7 Ways To Nail Your First 7 Days As A Yacht Stew.
Hear about the real yacht life, info on how to kickstart your superyacht career and tips on becoming a super stew.
A Chief Stew with 6+ years experience in the superyacht industry. I help aspiring crew confidently land their first job and teach the skills needed to be a stand out YACHT STEW.
Leaving my 9-5 job to start a new career at sea and get paid to travel the world was the best decision I ever made. Today I am forever grateful for the opportunities yachting gave me, from paying off my university debts to setting myself up financially and STILL having the abilty to travel to some of the worlds most unique places and meet so many friends along the way.
Don’t be fooled there is a lot of hard work involved in yachting, it pushed me to my limits and was at times the most physically and mentally challenging environment. Being away from family and friends at home and working 14-16 (sometimes more!) hours per day for weeks/months on end during the season can take it’s toll. However, for me the postitives ALWAYS outweighed the negatives and I would 100% recommend the industry to anyone willing to give it a go, it’s a lottttttaaaaa fun.
So before we jump into HOW to get a job as a yacht stewardess, I have some blog articles which may be useful for you when you’re in the initial research phase to decide if yachting is right for you.
Check out the below:
Here are the required courses you’ll need to do to work on a decent superyacht:
The Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Standards (STCW) is an internationally recognised certification needed by all yachties working on commercial vessels above 24 meters (79 feet). It covers 5 modules: Basic Fire Prevention & Firefighting, Personal Survival Techniques, First Aid, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities & Proficiency in Maritime Security Awareness and costs €900-€950 depending on the country where you do it, it’s usually a 5-Day Course (some training facilities do part online and part in person).
ENG1 MEDICAL (or AMSA approved Seafarer Medical in Australia)
A certificate by an MCA-approved doctor (Maritime and Coastguard Agency doctor)to prove you are fit for sea. The appointment involves a health check measuring height and weight, testing eyesight, hearing, questions of medical history, urine sample, blood pressure, and a gentle overall physical check- nothing too crazy. It costs approximately €100 and needs to be renewed every two years.
*In regards to vaccinations required to work on superyachts, it is fast becoming a must-have tick on your health records to say you are vaccinated against COVID-19. This is not included on your ENG1 Medical certificate however you will find most recruitment agencies and yachts will request crew to be fully vaccinated.
FOOD HYGIENE LEVEL 2 CERTIFICATE
A one-day theory-based course that covers food preparation, handling and storage and is required for most stewardess roles on board larger vessels and charter yachts. Make sure the course you do is MCA-approved, it costs around €185 and can be done online as well as in person at training facilities such as Barcelona Crew Academy.
Proficiency in Designated Security Duties is an online or in-person course covering why security on a vessel is so important, the roles and responsibilities of those onboard in different security roles and the risks involved. On many yachts 50m+, this certificate is required for all crew that have a security duty such as watch-keeping. You can complete the training with companies such as VIRSEC it costs €195 and takes one day to complete.
There are additional courses you can do if:
A) You’re lacking confidence in your stewardess skills (after all they are so specialised), and you want to make yourself more desirable for the job hunt OR
B) You have limited transferable experience to yachting from previous jobs and you’re feeling underprepared and overwhelmed
Such as joining the Seaworthy Yacht Stewardess Online Training Course specifically for junior and green stews, it gives you the professional know-how so you can stand out on the CV pile and be an incredible yacht stew from the get-go. Hello amazing yachting opportunities!
Med Season (Mediterannean Season)– April/May – September/Oct
The Med season (as yachties call it) begins in late April/early May when yachts are preparing for summer charters and events like the Cannes Film Festival held in May. In the lead-up to the season, there will often be opportunities for day work and permanent positions as yachts crew up for the season.
The USA and Caribbean season
Late Nov/Dec is the start of the Caribbean Yachting season with the main yachting hub being Fort Lauderdale in the USA and then West Palm Beach as well as Antigua, and St Maarten in the Caribbean. The season usually wraps up in Feb/March when dual season yachts (Superyachts that do both the Med and Caribbean) tend to do the crossing back to the Med however charters and programs can run until late april/early May.
Yachting Seasons in Australia
The Whitsunday season including Great Barrier Reef charters usually run from April to November. From November to late January/February it is the summer yachting season in Sydney where a lot of the action takes place.
Antibes, France: The biggest hub for superyachts in the Med, close to other marinas such as Nice and Monaco.
Palma, Spain: Palma is home to more sailing yachts as well as motor yachts. Sailing yachts will often spend the winter periods here.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida: The biggest yachting hub in the United States with several marinas.
You may be wondering can I just try and apply to get get a job on a yacht from home?
There’s a very small chance you’re going to get hired from home as green crew. Why? Because it’s competitive and positioning yourself within the International yachting hubs allows you to start networking, dock walk and gain first hand experince by day working + allows you to be close for any potential interviews.
Depending on where you plan to look for your first job in yachting and your nationality, you may need to look into what visa is required for you to legally enter countries and work onboard. Check out this article on What visa’s you may need to work on superyachts.
Create a Yachting CV that stands out, it is very different to a land based one. Click here to see how to put together a yachting CV that ticks the industry boxes or grab these professional Yachting CV templates here included in the CV Toolkit.
Sign up with as many yacht crew agencies as possible, try to organise a phone call or interview with them and introduce yourself, it could be the start of a great working relationship.
Here are some recommendations: YPI Crew, Luxury Yacht Group, Bluewater Crew, Camper & Nicholsons, Lighthouse Careers, Quay Crew, and Australia specifically check out Champion Crewing and Yachtsmen International. For the online job boards check out YotSpot and YA crew – check into the agencies job board often to let them know you’re stilll looking for work.
AND Keep up to date with jobs posted on Yacht Crew Facebook Pages, here’s a list of recommended Facebook pages
As green crew, one way to land a permanent role as a yacht stew or deckhand is by building up your yachting CV. Day work gives you an introduction to what it’s like to work onboard, where you start to build your first yacht stew or deckhand skills, it also gives you income during the job hunting phase, allows you to network and create a positive reputation in the industry. To read all about what to expect when day working click here.
Consider your past experience and skillsets, if you’re not feeling confident consider a stewardess course. If you can learn the foundational skills before landing your first job you’re one step above the rest and you’ll actually know what you’re doing onboard. Early in the season, your chief stew may have time to train you from scratch however they don’t always have time — in the nicest possible way — do you want to be a stew that can hit the ground running? The Seaworthy Yacht stewardess course here gives you all the information in order for you to be fully prepared for all the industry throws at you. Learn these tips, tricks and skills that usually take years to master.
7. DOCK WALK IN THE MARINA
Dock walking can be a successful way of getting your first job, think of it like a sales pitch and your personal delivery of your CV to the yacht. It’s important to know the right locations to dock walk, the security measures around it and if you’re legally allowed to do it.
Check out this article for more information on how to do dock walking.
Don’t forget to organise your dock walking day around crew working hours. To avoid being ‘that person’ that rings the door bell during the crew’s breaktimes here’s a run down of a day for crew when off charter: 08:00 Start work, 10:00 Morning Tea, 12:00 Lunch, 3:00pm Afternoon Tea, 5:00 Knock off.
Ready to learn more about being a yacht stew?! Save this free guide – 7 Ways to Nail Your First 7 Days As A Yacht Stew
Best of luck with your new yachting adventure!
I’m a chief stewardess with over 6 years experience working in the superyacht industry on boats up to 88m. I help aspiring yacht crew by propelling them with the know-how and tools to confidently break into the superyacht industry.