How To Get A Job On A Superyacht!
How would you like to travel the world with no expenses while getting paid to do so? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s not!
Most people have heard about working for a cruise line, however, not many people know they can skip the crowded cruise ships and work on a Superyacht for the rich and famous.
It was actually unheard of until the show below deck became popular.
Now more and more people are trying to fulfill their traveling dreams by getting a job on a Superyacht. But with more people applying for jobs each year, it is getting harder and harder to break into the industry. So here are my tips and tricks for securing your dream job on a Superyacht.
What is a Superyacht?
Let’s first talk about what a Superyacht is; a superyacht is defined as a professionally crewed vessel that is larger than 24 meters and up to 180 meters. These boats are owned privately, although the owners of the boats can charter or rent them out.
With price tags starting at around $100,000 per week to charter. Now, this is just to rent the boat, this does not include fuel, dockage, food, and any extra fees that you might encounter during the week.
Now image you are working on a Superyacht and someone charters the boat for a week where they are paying $100,000 + to rent the boat. Standard but not required tip to leave is 20%, this is then divided by the crew evenly.
That is a pretty big tip and this is just one reason working on Superyachts or Megayachts is superior than working on a cruise line.
What you need to know before you start working on a Superyacht
Before you start your career in yachting you’ll need to get your STCW 95 and your ENG 1. The STCW 95 is a one-week basic training course that costs around $1000-$1500 depending on where you take it. To find a location near you go to the STCW 95 course.
This course covers basic fire fighting training, first aid, and sea survival. You will be in charge of a multi-million dollar, even billion dollar yacht, they want to make sure you are wise and capable of taking care of it.
You will also need to get your ENG 1 before you can begin working on a yacht. It is a simple health exam to ensure you are physically fit and is entirely for safety reasons. You can’t be out at sea and have health issues that might require emergency evacuation.
It is normally a good idea to get your ENG 1 while you are taking your STCW 95 course. There are only a handful of doctors that are permitted to assign you an exam, and they tend to work from where the yachts are based and the exam will be in high demand.
The ENG 1 is usually around $100 – $150, it only takes about 15 minutes, but you cannot work on the yachts unless you have it.
For anyone interested in working for the deck department, it is a disadvantage if you are color blind. If you are only wanting to do yachting for a year or two, this won’t be a problem. But, if you are wanting to make this a career and work your way up to captain then you will not be able to do so.
You will be in the wheel-house at night and doing watches so you’ll need to know the difference between red and green lights.
Also, be aware that yachting is a very old school industry and having visible tattoos might hurt your chances at getting a job.
Top 11 Ways To Ensure You Get A Job On A Superyacht
1. Make a Kick-Ass CV
With more and more people joining the yachting industry, you have to make yourself stand out for an entry-level position. A Standard CV in the yachting industry includes a professional photo of yourself (Be sure to wear a white polo shirt), nationality, date of birth, smoker/nonsmoker, tattoos, and previous work experience. Also include hobbies, places you’ve lived, accomplishments, and what you do for fun.
You never know what will get you hired, it could be that time you climbed Kilimanjaro! If the first mate that is hiring has also done this, he will most likely put you in front of the line and call you first. If you pass the phone interview and get along well with the crew, you will most likely get the job.
Dockwalking is like cold calling but in person. You have to get used to rejection in yachting, you might not be the right fit for one yacht but you will be the perfect fit for another.
DON’T take rejection personally and DON’T give-up. One of the best ways to get a job in yachting is by dockwalking, talking to the crew, and asking if they have any daywork. After your daywork, you never know what might turn into a full-time job.
For a full guide, check out my blog on The Guide to Dockwalking
3. Yachting Facebook Groups
Facebook is great these days for their group forums. Jobs are constantly being posted in Facebook groups so join as many as possible. They are also great for keeping up-to-date with topics that are going on in the industry.
Be sure to focus on groups for the area you are based in. If you are in Fort Lauderdale, it doesn’t make sense to join a crew Facebook group based in Antibes, boats want local crew. If you are new to the industry, no one is going to fly you out to the boat.
Be aware of what you post in these groups, greenies are constantly ridiculed for foolish posts and stupid questions. But if you are clever enough to post a creative or funny posting looking for work, it might even land you a job : )
This is a great website for crew seeking work in South Florida, they are constantly posting jobs and daywork. You can upload your CV and apply for jobs that are posted here.
If you post your CV on this website be awake and ready to work by 8am. You can get a phone call at any time and they likely want you to start work right away.
They say the early bird catches the worm, in yachting it’s all about who can show up ready to work first.
However, I only recommend this website if you are legal to work in the US. Immigration has been known to look for illegal workers here, and sometimes even set up traps. The last thing you want to happen is to get caught looking for work before your career even starts.
