of tasks, the bosun is constantly sharing knowledge and encouragement with those in his command. From anchoring to sitting watch to tying a particular type of knot, the bosun is a true leader for his team.

The bosun is a host (and most likely a comedian).  If you spend a lot of time in the water and on a superyacht’s deck, you’ll by default spend a lot of time with the bosun. This is a great thing, as your standard bosun is full of interesting stories and has a true zest for adventure. He’ll walk on water (perhaps in cowboy boots) to get you whatever you need, even if what you need is an inflatable swan.

The bosun is also a safety officer. From jet-skis to tubing to wakeboarding to scuba diving, yachting gives guests tons of opportunities to try new and exciting activities. However, without taking proper precautions, some of these activities have the potential to be dangerous. The bosun is always watching to ensure that everyone has fun, but most importantly stays safe.

Whether it’s organizing and executing a beach barbeque, winning cocktail competitions, radioing for more margaritas, setting up scuba gear, leading guided tours through mangroves, shammying salt-soaked railings, unloading or storing equipment, or diving to the bottom of the ocean for lost sunglasses,  the bosun never stops and never fails to go above and beyond for those onboard a yacht charter.

Elysian is truly blessed with, in our humble (completely un-biased) opinion, the best crew in the world. Our hard-working, never slacking, always smirking bosun is no exception.

What does the bosun do? The bosun does it all.

To learn more about chartering Elysian, contact Susan Harris: