Yacht employment is one tough job. The crew onboard work very hard for some very wealthy people. If you live in a large yachting community, like South East Florida you see yacht crew cleaning multi million dollar yachts at all hours of the day.
In this article we will address what jobs onboard yachts typically entail, how much they pay and how to acquire one.
You will typically start out working onboard a yacht as a deckhand or steward/stewardess. This means you will be working under pretty much everybody else. Duties include washing the boat, cleaning the inside, docking, washing the boat, laundry, cabin service, stocking the cabin and washing the boat. And don't forget you will also have to wash the boat.
One thing that I always see when passing by yachts is the people are washing and polishing the outside of the boat at 8am and then when I go past again at 7pm the same people are scrubbing the same boat. Be prepared for the repitition of cleaning yachts.
If you have some other experience in a field such as cooking, then you can expect to start in the kitchen making meals for the guests or owners and the crew. As you can imagine, rich people for owners can have some very “unique” tastes or requirements. It helps if you are experienced in various cuisines and diet fads.
If you prefer to walk onboard with a bit more experience and higher position in the deck or engine department, then check out some seaman schools in larger port cities. There are several in South East Florida which will give you different certifications based on what you are looking for. And at the very least, if you plan on making even this into a short term career move, then look into getting you STCW certification, as that is a very valuable skill set to have, and required on most vessels.
Having some training is also going to help give you an IN with people who are in the industry already. This isn't required if you are looking for a fun run to see if you like the job, but I would highly recommend it if you are looking at a career on the water.
One way to help you get a handle of the industry is by reading some industry magazines.
Docking the owners multi million dollar yacht with him onboard.
Wouldn't you get a little nervous?
For someone who isn't already in the business, yacht jobs seem very difficult to get. It isn't that they are even that hard, it just has so much to do with timing.
For example, you have to be in the right place at the right time. Be at the yachting city a few weeks before you know they are about to reposition their yachts. It wouldn't do much good to be in the Caribbean in Summer or in New England in Winter. You won't find much available. So do your research.
You also have to be there when an opening comes up. In South Florida on any given weekend you can find yachties hanging out having drinks waiting to get the call for their next boat. When they get the call they have to be available, fit the requirements for that boat and be ready to go when the guests want to go.
This part of the lifestyle is what many yachties love to hate. But it does come with the territory, so be prepared for last minute changes.
And don't forget the parties. Yachties are happy to tell you all about the times they get to go out and party in these exotic destinations. That is true, and even moreso when the owners aren't onboard. Often times they will even party with you. This is a slippery slope, because you are still looked at as "the help", so don't let your guard down too far.
It is a pretty cool lifestyle, so contact some yacht recruiting agencies to find out more. But I think there is still something you would like to know about yacht crewing.
Enter Part 2: The Pay for yachties.
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