For someone who’s passionate about travel and hospitality, there’s no better job than working aboard a beautiful luxury yacht, where you get to experience beautiful sights and exotic destinations around the world, while living in stylish and well-appointed digs. Working as part of a yacht crew is almost like living your life as one long vacation, and the pay isn’t bad either, depending on your employer.
That said, there are a few things you should know and consider when looking for a yacht job, especially as a woman, like the fact that the yachting industry is still very male-dominated when it comes to the more significant tasks and positions, and women are still limited to being stewardesses. However, the tides are changing and more women are getting accepted into deckhand and other roles which were previously male dominated, so there’s never been a better time than now to be a part of this revolution, and we’ve got just the right tips to help you land your first yachting job.
What to expect
Living among a yacht crew is a different experience to being on land. First of all, you’ll spend most of the time surrounded by water with no land in sight and no escape route. The staff’s quarters are usually small and cramped, especially in smaller vessels, so you’ll have to maintain an agreeable temperament if you are to get along with everyone, keeping mind that there’ll be all types of personalities on board.
Nevertheless, yacht jobs are as serious as they come, so you need to be disciplined and have a willingness to work hard, while observing all the safety and social protocols, like respecting others’ personal space, keeping your noise levels low, and cleaning up after yourself. Keeping an open mind and not sweating the small stuff will also earn you much-needed recognition and respect, and make your time on the yacht more enjoyable.
Location, location, location!
The availability of yacht jobs largely depends on the destination as well as they time of year. For example, the sailing season in Europe is usually at its peak from May to September, and the prime yachting destinations are typically France, Spain, Greece, Italy and Turkey. Once the European season is over, you can hop over to the Caribbean and enjoy the fun all over again, while enjoying an endless summer of meeting new people, experiencing new places and making money. Some of the hot-spots to look out for in the Caribbean include Fort Lauderdale, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Lucia, which hosts ARC race participants every year around December.
Job hunting tips
- One approach to job hunting would be to simply visit the prominent marinas of popular destinations like St. Tropez, Monaco, Mallorca and Golf Juan, which are all favourite haunts for the rich and famous during the peak season
- Another idea is to register with an agency at one of the large ports, and then get a day job around that port so that the captains who do the hiring can notice you.
- The sailing community is a tight-knit family, and almost everyone knows everyone else. So make nice with the marina staff to get the latest on which ships are leaving or require crew, and if you make a good impression you might even get someone to put in a good word for you on a ‘celebrity yacht’.
- Use the marina bulletin board to your advantage by placing a notice with details on how people can reach you.
- You could also go o online to look for ads on the relevant internet forums, while websites like yachtregistrationmalta.net offer assistance in finding yachting jobs as well.
- The type of job you land will depend on you qualifications and level of experience. Deckhands and stewardesses are entry level jobs that usually go to young and inexperienced crew, whereas the engineers and chefs need to show that they have relevant qualifications in order to get hired.
- Some of the most sought-after skills in crew members include speaking a foreign language (or a few), cooking, computer knowledge, diesel mechanics and plumbing, to name but a few.