Getting your Yacht Career Started: Knowledge Experience
Wilsonhalligan clients with large yachts require professional well trained and qualified crews, usually with at least a few years’ experience supported by testimonials. So gaining these qualifications and testimonials should be the goal of all new candidates looking at yachting as a career rather than just a job.
However, in order to start out, consider developing your work experience and professional courses prior to yachting, as discussed in the question above.
Once you are ready, you will need to obtain the STCW basic safety certificate. This is required for all crew members and comprises of a five day course which covers basic fire-fighting, sea survival, personal safety and social responsibility, elementary first aid & proficiency in security awareness.
Ensure that your training company is IMO recognised and remember that additional courses may also be required depending on your preferred on-board position. There are an increasing number of yachts of over 3000gt, which require full commercial Merchant Navy certification for all deck and engineering officers.
Why not take a look at training provided by these organisations?
Warsash Superyacht Academy – www.warsashsuperyachtacademy.com
Maritime and Coastguard Agency – www.mcga.gov.uk
UK Sailing Association – www.uksa.org
Royal Yacht Association – www.rya.org.uk
Hoylake Sailing School – www.hss.ac.uk
Plymouth Sailing School – www.plymsail.co.uk
It is also a requirement to comply with minimum standards of medical health and this is proven in the form of an ENG1 medical certificate (or recognised equivalent from other countries). You get these from doctors approved by the governing maritime administration. In the UK, this is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
With these necessary documents in hand, we would recommend heading to Antibes or Palma to try dockwalking and dayworking. At the same time, ensure that you sign up to a few agencies (like ours!), and keep them up to date with your whereabouts & experiences gained.
Competition to get into the industry is fierce at the moment – be sure to make a good first impression, and show willingness and enthusiasm. Any extra skills will also give you an edge in the marketplace – more and more yachts are asking for specialist crew like Carpenters, Divers, Beauticians and Nurses. Be sure to put it on your CV if you have any such skills.