Lesser Known Professions-Dockmaster-What Is It And How To Become One.

Being a Dockmaster at a marina is a great job for someone who loves the water and is experienced in customer service.

Does spending your working hours on the water amid mega-yachts seem like a fantasy job? Getting a tan, meeting international travelers and millionaires, being on the water all day, and all the while getting paid is the job description of a Dockmaster at a marina.

So, what does a dockmaster do, exactly? The dockmaster is essentially the ambassador of the marina. He or she is the first person a customer interacts with""either on the radio or in person as the boat is docking. The Dockmaster's main function is to make the customer's stay pleasant and safe. More specifically, he or she is in charge of maintaining the docks and the marina facilities, directing boats to the proper berths, removing hazardous material in the water surrounding the marina, and assisting and supervising dockhands that catch boat lines. The Dockmaster's job sounds like a breeze, but it is physically challenging and at times, stressful.

What could be so stressful about working on the water with beautiful boats? The stressful elements about being a Dockmaster revolve around the fact that customers paying ample amounts of money at your marina depend on you to make their visit comfortable""particularly the multi-millionaires. Owning a boat is an expensive hobby. Most owners want to see their money bring them the pleasure they envisioned when they made their purchase; if something happens to their boat at your marina or if the visit is unpleasant for some reason you, as Dockmaster, will be the first to know. Power problems, dock issues, even poor weather is often blamed on the Dockmaster. In many cases marinas are under budgeted. As a result of this the Dockmaster is stymied from making the marina a more hospitable place for the patrons. Power, cable, water, and telephone issues cannot be solved without spending money on repairs. If the owner of the marina is unwilling to take the checkbook out the Dockmaster will be the recipient of the guest's grief.



Another stressful part of the job comes with making docking decisions. Since the goal of the Dockmaster is to accommodate as many boats as possible in the marina there are times when very expensive boats must be directed to dock in close proximity to each other. As a Dockmaster you must be able to judge whether a yacht can fit in a given slip or not; if you guess wrong the consequences can be major. The ability to judge distances is therefore, essential for the Dockmaster. The ability to give confidence about your estimations to the captain is equally important. A frenzied or unsure Dockmaster will not spark confidence in a captain docking his expensive toy. Calm cool and collected are the traits a good Dockmaster must have.

The Dockmaster must be cool as a cucumber even when it is extremely hot outside. Boating business is best when the weather is hot, thus the Dockmaster is always in the heat, and always on the weekends. Performing manual tasks in stifling heat can take a considerable toll on a person's state, both physically and mentally, however, the Dockmaster must not let the conditions impair his or her decisions or ability to interact in a personable manner with customers. Just as the Dockmaster must be able to tell a captain of a forty million dollar yacht to dock within five feet of another mega-yacht without appearing nervous or uneasy, he or she must be able to go from hauling rotten logs out of the ocean in ninety-eight degree temperatures to speaking to a customer about dockage without appearing strained.

Clearly the job of Dockmaster can be challenging, however, by and large it is an envious and enjoyable occupation. Boaters, on the whole, are a fun and easygoing breed of people looking to have a good time. Dock parties, barbeques, cocktail cruises, clambakes and sunset sails are almost always part of a Dockmaster's summer.

Sound like a cool job? How does one become a Dockmaster? There is no educational requirement to become a Dockmaster, however, you must posses superior common sense skills and the ability to make informed decisions quickly. Knowledge of boats is essential, as is the ability to tie lines and knots. Working as a dockhand at a marina is an easy way of learning the trade and being an apprentice to the Dockmaster. Above all a love of the water and the ability to provide superior customer service are needed.

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