Frequently asked questions Crew Placement

Everything you need to know about crew placement
  • What is a superyacht ?

    The term luxury yacht refers to a very expensive privately owned yacht which is professionally crewed. Also known as a superyacht, a luxury yacht may be either a sailing or motor yacht. (Wikipedia, 2008) In actual fact, any yacht over 24m is termed a super yacht. Any yacht over 100m is called a mega yacht.

  • What is the yachting industry?

    There are currently over 30,000 yachts in the world ranging from 24 metres to over 100 metres that require professional and qualified crew. In the last few years the yachting industry has captured the attention of the media therefore creating an unprecedented amount of interest from potential crew world wide.

  • Where will I go?

    Wherever there is water, you have the potential to go! Traditionally the yachting industry has been made up of a "summer season" in the Mediterranean (May to October), and a "Caribbean season" (November to April) although more recently the possibilities are endless with many yachts circumnavigating the world.

  • What will I do?

    This is dependant on your skills and ambition. You will need to research the industry and form a plan based on your existing skills, interests and previous work background.

  • Will I have an employment contract?

    Most large yachts employ crew under a contract. As a sea farer working under the British flag you should sign a "crew agreement" when you start work on the yacht. This is an official British Government contract signed by all sea farers. Many yachts will also have a separate contract governing standards of behaviour, leave etc. On smaller yachts, you may find that no written contract is provided. Although this is not correct, in the past this was the industry norm and you should not be unduly concerned when accepting the position.

  • Will I be tested for drugs?

    More and more yachts, especially the larger ones, routinely test new crewmembers for illegal drugs and some have introduced regular 6 monthly or yearly testing for crew.

  • I am an experienced, senior crew member. Will you still have jobs for me?

    In fact, most of our vacancies are for experienced crew, so yes we will have lots of opportunities for you! At any one time we will have 100+ live jobs across the globe for senior deck, interior, engineer and galley roles. If you are experienced and looking for your next challenge, you can check in online or speak to one of our crew agents over the phone for support and advice. If you are looking for work confidentially, be sure to select ‘Confidential’ on your profile to alert us.

  • How often should I check in online?

    The ‘Check In’ button on your online profile is important to you finding your perfect job with us! When our crew agents search for crew, they see a list of crew who match the vacancy with the ones who checked in most recently at the top, running backwards in chronological order. So if you haven’t checked in for a while, you will be low on the list and the crew agent may select other candidates ahead of you. If you are new to yachting with 0-1 season’s experience, we recommend that you check in online daily, Monday to Friday, during the busy season. If you are more experienced, with 2 seasons+ experience, 1-2 times per week should be enough to ensure you are visible to the crew agents. You can also check in over the phone or in person in our crew offices.

  • I heard some agencies don't interview 'newbie' crew?

    This is true, some agencies do not offer an interview / CV surgery to people new to the industry. Bluewater offers interviews and CV surgeries to all new crew. We also offer a small group workshop at the end of our STCW Basic course (with our training school), to help you set out in the world of work.

  • I heard that some yachts offer free training with Bluewater? How does that work?

    We have around 300 superyachts who are subscribed to the Bluewater ‘ONE Account’, a money-saving bundle that gives them unlimited recruitment and a large amount of free training credits at our schools. Yachts may use the credits as they wish, so if you are lucky enough to be working on a ONE Account yacht, your head of department may choose to allocate some of the training budget towards courses for you personally.

  • I looked at your job board - do you have any other vacancies that aren't advertised?

    Whilst the job board may regularly hold over 100 jobs for you to peruse, not all of our vacancies appear online. Some yachts prefer to keep their vacancies confidential, so its always best to check in with a crew agent over the phone or online to explore any non-advertised opportunities.

  • I had a call from a Captain who found my CV through the Bluewater ONE Account. What’s that?

    The Bluewater ONE Account is a unique portal into the Bluewater database that allows Captains and heads of departments to search for crew as if they were a crew agent at bluewater. It’s for this reason you should always keep your profile as up to date as possible, especially your location and your career objective. If you receive a call from someone with a bluewater ONE Account, we are happy to verify this for you if you can supply us with the Captain name or yacht name. If you only want our crew agents to know that you are looking for work, and you do not want Captains to see your profile, you can select ‘confidential’.

  • How do I improve my chance of finding work with Bluewater?

