Advice for new crew

As the sun is slowly disappearing over the horizon and winter is fast setting in, it is a good time to work on your dream and undertake your STCW95. I have set out below some 'Advice for New Crew' which you may find interesting.

Advice for new crew entering the Super Yacht Industry:

Working on board a luxury yacht can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. This is an industry where you as crew will be serving the wealthiest people in the world. As many newcomers to the industry soon realize, it's easy to be seduced by the glamour of the setting without appreciating the incredible amount of hard work that goes into every work day.

Yes, there is a demand in the industry for crew and no, you don't necessarily need to be an experienced sailor but it is vital to have a realistic idea what you are getting into. Finding a job on a Super Yacht can be difficult although there is a very real demand for a variety of crew. There is a great deal more to getting a crew place on board a yacht besides posting off a few CV's and hoping for the best.

Decide what job you want to do. At entry level you can either get on as cook (with relevant experience and or qualifications) steward/ess or deckhand. Then you need to know what qualifications you need in order to legally do the job onboard. Next you must find out when the best time is to start looking for a job. Yachting is made up of seasons. Getting the season and time wrong can mean you end up waiting for 8 months for the right job to come along. Crew who are entry level or have a few seasons experience still need to be in a Super yacht port at the start of the appropriate season. Two major examples of where to be would be Fort Lauderdale, Florida in October / November for the start of the Caribbean Season or Antibes in the South of France in April / May for the start of the Mediterranean season.

New Zealand is not a major super yacht destination so it is more challenging for candidates to get work here than it is in busier ports. A Captain is more likely to hire an entry level stewardess or deckhand that is in the same port as their yacht, rather than to recruit new crew from the other side of the world. Placements that can be made from NZ to jobs are generally for those of experienced super yacht crew in higher ranking positions like Captain, Chief Engineer, Chef, Chief Stewardess, or First Mate.

A Guide to Creating Your Resume

In many cases your CV is the first any captain will hear of you, so it is important that this document really sells your skills and enthusiasm to the vessel. 2 Pages preferably - 3 maximum and a simple format so it is easy to email. Needs to include:

  • A head and shoulders photo of you on the front page.
  • Contact information - Phone, Email, permanent Address
  • Personal information - Full name, Age, Nationality, Passport country, Visa details (e.g. B1/B2 valid till 2007)
  • A Goal Statement - e.g." I am seeking a permanent Stewardess position on a Power or Sailing Yacht....."
  • List of Qualifications and certificates
  • Employment History - Starting with your most recent Job. List what the job was, what dates you worked there, and briefly what you did.
  • If you have any yachting experience you may want to make a separate section that is headed "Yachting Experience" That way it clearly shows what positions you have had in the industry.
  • References; Up to date with contact phone numbers and emails. List the persons name and what there relationship is to you. E.g. John Brown, CEO of last company you worked for. References are important as without them on your CV more work is created having to go back and forth to get their details.

Interviews

When you get an interview some things to remember:

  • Dress appropriately, (eg with shorts and polo) and be well groomed.
  • Be on time
  • Practice answering some questions you think they may ask you.
  • Take along copies of your CV, certificates and copies of references you may have for your interviewer to sight.

Reference Checking: examples of questions your referees may be asked

What position did this candidate hold with you?
How long was he/she with your company?
How well did they understand the duties associated with the job?
How well did they perform the duties of the job?
How were their social skills with co-workers and management?
Tell me about their appearance?
How did you find their temperament?
How was their interaction with guests/clients?
Why did the candidate leave?
Would you hire them back to work for you again?
What is their greatest strength?
What is their greatest weakness, or where do they need help?

Crew Pay

Pay varies according to a crew member's position and the style of vessel. Generally charter yachts pay less than private yachts (due to crew getting tipped) and motor yachts pay more than sailing yachts. A reasonable entry level salary is $2000USD/month. US Dollars are by far the most predominant currency used in the yachting industry.

Crew Gratuity: When working on a charter boat please remember that tips are always given at a guest's discretion and are a privilege to receive.

Going Overseas:

You will need:

  • A Resume saved onto disk or CD
  • Relevant written references that have been scanned and saved onto disk or CD. These references also need to be contactable by phone or email.
  • Menu Plans if you are a Chef. These can be either a 7 day plan or a list of dishes that you can make under headings like; Breakfast, Lunch, starters, dinner and Dessert.
  • Copies of Certificates and Qualifications. Once again have these scanned and on a disk.
  • Visas - depending on where you are heading.

Upon arriving in a Super Yacht port:

Once you get yourself to a Super yacht port at the right time of year and you are prepared with the above information you will need to do the following:

  • First of all get a cell phone so that you are always contactable put the number on your resume.
  • Visit all the Crew Agents in town - Make sure you are well presented as first impressions last - look tidy and professional. You should act like this is an interview for a job as the agent is the person who markets you to yachts.
  • Dock walk asking for Day work or if the Yacht has any positions available -once again look the part - be tidy yet ready for work - have on tidy shorts or trousers and a Polo shirt. Be polite when asking for day work as you may be talking to you next employer.
  • Remember yachting is a very small industry and word travels fast - If you work hard and do a good job people will remember and tell others - It may lead to your first job!! On the other hand if you are lazy and not really interested you will not be asked back and that reputation will also spread.

This information is to be used as a guide in helping you to secure work on a yacht. By following this it does not guarantee that you will gain a permanent position. ALL THE BEST

If you would like infomation on any available positions worldwide please email christina@37southyachts.com