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I get asked this question alot, so I have started asking Captain's and First Officers on the Superyachts I visit what they would look for in a crew member/deck hand and how they generally find staff; this is what they have told me:-


Crew Agency - JF recruiting has been pointed out by a few Captain's as a good agency to register with as it is free of charge for you to register your details and they are vastly cheaper than many others for the Yachts which therefore means they get alot of business.   


'Walk the dock' - if you are wanting a job, then walking the dock can be the best way, rather than signing up with a crew agency that then charges the Yacht for your employment. If you are going to this then there are a few things you should consider:


  • Be smartly dressed - at minimum a polo shirt and shorts.
  • Start early in the morning (8am)
  • Ask for a job not just day work, they may take you on for day work then end up employing you if you prove your worth.
  • Make sure you have a tidy, well-written C.V. and copies of your certificates with you; if you attended a crew training course, make sure your references are from your instructors, not just your careers advisor/mentor who is bound to give you a good reference regardless.
  • Your CV will need to include a photo and ideally one of your 'waist' and up rather than just a 'head-shot/passport style' photo. It is a fickle world so make sure you are presentable as possible in this picture as this is the first thing the captain will look at.
  • Ask to speak to the first officer where possible, the Captain will usually be too busy.
  • Don't give up after asking once, keep going back to show your eagerness. It is all about being in the right place at the right time. 



Areas you might wish to consider visiting for this are:


Palma, Mallorca - Club de Mar, Astilleros de Mallorca, STP shipyard, Puerto Portals etc


Antibes, France


Golfe Juan, France


Cannes, France


When should you go?


March, April, May are the best times when alot of Superyachts are in Shipyards/marinas having works done and preparing for their charter season.


Certificates / Qualifications:


STCW 95 is the minimum qualification you will require for anyone to employ you onboard



Other qualifications that may help you are:     


  • A tender licence such as RYA Powerboat level 2 certificate
  • Yachtmaster practical
  • RYA Personal Watercraft instructor
  • PADI Advanced open water / Rescue diver or instructor
  • GMDSS radio operators licence, rather than Long Wave Radio

Keep an eye out on Dockwalk for job opportunities