New to yachting

working on yachts

Given that yachting has a very prestigious reputation and that it has quickly developed during the past few years, you must remember that competition in the industry is rough and that you will have to stand out. In order to get your first job, a few rules have to be followed.

  • You must know that first class service is required, just as in the luxury institutions the customers are used to spend time in. You must be rigorous, be able to work under pressure and to live in community.
  • The crew areas are very tiny and the cabins are shared by 2, 3 or more people. You have to show longevity: work as hard and smile as much after months onboard as you did in the beginning.
  • You must have a good team spirit, a good sense of hierarchy, show a lot of adaptability and have the capacity to live in scaled down spaces. Working days are very long; you get up before the customers and go to bed after them.

You must therefore understand that a real motivation is necessary, more than just the thought of the good wage that can be earned.

The hardest part is to get your first embarkation, as a first experience is often required. In order to find this “first job that will open doors to a new career”, you will have to spend time working on your resume, and to hand it out to as many professional as possible (crew agencies, yachts). You must also use your social network and spend time searching for job offers on internet (Dockwalk, All yacht jobs, five star crew…)

Your resume must fit on one or two pages, be well presented and not overloaded). The picture is VERY IMPORTANT: it must be of good quality (no party picture, small picture, dark picture). Wear a light color outfit, a good smile, shot with a neutral background).

Put forward your professional experiences that can be related to yachting. For example you should mention jobs in hotels, restaurants, villas, babysitting or maintenance works, knowledge in electricity, painting, woodwork etc… Also write about your sea related activities (regattas, sailing, diving…); all depending on the kind of job you are seeking.

At the end of your CV, you can notify that you have references available on request or directly write your previous employers contact details. You should know that you must authorize crew agencies to check your references in order for them to do so.

However, if your CV is handed out from hand to hand, people will directly check them: be extra careful on who you mention as a referee. (For example, do not write down an owner’s phone number without asking his permission first).

Your cv is a business card.

Do not hesitate to dockwalk as much as possible, in all the harbors of the region. This requires motivation, and motivation is a very important quality sought after by professionals in this industry.
Dockwalking allows you to meet with a lot of professionals (and extend your network), to work a few days if someone needs a last minute hand (daywork), and to obtain a small experience, or even better to find your first seasonal job.

After your first season, do not forget to ask the captain or the owner for a reference letter. Keep it carefully and download it on crew agencies websites.

For the candidates who wish to make a career in the yachting industry, it is important to choose the right training.

The STCW 95 Basic training is the first diploma to get. It allows you to work on private and charter yachts. This training can be taken in different schools or training centers in France, you can find information related to training centers on the internet. To validate it, you must pass a medical examination (ENG1 in the UK system). It can be taken at an authorized doctor (there are 2, in France). To obtain the worldwide list of authorized doctors go to www.mca.gov.uk

Other trainings are available, you should get information in training centers to know their contents, duration and cost.

Another important point, yachting is an international industry and the more languages you speak, the bigger your chanceis to get a job. English is obviously the most used language but it is always a plus to know at least basic French, Italian or Spanish (according to where you are located).

If you register with a crew agency, upload all your documents (CV, diplomas, passport, visas, references, menus, dish pictures…). Get in contact with the agencies to introduce yourself. It is easier for agencies to work with people they have met or had a Skype interview with. Contact them regularly by phone or mail and let them know if you are available or not. Remember to send them your updated CV every time you make a correction on it.

Interviews: You can either have your job interview with the captain (or another crew member) the owner, the broker, the manager or the crew agency.

Always be at your best and wear correct attire never minding who you are supposed to meet. Always be on time, do not show up 30 minutes early or call 15 minutes after your appointment time to say you are late. If you should cancel or postpone an interview, remember to let the person you have an appointment with know about it. Bring one or two hard copies of your CV, along with your diplomas, your seaman’s book, and a copy of your Eng1. Remember to bring a memo pad and a pen along.


All of these rules may seem obvious to you but few people respect these basic rules.
The first impression can be crucial. If you wish to work in a luxury industry you should be faultless, as much as by your appearance as by your behavior.
Avoid speaking about salary, working hours, holidays in the beginning of a first job interview. You may speak about it, but at the end, once you have aroused interest.

We wish you good luck in your search and stay available for any questions