10 tips from the pros on how to get Superyacht CREW JOBS
Essential things to know to get your first crew position ABOARD A SUPERYACHT.
Super Yachts are built to last and every year more are added to the fleet. Yachts from 20 to 60 meters in length are numerous, and yachts 80 meters and larger are becoming more common. If all of the yachts now under construction were lined up bow to stern, they would stretch for a distance of 14 miles! All of these yachts will need professional crew as soon as they are launched. Meanwhile, Captains on the thousands of existing superyachts are often looking for replacement or supplimentary crew.
Old or new, superyachts must be maintained and operated in top condition. Changes in insurance policies and international and national maritime laws make it mandatory for professional crew members to be fully qualified for their positions. If you have the appropriate attitude and ability to operate and maintain these luxury vessels you can be assured of rapid placement.
Depending upon the size of the yacht, the most common crew positions are:
- First / Chief Officer
- Mate / Bosun
- Chief Engineer / 2nd Engineer
- Chief Steward/ess / Purser
- Junior Steward/ess
- Sous Chef / Crew Cook / Cook-Stew
Certified people get the Jobs.
Decide what your long-term goals are and start your training course at the Superyacht Crew Academy as soon as possible. Student training will put you in touch with professionals who can assist you with first hand information about getting your first crew position.
Professional qualifications are invaluable in the superyacht industry. By enrolling in superyacht training courses you make a clear statement to captains about your seriousness and motivation. A new-to-industry crew member with an IYT certificate is a step ahead of all other inexperienced applicants and even many who have had former crew positions but lack the certification and an STCW 95+10 safety certificate is required for all crew members.
IYT certificates are the most widely recognized commercial global certifications by the major yacht registries and governments
STCW stands for: Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. STCW 95 standards were set up by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which has the force of law in all 154 signatory countries. Most yachts require all of their crew to be STCW certified, especially yachts that charter.
A crew member must attend a set of 5 basic courses that cover:
- Personal Survival
- Fire Fighting
- First Aid & CPR
- Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
Prepare a Resume/CV. Your Resume will “sell” your abilities to potential captains. Superyacht Crew Academy courses include a component on how to write a resume for a particular crew position. Just ask and we can give you a template for a superyacht crew resume.
Register with crew agencies. There is usually no fee to register or for placement. Employers are responsible for paying a placement fee once they have hired a crew.
Interview - Once you have registered and submitted all of your information you may be contacted by the crew agencies to sit for a personal interview.
Check In - Most crew agencies require a weekly “check-in” from crew members in order to keep your file active. They also require a “CHECK OUT”. This means that if you have secured employment through another source, you must contact the crew agency to advise your status. Crew agencies are very important to you so it is always in your best interest to keep your agents informed of your ongoing job search and successful job placements.
Scroll down for more information and links to Crew Placement Agencies
A professional appearance and demeanor are prime requirements for success in the Superyacht Industry. Whether interviewing, dock-walking or day-working, always dress, look and act like a professional.
Talk to people, walk the docks, check out websites and online forums, make friends, gather information and keep track of who you meet. Be proactive and positive in your approach. Sign up for superyacht blogs and forums.
Set up a Google+ personal page. Where Facebook is for socializing with friends, Google+ is for promoting your professional self. Google+ is like an online, always developing Resume/CV. Include a link on your emails so captains and yacht crew registries can quicky check out what you have been doing and your professional skills. Follow the Superyacht Crew Academy Google+ page to keep up to date with the latest Superyacht news and chat with Instructors, experienced crew members and get their opinions and advice!!
Be careful what you put on social sites - like Facebook and Google+ - Never reveal confidential information about yachts, crew or owners and always consider what a prospective Captain might think looking at the posts and photos on your site. In other words, Network but STAY PROFESSIONAL on line.
