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Advice for aspiring deckhand...
rseid3
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:20 PM
Joined: 14/09/2010
Posts: 3


hi everybody,
seems like a pretty supportive forum, so heres my first post.
Im Robby, 23 y/o, from San Diego CA, and am really hoping to find a deckhand position on a motoryacht for the upcoming Caribbean season.  I am planning on going strait to the source, Ft. Lauderdale, and trying to network and put myself out there early November.

I have made calls to a few crew agencies (Crewfinders, Crewunlimited) to try and get some general info, and like other members (http://www.dockwalk.com/Essentials/DockTalk.aspx?g=posts&t=34066), have found their responses to be disheartening.  Im sure they have some merit, but then again ,I keep on thinking that theres nothing like actually being there in person for when those oppurtunites open up. 

I am dedicated and persistent, very employable, and feel that I can make something happen for myself.  Although, with my recent correspondences with crew agencies, I am second guessing...

any advice, stories or words of wisdom for me???


rodsteel
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 10:42 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Robby,

 

If you haven't found them yet, here is a couple of places to start:

 

http://www.dockwalk.com/Essentials/DockTalk.aspx?g=topics&f=520

and here:

http://www.dockwalk.com/Essentials/DockTalk.aspx?g=topics&f=27044

 

Good Luck,

 

Rod


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:21 AM
Robbie, dont depend on an agency for your first job. They have ten over qualified people to put time and effort into for a position over you. They are only there for the pay-check you can't yet provide. I am working as an Officer on a large yacht by working through the system and I am a very good placement. Half my monthly wage is enough that the agents will only need to place me and they make their quota per month. Point is that I remember who helped me in the beginning and the agencies that blew me off wont get a penny of my business; and i hire 10 people a year. It's like the movie "Pretty Woman" Now they call me and I politely decline their business. Spiteful ?? maybe, but that is how people work, you remember who helped you get to where you are and those who didn't. Don't give up....t Florida is not the only place to find a yacht job, probably the hardest. That is where everyone goes so the competition is really difficult; supply and demand. !000 foreigners descend on Lauderdale for 100 jobs. Think outside the box and if you are smart enough to win, you will be appreciated and have a long career in yachting with many mentors to get you through.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 8:08 PM
You know, sometimes I see such animosity and just plain bad information in these posts. Robby. Sign up with a few agencies. Look proffessional and be persistent. Yes, its tough, theres alot of compettition but you know, alot of the competition is just plain bad. If you want a job in the industry stay away from the pubs, stay off Las Olas at 3 am, be proffessional, be persistent and when you get a day job, prove yourself. Yes, there are other ways and you can certainly "Dockwalk" but dont discount the agencies. There are some very good people in these agencies and they recognize the right candidates. They also recognioze the ones that are hung over and up all night from a chemical binge. In twenty years as a Captain I hired half my deck hands from agencies and the other from half were day workers that proved themselves. If there is a boat thats hiring ten people a year there is a reason. They either hire idiots off the dock and don't use agencies or its just a bad boat and if you are persitent and proffessional Fort Lauderdale is a great place to start in the industry and when the boats are there crews are rotating and apparently some of them hire ten people a year!
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 9:25 PM
Where is the animosity ?
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:06 AM
Hey Robby . I'm with Anon, you barley get past the secretary anymore,I've been in this industry 17 years ,done alot of foot work and alot of days in bilges.Out of those years the crew agents have got me one temp job.And that was before internet,skye,twitter and texting, you'll get as far as the key boards and the good ol saying "checkin on line and don't call us,we'll call you".But on the flip side, use all of the tools at your disposal to get that job,use them.Cannot hurt, but don't let them get you down,work hard, show up on time and leave the skateboard at home.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:24 AM
For a new person male or female...look into NOAA FLEET, with 22 vessels on east and west coast, good money, steady work, and a good retirement. You can find them on Email under NOAA. Great way to get sea time. Just a thought! Good luck
Henning
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:06 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Nothing wrong with NOAA and if he wants he may as well apply, but not exactly easy to get on with either. You have better chances on a yacht.

rseid3
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:45 AM
Joined: 14/09/2010
Posts: 3


thanks for the insight everybody....

