U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 02-27-2008, 03:47 PM
Location: Muncie, IN
1 posts, read 25,083 times
Reputation: 17


Hi, my name is Matt Flohr. I need to make good money and I have been told there is lots of money to be made as a deckhand on Alaskan fishing vessels. I live in Indiana so I would for sure need to get a lift to the employment site. If you ARE a skipper, or if you happen to know some let me know how to get in touch with these people. Every website I look at wants to charge me money to find me a job. NOT DOING THAT! Anyhow, help me out yall, I'm really interested in this job field. Thanks, Flohr
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 02-27-2008, 03:51 PM
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,594 posts, read 33,883,103 times
Reputation: 14613
Somebody lied to you. The get rich deck hand days are long gone. You might do alright crabbing in Bristol Bay...but I doubt any skipper will just up and pay your way to Dutch Harbor from Indiana. Especially if you have no experience.
Do a search for fishing jobs etc. There are some links others have posted. And there are fishing jobs. Just don't be to freaked out when you only make 5 thousand for the season and not 25 thousand.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2008, 04:35 PM
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,740,794 times
Reputation: 1359
Rance is right on the money. If you really wanted to get into fishing it can be done but you will make little to no money the first few years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2008, 02:39 AM
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
1,280 posts, read 1,303,296 times
Reputation: 2495
I was 16 years old, still dripping wet when I came to Alaska. I moved out at that age, been here since, age 40 now. My first job was as a deck hand on a crab boat. To summarize, I think boot camp in the Marine Core would look like a walk in the park compared to what I went through out there. That being said, it was an experience of a lifetime and then some.

As for money, well, the money was bad, the food on the boat was darn good though, the experience was priceless. I went out a second season and made $17,000 in two runs, so at age 17 by then, this was a nice sum of money. I used to get an education at UAA and today I'm financially secure. So in a round about way, I did make my fortune working as a deck hand.

You won't get rich quick unless you have been going out for years and get a large share, or are the skipper. It's not easy work and it's very dangerous. You can go days with just naps here and there and really run yourself down due to the elements. If you're really up for a challenge and an experience you will never forget, then go for it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2008, 12:24 PM
Location: Alaska & Idaho
26 posts, read 93,323 times
Reputation: 31
Default Money

If your simply looking for money, contact Peak Oilfield Services. They will be hiring their summer help before long (at least in Valdez). It's hard, dirty work with long hours but the pay is pretty good when you figure in the overtime. The shifts are 12 hours a day seven days a week for the entire season but I think it comes out to be about $9,000 per month.
As far as the fishing boat thing goes - just like everyone else has said, it's probably not going to happen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2008, 01:18 PM
Location: At Sea....and Midwest....
272 posts, read 702,796 times
Reputation: 161
Please be very careful!
The work you are seeking is the most dangerous work in the world outside of combat....and perhaps even over combat too!
I did two trips up there and will never go back...I value my life too much and risking it for some rich guys king crab...or some poor guys fish mc-nuggets....well....Not doing it. NO WAY.
You might find a job on a processor....which is a horrid maritime 'equivalent' to a meat processing plant...only much worse.....
If you go up there you will spend SPEND copious amount of money on transportation...food and lodging....You will spend copious amounts of money on extra gear...and safety equipment...Oh...sure SOME places MIGHT provide you with some of the stuff mentioned above....but more likely they will not....[only the legal minimum...and often not even that...]
You had best have an absolutely IRON stomach....otherwise your going to be sick as heck...
I've been sailing for years...and never had a problem with seasickness....until I went up there....
The Gulf [of Alaska] and the Bearing Sea have some of the worst weather in the world.
There is a permanent sub-polar low pressure system that 'lives' up there and generates horrid conditions....40 foot seas is "normal"....they only get bigger from there....
This low pressure NEVER goes away...you basically NEVER see "nice" weather up there...is just stinks all the time....somewhat 'weaker' in the summer month[s] but bad for the most part all year long.
If your from Indiana...have you ever sailed on any of the lakes during a bad storm?
Well....that might give you an indication of what it is like....only it will be like that almost all of the time....
I saw guys loose fingers on a fairly regular basis....and people die up there every year....You hear the calls on the radio....too far away for us to be of much help...but you listen in on the nightmare...pray for them....and just hope it never happens to you....
Think about it real hard before you go zippin up to Alaska to go to sea....There simply HAVE to be better safer and more lucrative [in the long run] ways to make a living....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2008, 10:57 AM
Location: Sand Point Alaska
41 posts, read 158,740 times
Reputation: 91
Below is a post on this subject which I put up last year. It is applicable to your situation. Also, it was wise to not pay for a job. I've never heard of such gaining a good deck job for anyone, though maybe somewhere ....
All over the 'net, I read guys who dream of coming to Alaska and getting rich over night in commercial fishing.