Captains give preference to crew members with useful skills
For someone new to the industry, there are many ways to enhance your appeal to yacht owners and Captains. Depending on the position you are applying for, there are a variety of skills that can give you an edge over the competition, such as:
- Emergency medical training
- Cooking (not necessarily gourmet, just a love of cooking, preparing simple dishes, and being familiar with a kitchen)
- Nanny / Baby sitting
- Formal service training / Silver Service / White Glove
- Carpentry / Woodworking
- Painting - especially varnishing and woodwork upkeep.
- Diving / Water sports
- Professional level Sport Fishing.
- Experience in a Hotel, Resort, Cruise Ship, Restaurant or Estate
- Masseuse / Esthetician license
- Helicopter pilot
Superyacht crew wages.
Many variables are taken into consideration when determining the salary for each position, such as:
- Your work experience
- Training, licenses and certificates
- Size of the boat
- Job description (the yacht may actually employ you for more than one position)
- Whether the vessel is for Private or Charter use - or both.
- Benefits and perks offered by the employer (Insurance, Vacation)
- Full time or Temporary employment
- Individual program of the vessel and owner’s budget
Have a look at the crew salary guide
(most positions will be tax free depending on your citizenship).
Be prepared to make a solid commitment. Longevity looks great to potential employers. But before accepting a long-term crew position meet the whole crew and be sure there are no major personality conflicts with other crew members. Some very important things to remember when you step aboard are:
- It’s not a vacation
- It’s not easy
- expect long hours and night shifts
- crew quarters may be small and cramped.
- polite, professional, proactive, and a positive mental attitude is required at all times- you can never loose your temper aboard a superyacht.
- you will be away from home for long periods.
- gossiping is strictly forbidden; owners and their guests value privacy and security. You may not tell others, or put online, anything at all about the owner, guests or the vessel's itinerary.
- you may discover personality conflicts with one or more crew members and will need to resolve these issues through the Captain.
- If you can't resolve an issue through the command, ignore it until the end of your contract, then find another yacht.
Captains want crew with staying power. Take longer contracts whenever possible and avoid leaving early.
Working on a superyacht is considered full time employment unless otherwise stated. Most boats either work on a seasonal, temporary fill-in or permanent basis:
- Seasonal is usually about 3-6 months
- Temporary / Freelance may be for any length of time, normally filling in for crew on vacation, helping with charters, etc.
- Permanent is usually a commitment of at least one year. Owners and Captains make every attempt to avoid having a high crew turnover and therefore look for crew willing to make this obligation.
- Day work refers to work that is done on a daily basis (paid daily), usually in between jobs or to gain experience in the industry.
Not every superyacht will be the "right boat" for a crew member. Owner, captain, and crew personalities will differ from one yacht to another and finding a yacht where you "fit" may not happen immediately. Yacht schedules, charter or private, cruising grounds, and many other factors are important considerations. Finding the perfect position on a superyacht can sometimes be a long process or you might be fortunate enough to find the "right boat" quickly.
During the interview process, be completely honest. If the captain is looking for a person with a gung-ho sporting stlye crew member and you don't fit, you'll end up regretting not being truthful and hurting your chances of future employment. If possible, meet the other crew members before accepting a position.
Captain and Mate positions are usually long term and all year round. Captains who get along well with an owner often remain working for the same owner for many years. If an owner sells a superyacht, he may decide to keep his entire crew for a new yacht. Meanwhile the new owner of the old yacht will be looking for a new Captain, mate and crew.
Jobs can come up at any time and in any part of the world. There are cruising seasons that move, seasonally, around the world. New crem members try to be available in the correct location at the start and finish of these seasons.
Most agencies and employers refer to a particular season in yachting. Each part of the year will be a prime yachting season somewhere in the world. There are several yachting hubs where prospective crew will base themselves in order to be available for upcoming positions during the prime season.
The prime cruising season in Europe is from June to September. Antibes (France) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain) are two yachting Mecca’s for job-seeking crew members. Many yachts spend their summers in the Mediterranean operating charters or cruising privately. During these months, many additional crew will be hired to help out while yachts are on charter.
