So you are thinking about making a career in Yachting?
Have you got what it takes?
To succeed in the yachting industry you will need to be a team player, self-motivated and have a passion for what you do. You will be living and working in close proximity to your colleagues, often in very busy and challenging conditions and for this reason you will need to good people skills and be able to communicate effectively and in a friendly way. A career in yachting will allow you a choice of working on deck, in the engine room or on the interior. All of these departments offer rewarding positions and these together with the necessary qualifications are better described in the individual categories below.
Visas and travel documents
Don’t leave your visas until you apply for a job. Make sure that you have the correct visas for travel in the country you attend to work before you apply for a job. If you are new to the industry and lack experience, the job is more likely to go to someone with the right passport. You may also consider getting your experience closer to home thereby avoiding the difficulty of finding work and supporting yourself in a foreign country. Yachting is an exciting industry that many people would like to be a part of and so if you put in the effort, show enthusiasm, persevere and don’t give up, you are likely to be rewarded with a fun career.
Whether you choose to join a sailing yacht or a motor yacht, it is unlikely that you will get a position onboard without undertaking your STCW95 basic training modules that will cover Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Elementary First Aid and Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities. These modules will provide you with the essentials before you work onboard a yacht and will convey the important issues of safety for crew.
So how do I get my first yachting job?
To answer this question, you will need to have some understanding of how the yachting industry works, where the yachts are berthed and what happens during the seasons. If you are not already close to one of the world’s yachting centres, you will need to decide in which country you are going to look for work and you will need to know which season to arrive there in. The yachting industry revolves around the seasons as owners and guests enjoy the warm and sunny climes around the world with the Caribbean and Mediterranean making up the largest and most popular cruising areas of the world.
The Med's yachting season will start around the beginning of April and ends in October and the Caribbean season, which is sometimes referred to as the winter season starts towards the end of November and draws to a close near the end of March with many of the yachts starting to make their way back to the Med in April.
On this Website you will see that there are hundreds of marinas around the world, but this industry centres mainly in the area around Antibes, Palma De Mallorca and Fort Lauderdale as these areas are home to most of the larger principal superyacht marinas in the world. The result of this is that a large yachting infrastructure has developed around these centres that support the yacht industry. It is important that you are neatly attired and presentable, and that you are able to make yourself available for interviews and that you are free to walk the dock at daybreak looking for jobs, so centring yourself close to these areas is the most likely way you will find work. This brings us to the subject of the dockwalk, a term used in this industry to describe the most pro-active (and often disheartening) method of searching for work. Yacht crew will generally start their day between seven thirty and eight o’clock in the morning and it is often at this time (after 8 is too late!) that a few lucky dock walkers may be given the chance to step onboard a yacht to day work on deck, in the interior or to help out in the engine room. Tasks will generally be centred on cleaning, painting and scrubbing decks and it is now that you should try your best to excel at what you have been tasked with. Often those who persevered in walking the docks and have been lucky enough to have been offered day work, may even end up with a permanent position on board, as yachts looking for deck or interior crew may employ a few day workers as a trial for potential permanent crew.
Should you have some free time during your process of walking the docks, it may be wise to register with a few crew agencies located in these yachting centres. You will find a few listed in the Business Directory on this Website. Dress smart and ensure you have a CV with a good photograph and that it contains accurate details mentioning names, address, a relevant contact numbers, whether you smoke or not, your work history, qualifications, diplomas and certifications and also mention a few references with their contact numbers.
Where to stay?
We will endeavour to list establishments providing crew accommodation as our Website progresses. Please keep a lookout in our directory under Crew Accommodation.
The links at the bottom of this page will provide you with further information on courses and the departments onboard Superyachts.