Welcome to the Dockwalk.com Forum

 

In order to post a comment in one of the forum topics, you must log in or sign up. Your display name will appear next to your posts unless you check the Post Anonymously box. When writing a post, please follow our forum guidelines. If you come across a post that you would like us to review, use the Report Post button. Please note the opinions shared in the forums do not necessarily reflect the views of Dockwalk.


RSS Feed Print
Experience... The first step!
bdollo
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:10 AM
Joined: 29/01/2012
Posts: 9


Hi Guys, time for a bit of a discussion... I am a 'newbie' to the industry with no marine experience apart from my comp crew and powerboat lvl 2 courses. I have had a crew agent tell me "No promises as you have no experience" to which i replied 'I know this, but I am extremely determined to succeed and will work hard to do so'. The reply i received shook me a little; "It's not about how hard you work but the skill set that you have to work from." So tell me guys and girls; How did you gain that first bit of experience...? What worked best for you and what was your first big break? Is it the constant dock walking at first light? Smoozing a crew agent, or networking in bars and/or crew houses? I'm sure I am not the only 'Newbie" heading to the Med for the season that would benefit from the advice you experienced crew members might provide... Cheers Ben P.S I will be in Antibes as of the 1st March... Just in case anyone wants to give me a shot!
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:53 AM
its a combination of all three things you mentioned, dockwalk, agencies, bars. I got my break doing daywork on a boat fully crewed in ft laudie, the position was for a job in the med???? therefor no matter what work your ass off you knever know the circumstances! Through networking I met a whole handfull of people and although I never got work from them I was able to give work out but only 1 person seemed like a decent guy and guess who I called??? so dont be a 'chop' when you out with people!
Henning
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:59 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


bdollo wrote:
Hi Guys, time for a bit of a discussion... I am a 'newbie' to the industry with no marine experience apart from my comp crew and powerboat lvl 2 courses. I have had a crew agent tell me "No promises as you have no experience" to which i replied 'I know this, but I am extremely determined to succeed and will work hard to do so'. The reply i received shook me a little; "It's not about how hard you work but the skill set that you have to work from." So tell me guys and girls; How did you gain that first bit of experience...? What worked best for you and what was your first big break? Is it the constant dock walking at first light? Smoozing a crew agent, or networking in bars and/or crew houses? I'm sure I am not the only 'Newbie" heading to the Med for the season that would benefit from the advice you experienced crew members might provide... Cheers Ben P.S I will be in Antibes as of the 1st March... Just in case anyone wants to give me a shot!


This is exactly correct, so you better start working on your binge drinking abilities. It's hard to get hired when you barf on the captain after a measly 9 drinks.

DaveRobson
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:01 PM
Joined: 24/11/2008
Posts: 21


I disagree with whichever crew agent it was who said that to you. How can you expect a first timer to have a skill set to work from? Yes of course some people will come from commercial backgrounds or shore based jobs that give them applicable skills, but as far as I'm concerned when hiring dayworkers and for entry level jobs it's the attitude that is far more important. You can't expect new crew to have extensive certificates and courses (beyond STCW) and in fact I'd be much more reluctant to hire someone who had gone out and spent thousands on courses but never actually spent any time on a boat. A new crew member with the right attitude can learn the job, someone with some knowledge and a God complex is going nowhere. Stick with it, remember that your reputation will precede you and it's very easy to make a bad name for yourself, be friendly, helpful and work hard whenever you have the opportunity and you'll be OK. Everyone starts somewhere.
junior
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:32 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Crew agents are the influence peddling barnacles of the yachting world. Mind your manners when in their presence , just as you would with an obnoxious yacht guest, but disregard their EXPERISE. Concentrate your firepower on the people who are actually working on yachts. The " Skill Set" ... (agency gobblygook)...that is required of a young crew is the desire to succeed , plus the ability to live in close quarters while being regaurded as a happy, hardworking shipmate.
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:42 PM
I had cruised on many different vessels over a number of years before I even set foot on a white boat. I think that to be able to hit the ground running and be part of a team offering the very best of yachting to a client, a solid foundation in basic seamanship with a good balance between formal training and experience is paramount. There are many low paid and voluntary progams where this can be achieved. Of course there are those that want to short cut around the learning curve and they account for a lot of the amusing, dangerous, stupid activity seen daily during a busy season. My first few years like many was either low paid or unpaid. You may get lucky and find a well run boat willing to train you but mostly not. It seems, a lot of senior crew these days are there by virtue of being the longest serving dock queen on the vessel. They know how to party, polish with a hang over and, oh yeah, there is no and...thats it.

