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Advice for new yacht crew

Every year we see a massive influx of green crew looking to make their mark in the industry and yachting forums seem to have the same topic posted weekly: "I am looking for my first position on board, where should I go, what should I do ..."
Given that we provide information to new crew daily, we thought that a simple list of Dos and Don'ts may come in handy! Read through our simple advice for crew who are new to the industry.


- Go to a yachting hub at the appropriate time of year; March to June is generally when most recruiting happens in the Med.

- Consider basic qualifications that are vital to work on the majority of yachts (firstly, STCW95 basic training). The STCW95 basic training certificate is a requirement on commercially registered yachts (i.e charter). The course comprises of four safety modules: fire prevention and fire fighting, elementary first aid, personal and social responsibility and personal survival techniques. Without this certificate, you will struggle to find a position on board. We provide this course weekly in Antibes and bimonthly in Palma.

- Research to find out as much as possible about the industry and what working on yachts entails. Arriving prepared shows resourcefulness

- Prepare your CV and sign up with yachting agencies.

- Prepare for interviews with both captains and crew agents. Make sure that you know what you are looking for, where you are willing to travel, realistic salary expectations and how your previous experience could prove useful in yachting.

- Learn basic nautical terminology. If you can't tell your helm from your elbow, getting around a yacht will prove to be difficult.

- Dockwalk - yachts that need an extra pair of hands will need them early in the day, so it is best to get out and about from 8 a.m. onwards and try to charm your way onto a yacht. Many a crew member has found their first permanent job through being hired initially as a dayworker.

- Dress appropriately to dockwalk and visit crew agencies: a clean appearance is important; no need to be suited and booted but ripped jeans and flip flops are not acceptable!

- Ensure that restrictions are made onto your social networking profiles; this could compromise opportunities for you.

- Buy a local or international sim card for your phone; it is not only cheaper for you, but there will be no misunderstandings as to where you are located.

- Get prepared for hard work: your first job is finding a job.

- Show initiative in job hunting; there is fierce competition.


- Come to join the industry because you think it is all glamour. It is a beautiful environment to work in, but you will truly earn your wages.

- Bad mouth captains and crew - this industry is worldwide however the community is smaller than you would think.

- Demand ridiculous wages for your first position.

- Forget that even on a night out, your future captain, chief mate, chief stew, chief engineer could be at the table next to you.

- Name-drop yacht names or yacht guests on social networking sites. The industry is discreet and must remain that way - 'loose lips sink ships'!

- Get demotivated by dockwalking. Every single member of crew has done this at some point in their career.

- Let the industry get to your head too much: 'My yacht is bigger than your yacht' attitudes are not appreciated.

- Limit yourself to one port when looking for daywork or handing out your CVs.
We also provide a full booklet of information to junior crew looking to join yachting, please email or pop into our Antibes or Palma offices for more info.

About the author

Group Operations Manager
I discovered sailing one sunny day in Brighton and was immediately hooked. At the time, I was working long days as an Operations Manager, but having fallen in love with sailing, I invested every spare minute into collecting the miles for my Yachtmaster – mostly through racing offshore in 40 foot yachts for the Royal Ocean Racing Club.