Crew Information - Get Onboard


CV / RESUME:  A yachting CV or curriculum vitae is often your only opportunity to make a first impression, so make it your best one. Be sure to express your knowledge and experience in a concise and organized manner. Try to use a uniform font and font size throughout (Tahoma, 10) and only highlight the section titles, try to avoid using underlines and italics. Include your Personal information at the top; your nationality and date of birth, passport and visas, and most importantly a good photo with a nice smile. For Contact information include a permanent email account, preferably web based such as Hotmail or Gmail. Remember we may want to contact you six months from now so plan ahead! This should be followed by your list of Qualifications.


Your Education should reflect some commitment to a pursuit of a yachting career, especially the minimum maritime emergency training given by all UN countries that meet the Standard of Training for Certified Watchkeepers (STCW) which includes first aid, firefighting, sea survival and personal safety. Be sure to include any other relevant training / certificates you have obtained including your radio-operator license, first aid, and swimming / diving certification. Your Yachting Experience should include details of yachts including their length and make, the areas you cruised, your position or duties on board and the name and contact information of the captain and / or other crew members who you have asked to be a reference.


Chronological ordering is usually best since most Captains want to know your full history. For non-yachting references emphasize only relevant duties to Deckhand exterior maintenance; mechanical, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, painting, detailing, or Stewardess interior maintenance; cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, laundry, kitchen/galley, and service experience. Chefs should also include a sample menu. Your References will be the pivotal point of your presentation, and anyone who has something good to say about you should be listed (you can leave off your mother and father!)



INTERVIEW:  If you have gained the opportunity of an interview, your resume has shown the knowledge and experience an owner or a captain is looking for. The other equally important aspect of working on a yacht is personality and attitude. Interviews are the best way to show these qualities. Prove your reliability by being on time and well groomed. You have two ears and one mouth, so try to listen twice as much as you are speaking.  Show you are organized by knowing your resume backwards and forwards; what you know, where you've been, when and with whom!


Show tact by NEVER speaking poorly of a former employer, owner, captain, or crew. These things are always better left unsaid, and you will be better respected for it. Be positive, attentive, energetic, confident and caring. These are the kind of people everyone likes to be around A person who complains or gossips is a captain's worst nightmare because they will be contagious and will "infect" their whole crew; loose lips sink ships. Being a team player is an asset in yachting and a captain is always looking for someone who will have a positive influence on the team.



DAY WORK:  When canvassing for work you must combine the resume and interview process into one. Be prepared to work and dress appropriately in a polo shirt and shorts or slacks (average crew uniform). The best place to find Day work are the boatyards, where the boats are being made ready for the next season. Occasionally the less "durable" crew will leave the boat when in the yard and captains are always happy to have extra hands on board to get back to sea more quickly. Day working is a good way to get onboard since captains prefer to try out crew to see how they fit in before they hire permanently.


Captains most often hire extra workers when they have a large project going on or they have owners or guests coming soon and they need help to finish the work on time. When you can get on board as a day-worker it is your opportunity to show you are hard working and a good listener. If a captain is really impressed by you he will either make room for you on board or refer you to one of his fellow associates who may be looking for someone as well!



DELIVERIES:  Deliveries are contract work, often temporary, moving the boat from one place to another and then the job is completed. Some delivery positions are paid and some may not be, but for the newcomer this is an excellent way to obtain references and experience! To get the delivery contract many captains must sometimes "low-bid" the competition and count on picking up extra watch crew at low cost. Deliveries may be arranged last minute and the captain's regular crew may not be available, so delivery captains / companies are often in need of extra crew. There are thousands of professional Delivery Captains worldwide; many of who do deliveries full-time and have a company set up. Many of them work with yacht brokers who usually use a handful of the same captains again and again to move their boats around for boat shows or during the change of seasons.



SALARIES: All yachting salaries are determined by a wide variety of factors. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for". One factor is the amount of time the yacht is used by owners and charter guests. Another issue is the planned itinerary of the vessel as well as any other above average responsibilities. If the vessel will be running with a short-handed crew (less than average) they should be paid more. Of course the individual's personal training and licenses as well as their practical experience should be compensated for if they are applicable. Sometimes an owner or captain may request "entry level" crew and a base salary should be expected. It is also quite common to be hired at a "starting wage" and have the opportunity for further negotiations once a trial period has passed.


There are many other benefits that should be considered when negotiating a salary. Most yachts will cover many personal expenses such as meals, uniforms and even shoes. Many yachts now also include a monthly phone allowance and paid vacations including airfare. The supply / demand curve also varies greatly depending on the position, the location of the vessel, how far along in the season and how many qualified crew are available at the time. You can always pay the going wage, but sometimes it may be wiser to pay the "staying" wage.




Here you can find general descriptions of crew positions onboard private and charter yachts!



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