"Deckhand" typically refers to a low-ranking sailor who works on a ship and assists in its ongoing maintenance. Deckhands are often employed on commercial ships and occasionally by private ships.
The tasks of a deckhand can vary greatly depending on the type of ship and what work is necessary on a given day, and the deckhand's prior experience may also be a factor. Senior deckhands may have easier jobs, while newer ones may take on tough and dirty-cleaning work as they gain experience and move on to a higher position. Some deckhands in certain geographic areas may also be responsible for watching for pirates, as piracy is a problem particularly in Southeast Asian and African waters.
Some cruise ships hire deckhands to help passengers enjoy their mini-vacations, direct them to any particular areas or events on the ship, and address all their questions and concerns, while deckhands on a fishing boat may assist inexperienced fisherman with tasks like baiting fish or getting them into the boat.
Greases/lubricates bearings, pumps and couplings.
Operates and cleans oil filtration and centrifuge equipment.
Adjusts steam burning boiler drafts and maintains proper combustion, pressure and water levels in boilers.
Maintains appropriate levels of lubricant in all main engine and the ship service diesel generator.
Reads gauges and other indicators such as fuel oil pressure and temperature.