Super Yacht Engineer FAQ’s

Super Yacht Engineer - frequently asked questions:

Am I made for the Yachting Industry?

What positions does YPI Crew recruit for?

What is the procedure to register with YPI Crew?

I am a newcomer engineer to the industry: what qualifications do I need?

What is the STCW’95 basic crew training?

What is an ENG1 and where can I obtain one?

I want to become an engineer/I am an engineer, what are the yacht licenses or training and certification guidance?

I am an engineer, what is the Letter of Initial Assessment (LoIA)?

I am an engineer, how do I obtain a Certificate of Competency (CoC)?

I am an engineer, how do I apply or renew a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC)?

Do I need to speak other languages apart from English? For instance do I need to speak French to look for work in Antibes?

I am a newcomer, what personal affects shall I take with me on board?

How long are contracts for?

What are the working hours?

What is the difference between a private and a charter yacht?

Where will the yacht travel?

Who pays for the documents that I need to be able to travel to join a yacht?

I have tattoos – will this affect me getting a job?

I am a smoker – will this affect me getting a job?

How important are Social Networking sites?

Can my family contact me through YPI Crew if they cannot reach me on the yacht you have placed me on?

Am I made for the Yachting Industry? 

The yachting industry is like no other industry, it is not just about having a job, it is a lifestyle which you will lead twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week; it is not for everyone. Flexibility and the ability to react to an ever changing environment are essential. You will be expected to work hard, be a team player, have a global vision and do what it takes, together with the rest of the crew, to provide a special holiday to the guests on board the yacht. You must be resilient and be totally serviceorientated. If you have what it takes, the sky is the limit and you will be able to have a long and successful career in the industry.

What positions does YPI Crew recruit for?

YPI Crew recruits at all levels from junior deckhands and stewardesses to captains. However, there is a shortage of qualified engineers with the right profile calibre which is why we are here today. These are the typical engineer positions we recruit for daily:

  • Chief Engineer
  • Second Engineer
  • Third Engineer
  • 4th Engineer
  • Assistant EngineerDeckhand (dual role)/li>
  • ETO (Electro Technical Officer specialising in AVIT Electrics)


YPI Crew is a recruitment agency so we are not your employer.

What is the procedure to register with YPI Crew?

Registering is easy and straightforward. Please visit our website www.ypicrew.com and click on ‘Register’ to upload your CV, certificates, references, passport and your ENG1 (medical certificate). We do need to have all these documents in your file. Don’t worry if you do not have everything ready at once – you can start by uploading the CV first and return to your Profile at a later stage to upload the remaining documents. Once you have registered, we can review your details and call at a convenient time to discuss things in more detail. Don’t worry if your CV is only an initial draft at this stage, we are happy to advise on what needs to be changed as we appreciate the Navy uses different terminology and puts more emphasis on managerial skills whereas our clients have a stronger interest in hands-on engineering skills and experience.

Also, please note it is standard industry practice for all CVs to have a passport size photo, head and shoulder shot, smiling (trust us it makes a difference when working remotely). It also helps put a face to a name as I am sure you can appreciate that we will be speaking to many Navy engineers over the forthcoming weeks with very similar profiles/CVs. Our administrator will review your CV and email you to acknowledge your application. She will then forward your details directly to Jacqui or Marjorie. Once you are registered, you can check in online through the website, just click on ‘Log In’ and then ‘Check In’. Please note, we do not answer the ‘Check In’s but we do of course read them daily. When you want to upload a new CV or document, please go to your online profile on the website. Please do not email your updated CV to your recruiter – CVs have to be stored on the database. If and when you arrive in Antibes, please do come and visit us in the office. Depending on what time of the year it is, an appointment may be necessary.

I am a newcomer engineer to the industry: what qualifications do I need?

The common certificate required in all fields is the STCW’95 basic crew training certificate You can look at the syllabus for engineer on the following MCA link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/msn-1859-mf-uk-requirements-for-engineerofficers-on-large-yachts-over-24m

The basic certificate required (in addition to the STCW’95) is the AEC: Approved engine course. This 4 or 5 days course gives you the theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on experience of diesel engines. It will enable you to carry out regular servicing of marine diesel engines, and to carry out fault detection and prevention. It is the first level for the MCA engineering officer training scheme, and will also allow you to work in the dual role of deckhand/engineer. There is a clear career path available for engineers on yachts and it is a very rewarding career. You can find out more about the AEC on the same guidance notice.

Once you are working on board the yacht, in whichever capacity, your Captain, Head of Department or Recruitment Consultant will be able to advise you and guide you on further certificates you can take to go up the career ladder. It is likely that you will have skills to bring to the table which are transferable to the yachting industry; We all had to start somewhere, so don’t be shy; in yachting a positive personality and hardworking attitude can go a long way.

What is the STCW’95 basic crew training?

STCW’95 stands for: Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, it was ratified by the IMO in 1995. Generally speaking, within the industry, the basic entry level certification is abbreviated to Basic STCW 95 and comprises four modules:

      • Personal Survival
      • Fire Fighting
      • First Aid & CPR
      • Personal Safety & Social Responsibility

With effect from 01/07/15 you will also need the PSA certificate (Proficiency in Security Awareness) to work on board a vessel 500gt and above to comply with the provisions of the ISPS code. The course will take five days to complete and is available in all major yachting centres. All modules must be completed to obtain the license. By obtaining this basic certificate, entry level crew will achieve two things: You will you be a more able and knowledgeable candidate and you will also confirm to potential employers that you are serious about this industry. Please note that your Navy training usually exempts you from having to attain most of the basic STCW95 certificates.

What is an ENG1 and where can I obtain one?

