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My first job on a superyacht…

When you gain your first job on a superyacht you have joined one of the most unique industries in the world. You have the opportunity to travel to exotic destinations, whilst aboard a luxury superyacht. Yet, there are other factors which need to be taken into consideration, for you to decide if yachting is for you.

Many new crew keen to gain a jobs on yachts will have many questions of where to start and this information is vital to ensure you start off on the right foot.


When should I come to the Med?

The Mediterranean superyacht season is very weather dependent and if the weather is bad it can lead to a late start or a short season. It usually begins in early May commencing with the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix. Superachts start to recruit crew several weeks prior to this, to ensure the yacht is summerised and ready for their first guests. Please ensure you have adequate funds to support your stay whilst looking for your first job on a superyacht.

What should I bring?

When looking for your first position, it is advisable to “dockwalk” by visiting marinas and introducing yourself to yachts. This is the most direct marketing on offer to you, therefore you must present yourself accordingly. The most appropriate attire is a white polo shirt with beige or blue skirt, shorts or trousers. This is also suitable for an interview. To obtain a job on yachts look at what crews are wearing and then you can’t go far wrong. When joining a superyacht please ensure that you do not have a ridged suitcase, rather a folding fabric bag as space is limited. Less is more as cabins can have limited space.

What is dockwalking?

Dockwalking involves visiting superyachts in various ports to introduce yourself. Instigating a conversation with crew can lead to day work. Bear in mind the industry is fast paced and should they require crew it could be an immediate start, so dress appropriately. Please present yourself in a professional manner at all times, this includes when you are relaxing in a bar; who’s to say the person next to you is not a Captain looking for crew?

Where do I stay?

If you are planning to travel to the south of France crew houses can be an economical option. The following Crew Houses are located in Antibes and are in close proximity of the port, bus routes and trains.

The Crew Grapevine


Debbies Crew House

+33 (0)

The Crew House

+33 (0)

The Glamorgan

+33 (0)

What qualifications do I need?

Jobs on a superyachts require certain qualifications, you will require your STCW’95 which is a legal requirement to work aboard any superyacht. The 5 day attendance course encompasses 5 modules: –

  • Personal safety & social responsibility
  • Personal survival techniques
  • Fire fighting
  • First aid and CPR
  • Security

If you have not already done so, you can complete the course at a training school in Antibes if required.

You will also require an ENG1 medical certificate to prove that you are medically fit to work aboard. This consists of a brief, non-invasive examination. Superyachts are very physical environments so you must hbe fit to work.

Where can I get my ENG1?

You can obtain your ENG1 at several doctors along the south coast. This will cost approximately €100. For more details please do not hesitate to get in touch.

How much money do I need?

The priority is not to run out of money whilst you are abroad. Please research costs of accommodation, food and travel to ensure coming to Monaco and the south of France in a viable option for you. If you intend to complete your STCW’95 it will cost approximately €1100.
How long will it take to find a job on a superyacht?
We cannot provide you with a definitive response and this generally depends on your motivation. We are here to give you advice on how to maximize your coverage, CV tips and pointers, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Do employers look at Social Media?

It is commonly known that employers will “Google” your name before they proceed to interview. It is therefore imperative all your social media sites are switched to private or do not contain any offensive material. It is also frowned upon to place photos of the yacht you are working aboard on any social medium; due to privacy for the owner and yacht. Professionalism is not requested it is expected.

What work experience would help for a job on a superyacht?

This varies from position to position, for example an entry level engineer should highlight all engineering courses, certificates and degrees regardless if they are not maritime recognized qualifications, (Please see “What are CoC’s and CeC’s”). Whereas a stewardess should highlight previous waitressing and housekeeping positions ashore. There are many transferable skills from shore based employment which can be utilised aboard. For résumé advice, please get in touch where we can discuss how to highlight your key attributes.

What is the minimum age to gain jobs on a superyachts?

The minimum age is 16 years old. However, under the age of 18 years you must comply to stringent night restrictions (MLC 2006 A1.1). Due to this, most employers will wait until you turn 18.

Are tattoos a problem?

The majority of yachts have a non-visible, tattoo policy. If your tattoos cannot be seen when in uniform, consisting of polo shirt and skirt or shorts, you should be fine. However this is a case by case scenario for all yachts, so is best to contact us with any questions or queries you may have.

Can I smoke?

Most superyachts have a non-smoking policy whilst aboard. However there can be exceptions, please discuss this with us if you are not sure how to approach this subject.

Do I need a work Visa?

This is dependent on many factors and most importantly your Nationality. It is best to contact your embassy and ask them what visa is best suited to your current situation.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

Yachting is an international industry and you will be working with and for a variety of nationalities. It is generally not a requirement for secondary or multiple languages, however; aboard specific yachts it may be needed for owners or their guests, who do not speak English. Naturally if you speak multiple languages put this towards the top of your CV. However English is the international spoken word for maritime and aviation.

I have heard people mention red ensign what does it mean?

The ensign relates to the flag of the yachts’ registration. When you see the large flags flying off the stern of a yacht (the back of the yacht).
The Red Ensign Group is comprised of the United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and UK Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and the Turks & Caicos Islands) which operate shipping registers. These registers are divided into two categories:

Category 1 – register ships of unlimited tonnage and type.

Category 2 – register commercial ships and yachts of up to 150 gross registered tons (GRT); and vessels which are not operated commercially of up to 400 GRT.

What is a CoC for deck and engineer officers aboard superyachts?

An essential criterion for safe navigation is adequate manning of vessels with qualified crew. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) set minimum standards for the qualification of seafarers and the issue of Certificates of Competency. One of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) responsibilities is the issue of Certificates of Competency for (CoC) Deck Officers and Marine Engineer Officers. For officers to receive a CoC they will have completed modules, examinations, sea time and sea miles to gain the relevant certification.

What is a CeC for deck and engineer officers?

In accordance with the STCW convention, unless the officers onboard a UK registered vessel hold a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC) they require a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) issued by the MCA. CEC’s are available to officers who hold a CoC issued in accordance with the STCW ’95 amendment from a country whose standards of competency and training are considered to be equivalent to those of the UK. Likewise, if a MCA licensed crew member wishes to gain a CeC for another flag state.

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