Doesn't work that way. This business is in decline, employment opportunities diminish, and to be honest, not many men I've met over the years can handle it. It's very physical, requires a great deal of specialized knowledge, real courage in the face of death, strength, physical endurance, and perhaps most important, a truly stubborn "I won't quit no matter what" attitude.

This business is not for boys.

I post this because over the years, I've seen many, many fellows ( and a few gals) come here and literally go through hell for no benefit whatsoever. Some few (very few) make it in this business. Most don't.

First things first: employment in fisheries is declining, and the odds of a greenhorn getting a decent job on a decent boat are slim indeed.

Fishing Jobs Outlook: U.S. Department of Labor

"Employment of fishers and fishing vessel operators is expected to decline through the year 2014. Fishers and fishing vessel operators depend on the natural ability of fish stocks to replenish themselves through growth and reproduction, as well as on governmental regulation to promote replenishment of fisheries. Many operations are currently at or beyond the maximum sustainable yield, partially because of habitat destruction, and the number of workers who can earn an adequate income from fishing is expected to decline. Many fishers and fishing vessel operators leave the occupation because of the strenuous and hazardous nature of the job and the lack of steady, year-round income."

There's a dose of reality for ya!
Second: Here's a post I put up in another thread on this forum. Read it.

I worked the sea for nearly 24 years, am now 60, and pretty much crippled. Because of the sea. She will kill you and not even notice. She will kill everybody on the boat and not even notice. You are trying to get in to a difficult and dangerous profession, one which is not what it was.

Although some deck hands can yet make $100K or more a year, there's not so many, and these are the men and women who have put in the time. It is very rare indeed for anyone with less than ten years' experience to pull down top money. There's a LOT for a deck hand to learn, people to meet (it's a relatively small community) and attitudes to develop, before a top-tier producer will even consider hiring you. You must put in the years, and make a committment, or don't waste our time - stay home.

This is not an easy path you choose.

BTW: I live in Sand Point Alaska, in the Shumagin Islands, between Dutch and Kodiak. It's a goofy little town, and I fit right in.

First: Buy A Round Trip Ticket! We get really tired of guys so stupid that they think all they have to do is show up and get rich, because they know they'll just looove it all. "Romance of the Sea", my ass! The sea is a lying wh*re. And then, months go by, no job, no money, no way out of town. Geeze, this gets boring! It's so repititious. And so stupid. Get a round trip ticket, and guard it with your life.

Gear: Buy every bit from an established fishing supply business, such as Kachemak Gear Shed, Lummi Fisheries, Seattle Ship Supply, or equivalent.

You will need an Alaska State crewman's license.

Rain Gear - Grunden brand
Boots - Goodyear X-tra Tufs. Two pair. One to wear, one to dry.
A good, light weight sleeping bag. Several other little bags for odds and ends.
Two sets poly pro or other wicking-type long johns, shirt and lowers.
Lots and lots of WARM socks. Felt inserts for the boots.
A REALLY good duffle bag to jam it all into.
The above is just for starters.
Try to keep non-essentials to a minimum. You'll be doing a lot of walking with the damned duffel bag, and they get heavy. Stick to essentials. You can always buy useless junk later.

