Yacht Crew Jobs: How To Get Hired + Work On A Superyacht

August 7, 2020 4:50 pm

Interested in working on a yacht? Denison’s Lead Crew Coordinator Jill Maderia details what aspiring crew professionals need to know before their first job.

Looking for a job that allows you to travel the world? Working as a crew on a superyacht may be a dream for many. Yacht crew are held to the highest standards of professionalism, catering to superyacht owners and guests to create the ultimate yachting experience. Whether you’re interested in becoming a deckhand, stewardess, or chef, we’ll break down how to enter the yachting industry and provide tips on how to prepare for your first yacht crew job.


Q: What courses do I need to complete before working on a yacht?

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A: Crew must have the basic safety course called STCW. If they are working on a charter yacht, they will also need the ENG1 (medical clearance). While STCW is the basic course needed, addition courses might set you apart, as it shows commitment to a career on yachts.

For example: The Power Boat class is important to have if you are deckhand, but having this and learning how to drive a tender, would benefit anyone that works on a yacht.

Any extra courses such as hospitably, silver service, mixology are a plus and will help crew better market themselves for opportunities.


Q: After completing my courses, how do I get a job on a yacht?

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A: You must have a great CV. Create a portfolio of your work. If you are a Chef or stew, have photos of your food, table settings, flower arrangements. I have had a deckhand show “before and after” projects such as teak work on deck too. Our crew website can create an album of your work.

Plus, showcase your skills. While qualifications are required, your skills that you have might be the reason you get that dream job. Many boats, especially charter yachts, seek out crew with additional skills, whether it be a stew with cooking or childcare experience, or a deckhand that is also a drone operator or photographer.


Q: Do I want to work on a private yacht or a charter yacht?

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A: There are benefits to both. There is a difference, as charter boats you will have a combination of owner vs. charter guests. In addition, crew often like the benefit of the additional gratuity at the end of a charter, which can be a range of 15-20%.


Q: What is the interview process like for yacht crew?

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Presentation is key: Both with your CV, and in your interview. Your first impression is important, so dress the part as much as you can. Keep in mind, many interviews are via FaceTime or Zoom. Treat virtual interviews the same as you would in-person, show up on time and be professional.


Q: How can networking help my crew career?

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Go to crew events, or consider crew housing. You never know where your next job may come from. Maintain relationships with crew agents, other crew members, and industry professionals. It important to be out and meeting people in person or even virtually on Zoom.


Q: Any other tips that will help in landing a yacht crew career?

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  • 1) Research: Read industry publications. This is especially important for those who have never worked in the hospitality industry. In addition to taking your courses, conduct your own research.
  • 2) Crew Housing: When crew stay at a crew house, they have the benefit of networking with other crew. They may even find jobs from crew mates and share ideas and tips in the industry. There are a variety of crew typically, from green to experienced and they all have a story to tell or some wisdom to share.
  • 3) Daywork: Sometimes daywork can lead to long term opportunities. While daywork is temporary, crew may not realize that daywork can lead to the Captain or department head interviewing you and seeing how you might fit in with a boat full time.
  • 4) Checking in: Check in with your agents. The better your crew agent knows you, the easier it is for them to properly match you to a boat. Keep your crew agent informed on if you’re still looking for work.

Ready to start your career in crew? Contact Lead Crew Coordinator Jill Maderia, or explore all the options Denison Yachting offers in our crew division.

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