Starting out in yachting? Top 12 FAQs answered.

Are you starting your career in yachting? You have hopefully passed your 1 week STCW Basic Training with Bluewater and have made lots of new friends and yachting contacts!

We have an expert group of recruitment consultants in Palma, Antibes and Fort Lauderdale receiving new job vacancies DAILY which need to be filled. Granted a lot of them are for crew with experience but we do also receive requests for green crew where the yacht is willing to train you. For those starting out we wanted to share with you some frequently asked questions, and please feel free to mail us with any questions!

1. Should I dress for dock walking like I would for an interview?

Either you can dress up smart and bring working clothes with you or dress up ready for work. Be prepared to get onboard if the captain needs you straight away.

2. What time should I go dock walking?

We recommend either going early in the morning 7.30am to 9.30am or end of the afternoon 5pm to 6pm. During the day everyone is busy and captains will not have the time to talk to you.

Please remember the dock walking rules in the USA are slightly stricter than in Europe, but our friendly crew agents in the Fort Lauderdale office will happily share some tips with you on this. Please pass by the office to ask for guidance.

3. Will my partner and I get a couple’s position on our first season?

For your first season we would recommend that you look for both separate and couple positions. Starting out in the industry is hard and you need all the experience you can get.

4. Where should I go dock walking?

South of France:
The majority of crew are based in Antibes, so show initiative and be different by heading to some of the other ports, you could be one of the few and therefore find it more beneficial for daywork. Visit Nice, Cannes, Golfe Juan, Monaco, Marina Baie des Anges and even head off to Italy to San Remo, Viareggio and Imperia. Not forgetting La Ciotat in the autumn when a lot of boats are based there for shipyard work and may need some extra hands.

There are three main areas for dock walking in Mallorca – the marinas in the bay of Palma, Puerto Portals and Port Adriano. The marinas and shipyards in the bay of Palma are all gated so it’s important to dock walk discreetly, always in neat uniform and go about it alone. Crew dock walking in groups are likely to be asked to leave by security.

South Florida:
Only American citizens, green card holders, and work authorization visa holders are legal to walk the docks and look for work in the USA. Fort Lauderdale is an excellent choice as there are many marinas and boatyards with large yachts. We believe Bahia Mar, Hall of Fame, Pier 66, and the Marriot Hotel and Marina are the best places to start. There are several marinas from Miami all the way up to West Palm Beach which are gated or only allow guests by appointment only, we do encourage you to visit each place to see for yourself, meet the person at the gate/frontdesk, and leave a resume or business cards, if they will allow it.
The weeks leading up to a boat show is an excellent time to go dock walking as well, South Florida has 3 major shows Miami Yacht Show, Palm Beach Boat Show and Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. For a full list of marinas and boatyards please email the Fort Lauderdale office.

5. My tattoo is not visible, should I mention it?

Yes. Although it is not visible in a uniform, you never know what could happen. If the owner asks you to go for a swim with his kids and sees your tattoo he could ask you to leave immediately. It is always best to be honest, as a lot of boats don’t mind small tattoos.

6. Where can I book my ENG1?

Only an MCA approved doctor can deliver an ENG1. We have contact details for these doctors in our office feel free to give one of our offices a ring.

Antibes: +33 (0)493 344 773
Palma: +34 971 677 154
Fort Lauderdale: +1 (954) 462 4624

or send us an email and we will give them to you;

Fort Lauderdale:

7. Where can I stay whilst I look for work?

We recommend you book yourself a room in one of the crew houses as it’s a great way to get to meet other crew members. If you would like any contact details just send us an email to the relevant office as detailed above.

8. I am new to the industry but have 3 years experience in the hospitality industry. Should I mention this on my CV?

Definitely! For interior positions any hospitality or customer service experience is good to mention.
For exterior positions any carpentry work, painting, varnishing and useful skills like this should be listed as you never know what the boat may need.

Any additional skills you have which may be transferable should be included on your CV.

9. Is it very important to have references from previous employers?

Yes. You need to remember that there are a lot of people looking for work out there and now is the time to sell yourself! Your CV is a lot stronger if you have a couple of good references attached to it. If it is your first season, references from land based jobs are fine. And if you get any day work remember to ask for a written reference.

10. How often should I check in on the Bluewater website?

We recommend checking in twice a week. If you don’t check in for 15 days in a row then we will send you a reminder email, if you still don’t check in we will deactivate your profile.

11. Should I return to the yachts where I have already left a CV?

Of course you can. Mention that you popped by last week and left a CV and that you are still available for work if they are in need of an extra pair of hands.