So in summary, volunteer to deliver some small boats across blue water, gets some miles and experience, then join the elite of yachts, confident in your sea legs and learn the nuances of yacht polishing and politics. Or, end up a chamois technician with a beer gut and an attitude.

Henning
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:31 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


DaveRobson wrote:
I disagree with whichever crew agent it was who said that to you. How can you expect a first timer to have a skill set to work from? Yes of course some people will come from commercial backgrounds or shore based jobs that give them applicable skills, but as far as I'm concerned when hiring dayworkers and for entry level jobs it's the attitude that is far more important. You can't expect new crew to have extensive certificates and courses (beyond STCW) and in fact I'd be much more reluctant to hire someone who had gone out and spent thousands on courses but never actually spent any time on a boat. A new crew member with the right attitude can learn the job, someone with some knowledge and a God complex is going nowhere. Stick with it, remember that your reputation will precede you and it's very easy to make a bad name for yourself, be friendly, helpful and work hard whenever you have the opportunity and you'll be OK. Everyone starts somewhere.


Disagree all you want, they'll still get a commission.

Interesting, I give that same advice. They tend to be FOS posers who never pull their weight.

The skill set I am looking for in green crew:

The ability to stay sober.
The ability to listen and absorb information and turn that information into action.
The ability to retain that information for use in further decision making.
The ability to recognize when they no longer know what the correct thing to do next is and advise me of that fact before they proceed further.
The ability to work hard and maintain good spirits.
The ability to resist the most overwhelming opportunities to be dishonest.
The ability to bite their tongue and remain polite and civil at all times.

As well as:
The predisposition to take pride in their work.

That about covers it. If you've got all that, I can teach you the rest in short order.

steve w
Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012 8:19 AM
Joined: 02/05/2011
Posts: 3


As a captain, I agree totally with Hennings list (Staying sober is about knowing when to stop drinking, not how much you can drink before you fall over). I'm wiling to teach you if you can learn. However think hard about what job you want and how much you need to do to get ready for it.

Anybody looking for any particular work will always do well to have some of the basic skills for that job. If you apply for an office job you won't expect to get far if you can't read and write. Its the same for a yacht job.  Last year alone, I hired crew - deckhand and and watch leader.

Of around 60 who applied, I interviewed 6 deck and 10  watch leader. Of the 6 deck, none could tie a bowline, while none of the watch leaders (all had the YM cert) could answer any but the most simple questions on the col regs and they took a lot of time to think about those. Now I am prepared to teach a newbie, but I need something to build on.

I found it quite alarming that there are so many people looking for work in the industry that  have so little understanding of such basic skills for the job they want. Perhaps I'm getting to old, now in my 40's and I don't understand their thinking. I still  expect anyone who wants a job to be able to go and learn for themselves a little of what they can expect to be doing before making the application. Why should yachting be different to any other job?

One other thing for me and many of the other captains I know; Please dress smartly, be it dock walking or interview. Look at it from my point of view, If you can't be bothered to make an effort to present yourself well here, then why would I expect you to do so at any other time, let alone in front of guests. Bring your work clothes in a bag while dock walking. If you get an offer for some day work, change. Good daywork leads to a full time position. We captains always ask each other who's been good and worth a ring before we go to the agent.

Going back to your original post, there is no mention of the STCW. This is a must have for any yacht positon. Have you got it? Its not worth going to Antibes without it and it just shows you haven't made any effort.

Hope that helps.

