Yacht Engineers’ Advice for Newbies

3 February 2021 By Laura Dunn

If you’re a greenie who needs advice from fellow engineers in the industry, read ahead because these crewmembers know what does and doesn’t work. Dockwalk asked the following engineers what their advice was for those just getting started:

“Don’t be a boat snob. You can’t always jump straight to the big shiny boat you wanted as a first job, so be prepared to work on something you may not have considered to gain the experience. It also normally ends up as the one you remember being the most fun for the rest of your career!”
Chief Engineer Daniel Thomson

“Work as a second or third engineer on your first yacht, no matter how confident you are. I learned so much more when I was working under another, more experienced engineer.”
Chief Engineer Jon Bennett

“Try not to jump up or rush up the ladder too quickly. Go slow, step by step, and take the proper time to reach your goal rather than focusing on the big bucks.”
Chief Engineer Hector Bergery Delgado

“Make connections. Join groups on Facebook, attend Dockwalk events — networking goes a long way in this industry.”
Chief Engineer Adam Mercer

“I’d say just be willing to do any jobs — especially in the beginning, no matter how grim. Work with your team even if a job doesn't fall under your engineering role. Take the bins out, polish the brass, etc. Basically, help when and where you can.”
Engineer Grace Williams

“Get a qualification, such as an engineering degree or an Approved Engineering Course — some kind of technical training basically.”
Sole Engineer Fouche van Wyk

“Get lots of experience and not to jump into an engineering position for the salary without having what it takes to do the job, as it is a big responsibility to carry.”
Engineer Rami Saeed

“Think long term, set a goal, and work towards it in a methodical manner, and never say no to a good opportunity, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Seek employment that gives you a solid base of knowledge and experience.”
Chief Engineer Edvin Hatlø

“Start early, learn from your chiefs, and keep learning in general. Be keen, do the rough jobs; do all the jobs — everything is an opportunity to learn. Ask questions and make sure you work under a good chief or captain who is happy to share knowledge and help you advance. And do your courses.”
Chief Engineer James Cory