...Anonymous 15 September 2010 00:21
"Florida is not the only place to find a yacht job, probably the hardest. That is where everyone goes so the competition is really difficult; supply and demand. !000 foreigners descend on Lauderdale for 100 jobs. Think outside the box and if you are smart enough to win, you will be appreciated and have a long career in yachting with many mentors to get you through."

think outside the box....maybe outside of Ft. Lauderdale?? anybody have ideas on where else to hunt for a deckie job thats not as flooded with people as Ft. Lauderdale?

and is there any direct way of talking straight to the captains and bypassing the Agencies?? (beside actually being there of course)  I feel like this would be much more productive instead of waiting for the agencies to push you along...if they ever get around to it.





Henning
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 10:38 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


rseid3 wrote:
Is there any direct way of talking straight to the captains and bypassing the Agencies?? (beside actually being there of course)  I feel like this would be much more productive instead of waiting for the agencies to push you along...if they ever get around to it.

===============================================================================



There is the time honored tradition of doing the "Dockwalk" after which the publication that bore fruit to this website was named.

As for other places. Try going down to Shelter Island, I don't know if Downwind or PMS still exist. There's also talking to the dockmasters at the Kona Kai and other marinas down on Shelter Island where the bigger boats hang out. Make your way up to Marina Del Rey and Newport Beach. You can also get on Sandra Waller's mailing list, swaller@deltamarine.com, she gets a lot of inquiries in the PNW, there's also www.findacrew.net that has done very well for me over the last few years. Shoot me an email, caphenning@yahoo.com




rodsteel
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 5:48 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277



 


Henning wrote:

"There is the time honored tradition of doing the "Dockwalk" ..."

 

Henning,

 

What is the most effective "legitimate" way to get through the "security gate" when dockwalking? (will harbormasters assist prospective day workers?)

 

Rod

 

P.S. Is the marina at the Atlantis a likely place to find an opening (or is it too late by the time the yachts hit there?).


junior
Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 8:29 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Easy to get by security. IBNA manual outlines over 300 proven techniques. Sailors usually windsurf in. For a motor guy like rsied ,distraction works best....try this ...roll up your mornings newspaper, light it on fire , chuck it into the garbage dumpster next to the guard house and shout fire !!...then cruise in. ....or hit the yachty pubs the night before, pick up an unemployed stewardess , get one with a big set a' Johnson's , give her a bucket of soapy water an instruct her to wash the guard house windows in the morning .....then discreetly slip in. Works everytime............... http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/2214/ibnagate.jpg
Henning
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 2:55 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


rodsteel wrote:
Henning wrote:

"There is the time honored tradition of doing the "Dockwalk" ..."

Henning,

What is the most effective "legitimate" way to get through the "security gate" when dockwalking? (will harbormasters assist prospective day workers?)

Rod

P.S. Is the marina at the Atlantis a likely place to find an opening (or is it too late by the time the yachts hit there?).

 

 

Most effective way is to get a cheap dinghy and small outboard, Foldaboats are excellent for this. You now have access not only to every boat yard and marina, but thousands of vessels parked in back of houses and apartments as well. You can always cruise the canals and find daywork polishing stainless or waxing a hull. Just bring Flitz, Collenite 845 wax for doing slick finishes and 3M Cleaner Wax for slightly oxidized and some applicators and buffing rags. You can also bring some scrubby pads with a short handle and a suction grip hand hold and clean water lines. Remember, there waaay more boats behind houses in SoFla than there are at marinas which is something our young man from San Diego probably isn't all that familiar with unless he did some looking on Google Earth. In San Diego it's fairly simple, just wait at the top of the marina dock gate holding a towel and a couple of rags and wait for someone else to walk through, they'll let you on the dock. It's also fairly simple to acquire gate keys. Pretty much all the bigger yachts reside in three marinas next to each other on Shelter Island.

Thing is, show up ready to provide me a service I am likely to need, you'll be in a much better position than if you come along like the hundreds of others toting a CV to drop off. It shows me you have some initiative and problem solving skills. If I have a position available, you are more likely to get it. If I know of a position, you are more likely to get a referral, and if neither exists, you are more likely to earn your weeks rent today.

Honestly, I have never hired someone who has walked up to the boat with a CV going "Do you have any openings? Do you need a deckhand/stew?" It just doesn't show any creativity or mental acuity. I really don't need dumb a$$es that I have to spell out every detail to for crew. Point out something that needs doing, be prepared to do it, and sell me. Show me something that sets you apart from the thousands of others. Girls, this goes for you too, even if you are looking for an interior position, if you show that you are willing to work outside to get what needs to be done done, that is a huge plus.

As for Atlantis, I wouldn't make a special trip there looking.


 



 
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