GREENIES GUIDE - HOW TO GET STARTED IN THE YACHTING INDUSTRY
I won’t bore you with how I decided to get into this industry, you can read about that on my About Me page. But through all of the research that I have done in the 3 months before moving down here, I read that Fort Lauderdale is one of the top yachting hubs in the world, so I packed up my bags and flew down here. The season here is just starting to pick up due to the boat show that starts in the beginning of November and hopefully I'll have a job by then!
I’ve created a step-by-step list of how I got to where I am today for those of you looking to break into the wild wild yachting industry. Before doing anything though, I suggest reading more about the industry so that you're prepared for the amount of work that will be asked of you. I am still pretty new myself, but researching and reading definitely prepped me for what to expect.
Read blogs, articles, books, etc about the yachting industry. I recommend:
The Yacht Guru's Bible: The Service Manual for Every Yacht by Alene Keenan
Working on Yacht and Superyachts by Jennifer Errico
The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess by Julie Perry
Research the yachting seasons – make sure it’s busy season wherever you decide is your home port.
Book your courses! Make sure to book your courses first before anything else as that will determine when you need to move down and would ideally be around busy season. I went through MPT but there are a few schools to choose from, it just depends on your schedule and when they are offering the courses. Altogether, my courses came out to about $2500.
STCW - You are required to take the STCW course, which is a weeklong course, also known as basic safety training. It entails firefighting, cpr, personal survival techniques (how to survive if the boat sinks) and personal safety and social responsibility (how to keep yourself and the guests safe in certain situations).
VPDSD - This is an 8hr security class that will be required starting next year, but you might as well do it now. There is another security course that's 4hrs and called Security Awareness, but I think it's a waste of money and is useless since you'll need to take the 8hr course anyway.
Food Safety and Hygiene - When I was almost done with my courses, I was told this was also a requirement for stews. It's a half day course and it's pretty easy and I had to take it through ICT.
Interior Operations - It is also highly recommended to take a week of interior courses. Mine was called Megayacht Interior Operations. You learn boat terminology, how to make beds, iron, how to set up tables and do silver service and learn about wine and cocktails.
Find a crewhouse. I recommend Cheryl's Crewhouse (find her on FB) and I heard Neptune and Camile’s have decent crewhouses as well. Thesis my 4th crewhouse and is definitely the nicest house out of the 4 others. Crewhouses are week to week and range from $150-$200+ a week depending on what kind of room you’re looking for. Being in a larger crewhouse is nice too, because you make a bunch of friends and it’s also a great way to network. Friends always want to help friends out.
GET YOUR SH*T TOGETHER
Book your flight.
Start packing up your life. You can only bring so much on a boat so you will either need to sell everything else, keep it in storage or a family/friends place. DO NOT BRING A HARD SUITCASE.
Say your goodbyes. Despite having to say goodbye to my belongings and my closet full of clothes, saying goodbye to my friends and family was definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Business cards. Make business cards and go to networking events. Even if you haven’t completed your courses yet, your business cards will come in handy when you go to networking events or just meeting people. Include your name, email, phone, what position you’re looking for passport/visa information, nationality and status.
Networking events. Triton holds 2 monthly events and there will be some agencies throwing events as well. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date.
Work on your CV. It’s time consuming and takes longer than you think. If you don’t have any maritime experience, list your land based experience and carry over the skills you obtained from those jobs and make them relevant to the yachting industry. I would also recommend only printing about 5 resumes at a time, because you’ll have to update your resume with the more experience you get.
Crew agencies. Start talking to crew agents after you complete your courses. Apply to the crew agencies online and then go to the offices and make friends with the agents.
Job listing sites – go on these sites every day and look for jobs that apply to you.
Finally, find a job and don’t f*ck it up! Expect long hours and a lot of hard labor, but instead of sitting in an office, you will be in some exotic location serving really expensive food and booze to high class VIP’s and making sure they have the time of their lives.