Ft. Lauderdale (USA) is the yachting hub for yacht crew, especially for beginners. Superyachts typically come to Ft. Lauderdale for repairs, yard work and crewing once they have returned from trips to the Mediterranean, East coast of the USA and the Caribbean. They often depart in early winter and early spring for cruises.
The Caribbean (Antigua, St. Maarten, etc.) is active all year round, but the busiest season will be from October to March when many superyachts move south to warmer climates. However, most US based yachts pick up their crew in Florida or their home port before they leave.
During May to September many superyachts leave Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean to head to the northeast coast of the United States. Newport, Rhode Island (USA) is a very popular spot, especially for sailboats and race crew. You will find a great deal of yachting activity in and around this area, all the way down to New York and the islands located off it.
Australia and New Zealand
Superyacht leave the Pacific island before the cyclone season and spend the austral summer months - November- May - in Sydney or Brisbane Australia or Auckland New Zealand.
Register with the Yacht Crew Placement Agencies
The SuperYacht Crew Academy is primarily a professional International Yacht Training centre but does assist graduates in crew placement on Super Yachts by:
- Coaching students on CV preparation, and job interviews;
- Networking with international Crew Placement services and
- Direct referrals to captains and owners of megayachts.
As a graduate of our professional International Yacht Training, you will be expected to register yourself on one or more of the crew placement services and provide these services with your CV and training credentials. The SuperYacht Crew Academy will assist with advice and authentication of your credentials.
Super Yacht Crew Placement Services
Major Yacht Services is a Sydney Based Superyacht Service provider. They provide a complete range of services to Superyachts arriving in Sydney and Brisbane, including crew placement. They do not charge for registering job applicants and will assist with CV preparation if needed. Check out their site for a current listing of superyacht job vacant positions.
YPI Crew is a yacht crew agency in Antibes with years of experience matching crew with yachts within the yachting industry, not just in the Mediterranean but worldwide. Recruiters are professional, conscientious and adept in finding the perfect solution for both parties.
Superior Yacht Crew is a boutique international Superyacht crew agency specialising in placing international, professional, experienced as well as new crew onto high profile Superyachts throughout the world. Their team has extensive experience in the Superyacht industry having worked for the most prestigious owners and celebrities.
JF Recruiting a yacht crew C.V database with No Agency Commission, a free crew search facility and a 15-day guaranty. Free for crew to register.
For full details, click here.
Elite Crew International is a very special Crew Placement Agency, placing experienced and qualified Crewmembers onboard Mega Yachts Worldwide since 1998. We have an original hands-on approach to the yachting community which is why we now service more Yachts & Crew than any other Crew Placement Agency. In 2012 we became Yachting's first Crew Placement Agency to become MLC 2006 Certified. We are continuously striving to improve our ability to offer the highest quality of personalized service. Part of our continued success is due to our highly experienced team and loyal following of Captains and Crew. You'll find our head office located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and our European office in Marina Port Vell, Barcelona. Come visit us to see why we're a "leader in the field"!
An international yacht crew placement agency providing captains and crew for the maintenance and operation of sail and motor yachts worldwide. Based in Canada. For information on what they have available click here.
Established in 1988 as Worldwide Yachting Services , The Crew Network has been providing crew to the yachting industry for over a decade. With offices in Auckland, Ft. Lauderdale, Newport, Manila, Antibes, and Palma de Mallorca, The Crew Network has a great track record in placing crew on Super Yachts. For more information on The Crew Network, click here
A sophisticated online crew placement website with news feeds on superyacht positions plus google maps showing where to find dockwalking marinas, crew houses, crew agents, and more.
Dovaston is one of the world's top yacht crew recruitment agencies. We recruit professional qualified and experienced crew for luxury yacht, superyacht, megayacht, private yacht and charters. Visit our website for detailed information.
SuperCrew Recruitment Agency is located in Sydney, Australia and works closely with Superyacht Crew Academy.