Career Advice

Advice for Crew Getting Started in Yachting

11 March 2021By Aileen Mack

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Aileen Mack

Associate Editor Aileen Mack joined Dockwalk in July 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If she’s not at a concert or coffee shop, she is lost in a book, movie or a YouTube rabbit hole. Email Aileen at aileen@dockwalk.com.

So you want to get into yachting? Getting started in any industry isn’t easy, and there’s never one foolproof way to make it happen either. Methods succeed and fail due to a number of reasons, circumstances, or just bad timing. But having extra insight and knowledge can make a difference. Dockwalk Editor Lauren has been interviewing crew with various positions live on our Instagram @dockwalk about how they got into the industry and what advice they have for crew looking to get started. Here’s some of what they said:

“Never give up and don’t get caught up in the negativity of it. You’re going to get knocked down ten times; I still get knocked down. Work hard regardless if you’re male or female — I don’t feel like that’s a factor. If you’re female, you have to work slightly harder, but if you want to become captain, just do it. Don’t get distracted, and work hard.”
Capt. Sally-Ann Konigkramer, M/Y Lady S

“It’s okay to be a greenie, but at least do your homework and show dedication. Only getting your right certificates won’t bring you there. Do the little extra and read about history of wines, alcohol, food. Go to a luxury restaurant, do a luxury trip yourself. In the end, it’s all about knowing what the expectation is to fulfill the dream. You will score plusses with your chief AND guests or owners.”
Hotel Manager Manon De Wit, M/Y Sherakhan

“Your first job is definitely the hardest to land. It’s a completely different industry. In yachting, you wake up in the morning, you don’t know what’s going to happen that day. You kind of plan ahead but then the guests change their mind. You got to always have a ‘plan B’ up your sleeve because ninety to seventy-five percent of the time, things don’t go as planned.”
Head Chef Anthony Bantoft

“Do your research. Make sure this is something you want to do. If you think you’re going to come into the industry and [are] just going to do it short term, it never turns out short term. You’re always going to be in, not the long run, but you’ll be in for a long time. A yachtie is actually a special breed — not everyone can actually do it and handle the pressure. Make sure you’re ready to take the next step.”
Chief Officer Wikus Botes, M/Y Laurel


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