Yacht crew share tips they wish they knew when they started working onboard yachts
To shed some light on what it means to be new in this industry and how best to deal with it, we asked some of our yacht crew to share their advice and things they wish they knew when they first joined the industry.
Here are some of their answers:
“I would have liked to know that speed (along with accuracy) is really valued on a yacht. You need to be in the mindset to work quickly (and thoroughly)! You probably won’t be as fast as you need to be when you start but put in an effort and ask for tips when it’s appropriate.”
“It’s really a great industry, ideal for people with an adventurous spirit wanting to experience the world. When you’re starting off be sure to learn as much as you can, respect the people around you and keep a positive attitude. Apply yourself and focus on being the best you can. Trust me, it will get you far.”
“When packing I wish I had packed more comfy clothes and PJs because, once you’re onboard, you will live between the uniform and them and I certainly didn’t bring enough cozy things!”
“You don’t really understand how much you don’t know about yachting until you actually do it. Even if you’ve grown up sailing or doing similar things, you might find yourself feeling lost. There is so much you actually won’t know about things like safety onboard, products, hierarchy, guest interaction, even how loudly you walk or how loudly you talk. You need to adjust everything you thought you knew to adapt to how things actually work in yachting. It can be overwhelming learning all this, so it’s extremely important to listen to your Heads of Department – trust me, they really know what they’re doing and following their lead will be the way to make it in this industry.”
“I would say a big one for me is that I wish I knew how I use my money better and I wish I budgeted more. Taking care of finances is something to pay attention in this industry.”
“When looking for work it can sometimes be pretty soul crushing, between all the ignored messages and dockwalking rejections so, to keep the spirit up, we decided to stop talking about yachts and job hunting on the weekends and just enjoy Antibes / Palma / wherever you are. Enjoy the time and experiences there to switch off from stress of it all.”
“When you first start off, it can be physically and mentally straining because you will work the same hours as senior crew but, in addition to that, you are learning new things every day and being corrected. This can leave you feeling defeated and make you thing you are not doing well, but remember you are still learning and it’s the job of the senior crew to teach you these things to insure smooth operation of the yacht, so don’t take it personally if it seems they’re being hard on you.”
“My first yacht was heavy maintenance. In my training we did a deck maintenance course which actually covered none of the products I ended up using, or any painting varnishing skills I ended up doing on a daily basis. So, I wish they did a few days on in depth maintenance rust repairs/ paint repairs because it saves so much time when you’re actually onboard if you already have a vague knowledge of those skills.”
“The stigma with being on a motor yacht vs. Sailing yacht. All the information I read and was told was to avoid the sail yachts because of lower salary / lower standards / generally not as good. But I started on a sail yacht and it was a wonderful experience with great work-life balance (and a decent wage) and it’s a shame greenies would avoid them because of what they have heard. I am currently on a motor yacht and, yes it’s different but, there are some amazing perks on sailing yachts that you don’t get to experience on a motor yacht.”
“I think that the thing that surprised me, and that people never talked about, was that it can be really mentally exhausting and isolating. Bring a few things like your favourite face mask to the boat and make sure that once a week you have a self care day where you intentionally take time to relax and watch a lazy TV show or stretch (if you are lucky enough to be able to – go for a swim!) on your break instead of sleeping / doing nothing. This will help you feel better and your mindset will be reset.”
“Never feel like you can’t speak up about harassment and never stop escalating until you feel like you’ve been heard.”
“Busiest and best industry ever to work in with great people, but you can never know how lonely the industry is, especially over the COVID time, with very little time time to go home to family. One has to be prepared for that.”
“I wish I had know that, in spite of how glamorous the industry was made out to be, it is in fact one of the hardest and most sacrificial jobs I’ve ever had! There are perks to working in the industry however you give up a lot to live this lifestyle.”
” I wish I would have got my training record book started early so that I could have progressed through my Officer of the Watch much faster.”
“Take a moment to pause and enjoy where you are / how far you’ve come / what you do for a living. Otherwise it will ‘pass you by’ too quickly.”
Are you ready to find your new dream job onboard a yacht?
Become a member of YPI CREW through a free registration and let us connect you with the next step in your career.
Each of our recruiters is specialised in recruitment for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise qualified crew how to best present their CV and prepare for a yacht job interview.
Are you looking for yacht crew for your yacht?
Get in touch with us so our recruiters can connect you with suitable, available and interested candidates, each of which will be checked, certified, pre-interviewed and ensured to be a perfect fit to your existing crew.
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