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Alaska Tender Boat Jobs

During the season it is often impractical for fishing boats to unload at shoreside processors because of the distance separating the processing plants from the fishing grounds. Tender boats fill the gap. Usually between 50 and 130 feet in length, these boats go to the fishing grounds, buy fish from different boats, and resupply the fishermen with food, fuel, and supplies.

Four people usually work aboard a tender - a skipper, an engineer, a cook, and a deckhand.

Working conditions and hours are generally very good, consisting of only a few hours of real work a day. Pay is either set in advance or is based on a percentage of the fish handled. Typically, pay works out to be between $75 and $140 per day for tender boat deckhands.

Working aboard a tender is great for those considering working aboard a fishing vessel, in part because tenders service dozens of boats, and afford countless opportunities to meet skippers. Tender boat deckhand positions are sometimes difficult to find, but those who arrive in Alaska before the season begins have the most success. Another option is to get hired before the season through an onshore processing company's corporate office.