Kelly Spencer
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2012 1:44 PM
Joined: 15/02/2012
Posts: 1



Hi,
I was a fellow Newbie 5 months ago, so i know exactly how you feel, and so does every other yachtie in some way or another It can be hard work at first (or you can be one of the lucky ones) so be Proactive. You need to do them all! Its a lot about who you know (networking) or being in the right place at the right time! So try and be in as many places, as much of the time. That's how i got my first 2 day working jobs, through Dockwalking! I was at the right place at the right time when both boats needed a day working stew asap! I worked hard & my weeks daywork turned into a couple of months. Dockwalking is great as you meet loads of yachties, see beautiful boats & places! Be smiley, bubbly & personable. Do not be desperate, like a lot of my friends were when they came out as they were nervous, as it will scare people off. Chat to them like they are people, not a potential job. I found captains want to employ people who can get on with the crew & live with, with the RIGHT POSITIVE ATTITUDE & who will work hard. Your coming out at a really great time. I am in Antibes now and me and my mates are all getting jobs. My new boat really liked that i had Comp crew & power boat, so that's a real bonus! You should definitely apply to the crew agencies before you come out, so you can meet them straight away when you get here! List of them on here -  http://riviera.angloinfo.com/af/112/french-riviera-crew-recruitment-agents.html My secret to Dockwalking was that i used this website - http://www.marinetraffic.com you can search all the ports and it tells you where the big yachts are, but you can also scroll across and look at the smaller ports and see where there are boats, as not many people go to them. That means your more likely to be in the right place at the right time Also when your dockwalking always ask boats you talk to if they know of any boats are looking for dayworkers/ positions! It works a treat! I hope that helps Good Luck and i may see you around.

Kelly






samuel.wood
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:56 PM
Joined: 31/01/2012
Posts: 1


Hello Kelly, I know you are probably busy at the moment, but if you find the time would you mind a quick chat about Antibes, my email is samuel.wood.1993@gmail.com thanks, Sam
bdollo
Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 1:05 PM
Joined: 29/01/2012
Posts: 9


Awesome responses guys, I'll take all of them with a grain of salt though. I am finding out very quickly that there are plenty of different views out there... So.... Henning and Steve W... in saying that you can teach me all i need to know... is that a job offer??? hahaha With the crew agents contacted, now it is time to start dock walking!
Cristopher
Posted: Saturday, March 3, 2012 3:33 AM
Joined: 20/07/2011
Posts: 7


bdollo tell me when you get a job.
bdollo wrote:
Awesome responses guys, I'll take all of them with a grain of salt though. I am finding out very quickly that there are plenty of different views out there... So.... Henning and Steve W... in saying that you can teach me all i need to know... is that a job offer??? hahaha With the crew agents contacted, now it is time to start dock walking!



Natasha Ambrose
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:44 PM
Joined: 14/03/2012
Posts: 3


I was hoping for some advice... I am looking to start my career in the marine industry, I understand I need to gain the STCW 95 which I intend on doing soon, I will also have my powerboat level 2 and be a PADI OW Instructor. I have taken part in a UK rib rally around Ireland and Scotland and helped out on a dive charter rib but that is my only experience. In order to work as a deck hand would it be beneficial for me to obtain my day skipper or which qualifications are recommended? I am due to travel to Australia in November and intend to work out there, does anyone else have experience as a newbie in Australia? Last but not least I am 24 soon to be 25 in May female, are there many female deckhands? Any responses are greatly appreciated. Natasha
C-Jones
Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:51 PM
Joined: 12/03/2012
Posts: 1


Kelly your post is very helpful. I'm a newbie i will be coming over to Antibes on April 2nd, I'm having so much trouble finding accommodation.
Can anyone help. i have tried the Grapevine,   debbies crew house, the Glamorgan and belle air. but all are full. Any help guys would be so grate, starting to worry now or ill be on the streets, 
Also I have read a lot of different views on what to wear for dockwalking, I'm thinking just to wearing something smart and then take working wear in my bag or wear shorts and white polo shirt while dockwalking, What works best?
Many thanks
Callie xx

MarineDex
Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:02 PM
Joined: 22/04/2010
Posts: 45


Callie, and all those looking for accommodation in Antibes here a few links that should help you out

All types of accommodation in Antibes including hotels and B&B's
Crew Houses
Campsites

I would recommend staying in town over the campsites just outside and to keep in touch with what is going when trying to find a job. When you do arrive in Antibes there are plenty of notice boards around town in the crew agencies and the bars including the Bluelady where people advertise shared appartments in town or close by. So don't dispare if you have only have accommodation for a week, i'm sure you'll find something.

