The Answers You Need
WHICH COURSES DO I NEED TO DO?
Mandatory requirements for everyone are:
STCW10 and a seafarer medical
Deckhands are best served with RYA PB2, RYA PWC, VHF and a Deckhand course.
Stewardesses will are best served with the FHS level 2 and a Stewardess course.
The more qualified you are, the better, however we advise students to research the job requirements posted on crew agency websites like YOA or YOTSPOT before booking courses to see which qualifications are requested for junior crew.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO SPEND VAST SUMS OF MONEY ON COURSES IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WORK ON BOARD.
WHICH SEAFARER MEDICAL DO I NEED?
You will need a seafarer medical in order to be eligible to work on board yachts overseas. You can hold EITHER a SAMSA Seafarer medical OR an ENG-1, both are accepted as valid seafarer medicals. Please find more information on this here
CAN I FIND A JOB FROM SOUTH AFRICA?
Yes, we have helped many of our students secure jobs before leaving South Africa but there aren't any guarantees unfortunately. Many employers still prefer to hire crew who are on the ground and we are constantly receiving requests for crew in Europe and other locations. That said, we know that how to help our students promote themselves which enhances their chances of being hired from SA greatly.
WHAT DO SUPERYACHT CREW EARN?
Junior crew - Deckhands and Stewardesses typically make around Euro 2000 - 2500 per month with no additional expenses.This excludes tips which can be a substantial addition with some crew earning Euro 10.000 - 30.000 in tips during a busy season on reputable charter yachts.
WHAT DO YACHT CREW EVEN DO?
In a nutshell, we are there to make sure the 'floating hotel' operates to the highest standards possible. We have different roles depending on the department ie. Deck, Interior or Engineering, which is why certain departments require different qualifications in order to perform their jobs safely. Deckhands keep the exterior of the yacht in top shape, drive tenders, assist with all water-sports, navigate and help out wherever needed. Steward/esses manage the interior of the yacht and are involved in housekeeping, service and guest related services. Chefs also form part of the interior department and are responsible for, you guessed it, feeding guests and crew. Engineers ensure all the mechanical and electrical systems are maintained and keep the lights on and engine running.
CAN GIRLS WORK AS DECKHANDS?
Absolutely! There are many female deck crew, captains and engineers in the business and we encourage you to follow your passion regardless of the position. Some of the best deck crew are female and having qualifications that allow you to work as a deckhand, stewardess or deck/stew (on smaller yachts ) increases your chances of finding a job greatly.
If you enjoy being outdoors, driving jet skis and water sports, a deckhand position may be what you are after.
If customer service, hospitality, floristry, silver service and housekeeping is more for you, a stewardess position may suit you better.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A CREW MEMBER?
Above all, crew members need to be coachable, considerate, willing to learn and adaptable. Living in confined spaces, long hours of hard work and demanding clients make living on board challenging but if crew remember that this is a team sport, they tend to do very well.
WHAT OTHER SKILLS CAN HELP?
Almost all employers are looking for crew with 'additional' skills. These can range from yoga instructors, dive instructors, kite board instructors, lifeguards, beauticians, massage therapists, nurses, drone pilots and videographers to Michelin star chefs, nannies and teachers. Your hobby or special skill/experience may be exactly what they are looking for.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
DO YOU PROVIDE ACCOMMODATION?
No, but we are within walking distance of many hostels and air BnB's and can make a booking for you. *covid restrictions apply
IS YACHTING LIKE BELOW DECK?
It can be sometimes, but like most things with 'reality' TV, everything is dramatised. ;) You will be expected to conduct yourself professionally at all times.
WHICH VISAS DO I NEED?
You will need a Schengen visa for Europe and a B1/B2 visa for the US. Please consult www.schengenvisainfo.com for more information on how to go about applying. We do work with visa consultants that can assist with the application process for both of these, please enquire about pricing.
DO I NEED TO BE VACCINATED?
Most, if not all yachts are requiring crew to be fully vaccinated including booster shots.
HOW DO I INCREASE MY CHANCES OF FINDING A JOB?
Networking is one of the most important tools you have, so reach out to anyone you know who works on yachts and can pass your CV to a decision maker on board.
Dockwalking is one of the most sure-fire ways to secure a job as you can showcase yourself, your work ethic and competence and will also get paid for the day.
WILL I BE ABLE TO FIND A JOB?
Yes, we pride ourselves on giving our students all the tools they need to stand out from the crowd and promote themselves. We have placed countless students through YOA over the years and use the feedback we get from captains on a daily basis to make sure our students are receiving the most current and useful feedback about what employers are looking for. While we can't guarantee a job, we can guarantee that you will have a better chance than anyone else.