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Overqualified requests for crew
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 10:47 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

Hi All,
 I am new here in the yacht world, yet have already noticed some odd things, and would like to know others feedback. I am not trying to start a fight as some of these posts go, but rather find out if others feel the same way, or an explanation to why it works the way it does.
 As I have gone through the various ways of looking for a job, it swings wildly on what employers/ people see as acceptable or needed to fill a position on a yacht. I see adds for deckhands and they want a 500GT USCG or a YM OOW or helicopter licenses or engineering licenses. Everyone wants a Bosun to have a license like a Captain. Must have minimum experience on similar size vessel. I have seen adverts for Stews, must be attractive! And have Engineering experience!?! What!?! HuH!?! Are people kidding?
A deckhand is generally a new guy, little to no experience, but willing to learn and hard working. A Bosun is a Lead Deckhand, experienced, a leader, but not an officer. A Stew is an interior person, good with customers and details. A Captain has been AT SEA for a while. I have met people in town here who have been in the industry for a year, and are already have Captain jobs. Hmm... how much seatime can one,consisting of 8 hours away from the dock, rack up in a year on a yacht?
It seems everyone wants people who are experienced, but ten years in the MARITIME INDUSTRY, seems to mean nothing. I think some people forget that regardless of the fact that they have paying guests, they are STILL SEAMAN. I have read countless posts on here by Captains saying they are tired of people who have no experience, and from some of my other posts saying they would rather have the former Coastie with a couple of tastefull seaman tattoos who have seatime, classes, and knowledge in their respected position, then the cute bubbly girl or hot shot guy with hair gell in while wasshing down the boat. I really hope that they live by that, and arn't the ones dismissing my CV because I have never been on a white boat.
In the commercial world, there is an unwritten rule that you always take on greenhorns, and train them, even they they end up leaving, because then when you need a Able Seaman or Bosun, you can find one, and they are correctly qualified to do the job. I have heard for years about how many new yacht builds there are each year, and the lack of qualified crew to fill these vessels, could that be because no one hires any newbies?

Posted: Saturday, July 4, 2009 4:18 PM
Joined: 15/10/2008
Posts: 2

Hey Andy... I've heard similar comments, but kinda like trying to find the right girl, finding the right job is a challenge and can take a while. Then again sometimes it just clicks. Way back in the day (before licenses were required) I was hired as engineer. My crew agent sent me on three interviews. Ever. I have crewed on exactly that many yachts. I was a newbie once, and now I'm 18 years in this biz, the last 12 as a contractor. Keep at it and dont get down... this can be one very fickle industry, and the current economic problems sure dont help. It sounds like you have the right attitude so I think you'll get what you want if its meant to be. Cheers John
Posted: Saturday, July 4, 2009 5:47 PM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

Hi John,
 Thanks for the comment. After a long week in class, and playing the meet and greet, I am glad that it is the weekend. I have two more weeks of class, and then kind of like you said, I am going to go full at " finding the right girl". Hopefully in the near future the industry picks up, and the crazy requests will stem off.
Thanks for the positive feedback.
Fair Seas,

Captain David Cook
Posted: Saturday, July 4, 2009 6:28 PM
Joined: 11/02/2009
Posts: 3

I understand where you are coming from. It helps to get your resume out in many places. Also you need to walk the docks and see what is going on nd talk to crew. Your best tool will be your resume. This needs to be as professional as possible as well as a Professional photo. I have been working to Make resums for crew as well as assist them in placement. As a Captain my self I like to hire new crew that really wants to work on  yacht and show a real interest. Let me see what you have for a resume and I can help you if needed. Please go to  and then to submit resume call me and I will do what I can to help you. Good luck and don't give up!!! Captain David Cook
Posted: Sunday, July 5, 2009 5:15 PM
Joined: 16/06/2008
Posts: 6

Hey Andy, The industry is in the middle of some serious changes, whether or not they all become permanent, we shall see. Dissemination of your resume' is almost as important as proof of your work ethic. I hire nobody unless they have day-worked numerous days for me in the past, or currently. There are lots of young, and not so young individuals that have spent time aboard temporarily, that are not welcome for a repeat as a dayworker, much less a delivery or permanent position. Captains make recommendations to each other, and we ALL talk. Get to know as many of them as you can. Keep tabs on possibilities, and if offered some daywork, you have to outshine the regular crew every time. Turn off the cell phone, and do not turn it back on until the end of the day. Permanent or even temp positions rarely fill over a lunch phone call. When working, always look for ways to take your game to the next level. Quicker is not always better, but the details are never overlooked. If a task gets completed, and you see something else which needs getting done on the list, jump in and make in well known you are a CAN do person. Never place yourself in a position where the safety of yourself, another, or the vessel can be an issue. There are always ways to make the job right, thus SAFE. There are lots of OVERQUALIFIED people out there looking, but as a Captain, I would much prefer some-one with superior stamina, and a positive drive to Learn it right, and do it better, then some-one who talks the walk, but can't get it right , when the day is done.