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Do you want to work on Superyachts? Read this first.


superyacht in portofino italy
Superyacht in Portofino

This blog is intended to be a bit of an explainer about what to consider about working on yachts and how to go about finding a job once you have completed your training.


Do your research, I can't overstate the importance of this enough. There are effectively departments on a yacht namely, Interior - steward/esses & Chefs, Deck - deck crew and Engineering. Often with varying degrees of specialisation within a department.


Look up crew agencies websites, facebook groups and the like to determine which qualifications, skillsets and attributes are being sought by employers and recruiters.


Not only will this give you an indication of what is and is not necessary, it also sets the tone for what your expectations should be with regards to salary/leave etc.

www.yotspot.com is a good place to start.


Speak to and try to network with people already in the yachting industry and ask about their experiences. You never know, they may need a crew member and you could get a job as easily as that.


 

Yachting courses - Please refer to our course packages for more information on what we offer. Consider your budget and goals. Some courses are more 'useful' than others so feel free to discuss them with us and we will give you unbiased advice on which are best for you.


Unfortunately no sailing school will be able to guarantee you a job when you finish your training. Similarly, a university can not guarantee employment after you complete your degree. Some may claim that they can in order to gain your business, but I would advise you to be cautious of these as they are not the ultimate decision makers on who is hired on a specific yacht. That responsibility lies with the captain or senior crew on board.


Yes, we are aligned with YOA yacht crew and have placed thousands of crew including our former students over the years. As much as we would love to be able to place every student, we can not guarantee it.


While you will most likely not have super yacht or yachting experience it is very helpful to showcase your other talents/skills and work history as this very often makes up for a lack of yachting history. Transferable skills such as a water sports background, service experience etc will stand you in good stead. Personal trainers, carpenters, lifeguards, yoga instructors, beauticians, masseuses, drone pilots, videographers, Kite-board instructors are just some of the skills/qualifications requested by clients. Elaborate on how your skills may benefit the employer/yacht.



You will notice that many job advertisements ask for crew with experience, appropriate visas and for crew who are located in areas convenient for the yacht. This is not uncommon; most employers prefer to hire candidates with prior experience regardless of the industry. Don't be discouraged and apply for these jobs if possible, but be realistic.

Yachting is a little different as day-work (paid work) most often serves as a job interview where candidates are vetted for their suitability. This is similar to an internship and can last for a day to a month depending on the employers' needs. It serves a few purposes, inexperienced crew gain experience while day working which they can add to their CV's while employers are able to gauge suitability in terms of work ethic, competence, personality and how well the crew member integrates with the team on board during this time.


Using the combination of crew agencies, facebook groups, Whatsapp groups, dockwalking and day-working will increase your chances dramatically.


Keep in mind that hiring an inexperienced crew member without a track record is a risk and many employers are not willing to guarantee employment and fly candidates to the yacht from their home country. Part of the reason for this is the argument we hear a lot: "Why would I fly a person half way around the world if I have 10 people standing behind the yacht ready to work right now?"

That is not to say that it is impossible to find a job from your home country, it just means that it is unlikely to happen for inexperienced crew unless you happen to have a specific skill or qualification that is hard to find.

 

You will need to consider flights, visas and accommodation when budgeting as well. Some training providers may fail to mention this during their sales pitch. I advise that you don't spend the majority of your budget on courses only to find that you don't have the finances necessary to sustain yourself overseas.


Register with crew agencies and apply for jobs while you are still in your home country. This will increase awareness about you as a candidate and is beneficial for agents and employers as you then appear 'on their radar'.


Don't get discouraged if you aren't able to apply for certain jobs or don't hear back about jobs you've applied for, it is a numbers game and the more you network and apply the more people will get to know you. Looking for and working on yachts can be a very tough experience so be prepared for that.


On a positive note, thousands of crew find work every year, have amazing experiences, create careers in the industry and are able to save huge amounts of money by working on board. Yachting is a growth industry with over 7000 superyachts to date and new boats being launched constantly. There is, and will always be a demand for great crew!


I hope this helps, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions.





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