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Dockwalking in Fort Lauderdale
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 4:24 AM
Joined: 20/06/2009
Posts: 6

I am currently in Fort Lauderdale looking for work, and obviously dockwalking is one of the best ways of networking.  However, the security at most of the marinas and boatyards here has gotten ridiculous, so it is almost impossible to enter many of these places without being associated with a specific yacht. 

How do you get into the marinas just to try to dockwalk??  I am going crazy looking at all the yachts through a fence.

Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 8:36 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Yup, they really make everything hard for you young guys around yachts these days. All waterfront areas have developed this security barrier stuff. Many times the guard knows immediately that your a young guy doing the yacht thing and in you go. If not, try a disguise....crew shorts, crew tee shirt does the trick...or maybe a three piece suite with one hundred dollar bill sticking out of your pockets and a big cigar then tell em your the owner of that big one... or slip a wasps nest into the guard house and when he tears out, discreetly slip in...or hitch a ride on the back of the garbage truck each morning..or take a couple topless day work chicks with you to distract the guard...or wear work overalls , bring a big pair of bolt cutters and chop thru the fence, if the say HEY !!! just tell em your from the fence company and your building a new gate...or wear a Joe.s pizza delivery hat and carry an empty take away pizza box... or bring an old windsurfer mast and pole vault over the security fence..or better yet simply sail your windsurfer into the marina.........many ways to enter a marina. Most times if you look like you belong you pass right thru. To avoid hassles many times I tell my dayworker to take a taxi into the marina...they almost always assume that a person in a taxi going to the yacht GLOBAL WARMER is real.
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 10:48 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Oh and avoid mindlessly cruising docks networking . Best to go on a mission. Put a couple rags in your pocket and a tube of metal polish then shout out...Hey, need that stainless polished ? works everytime. now your on the yacht networking and making a buck . When I was a kid after school Id tear down to the creek, paddle my crab skiff over to the Trumpy shipyard, cruise around the yachts and shout out...Hey, need that waterline cleaned...I became the waterline tycoon running a 5 boy after school gang...and before you knew it a crew...
Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 11:55 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

Jeremy wrote:
I am currently in Fort Lauderdale looking for work, and obviously dockwalking is one of the best ways of networking.  However, the security at most of the marinas and boatyards here has gotten ridiculous, so it is almost impossible to enter many of these places without being associated with a specific yacht. 

How do you get into the marinas just to try to dockwalk??  I am going crazy looking at all the yachts through a fence.
Buy a cheap little skiff and a small outboard, circumvent them altogether. Cruise around, have a cooler of beverages with you.

Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:55 PM
from one side it is pain in the butt for you guys who are looking for a job but from the other side there is a plus for the boats and boat owners.Last year we had like 20 CV in the basket or at least 10 people asking for captain or first mate just to pass CV. Have to say it is kinda annoying from one way. Anyways guys there is more and more people looking for a job in yachting and thats why marinas are more secured. Try the internet sides like or and agencies. That is what they are for, and from the other side some marinas they give you oportunity to leave your CV in the office instead of dockwalking. Smallwoods have folders for resumes too. To all newbees! GOOD LUCK.
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 10:32 AM
Joined: 03/03/2009
Posts: 8

Hi all, I´m based in Palma de Mallorca and we are having the same problems here. The reasons that the yards don´t want people wañlking around in them is insurence and liability. This year a dayworker fell of a ladder that wasn´t properly secured. 40 feet onto concrete and he nearly didn´t live through it. Last year in the same yard a dockwalker was hit by a car. The fact is that accidents can happen and from a legal point of view the shipyard want to cover their asses. If you are not on the crew list of a yacht in the yard and do not have an ENG 1 medical then you are not covered by their insurence.
On another note, they also don´t want people working outside the system, cash in hand. which in most countries is illegal. That and they would rather that all the boats in the yard use the engineers, riggers, painters and other companies that are resident there.

Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 10:39 AM
Joined: 03/03/2009
Posts: 8

That being said, we still need to look for work andthere are some sneaky ways to get it in. If there´s a chandlers in the yard, say you´re visiting. Though this might not work more than a few times. Getting ion by water is a good idea. there was a guy here who rented Kayaks to dockwalkers for this purpose. They were both confiscated. You can be honest and say you need to drop off a CV to a boat, but they might only let you got to one. you could borrow a card from a friend and swipe in. You could go in a vehicle with someone who has a card. Although here they are making everyone get out of the vehicle to check their cards. Some friends of mine had daywork this morning and were refused entry. The ones who got in were escorted out. You can´t hardly win! Even if you´re lucky enough to get some work you can´t get to the boat. unless the captain is willing to argue the point with the yard.
Good luck yto all of us! If you can deserve a job!

Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 11:13 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

In general you never day work inside of shipyards. I know the yards in Palma very well and the situation you presently see is the result of irresponsible captains performing entire refits with daywork. Talk about people falling of ladders !! Ive seen several dayworkers killed in Palma..asphyxiated in water tanks, electrocuted, flung off scaffolding, crushed by anchors. In each case they were performing work that they had no right doing. Last year when I was on the hard the yacht next to me decided to anti foul with daywork and instructed them to move the jackstands !!! I watched in disbelief and had to run to the office and put a stop to the nonsense. My experience is that in Palma, when I need a hand I simply go to the office, have a chat and sign them on temporarily to my crew list with the understanding that these dayworker crew are simply cleaning ,polishing helpers. Daywork should never take the place of legitimate contractors. And for Gods sake do not drive crew cars inside the shipyard...the place begins to look like a parking lot with cars blocking contractor and crane access to my yacht and slowing everything down
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:20 AM

Yards are definatly the better places to look for a job. I got my first gig a couple of years back through dockwalking in a yard with a cheap card that I told the guard on duty I was dropping of as a suprise visit to my girlfriend. Just make sure you know the name of a boat in there and stuff your CV's down the back of your shorts.

Good luck

Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 9:21 AM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 22

Holy Cow, Junior, I hope you keep away from my boat, your presence, if your post is credible, seems to have the grim reaper as company, in all my one or two years (sarcasm) I have yet to see a boat yard fatality

 "" Ive seen several dayworkers killed in Palma..asphyxiated in water tanks, electrocuted, flung off scaffolding, crushed by anchors.""

... agree they do happen but several in Palma alone!!!

Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 11:01 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Cd, Palma de Mallorca is home of one of the biggest yacht repair facilities in the world. ninety meter berths. 750 ton lift. How many 750 ton travel lifts have you seen ? Many of these Incidents are from before your time and occur in a world motoryacht captains rarely see . Ive been around a long time and I dont swing golf clubs. The big motoryacht Destiny that rolled off the railways in Astilleros Mallorca ? Its a case study CD. The dayworker who died in the motoryacht water tanks in Palma is a case study. The dayworker who fell into the keel pit . The dayworker in Palma, walking on deck during a paint job , and falling thru a papered off deck hatch.. The dayworker who dropped a steel angle iron across the terminals of a 2000 amp hour battery bank while freeing up the batteries is a case study. The dayworker who mixed up a big pot of 2 part epoxy, it went exothermic and burnt up the cabin. The dayworker who was instructed to go to that Blue yacht tender and paint the bottom only to discover that it was the wrong blue yacht tender.. One advantage to being a hands on sailor guy is that I tend to drink my after work beers with the local boys and shipyard forman. I hear all the days disasters. Like last month when a dayworker was given a half inch chuck, slow speed, pistol drill, a 120mm hole saw and irresposibly instructed to crawl in and blow a hole thru the aluminum plate in a cockpit locker. The hole saw bound up, the drill kept rotating, the dayworker couldnt escape and broke his arm. Your duty as captain is to make no harm come to your dayworkers and not allow dayworkers to interfere with the livelihood of genuine contractors. Many times this dictates reduced shipyard golf time and more supervision during refit periods.
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 1:50 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

"The hole saw bound up, the drill kept rotating, ..."


