Harbor Deckhand (Cincinnati, OH)


General Responsibilities:

The Harbor Deckhand is responsible for the safe, efficient, reliable, and environmentally compliant operation of assigned area. The primary function of the Deckhand is to build and break tow. Other key job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Harbor Deckhand must be able to perform vessel maintenance to include cleaning, scraping, painting, changing all oil and filter, and cooking.
  • The Harbor Deckhand must be able to inspect, correct if possible, and notify the Captain of any conditions, which will affect the safety of the tow or tug.
  • The Harbor Deckhand must be able to assist with the training of newly hired employees.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to handle lines and rigging during tow building, locking, and docking activities.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to work in a rotation watch schedule, involving 6 hours on and 6 hours off, or 12 hour straight shift, and be able to occasionally work additional hours not to exceed twelve consecutive hours without rest.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to work on the boat with a work schedule of 7 days on 2 days off, 7 days on, 5 days off, 28 days on, 14 days off, or 30 days on, 30 days off.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to perform all duties while wearing protective equipment to include PVC foul weather gear, life jacket, gloves and boots.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to drive to and from work and/or hub cities.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to perform all duties necessary to navigate locks.
  • Harbor Deckhand must be able to adhere to and comply with company policies, US Coast Guard, and environmental regulations.

Learning and Training Requirements:

Employee must be able to:

1. Assist in training new personnel

2. Comprehend essential information related to:

  • Spill containment and cleanup
  • MSDS sheets and emergency action information
  • Video training information addressing safety
  • Safety meetings

Safety/Rescue Requirements:

Employee must be able to:

1. Ensure safe, working conditions and orderliness of the vessel.

2. Maintain safe, sanitary living and working conditions.

3. Follow all company safety rules and environmental regulations.

4. Wear safety equipment as required, including: gloves, steel toe boots, goggles, rubber boots, slicker suits, or respirator (if required).

5. Assist in safety and rescue operations in emergency situations.

6. Assist in emergency firefighting, use firefighting equipment and spill containment equipment.

7. Enter and exit hatches/ doorways quickly in case of emergencies.

8. Physically pull or assist in pulling a 200 – 300 lb. man from the water.

Minimum Job Qualifications:

Employee must be able to:

1. Tolerate long hours.

2. Read and write.

3. Communicate with co-workers, Captains, Pilots, Wheelman, Dispatchers, Port Engineers, Coast Guard Inspectors, and others.

4. Remain calm during challenging situations.

5. Possess a valid driver’s license for operation of any of the company’s vehicles.

6. Make good decisions.

7. Be dependable, conscientious, and show initiative.

8. Pay attention to detail.

9. Be willing to adhere to orders, rules, and regulations.

10. Work as a team player – i.e., work with others and understand customer/supplier wants and needs.

11. Be stable under pressure and withstand the stress associated with the job, including discomfort, unpredictable weather, and potentially hazardous situations.

12. Work aboard the vessel for prolonged periods according to work schedule for the vessel: 7 days on 7 days off, 14 days on 7 days off, or 28 days on, 14 days off.

13. Willing to work as operations require.

14. Living in close quarters for long periods of time and is able to work away from home for long periods of time.

15. Be drug and alcohol free while on company property during course and scope of company business.

16. Be physically fit to perform all essential demands of this job safely.

Minimum Physical Demand Requirements for Safe Job Performance:

Representative of the essential job functions that must be met by an employee to successfully and safely perform the essential duties of this job. Although specific components of job demands are listed in detail in this document, the following is a synopsis of key physical demand requirements determined from a detailed job analysis:

1. Communication: Employee must be able to write and read in English, calculate, have estimation skills, possess good verbal presentation and be able to communicate using the radio, speaker, or electronic communication by using the English language.

2. Posture/Flexibility: Employee must be able to tolerate repetitive and prolonged postures involving standing, sitting, twisting, squatting, kneeling, stooping and reaching to full range from above the head to the deck. Employee must have the ability to move extremities and spine through full physiological range of motion that will permit the employee to work in a variety of postures involving postures allowing reaching with hands from deck level to overhead level. Flexing and twisting of the trunk and other awkward postures are frequently required while tying up vessels, moving rope or cable and repairing equipment as needed.

3. Flexibility: Employee must have sufficient flexibility of the extremities and trunk and be able to safely bend the trunk at the waist, stretch, squat, kneel, stoop, crouch, and reach to full range from above the head to the deck. Must be able to extend both arms fully, throughout a normal range of motion both in a horizontal and vertical plane. An essential part of a Deckhand’s job is to handle lines to include throwing and catching lines. Good Flexibility of the shoulders, arms, trunk and legs are also required in order to perform engine room maintenance responsibilities, which includes reaching over one’s head.

