Yacht Crew Quick Courses: Get a Better Job in 2017

As the summer yachting season gets underway in the Mediterranean, competition for jobs is hotting up within the yacht crew market. Captains are constantly competing for the best yacht crew in order to shape a capable team ahead of the season.

To stand the best chance of being offered your dream job on a luxury superyacht, it is extremely helpful to bolster your yachting skills. Aside from the STCW 95 – which arms crew with the fundamental knowledge required for working on yachts – it is advisable to complete other short courses on offer from the RYA.

As the leading authority on yacht crew recruitment, YPI CREW is on hand to advise on yachting qualifications and the best ways to secure your ideal crew position. Here, we describe the essential modules that constitute the STCW 95 and outline some of the courses that are good to have for job-hunting yacht crew. Whether searching for your first yachting job or considering changing boat, these courses can help get your foot in the door.

Essential (STCW 95):

Basic Sea Survival

Part of the STCW 95, the Basic Sea Survival Certificate is a one-day course that provides crew with the basic knowledge of how to stay alive in case of an emergency. The course covers a run down of liferafts and the equipment they contain, survival techniques, lifejackets, medical aspects of sea survival and search & rescue techniques. No prior knowledge is required for the course, which provides practical information for surviving heavy seas on a small vessel.

Elementary First Aid

Also an imperative feature of the STCW 95, the Elementary First Aid Course equips crew with the skills to respond to common emergencies on yachts. As well as CPR, participants learn about bandaging techniques and the methods for moving an injured person. The course also teaches how to treat injuries in a makeshift environment or when one may be required to improvise.

Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities

This course lays out the correct protocol for crews to prevent accidents on board, ensuring a safe environment for yacht crew. Various safety procedures are taught, including the protocol for alarms and signals. Concerning social responsibilities and matters of personal welfare, participants are taught about rights in the workplace, employment conditions, in addition to ethical issues like pollution prevention and team welfare.

Fire Protection and Basic Firefighting

This rudimentary course provides an introduction to the different types of fires on board and how one can prevent them. Participants are taught how to use firefighting equipment and breathing apparatus, and how to deal with fires of different types and sizes. Fires are one of the biggest risks to safety on a yacht; knowing how to combat the threat is an important skill.

Proficiency in Security Awareness

The latest addition to the STCW 95, the Proficiency in Security Awareness Course provides crew with the knowledge and skills to enhance a yacht’s security, in accordance with a given Ship Security Plan. The course takes one day to complete and requires no prior knowledge.

Good to Have:

Marine Radio Short Range Certificate

Operating a radio in a universally recognised manner is an essential skill for yacht crew. The Marine Radio Short Range Certificate legally equips crew with the practical knowledge to operate VHF and DSC radios. Participants learn about basics of radio operation, emergency broadcasts and other important requirements. The course takes 10 hours to complete and there is an examination at the end.

Radar Course

Taught over just one day, the Radar Course teaches participants how to function a radar system as a means of navigation and collision avoidance. An increasingly important piece of equipment, the radar is found on most modern vessels and improves a yacht’s safety. Being in possession of this certificate demonstrates your worth to an employer.

Powerboat Level 2

While the powerboat level 1 proceeds the powerboat level 2, it is not necessary to have completed the first before undertaking the second. Most employers desire at least a powerboat level 2 so employees can successfully handle tenders. The two-day course focuses on low-speed, close-quarters handling, as well as man overboard recovery, driving at planing speed and collision regulations.

Diesel Engine Course

Also targetted at beginners, the Diesel Engine Course provides crew with the basic knowledge to prevent and fix diesel engine failure. Having this certificate in your arsenal will assure employers that you are capable of caring for a yacht’s engine and are able to start it again in the event of an emergency, without possessing the in-depth knowledge of an engineer. You will be taught how the engine works, the best practices for keeping it in a good condition, and how to perform routine maintenance.

Safe and Fun Safeguarding Course

This online-only course is targetted at yacht crew that might work with children and vulnerable adults at RYA training centres or clubs. It encourages people to consider real-to-life scenarios that may arise while working in a position of responsibility.