The truth is if you don't have a lot of experience after a week of the same song from the agencies you are going to have to get up and dockwalk. I would also recommend trying the places that people don't go looking for work which will mean moving out of Antibes and down the coast of either france or Antibes.

Best of luck to all job hunting this year !!! 

elijah
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 4:11 PM
Joined: 02/04/2012
Posts: 1


Hi Callie, I just got to Antibes today, I hope you found something! I am currently in the same situation and have had to pay for a 4 person apartment by myself so would love someone to share with. I'm a 26yo male and new to the industry. Please email me elijahdesouza@me.com if you had any luck or you would like to share an apartment or something. Good luck! Elijah =o) x
rodsteel
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 11:30 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Elijah, Did you see this thread? - http://www.dockwalk.com/Essentials/DockTalk.aspx?g=posts&t=20920
Henning
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 5:34 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Kelly, you have that exactly correct, it's all about attitude. The job is tough, the life style tougher and nobody likes to spend 24/7 with a whinge or worse an antagonist. Nobody needs that crap, we get our job done, we kick back and have fun, we don't need extra headaches, we have plenty of those from the boat.
Henning
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 5:45 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


C-jones, good plan as to bagging some work clothes. Wear something simple, classic and memorable works well for me, although if you show up in grubbies carrying a tube of Flitz and some micro fiber rags and ask me if I need stainless polished, I'm not going to hold your clothes against you and you stand a better chance of a crew position (should one be available) than if you walk up wearing Coco Channel and asking if I'm looking for crew.
sean
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 6:03 PM
Joined: 05/06/2008
Posts: 87


Im afraid that all the muck you'll ever hear about yachting and any rhyme or reason to breaking into it...you've already heard.  Yachting is about being in the right place at the right time. 

Everybody gains their "experience" via 50% effort and 50% chance...and once youve gained it, ts a matter of retaining it. 

No one in this industry graduated from high-school or equivelant and couldnt wait to be  yachtie...they fell into it and depending on how much they could adapt to it, stayed to make it a career or just a faction of their life. 

Be willing and able...thats how I started 15 years ago.  Good luck


Iain
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012 5:18 PM
Joined: 14/04/2012
Posts: 1


Hi all, I am new to this forum and also newish to this field. I've been reading up for over a year on and off how to get work on yachts and have found it both interesting and intriguing. I have read on numerous occasions, it's all about being in the right place at the right time and essentially doing the dockwalks. I am a 26 year old male living next to two ex-yachtie's who have inspired me to take a sport I love to the next level. My problem is that whilst I work to make end's meet I never seem to get anywhere closer to gaining my STCW95 and this is a big problem as I don't want it to get too late in life and regret not making the move. I especially like how "Henning" has broken down his skill set requirement and with "steve w" being in agreement and expanding the set a bit further. I am that individual who meets the standards set out. I am not from a well off background and although people have came from scenario's similar to my own and made it into this sector, I struggle to come to terms with going to places such as Antibes and doing dockwalks and having to go home because I don't have an STCW95. My question is regards to opinion now, personal and industry specific. What would my chances be of signing for instance a 5 year contract in exchange for STCW95 training and accreditation as well as other courses to benefit myself and current crew aboard including pay minus the cost of my courses? I know some UK truck companies do this style of business where they take on unqualified staff and train them for HGV class I and II in exchange for 5 years at the company. What I have not yet stated is I spent 1 year helping at a sailing charity near where I live and ended up skippering Hawk20's for disadvantaged young people in the area this was effectively daily. That was until I started at my new job. I am able to live in confined spaces with multiple people as I did a small stint in the British Army. If anyone would like or knows of anyone that would like to take me up on my offer of training in exchange for a 5 year contract please reply and if not against forum rules or etiquette I will provide my email address. I understand that the way I have done this defeats the object of dockwalking, and would welcome any feedback and/or criticism for my comment. Regards. Iain
Jason - CrewGrapevine
Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:19 PM
Joined: 14/09/2009
Posts: 3


