Getting a deckhand job or similar on a Superyacht when you have no experience is not as easy as you may think, regardless of your qualifications.. it can be a fairly brutal time with lots of competition for jobs. Don't be too picky about the type of day work or Yacht, a bit of hard graft never hurt anyone and it will give you the ability to add 'experience' to your C.V.
Do your research before you leave home, make sure you have enough cash in the bank to support your time and learn a little Yachtie lingo so you don't immediately feel out of your depth if you were to land a job..
At the bare minimum you need:
If you're looking to become a deckhand then the following are very desirable:
If you're looking to work on a Yacht that has PWC (jetski's) onboard:
Primary Yachting Hubs
Secondary Yachting Hubs:
When? The Season in Europe generally starts in May, many Yachts will be crewing up for their season in March in order to be fully crewed in April. They will also be preparing for the season so more likely to be looking for Day-workers during March & April. Once the season is over (usually September), the Med cruising Yachts will either head west to USA / Caribbean OR will go into a shipyard period for refits and maintenance work in places like La Ciotat (France), Marseille (France), La Spezia (Italy), Astilleros de Mallorca (Spain), MB92 Barcelona (Spain), STP Shipyard Palma (Spain) and many more...
When? Though the Bahamas and Caribbean are an all year round yachting destination it is an area most frequented by Yachts during the Northern Hemispheres winter season with many Yachts spending the summer in the Med and winter in the Caribbean. Many Yachts will base themselves in Florida for essential works or to attend boat shows such as FLIBS (Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show) prior to heading to the Caribbean. This means you have options; head to Miami or Ft Lauderdale to look for work during Oct / Nov and if you haven't managed to pick up a job by December consider moving on to the Caribbean.
07:00 - 08:00 OR 16:00 - 18:00 (to find work for the next day) - these time windows mean you're less likely to interrupt a Yacht crews schedule and therefore they may have more time for a chat, to take your C.V. etc
A little bit of yacht terminology to help you on your way..
Aft - towards the back of the boat
Bridge - Where the Yacht is navigated from, the place where the Captain / Chief Officer are likely to be !
Bilge - the lowest compartment inside the Yacht
Bosun - the crew member generally in charge of the deck crew.
Bow - Front of the Boat
Cabin - a room onboard the yacht
Chase Boat - a boat that is not stored on the Yacht but will be towed by the Yacht or driven seperately
Crew Mess - a place for crew members to eat, socialise, hold briefings etc
Forward - towards the bow of the boat
Galley - The kitchen on a Yacht
Garage - an area onboard where tenders or toys (amongst other things) are stored
Lazarette - A storage space on the Yacht
Port - Left side when facing the bow
Scuppers - Drain holes on the deck
Starboard - Right side when facing the bow
Stern - The back part of the Yacht
Swim Platform - a flat space at the back of the yacht
Tender - a powerboat thats used to transport guests or crew, to carry out maintenance, act as a safety boat, pick up supplies etc