Engineers are also responsible for safety onboard and will regularly be required to maintain items such as fixed fire fighting and fire detection systems, cranes, lifts, davits and anchoring capstans and windlasses.
Working as an engineer is a challenging and often very rewarding position onboard a yacht. A typical day is likely to be varied and may have you performing maintenance on any item of machinery and in the next instant you may be attending to a satellite tracking system for communications or television. Equally you will be required to plan yard periods when the boat may be dry docked for surveys and maintenance below the waterline. You may be challenged with the management shipyard personnel and contractors who will be in attendance and involved with the planning and coordinating these busy periods.
Many of today’s yachts are fitted with state of the art equipment and one of the rewarding aspects of being an engineer on these boats is that you will often be working closely with the manufacturers in setup, operation and maintenance with many items of equipment having direct computer links to shore side companies. This allows remote access for monitoring, programming and to rectify faults and it is often at the forefront of technology, creating yet another interesting and challenging facet if engineering.
You may also be considering joining a sailing yacht as an engineer. Sailing yachts offer an engineering challenge where you will be expected to work in very confined spaces and in addition to generators and propulsion machinery, desalination plants, electrics and electronics, you will also have the mast and rigging to look after that may comprise of an array of complex hydraulics, captive winches, sail furling systems and rigging to keep you on your toes 24/7. Very often you will be the sole engineer on a sailing yacht and having a strong sailing background may be a prerequisite to filling the role onboard.