How do i get a job on a superyacht?


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.. 

What qualifications do you need to work as a Deckhand on a Superyacht?

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: 

Helpful qualifications: 

Professional

Image ©Liquid Yachtwear
Image ©Liquid Yachtwear
  • The Yachting industry has 'a look' whether you're out dock walking, heading to an interview or doing some day work 'dress appropriately'. A fairly 'standard' look is deck shoes, polo shirt & shorts (don't forget to iron them!) and take a spare t-shirt / shorts incase you end up with some day work that involves 'grubby' work. 
  • If you have piercing outside of your ears (consider take them out whilst you're looking for a job) and tattoos though now more widely accepted are worth covering up if you can. 
  • When Dock walking (or actually all the time) use your manners & be polite the crew already working on the Yacht are incredibly busy and generally pushed up against a tight schedule so don't be put off if you are immediately rejected, it is not personal ! 
  • Remember: Don't publicise Yachts or reveal information about owners, crew etc 

Other skills

  • Engineer
  • Mechanic
  • Woodwork / Carpenter
  • Qualified Diver
  • Watersports skills / Qualifications i.e. kitesurfing, paddle boarding, sailing etc
  • GRP repairs

Networking & Industry Knowledge

  • Facebook Crew Forums and jobs pages - don't forget to amend your Facebook page BEFORE you post anything on a crew forum as people will check out your account.. inappropriate images thought funny to your friends at home will not be appreciated by a Chief officer or Captain checking out your profile.. 
  • The Crew Report: www.thecrewreport.com 
  • Dockwalk: www.dockwalk.com 
  • Consider moving to a Yachting hub.. meeting Yachties, networking is the best way to learn more about the industry, gives you a better chance of hearing about day work or a job and will put you in the right location for a potential job. If you do this, consider getting a local mobile number.. 

Prepare your C.V. before you leave home

  • Prepare your C.V. before you leave home, print a few copies off and put a copy on a Cloud server to access when you're away. Try to make it unique & interesting and include a photo (as much as this would not be required in almost any other line of work it definitely still seems to be an essential in the Yachting industry..)
  • Consider making up business cards with your name, contact details and USP's. If you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun) include a QR code that directly links to your C.V. or a short intro video C.V. 

Where are the Superyacht Hubs?

Primary Yachting Hubs

  • USA - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • USA - Rhode Island, Newport
  • France - Antibes
  • Spain - Palma de Mallorca

Secondary Yachting Hubs: 

  • Italy - Viareggio
  • France - La Ciotat 
  • Spain - Barcelona

Other Considerations: 

  • Italy - Genoa
  • Caribbean - St Maarten
  • UAE - Dubai 

When should I look for a job on a Superyacht?

Europe:

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... 

Caribbean:

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. 

What's the best time of day to dock walk / look for work?

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 

Superyacht Lingo:

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


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