I am uniquely Qualified to give you the definitive answer... I am a Yacht Captain, with 15 years in the industry, I also own The Crew Grapevine, and we see 5-600 newbies every year in the same predicament.. Getting a job in this industry depends on one thing only: YOU! You left home to grow and learn, so Grow and Learn already. It used to be about being in the right place at the right time, but that is over, too many people now know about this once closed industry. The skill set required has been perfectly itemized above by Henning, which you will notice it is a list of personality traits required for success anywhere. And like everywhere else if you come here to be involved and clearly haven't invested anytime in understanding what is involved (like learning basic knots!) then you are already proving yourself as a poor learner/performer. We see newbies everyday, and without exception we know who will be employed straight away and who will need to budget for a long period of learning and growing before they make themselves employable. It comes down to 3 questions, (if I as a captain are looking to employ you) 1.are you someone that I and others WANT to live with ( are you tidy, polite and smiley even when having a crap day), and 2. are you someone I and others WANT to work with ( will you do crappy jobs and do them well, will you take pride in every detail, every day), 3. are you someone I want to invest my time in teaching ( do you understand that my investment deserves my reward, and not just your selfish entitlement). If you fit this bill, then please come to Yachting, we want you and we need you, (I write in this mid August and we have more jobs than people, The industry took a huge hit over the last few years but we are seeing a strong recovery in demand for crew in 2012) if you are nice, then the people around you will happily show you what to do. Capt Jason Downes.
sam341
Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 4:09 PM
Joined: 23/08/2012
Posts: 1


Hi Jason, you have said there is more jobs than there is people to fill them at the moment, I was wondering whether at this point in the summer season it is worth coming to Antibes looking for jobs, as a lot of the yachts start moving to the Caribbean for the winter. Thanks Sam
BlueWaterDragon
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:27 PM
Joined: 11/09/2012
Posts: 3


Umm, just to throw in my question. I'm having a similar problem on the whole 'paying for my qualifications' thing, and I currently have no real options for financing myself. I desperately want to change my career and having read through the list of stuff Henning posted, I'm more convinced than ever that it would be the right course for me. Henning wrote, The ability to stay sober. I'm teetotal, no not a recovering alcoholic, I just don't drink. The ability to listen and absorb information and turn that information into action. The ability to retain that information for use in further decision making. I'm currently a Bouncer, this is part of what I do. The ability to recognize when they no longer know what the correct thing to do next is and advise me of that fact before they proceed further. If you don't admit that you can't do something on the door, either you or your colleagues can end up getting hurt. The ability to work hard and maintain good spirits, 14 hours standing around the lobby in a 4star hotel, and then being asked to run messages up to the rooms because the night porter is busy and it's an important guest. The ability to resist the most overwhelming opportunities to be dishonest. The keys and access codes for a hotel safe The ability to bite their tongue and remain polite and civil at all times, Again, door work, if you stay civil it can defuse a situation without having anything happen. I can do all of these things, but I can't get to do what I want to do with my life, purely for the want of a few qualifications. I've found a stewards course for £4000, but is there a way of getting the basics cheaper than that? I'd appreciate any help I can get. Thanks ladies and gents.
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2012 3:15 AM
I myself am waiting to make that first step. I've been around boats, jet skii's and kayaks most of my life (I'm 24) and I know it's where I want to spend the rest of my life. This year I was able to get my STCW, Passport, ENG1, Merchant Mariner Credential, TWIC, and 100Ton captains license. I love every in and out about the yachting world and industry and I know it is right for me, only drawback, I've never worked on a yacht in my life. At the moment I'm saving as much money as I can so come January 2013 I can quit my full time land based job up here in Connecticut and make the move to Florida in search of work. It's a risk, but I'll never know the result until I do it.
 
 Average 0 out of 5