4. Dexterity: Employee must have good dexterity and frequently use one and two hands throughout the work period for grasping, and gingering to perform such activities as using various types of hand tools, tying lines, and tightening nuts and bolts (singly and simultaneously with other hand), often while applying high forces.

5. Balance/ Coordination: Employee must have good balance and coordination in order to safely walk over catwalks, enter/ exit hatches, and over uneven and/or slippery surfaces. Must be able to climb ladders, stairwells and push knees. Employee must be able to step with a step length of 2-ft. in the horizontal direction and 2-ft. in the vertical direction. Different docks, owned by individuals other than McNational, Inc. have various combinations of barge drafts and river stages which make it necessary to step across, up, down, or over an obstacle in order to gain access to the dock from the barge or from the boat to the dock. Must be able to safely walk and carry tools and line while crossing pipes, ledges, sills, catwalks, and/or climbing ladders and push knees.

6. Cardio Respiratory Demand: Employee must have sufficient cardio respiratory fitness to walk 3-4 miles per day. A vessel generally has a tow that is 600 to 1100 ft. in length. A Deckhand may be required to walk the length of the tow and back in order to check the condition of the barges and rigging. A Deckhand must have sufficient cardio respiratory fitness to perform heavy physical labor involving lifting, carrying pushing and pulling various materials and tools, climbing ladders, stairwells, and push knees while working in inclement weather with temperatures that may vary from extreme cold to extreme hot. Must be able to work in hot weather while wearing required PPE (i.e. life preserver, rain coat, goggles, etc.) while performing any job task. Good cardio respiratory fitness is required for repetitive lifting and carrying hoses from one vessel to another. Employee will be subjected to significant cardio respiratory demands when carrying wires and other materials while climbing stairs or push knees. As a safety precaution, deckhands must have sufficient pulmonary function to be able to pass a pulmonary function test of at least 85%.

7. Material Handling – Minimum Essential Demands: Employee must be able to demonstrate that he/she has sufficient strength, flexibility, and cardio respiratory fitness to perform the following material handling tasks in order to meet the minimum essential material handling demands of the job:

  • Lift at least 80 lbs. from floor to knuckles on level on a daily basis.
  • Lift at least 80 lbs. from floor to waist level on a daily basis.
  • Lift at least 65 lbs. from floor to shoulder level on a daily basis.
  • Lift at least 25 lbs. from floor to crown level on a daily basis.
  • Lift and carry at least 65 lbs. with two hands at shoulder level up and down ten steps for a minimum distance of 20 feet on a level surface.
  • Lift and carry at least 80 lbs with two hands at waist level for a minimum distance of 20 feet on a level surface.

Frequency of material handling will vary considerably depending on operational conditions. The physical demands for certain jobs may actually exceed those listed above in certain situations. However, the employee is expected to seek assistance if material handling requirements exceed those listed above or if the job demand cannot be performed safely.

Climbing: The Deckhand must be able to climb a 90-degree vertical ladder forty to fifty feet. This is necessary as different docks have various means by which to gain access to the barges that are docked at their facilities. This is especially true when the river stages are at a low stage.

Grip Forces: The Deckhand must have a minimum grip force of sixty pounds (60 lbs.)

Hearing: The Deckhand must possess hearing abilities that are sufficient to meet the requirements for obtaining a Merchant Mariners Document.

Speech: The Deckhand must be able to verbally communicate in the English language both in delivery and the ability to be understood. The deckhand must be able to use hand held radios to communicate with the barges and/or boats.

Reading: The Deckhand must be able to read the written English language.

Writing: The Deckhand must be able to write legibly in English.

Smell: The Deckhand must have a sense of smell sufficient enough to be able to detect the presence of potentially dangerous chemical vapors.

Vision: The Deckhand must have color vision eyesight sufficient to pass the Ishihara eye test as required to obtain a Merchant Mariners Document. This requires an uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in each eye correctable to 20/40 in each eye.

Environmental Requirements: (Include, but not limited to)

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that the employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Deckhands must be able to endure a harsh environment affected by extremes in temperature, rain, ice, sleet, wind, and wave action.

Airborne Contaminants & Chemicals in Work Environment:(Include, but not limited to)

Dust, diesel, gasoline, solvent, lubricant, fumes, vapors, gases, particulates, chemical toxins.


Reasonable accommodation or disability assistance in submitting applications, please email jobline@mcginnisinc.com

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From $19.00 per hour


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Referral program
  • Vision insurance


  • Day shift
  • Overtime

People with a criminal record are encouraged to apply

Application Question(s):

  • What is the best way for us to reach you?
  • Do you live within 60 miles of Cincinnati, OH?


  • High school or equivalent (Preferred)


  • Deckhand: 1 year (Required)
  • Harbor: 1 year (Preferred)


  • Driver's License (Preferred)

Shift availability:

  • Day Shift (Required)

Willingness to travel:

  • 25% (Preferred)

Work Location: In person

To learn more and apply click here.