How To Become A Yacht Crew

Getting into the yachting industry is very hard if you do not know where to start from and what do you need.

Nowadays, people are looking more and more for a suitable job that satisfies them not only financially. Often they are looking for work that could enable them to travel, explore the world or to create new interesting contacts. For a young person, finding such kind of job that offers similar capabilities may even be crucial.

Moreover, let’s face the fact that very few professions could possibly offer similar capabilities without requiring significant experience or high qualification standards. And what can we say about those so much needed recommendations from previous employers? At this point, the task really seems to be a mission impossible.

Nevertheless, we must never give up, even when the things are seemingly hopeless. On the contrary - we should never cease to look for the right solution, because we can find it in the most amazing places and positive results could sometimes be reached by the most incredible way.

You may not know, but there is an industry, that offers great opportunities for young people, who are energetic, active and do not afraid of hard works. People, which dream to travel around the world, but they do not have enough funds to implement such ambitious endeavor.

Perhaps you have already guessed that we mean the yachting industry. Even now, this industry remains enigmatic and mysterious for many people. Mysterious and enigmatic are also the ways one can find a job or to make a career without a professional maritime qualification as captain or mate, for instance.

We’ll try to summarize here the basic ways, and tips how to solve this seemingly daunting task. All our advices are based on the invaluable experience of professionals who have been working for a long time in this field and have climbed high enough up the career ladder.

Yachting Jobs and Tips

Suppose you do not have any maritime qualifications, but despite that, you want to try your luck in the industry. For a start, we recommend you to find a job as a deckhand or a stewardess. In short, the deckhand is involved in maintaining the exterior of the boat and stewardess – in the interior. Their duties mainly are related to the maintenance and cleanliness of the yacht.

If you are applying for a stewardess position, it will usually take two to three weeks to find a job. If you are “green” and you want to be a deckhand - it will take about two to three months. If you do have, maritime qualifications you can apply for the position of captain, mate or bosun, for example. The large yacht crews are numerous. There are positions as senior stewardess, mechanic, and specialists in diving, water sports, massage therapists, etc.

Offered positions always depend on the size of the boat and crew. Of course, the most important person on a boat is the captain. He must possess the necessary background experience, qualifications and expertise. Often he may also have the final word in crew selection. You have to learn very well and in advance, how the boat is functioning, and what are the positions on board, (including the relations between them).

#STEP 1 - CERTIFICATIONS

That’s right! To get certified!

For your first job on a yacht you will need necessary certificates and of course a passport. What's more - you will need a proper visa.

For example, if you are in the Mediterranean and looking for work in southern France or Italy you’ll need a Schengen visa. If you have an American passport that is not a problem – you can get just ninety-day visa. It will do because you’re not going to work on shore, but on board of the yacht, in international waters. The visa must be updated according the places, which are supposed to be visited by your yacht, and the origin of your passport matters a great deal (unless the boat owners sponsored you in particular cases).

In addition, you have to past boat safety training to get your STCW95. You must learn how to react if there is a fire on board and how to use life saving evacuation devices as life jackets, rafter and so on. This will take a week and will cost you about $ 1,000. Such courses are offered at various locations. There may also be some in your own country. Go and check first in maritime academies.

Only a certified doctor,recognized from MCA, must do the next document you need - ENG1 check, which is able to certify that you are fit for such work and have no health problems.

MCA ENG1 Sample

Further, you can get millions of various certificates and licenses. However, your first yacht job would require only these three main documents: STCW95, ENG1, and a passport stamped with necessary visas.

# STEP 2 - LOCATION

The next thing you want to do to get yourself in the major hub. Like Fort Lauderdale for example. Go where the boats are. Of course, Fort Lauderdale is the biggest hub in the world, but... Anyway, don’t forget that the Caribbean is bigger for the winter season and Mediterranean – during the summer. Antibes is the biggest yacht port in Europe. There one can find more boats and… more yacht jobs.

# STEP 3 - YACHT CV

When you got there or in a similar place, you have to build a yacht CV. You’ll need a template, which you can easily get from crew agencies or from Internet. You have to fill the form properly, explain briefly your kind of experience, what certifications have you got, add your picture and register as many agencies as you can. In Antibes, there are about forty or thirty agencies. There are also hunters specialized in crewing, that are looking for suitable employees.

It’s very important to go to the agencies and talk personally to the people there, because they will be the ones who will find a job for you. It’s not enough to register on their sites on the Internet. Personal contact is very important. They can see how you look, how you act, how you speak (proper or fluent English), what is your knowledge in the field of position you’re applying for, etc. Their personal impressions will be invaluable to you later. They can even help you to perfect your CV, seeing that you’re green in the industry. It's worth to go and talk with them for sure.

Another way to search for a job is to stroll along the docks. Dock walking could be very important. You’d better prepare several copies of your CV and stroll along the harbor where the boats are. Politely ask the owners or crew members if they have any vacancies for additional staff, temporary work, or just talk to them. Again, the personal impressions of you will matter and this will increase your chances of finding your dream job faster.

If they share with you the valuable information that they are seeking an extra stewardess or deckhands, don’t hesitate to offer your services. Try to show your best side. Be polite, friendly; demonstrate your energy, willingness to work and pleasant nature. Yes, it’s true that nobody hires novices. Being with someone at sea for months is a serious challenge and captains usually prefer people with proven experience and capabilities. Yet you have got a chance to impress an owner or captain with your own purely human qualities, nice character and professional capabilities.

Do not refuse a chance, even for a day's work. Later you may fill your CV with this new experience, and if you performed well, the captain can hire you or recommend you to other important people in the industry.

When you are going often for a walk docking, your face will become more and more familiar and popular. When your chances to find a job increased, try to be just friendly. Avoid being very persistent. Just say "Hello! Have you got any work for me?” In addition, if any offer shows up, do it willingly.

Try to tie a chat, mentioning in between, that you are looking for daily, monthly, a seasonal - literary any kind of job. Ask them whether it is convenient to, leave them your CV (later to be seen by the captain or by some of other seniors). It's more than useful to show your CV to people who are capable of hiring you someday.

#STEP 4 - SOCIAL NETWORKING AND FREE YACHTING JOB PORTALS

While you are green, try to push every opportunity, you can. Use Facebook,Linked In and other similar platforms to get new contacts and news about the industry. Be more social and try to learn more and more about this new environment from every conversation you’re involved in.

Here is a short list with a couple of free web sites where you can contact directly with all employers:

- www.daywork123.com

- www.DockJobCrew.com

- www.findacrew.net

- www.fivestarcrew.ca

If you are new to the yachting industry you need to create profile online where the employers can contact you for free. Usually the Captains are not willing to pay for yacht crew with no experience.Linked In is on of the most popular recruiting website that can help you a lot.You need to get a proper Linked In Profile For Yachties and add a nice picture like on your CV.

The best way to attract the employer's attention would be to publish a nice big picture (E-Business Card for Yacht Crew) in your post that will represent who you are and what you are looking for.

Here is a sample :

E-Business Card For Yacht Crew

And at the end… good luck! You’ll need it for sure.