Some great examples, Junior, thanks for posting them. We can only hope that they give others something to think about. A lot of those accidents have a root cause that lies with inexperience and poor leadership on the part of the person who hired or was supposed to supervise the unfortunate worker.

The drill incident is common. It shows why, in proper shipyards, the craft  has a job description called "driller." Just because a dayworker can hold a tool doesn't mean he or she knows how to use it or what can happen if it is misused.

This all goes back to the problem of the zero to hero culture, no one has had time to learn and there are fewer and fewer people who can pass down the benefits of real experience.

Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:53 AM
I appreciate people are looking for work, dock walking is very disrupting for crew and leaving a random resume behind does little more than annoy people and fill trash cans with resumes. The internet is how people search for crew; employers either log into a free website or use a reputable agency for crew and casual workers. Walking the dock basically makes people look desperate, especially when a person mindlessly rambles on and on about how tough it is to find work. The world has forever changed, people want privacy and security. Have you ever heard of Home Land Security or International Ship and Port Security.
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 6:29 PM
I have to say I disagree with the last post.  I have found lots of dayworking jobs, and lots of possibilities of permanent jobs by dockwalking.  Usually the yacht crews are happy to try and help, because they all know what it is like to go job-hunting.

Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:29 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Hey Mr. Anonymous Homeland Security ISP. I don't know how to tell you this, and its probable that many people have already told you this, but you're an arrogant twit. Those crew walking the marinas looking for opportunity may be thousands of miles from home and are simply introducing themselves into the yacht work, yacht social scene, thru fellow yacht crew. It Takes determination and drive to walk the marinas . Your responsibility as a crew on yachts, with a job , on the inside, is to have patience, encourage and share any knowledge you have of yacht activity. How dare you insult or discourage these crew . How dare you discribe them as desperate. The entire yacht industry relies on these motivated people who get off their ass and physically present themselves to the yachts rather than hide in limbo behind expensive crew agents... And dock walking crew, the world of the internet has not changed anything. Walk the docks with determination and a smile. When you come across one of these low class, arrogant, Mr Anonymous Homeland Security ISP types, make a note of his face, pass it around to your mates and see to it that, for his own privacy , he stays permanently INSIDE his marina security fence. His own personal private Zoo,. kindly remember to pass by on occasion, stare and feed this monkey peanuts thru the fence .
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:22 AM
Joined: 09/01/2009
Posts: 9

Having the same problem here in Auckland, its impossible to into viaduct unless you know someone who has a card. Its even harder as the gates are not maned.
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 12:12 AM
Joined: 08/12/2008
Posts: 7

If it is a Marina then arrange an interview with an agent inside the marina, Sunseeker is one near Marina Mile? Its been a while. Down in the centre where the Really big boats hang out is a doddle just walk in EASY.

I always thought it was harder to get into the Marinas in Antigua and St Maarten than in Fort Lauderdale So I dont see what the problem is.

Newport Rhode Island was excellent for work EASY!!

Even Southampton Docks its possible, I walked right up to Le Grand Bleu when it was down here.

Best of luck - Dress smartly. And go solo! Get down to the pubs Waxxys is good!

Alex Kasdan
Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011 11:56 PM
Joined: 20/11/2011
Posts: 1

Dear All, I am trying to get into this industry. I am very motivated. Ive signed up to take all the entry level courses at a yacht academy in Ft Lauderdale. But Im wondering what else I can do to get my foot in the door. It sounds extremely difficult if you have no real life experience, but sounds like theyre making it quite difficult to get that experience by securing the docks like the White house. Any suggestions?
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 12:43 AM
You could try California, Seattle, Savannah, Jacksonville,West Palm Beach, Miami, Malta or Barcelona. Everyone and their dog goes to Fort Lauderdale and kind of forgets everywhere else.
Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 12:53 AM
Joined: 19/12/2009
Posts: 8

Think outside the box.... Fort Lauderdale is the box.

Yeah there were a few big yachts in savannah for work this year.

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