The Job: First, you must understand that every time we go to sea we court death. An inexperienced hand can literally kill us all, or otherwise inadvertently cause harm or financial loss. Thus, you must expect a severe testing process. Your ship mates have to know that you can be counted on when the situation becomes serious. Not freeze or panic, but get the job done. Also, if you do not perform adequately on deck, you cost everybody money. So, if you can't take a joke or a ribbing, or a little rough horseplay, how can you handle a dangerous situation? To do this job, you must be physically and mentally strong, and able to ENDURE. Otherwise, stay home. We got no use for ya.

Undertand this testing. It is vital for your ship mates to know you're reliable. And it can be tough. This whole life style can be tough.

As for getting the job, this is number one: GET A CONTRACT! It's Alaska state law, and merely prudent. As any other profession, commercial fishing has its a-holes. So protect your self, and do not accept a serious job if the skipper refuses to sign a legally binding contract covering wages, food, etc. Some of these guys will really stick it to you, so watch out! BTW: if a boat is dirty and slovenly, it's also most likely unsafe. An owner who won't even keep the boat clean almost surely neglects basic maintenance and safety issues. Thus, generally, a dirty boat is an indicator of an unsafe boat. And a clean boat is no proof of safety!

For better or worse, hanging out in bars can gain you a great deal of valuable information. Like what fishery may pay, which boats are unsafe, which skippers are real princes, which skippers are thieves, who might be hiring, etc.

As for finding the job, utilize every avaiable option. Walking the dock, the bars, friends, hearsay, bulletin boards, church groups, anything you can think of. But, eventually, you'll have to talk to some old salt who's seen 'em all and heard it all, and convince him he wants you. Don't BS him. It ALWAYS shows.

One way that works, but can take more time, is to move to a fishing town - IF you have a marketable skill. It can get tough up here in Alaska, and if a guy can't pull his weight, he ought to go back to mama. Kodiak is good; so are Sitka and Homer. Dutch Harbor I personally dislike, and if you have problems there, you're usually on your own. Also, winters in Dutch are simply awful.

And, don't forget: a ROUND TRIP ticket!

Ken Johnson
Sand Point Alaska
Bottom line: you're dreaming. The odds of a novice even getting ANY job on a boat are not good. There's a lot of experienced hands who had to give up on commercial fishing, simply because there are no longer enough jobs to go around. So why would anyone want to hire a greenhorn? Better you should try to be a Hollywood movie star.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2008, 05:27 PM
Location: At Sea....and Midwest....
272 posts, read 702,796 times
Reputation: 161
itdincor is right on! The whole environment up there is just goofy tough...
Dutch Harbor..."dutch" is...well it feels like the end of the Earth...at least it did to me...It was neat for about five minutes...the old bunkers...and all the bald eagles everywhere...but that's were it ended....I got hurt fairly seriously up there doing deck work...fell...that's right...simply FELL on slick icy decks....and the capt. looked at me and said..."so".....got work to do....fish to move....fish to catch....etc. He wouldn't take me to the clinic...so I walked there myself...a LONG way from the dock...in nasty weather...because it's always nasty....The clinic had no time...the Capt. wouldn't pay..the ship wouldn't pay... the company wouldn't pay...
They fully expected me to quit and take a flight back to the "states"...but I toughed it out....all the way back to Seattle from Dutch Harbor..straight shot.....which royally sucked....but then I DID walk away...Straight to he-L-L with that company....

Last edited by Coffee Mate; 03-02-2008 at 05:29 PM.. Reason: ......frozen fish...food for thought.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2008, 02:31 PM
Location: Cody Wyoming
7 posts, read 44,876 times
Reputation: 12
if you are looking for a deck hand job why dont you go down to the gulf of mexico get a job in the oil field. I live in Wyoming and that is ware I am right now I have been a perfesional mariner for 20 years I sail as a 2nd mate now the money is good and time off is good just dont plan on going overseas anymore and you have to put up with a lot of B.S. now with home land secutity but it is a good place to start.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2008, 02:50 PM
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 4,161,268 times
Reputation: 928
ok, I take it you really want:

1. a deckhand job
2. to make some money
3. see Alaska

my advice to you...join the Coast Guard....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top