Sunday, 16 August 2009

A not so serious guide to getting a job on a Super Yacht

Why not a serious guide? Well if this was a serious guide I would have to charge money for it. That being said you are more than welcome to donate money if you find this guide interesting. The not so serious information in this guide should be easy to identify.

Historical Background,

From the turn of the millennium the Super Yacht industry experienced incredible growth. This growth created a job and Yacht shortage and up until the middle of last year it was quite easy to get a job; if you were well presented, in the right place and keen to learn.

The recession caused a rationalisation of the workforce and owning of Yachts. A lot of the sub 40 metre yachts were owned by people who probably should not have had one. World wide job losses meant a lot more people were looking for work than in the past.

Yachting was also quite a transient industry. In the past it was quite easy to work for 6 months, go travelling for a few months and maybe squeeze a ski or dive season in as an instructor. It is still possible to do this but the catch 22 is that you will need experience.

If you are trying to get into this industry experience is the holy grail. There are a few things that can help you before you leave home though. This is my list of regrets. Please heed them.

-Go and visit your local marinas going into summer. New Zealand has quite a few marinas. We even have Super Yachts. I could have probably got some day work before I left New Zealand.

-If you can't get day work at home. You can practice deck work pretty easy.Rinse, soap, scrub, wipe, shammy, polish, window clean, spot clean and tooth brush clean your car every day for a week or so.

-If you are keen on interior work. Get some hospitality experience. Make some cocktails. Drink some cocktails. Practice smiling.

-Captains want people who can do anything so to really make yourself a catch. Take apart your entire car. Reassemble it. Wash it down and then clean out the inside whilst making a coffee and then serve yourself a cocktail.

-It is worth noting that Engineers are in constant demand. Engineers are gold. Any practical engineering experience will help vastly.

Basic Seamanship

Invest in a good pair of wrap around sunglasses. Get a nice polo and boat shoes. Practice some knots. Get a hair cut.

Advanced Seamanship

Learn port and starboard. Learn to work with a murderous hangover.

I can not stress this enough. Yachting is a very conservative industry. That being said everyone drinks like there is no today and tomorrow. The first thing you will find after walking out of a marina is a bar.

You will drink a lot and you will need to work the next day. The good thing is, sitting in an office with a hangover is a lot worse than working outside. Also a lot of people eat lunch really quickly so they can have a nap afterwards. This is a benefit of working and living in the same place.

Dock walking (dock whoring)

Dock walking is a useful way of making contacts and getting day work. Unfortunately this season there were so many people doing it in France it was largely a waste of time.

If you want to practice dock walking at home. Put on your polo, boat shoes and wrap around sunglasses and start walking up to people you don't know and try and create a conversation. Also ask them for a job at the end of the conversation.

It is best if the people have been annoyed by about 100 other people already that day.

I found dock walking terrifying.

I think I actually drank some Gin and Tonic before one afternoon dock walking session(British courage).

The good news is. If you are really dedicated and want a job there is a job out there for you. The bad news is that you will probably spend a lot of money getting that job. Which brings me to my next point.

Running out of money is a good thing. We were literally down to our last 2oo Euros before we moved to Italy. Being broke makes you resourceful. The other great thing about Yachting is that you will recoup your money very quickly.

Advice.....

Everyone will have some advice to give you. Some of it will be conflicting. Take peoples advice carefully.

Some of the best advice I have been given includes.

"Before you get really drunk, head back to the boat"

"Anyone can clean a boat. Not everyone can fix a computer"

"Slowly slowly, safely safely"

"Don't wear denim"

'The longer you can stay in a job the stronger you will be for it"

And of course this whole guide is all advice really.

My last advice. Think long and hard before committing yourself to a career in Super Yachts. It is not something you can do forever. There is also a lot of odd stuff that goes on. Interested????

Keep reading my blog.
Post a Comment