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Entry level and thinking about training? Here's a thought.
Posted: Saturday, November 15, 2008 11:25 AM
Joined: 22/09/2008
Posts: 4

For newcomers to the industry looking for work wondering about training before your first job, this might be some helpful advice.

I found the following to seem to be the best way for you not to waste your money, and leave you hard earned cash for more useful things while trying to get somewhere e.g food/accommodation/transport.

Trust me, I learned the hard way after spending 6000 euro in training because I thought this would help me since I lack experience(although I have worked on commercial vessels).

Just to give you an idea that I am not making up stuff here, following are examples of the certification I spent my hard earned money on(just proving my point):

STCW95, ENG1 Medical, US B1/B2 Visa(managed to get it without a job!), RYA Power Boat Lvl2, RYA Competent Crew, RYA Diesel Engine Course, Marine Restricted Radio Operators License, Marine Restricted RADAR Operators training, New Zealand Coast Guard BoatMaster(basic navigational and boat knowledge), Awlgrip Yacht Coating Maintenance Certificate, and this is not including training that did not give certification e.g ropework, lines handling, basic marine electrical maintenance and more. I also aquired several hospitality certificates and training, like bartending, waiting, food safety, wine appreciation, firearms training and more.

So listen up newbies, do not do like me and waste your money on crew training, because you only want to get the minimum necessary. Of course if you have something extra it doesn't hurt, but if you have a budget and are not sponsored by mommy and daddy, hold on to your paper and do not throw it towards something that is not going to help you get a job.

Because getting a job is the only thing you want to care about in the first place, way before any might be employers ships safety, and not as the schools and training centres say that

-'competence and skill is very important for both the ships and your own safety, and is always sought after. The more training you have the more you will stand out from the crowd and more likely to land a job'

This first part is true of course, but if you don't get a job you will not have any safety issues where your competence matters to worry about!
This is the sad truth, the first thing you want to do is get your first job, THEN get more training.

If you see a school offering something like what I listed above, avoid it like the pest because it is not going to help you get your first job and it is definately going to cost you alot of money.

Generally what I've found after speaking to many crew, captains and crew agents is that employers, if you are a newbie, generally only pay attention if you have the following:

Deckhand - STCW95, ENG1, Power Boat Level 2 and experience(boats)
Steward/ess - STCW95, ENG1 and experience(hospitality)

My opinion is that once you've had a job you can start looking at getting more certificates and training as then you have exeperience on yachts which is the most necessary after the minimum required certifications.
Training is good, but it is very expensive and totally unecessary if you do not have a job where it could be applied.

I totally lost my motivation and gave up after seeing, as I wrote in another thread, girls walking down the docks in Antibes in south of France in MINISKIRTS looking like hookers without even STCW95 landing jobs. I do not think they got their jobs because of their competence, and this is where my thoughts of training went out the window.

This while I, always appropriately dressed, politely addressed crew on the boats asking if there was any jobs and never hearing anything back. For over two months I've handed out more CVs than I can count, been walking I do not know how many miles around marinas everywhere from St. Tropez into Italy, registered with around 10+ crew agencies and directly myself applied for around 40+ jobs on the internet. So far I've had 2 people contacting me: one interview for a Crew Chef position due to the fact I used to be a chef(no success), even though I'm mainly looking for deckhand positions, and one captain calling me up asking if I am a proffessionally trained Chef which I of course would have written in the CV if I was.

And this is after spending 3 months and 6000 euro(not counting living costs while studying) getting enough certificates to make myself look interesting for a entry level deckhand position on a yacht.

So why don't lots of newbies get work even though they're well competent? Well who knows. I can say though, referring to my angry rant in another thread, that it sometimes seems like the price of your clothes is more important than your ambition and competence when you are talking to crew agents and captains. I could not afford flash clothes after spending my cash on training, and I wouldn't even if I have the money. I still dress very proffessional and tidy, but it's not designer fashion. But in my personal opinion, in a so called proffessional industry superficiality like such do not belong.

Because this is serious stuff, working on the sea is dangerous and has way higher risks than most shorebased jobs as it always had and always will have. Competence is extremely crucial on the sea. But when the ship is sinking, the clothes that made the person look so interesting at the interview will not help the Captain. The crews prior training and competence will.

So what I really want to say is that:

Of course training is very important and useful in real life, but in this industry you don't want to end up spending money in training yourself for a job you will never have the chance to do!

Posted: Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:00 AM
Excellent advice Sebastion, thanks very much

Clinton Porter
NVisage Ltd
web development

Posted: Monday, November 17, 2008 8:59 AM

hi Sebastian,

what you have said is so true, don't spend to much as you need to get a job first... or atleast a start and some daywork... its very competitive...

as for girls wearing mini skirts, well they probably lasted about a week... I have seen a lot of captains hire girls that are NOT better looking than the owners wife... which is really the complete opposite...

** anyway, in saying that I am interested in finding out where you did you Awlgrip maintenance course that you mentioned...





Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 8:10 PM
Joined: 22/09/2008
Posts: 4

It was at Mahurangi Technical Institute in Warkworth, New Zealand.
It's a 4-day module of the 3-month Certificate in Superyacht Crew course they do. Quite good which teaches you the basics of Awlgrip products and how to use them appropriately, and also some varnishing work.

Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 10:48 AM
Thanks Seb. I'm coming down the same path only i have about 20 years on you and fewer courses. I'm just starting the path; did the MTI STCW last month. am happy with it, but i do want a future in the Med...and i'll get it, but your post is worthy of note. my next target is sea time. am using MJBC as my guide, and i have more target time, but not really if you know what i mean. Anyway, we'll see how it pans out, but thanks for the tip on dollar saving for courses. But to become Captain I'm going to have to do them anyway methinks.
All the best,
Ross in Spain

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 12:41 AM
Joined: 27/11/2008
Posts: 4

Nice post Sebastian for those who are new in the yachting world.  In addition to the requirements for stewardess, one should also have her silver service training.  As I often see, most of the new stewardesses doesn't even know how to set up a table, how to handle wine glasses properly, etc. 

 New crew can start with those basic requirements and go their way up step by step.