An ENG1 is a medical examination required for all crew working in the yachting industry. Seafarers shall not work on a ship unless they are certified as medically fit to perform their duties. This is in accordance to the MLC 2006 Standard A1.2 Medical Certificate. You can find the list of doctors, worldwide, accredited to carry out this examination on the following link from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, MCA.
https://www.gov.uk/working-sea/medical-certification

I want to become an engineer/ I am an engineer, what are the yachts licenses or training and certification guidance?

Please read the MSN 1859 (M&F) from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website by following the link as below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/msn-1859-mf-uk-requirements-for-engineerofficers-on-large-yachts-over-24m

I am an Engineer, what is the Letter of Initial Assessment (LoIA)?


Please click on the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-a-letter-of-initialassessment-msf-4352

I am en engineer, how do I obtain a Certificate of Competency (CoC)?

Please click on the link as below:
https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-seafarer-coc-deck-and-engineer-officers

I am an engineer, how do I apply or renew a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC)?

Please click on the link as below:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-cec-for-deck-and-engineer-officers

Do I need to speak other languages apart from English? For instance, do I need to speak French to look for work in Antibes?

The quick answer is no; English is the language of the seas and the working language on board yachts. Of course, being able to speak other languages is a bonus and can make life easier and enhance your experience. It can also help dealing with some guests on board the yacht and with local suppliers. Antibes and the south of France is the heart of the Mediterranean yachting industry and most suppliers who are serious players in the yachting industry will speak English. There is a very large English speaking community in the South of France, many yacht crew and captains live here with their families.

I am a newcomer, what personal belongings shall I take with me on board?

Crew cabins are small and you will be sharing with one person of the same sex; Space is at premium so best to travel light. You will be provided with crew uniforms, crew shoes and all toiletries so all you will need are a few civilian clothes for your off time. Laundry is taken care of by the stewardesses. Products such as the Kindle and iPad are great for yacht crew; gone are the days of bulky books taking up valuable space!

How long are contracts for?

It all depends; some jobs are seasonal jobs, typically these contracts run from April to end of September for the Mediterranean season and from October to March for the Caribbean season. Seasonal jobs are most of the time for junior stewardesses and deckhands. Generally speaking Captains, officers, engineers, senior interior crew are employed on a permanent long term contract i.e. 12 months with 4 weeks leave as standard. Contracts are renewed annually by mutual agreement.

What are the working hours?

The maritime and labour convention MLC 2006 stipulates the limits on hours of work or rest shall be as follows:

      • Maximum hours of work shall not exceed
        • (i)14 hours in any 24 hour period and
        • (ii) 72 hours in any seven day period or
      • Minimum hours of rest shall not be less then :
        • (i) ten hours in any 24 hour period and
        • (ii) 77 hours in any seven day period However, during a busy season you are on board a yacht which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you should expect to have to work unusual and long hours if required.

How much leave am I entitled to?

The minimum is 2.5 calendar days per month of employment. On medium to larger size yachts, it is not unusual for chief engineers and senior deck officers to work on rotations, such as 2 months on, two months off.

Please note these jobs are rare and in high demand so they tend to go to long-standing yacht crew with many years’ proven experience on super yachts and not to newcomers to the industry.

What is the difference between a private and a charter yacht?

A private yacht belongs to an individual who will use the yacht with his friends and family. A charter yacht also has an owner but in addition it will be rented out to third parties for a determined amount of time.

Where will the yacht travel?

Wherever the owners want to go.

Who pays for the documents that I need to be able to travel to join a yacht?

The standard A1.4 Recruitment and Placement, paragraph 5 of the MLC 2006 states that (b) no fees or other charges are to be borne directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the seafarer other than the cost of the seafarer obtaining a national statutory medical certificate (ENG1), the national seafarer’s book and a passport, not including the cost of visas, which shall be borne with the ship owner.

I have tattoos – will this affect me getting a job?

Some yachts have a grooming and appearance code and a policy of “no visible tattoos” – This means nothing visible when wearing a crew uniform (polo shirt and shorts or skirt). It is best to discuss this with your recruiter who will advise you on which yachts this might be a problem.

I am a smoker – will this affect me getting a job?

Some yachts have a policy of “non-smokers” – some have a strict policy and will not recruit smokers. Others may be more flexible and allow ‘casual smokers’ i.e. not on board but accept social smokers when off the yacht. It is best to discuss this with your recruiter who will advise you on which yachts this might be a problem.

How important are Social Networking sites?

Be aware that many clients will check your social media presence and activity and we recommend that your profile and pictures on social networking websites such as Facebook do not represent you in a way which may be deemed unprofessional. If you have doubts on any of the photos’ suitability, it is best to remove them.

Can my family contact me through YPI Crew if they cannot reach me on the yacht you have placed me on?

In case of emergency, if your family is not able to reach you on the yacht through regular means of communication (telephone and email), your family can email us or call us. We shall forward the email onto you and follow up with a call to make sure the email has reached you. If we have received a phone call for you from your family with an urgent message, we shall email you and also follow up with a phone call. Should we have placed you on yacht through a yacht management company, we shall also contact the yacht management company and forward the message. Your family can reach us on laurence@ypicrew.com and +33 (0)492904610 during office hours.

The email address laurence@ypicrew.com is monitored outside office hours and the mobile number to reach us outside office hours, for emergencies is +33 (0)612046508. This is the number of Laurence Lewis, the director of YPI Crew. Please note that the above is only to be used in case of emergency should your family have failed to contact you directly. It is your responsibility to ensure that your family has your up-to-date email and telephone numbers on board the yacht you work on and YPI Crew will not be held responsible for failed or delayed communication. YPI Crew will not charge you for the above.