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How can I get a job with zero experience?
Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 10:17 PM

How can I get a job with zero yacht experience? Where do experienced crew come from? Do they all start out lying their butts off and BSing everyone until they sink or swim? GRRR

Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 11:07 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277



After reading these forums for some time now here is my opinion on the recipe for "success".


Basic requirements (female or male) = age 22 to 28, clean-cut (neatly dressed, no tatoos, short hair), healthy, tanned, buff (i.e., slim and trim), personable, energetic, non-smoker and no illegal habits (if you are unable to match these it becomes much more difficult - and the prerequisite number of certificates and experience level of useful skills/training needed increases greatly).


Get three basic certificates (ENG 1, STCW 95 BST and Powerboat 2 - optionally an AEC if you want engineering), a drivers license and (if you are not a US resident) a B1/B2 US visitors visa (multi-year, multi-entry).


Save enough money to travel to and live in either Ft. Lauderdale and/or Antibes for three months.


Take a three-month vacation to one of these locations starting at the beginning of the Caribbean and/or Mediterranean yachting "high season".


Socialize at all the yachtie hang-outs and walk the docks early every morning and later in the afternoon asking about open entry-level positions (take any job legally offered and work your butt off ).


Good Luck,




Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011 2:48 PM
Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 6

Thanks Rod. I am in the same position as anonymous and about to leave to pursue my yachting career in the Med. That sounds like great advice Thanks!
Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 2:17 PM
Joined: 08/02/2011
Posts: 19

This is my first year out in the yachting world. I am heading to the med. from what I can gather from the post I have read you need to work hard from dusk to dawn. Iv just been reading about crew gone wild! Are there any boats i should avoid?
Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 3:46 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

Lucy wrote:
Thanks Rod. I am in the same position as anonymous and about to leave to pursue my yachting career in the Med. That sounds like great advice Thanks!

When you socialize, obviously there will be drinking involved, pace yourself. Make sure you have a good assessment of what type of "drunk" you are. If you can put on a bit of a buzz while maintaining your composure, that is about as far as you should take it. If you are a sloppy, loud, mean or belligerent drunk, stick to soft drinks and juice. It appears to be a catch 22 situation in "networking", but it really isn't. You may think "I need to party with these people to be accepted by them and work with them" but the reality is, unless you want to live that lifestyle and deal with the problems and hazards that go with it, they are not the people you want to be on a crew with anyway. The old saying "Birds of a feather flock together" holds true. There is another saying in this industry, "Always present yourself as if your next employer is watching you, because they may be." I avoid hiring drunks. I have no problem with people having a drink or two, but drunks are always a problem. What a good captain is looking for is good crew, reliable, self disciplined and self controlled. I don't much care what someone I'm hiring as green crew knows, I care about how a green crew thinks, acts and comports themselves. I can teach them the job specifics. For a girl looking to stew, I'm looking for a smile and a congenial personality. The stews are "the face of the boat", they are the main point of contact between the guests and the crew. When you are doing your "dockwalk" always smile and always maintain a spring in your step. Also carry cards with your picture, a nice head shot with a simple white blouse and basic makeup. These are much better than carrying CVs. If you can host your CV on a website in Word with an FTP down load. If you have a "Smartphone" carry it on a file. If you have an iPhone or Android phone make sure you have Bump and stick it into your Bump profile (make sure your Bump profile has your picture). Also keep it on a USB thumb drive with you at all times. Show me that you have taken the initiative to cover all your bases and aren't afraid of technology, because guests often have trouble with it LOL, if I know you may be able to help them with it, that's a bonus to me. Save the printed CVs for when you are being called to interview with someone.

When you are going around dockwalking don't just ask if I'm looking for crew, ask me if I needs the heads or the headliners and A/C vents detailed out. If I say "no" ask if I need some stainless polished. Now you've caught my interest even if I don't because you've shown me you are willing to cross departments if I need you to.

Make eye contact with people as you pass them and smile. This will become increasingly difficult as the days and weeks drag on, but it's a must do. If you think it's hard when you're walking around looking for a job, think how it will be after 8 straight weeks of back to back charters working 12-18hr days. If you aren't walking the docks with the "perfect hostess smile", why would I think you'll work work on the boat with one? You will pass by the same people multiple times a week, always smile, always be positive, attitude is everything. Resist the urge to be a complainer. Nobody wants to live/work with a complainer. Eventually everybody replaces crew. If I always see you around smiling and positive, I'll remember you. Now I just need to put a name and a phone number to your face. Oh yeah, you handed me your card (I keep cards, unsolicited CVs, not so much) or I "Bumped" with you a while back and I'll flip through my contacts and find you.

 Oh yeah, crew agents get the sucky jobs. The good jobs all go by word of mouth reference from other crew and people you meet on the docks and such. Good boats/jobs don't have a very high turnover so you may need to take a sucky job, but even when you are on a sucky boat, remain positive and smiling and keep networking. When the crew next door asks how it's going, "It's ok, it's not my dream job, but it'll do for now" is the most negative thing you should say. If they have any experience, they probably know the hell you're living in, yet you keep smiling and doing your job, in other words, you're acting professionally and getting the job done and realize that it's not the glamor and glory that the crew agent advertisements make it appear. That's how you get referred onto the good boats. Oh yeah, and in this case the statement "size doesn't matter" isn't a lie. You're actually more likely to have a pleasant time on a smaller boat rather than larger. You recognize the good boats because they have a core crew that have been there for years and even decades.

That's Dockwalking and Networking 101 for you if you want to make a pleasant career out of it. You can get work by being a drunk party slut if you want, it'll be quicker, but usually that doesn't last very long, and sadly it often ends up in mortal tragedies.

Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 7:14 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

How can I get a job with zero experience?

Get some experinece. There are plenty of ways to get out there and volunteer to crew, for a delivery, for a research group, educational, etc... If interior is your thing then get some solid service skills on land to back you up, hotel catering, food and beverage, or any transferable skill you can bring to the table, languages, accounts, IT, etc... Invest in your self. If you have no experience and nothing to offer and have done nothing to help yourself then dont ask your potential employer to do it for you.

Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 7:19 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

Also, on your card, perhaps a link to your website with a virtual interview, shows IT savvy and real initiative. Hennings right, the agencies tend to have a very high percentage of sucky jobs on boats with constant high turnover.

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