    Bluewater is one of the largest yacht crew recruitment agencies in the world, with offices in Europe and the USA. We work from an online database that links to the crew profile that you created and searches your profile filters to match the vacancies we have. If we are looking for a deckhand with a yachtmaster qualification in Barcelona, and your profile matches this (and you are ‘available’) you will come up in our searches. Similarly, we may search by location, experience, visa, and all the other filters on your profile, so please make sure they are always up to date, especially your location and experience level! Experience level refers to time on board superyachts only. If you select the wrong experience level (i.e. you select 3 years but this was all on cruise liners) the crew agents will not find you when they search for your level (i.e. cruise liner experience) and you will reduce your chance of being matched to the right job. Similarly, if you select 3 seasons experience but you only did one month per season, you will appear in the results for experienced crew but will be disregarded as the other candidates in the search will have much stronger experience than you.

  • What hours will I work?

    This isn’t work for the fainthearted. During the height of the season, you may be expected to work long days. This is the hospitality industry so long hours, late nights and shifts are not uncommon. However, there are international rules governing the hours of work for crew as well as organisations who can advise on crew rights.

  • How can I get started?

    Now that you’ve investigated the industry and decided that you would like to give it a go, you will need to prepare a great CV in order to secure yourself the best possible job. One of our crew agents will always be happy to advise on the best way to write a CV, however for new comers to the industry, it is essential that you sell yourself on your skills that can be transferred to yachting. You will also need your STCW Basic Training certificate (a 5-day safety course) and your ENG 1 which is a medical certificate obtained from an MCA approved doctor, confirming you are fit to work on yachts.

  • What training do I need?

    In the first instance, the STCW95 Basic Training course is a great start; in fact you will find it difficult to get work without this crucial training. By enrolling in this course you have shown potential employers that you are serious enough about the industry to put yourself through some initial training. Additional courses for entry level deckhand candidates include the "UK National Powerboat Level 2 Certificate" (for tender driving) and for steward/esses looking for extra skills, flower arranging and silver service courses are all readily available. Interior crew and chefs can also look at obtaining the Food Hygiene certificate. For more information, please contact our training department.

  • I've been working in a hotel for the last 3 years and fancy a change; would I adapt well to yachting?

    Of course!! In many respects most of the skills you'll have gained in the hotel industry are easily transferable to yachting. These skills include laundry, silver service, bar tending, flower arranging, sommelier experience and many, many more. Likewise any additional skills such as nannying, massage therapy and hairdressing are also valuable.

  • What salary can I expect?

    This is dependant on the yacht. For entry level positions a salary of €2,500 / US$2,700 per month upwards would be the norm, but salaries can vary enormously.

  • I'm confused - some say there is a crew shortage whilst others say the opposite!

    "Crew Crisis as superyacht industry grows" This is a typical message portrayed in the media at the moment. The answer is that both statements are true. There is no shortage of unqualified and inexperienced people trying to get into the industry, which is why it's essential that you make the effort to stand out from the crowd. There is a chronic shortage of qualified and experienced crew because of the explosive growth that the superyacht industry has experienced over the last ten years.

  • Do I need a work visa?

    This depends on your nationality and the flag / cruising grounds of the yacht you are joining. For non US citizens joining a yacht operating in US waters, you will require the B1B2 visa or a Green Card. The B1B2 visa is applied for through your embassy and easier to gain if you are employed on a yacht, although there are examples of crew securing these without being employed. For more information please refer to your embassy. The UK flag uniquely does not have any visa or nationality restrictions when working onboard therefore employment is open to all nationalities.

  • Will it be easy to find work?

    That completely depends on what sort of person you are and how proactive you are in your search for work. Getting that first opportunity in yachting can be difficult and it won’t be easy to find work at first, but make sure you come to the yachting hubs prepared and well-funded to allow yourself maximum time to find employment.

  • I’ve heard that the industry can be very sexist, is this true?

    All industries are susceptible to different forms of discrimination. Like any industry, the yachting world can experience discrimination in the form of sexism, racism and ageism. Practically speaking, due to the international nature of the industry you may not have the same level of protection against such discrimination as you would expect in shore side employment. Having said that, many people enjoy full and interesting careers without experiencing such problems.

  • How do I delete my crew profile ?

    To permanently delete your crew profile, please send an email to