How to get your first yacht job
Tips on how to get your first job on a Superyacht.
Of course getting your qualifications is one thing, but what to do next?
1 - Dockwalking. An oldie but a goodie. There's been a lot of talk about the pro's and con's of dockwalking but most captains and heads of departments I speak to agree that it's their favourite way to trial potential crew. There are no commitments on either side but both parties have the benefit of being able to 'test' out if they're a good fit for each other. *Please don't forget that daywork is a job interview..only the dayworker doesn't know it in most cases. I've always preferred to hire a dayworker over someone that's unknown because you can tell so much about a person in a short period of time if you know what to look for.
Do they arrive on time?
Are they well presented and well spoken? Manners matter!
Do they know about Yachting etiquette and most importantly
Do they know how to do the job - Deck crew will in most cases be doing basic cleaning, polishing, teak maintenance and washing but don't be surprised if you're expected to clean a bilge or scrub a waterline. On the stew side, it can be anything from a dust-vac to re-stocking and organising crew messes, inventories, polishing silverware or helping in the laundry.
2 - Networking - Sometimes dockwalking isn't an option in which case I always suggest networking as much as possible. Insta, Facebook groups , Linkedin, Crew Agencies, all have their place, and used wisely can lead to a job quickly provided you promote yourself intelligently. What do I mean? Well let's just say that posting a nice picture of yourself saying how keen you are to start work on boats on the yachtie groups only to then to troll people in the comments section isn't very wise. Crew agents, captains, heads of departments etc are also on these groups so be aware about what you post/share/tag.
If you have friends already in the industry, they should be your first port of call but be aware. When we vouch for someone it's our neck that we are putting on the line so it's a big compliment if someone is willing to go to bat for you. Don't let them down.
The first thing they're likely to ask you for is your CV so please make sure it's up to scratch so they don't look bad when handing it to their superior. Take the time to get a nice picture taken. * We don't care if there are boats in the background, we care if the person in the picture looks like someone we could live with. And please, please please, make sure that your CV is current and your location and availability is accurate, I can't tell you how many crew I contact about jobs who have old and outdated CV's (this goes for senior crew as well).
I hope this helps, there's more where that came from.
Good luck out there!