5. Drop off your CV at local Yachting Spots
If you want to get a job on a Superyacht, it is best to go where the superyachts are based: South Florida, Antibes or even Palma. Like I said before, if you don’t have the experience, no one is going to fly you to the boat.
Wherever yachts are based, there are local yachting bars or uniform shops that are great for green crew to leave their CV’s behind. Boat crews go there often when they are looking to hire.
If you are in Fort Lauderdale you can drop your CV off at Smallwoods, a crew uniform shop. If you are in Antibes then you can post them in the Blue Lady, a local yachting bar.
Put a copy of your CV or business card in these types of places. Be sure to keep an eye on it, go in and move it to the front of the line if you are still looking for work. It’s all about being at the front of the line if you want to get a job.
6. NETWORK with Superyacht Crew
I can’t tell you how important this one is, network, network, network…. You need to be social and likeable to make it in yachting. Not only are you going to be working with the same people every day, but you also live with them. They become your family away from family and you have to see them and get along 24/7.
If you are a person that likes your personal space, yachting is most likely not for you.
You might be traveling the world with the same 7 people for the next 2 years, you need to get along. So network, and talk to everyone you meet or pass by because you never know where your first job will come from.
It could be as simple as talking to someone in line at the grocery store. Or letting someone cut in front of you at a crowded bar that helps land you your first job.
7. APPLY, APPLY, APPLY
You are not going to get a job on a Superyacht unless you keep applying and sending out your CV. On average you should be sending your CV out at least 20 times a day.
Most likely you might only hear back from one or two of the boats, sometimes none. But you can’t give up. You might not be the right fit for 100 yachts, but you will be the perfect match for one. You just have to keep on applying until you land your first job.
8. Triton/ Social Superyacht Events
This comes back to networking. You have to get involved in the yachting community and go to local events in your area if you ever want to get a job. Triton holds some great events frequently, so it’s a good idea to check them out and see what’s going on in your area.
Networking is key if you ever want to get a job. Talk to captains, add people on Facebook and most importantly be friendly and social. No one wants to hire an unfriendly crew member that isn’t social.
9. Airdrop Your CV or Business Cards
Ok, I had never made business cards, but they are truly effective. Nothing is worse than being caught without your CV when someone is looking to hire and you are the perfect fit. Always have business cards in your pocket, they are much easier to hand out than your CV.
Another tip is to have your CV on your phone ready to Airdrop or email. Yachting is a fast industry. When a boat needs a crew member to start, it was most likely yesterday. The person who can start the fastest is usually the one they will hire.
There are hundreds if not thousands of crew members looking to join the industry and everyone is replaceable.
10. Yachting Crew Houses
Stay in a crew house when looking for work, this will give you a great opportunity to network. Think of a hostel except everyone staying there is in the industry, in-between jobs and usually looking for work. I was able to score my first job from a crew house.
A girl in my crew house was fired from a boat because she was unable to cook. Since I was cooking she recommended me and voila! That is how I got my first permanent job. Check out Facebook to find a crew house in your area. If you are in Fort Lauderdale I highly recommend Ancorhed Crew House.
If you keep doing all of the above until you land your first permanent job, I promise you will get a job on a superyacht. Keep trying and don’t give up. I promise you will get a job if you follow these steps.
It is a dream job for some. A job that lets you travel the world making money while having no expenses.
All of your expenses on the yacht are paid for! Including your shampoo and deodorant. You will also have all of your meals cooked for you by an amazing chef, and your laundry washed, ironed and folded.
It is the perfect job for anyone looking for an alternative lifestyle, to save a ton of money, and travel.
The Downsides of SuperYachts
It does have its downsides as well. You have no personal space or private life, you are at the beck and call of the owner 24/7 year round. So you can throw out planning for anything or going home for family events.
It is unstable. Depending on the yacht, you can be let go from a position for any reason. You will also have to be off the boat within hours ( luckily they do have to pay for your ticket home).
Also, it is a very sexist industry. If you can’t handle that, don’t join the industry. Besides modeling, it is the only industry that not only allows but requires you to put a picture on your CV.
There are stories of girls getting fired because of their hair color, they were too short, or the owner’s wife thought they were too pretty.
You have very different working rights than you are used too. Forget about overtime. You will be working long hours, holidays and weekends. If you don’t like it they will simply find someone who does. At times you will work 18 hours or more a day, sleep very little, and you won’t step foot on land for weeks.
However, without expenses you should be able to save a lot of money. When you are working all the long hours you can’t spend your paychecks. But when you do have time off you are able to do some awesome things.
I was able to do some amazing travel while I was working on the Superyachts, including attending Oktoberfest. Take advantage of where your yacht is based and travel to places you normally wouldn’t get to see.
You will meet some amazing people. Collect stories that your friends back home will never believe.
It’s not for everyone, but if you can deal with the downsides of it, it is completely worth it.
So are you ready to get a job on a Super Yacht?