— Contact us to enquire about a range of temporary interior and spa positions
— We are seeking a chief officer for a 60-metre private yacht with 45 days leave per year.
— We Are Seeking A Range of Candidates with B1B2 Visa Holders, Including Deckhands and Stews/Stewardesses

Work on a Yacht Yacht Crew Advice

YPI CREW provides all the advice yacht crew may need to find work on a yacht. We are here to assist those looking for their first job on a yacht or those who are already working as a yacht crew, but have questions or need assistance. Below, you can find the answers to and resources about the required training and qualifications needed to work on a yacht, and answers to the most frequently asked crew questions.

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What Crew Qualifications and Certificates Do I Need?
Yacht Stewardess Training: How To Become A Yacht Steward Or Stewardess

What Crew Qualifications and Certificates Do I Need?

Yacht Crew Qualifications and Certificates Needed for Jobs in the Superyacht Industry

The specific yacht crew qualifications required will depend on whether you are looking for a career in the deck, interior, or engineering department.

The common certificate required in all fields is STCW Basic Safety Training and comprises four modules. Superyacht recruitment agencies cannot find you work unless you have this basic certificate. Commercial yachts over 500ft also require all crew to have done a security awareness training course for which a certificate is delivered.

Once you are working on board the yacht, in whichever capacity, your captain and or head of department 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.

STCW Basic Safety Training Certificate

The common certificate required in all positions aboard a yacht is the STCW Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. Yacht recruitment agencies cannot find you work unless you have this basic certificate. Commercial yachts over 500ft also require all crew to have done a security awareness training course for which a certificate is delivered.

Comprising of five modules, 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.

Learn more about the STCW basic safety training certificate.

A Seafarer Medical Certificate

Anyone who wishes to work on a yacht must seek to obtain a certificate of medical fitness to prove that he or she meets a minimum standard of health and is fit to work on a yacht or ship. The most popular and widely recognised is the ENG1 seafarer medical certificate granted by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), however, there are alternative certificates of medical fitness for seafarers.

Learn about the ENG1 Seafarer Medical Certificate.

Learn about alternative Certificates of Medical Fitness for Seafarers.


If you have a hotel school degree or even diploma that’s fantastic; if you don’t, it’s not the end of world. Perhaps you have worked in high end hotels or resorts and have acquired good hospitality and service experience. If you have not, it’s not the end of the world either. You can always learn the ropes on a yacht working under the guidance of an experienced Chief Steward/ess : You need to demonstrate during the interview that you are willing to learn without challenging your Head of department and that you have stamina (the hours are long) and a team spirited attitude. Also, there are plenty of stewardess courses available which you can take before joining or after the first season; We do not recommend any specific courses or schools, do your research on the internet.

Learn about yacht stewardess training.

Yacht Chefs

Cooking on yachts is very challenging yet rewarding. You will cater for high net worth individuals who will have eaten in the best restaurants in the world, who probably already have private chefs on their estates; basically, there is no room for error. So, it is likely that you will come to the yachting industry with already an impressive land based curriculum vitae and a long list of cooking achievements from all over the world.

Depending on the size of the yacht there will be between 1 and 4 chefs in the galley. Typically, a yacht below 50 meters will only have one chef which means that the chef will also cater for the crew (a 50 meter yacht will typically have a crew of around 10). Larger yachts will have executive Chefs cooking for owners and guests and crew chefs catering for the crew. Starting as a crew chef is often the best way to establish yourself in the yachting industry. You will get a feel for the industry, get to know the suppliers and build relationships with them without having the pressure of having to deal with the guests frontline.

Just like for stewardesses, there are many chef courses available suited for yachts.

MLC 2006 has changed the requirements for Chefs working on commercial yachts with 10 crew or more; all flag states are updating their requirements, so please check with the flag state of the yacht you will be joining for their qualification requirements. for information about chefs working on UK registered yachts Please read MSN 1849 (M) and MIN 513 (M)

Superyacht Deck Crew Leading to Captain Positions

The competition can be harsh at the beginning of the season for deckhands, there are many people looking for work, so the more you have to offer the better. Sometimes the STCW is not enough and captains may want to see evidence of recreational boating, sailing, water sports, jet ski driving, diving…

The RYA power Boat Level II which qualifies you to drive a tender would be essential to be a deckhand. Also, a RYA Tender Operator would be a big plus. Once you are on board a yacht, we recommend looking in to obtaining your Yacht rating certificate and to do this you first of all need to obtain a service record book from the PYA or a MCA approved logbook. Of course, the RYA Yacht Master certificate will set you apart from the rest of the competition.

Yacht licenses for deck crew:

Yacht Rating
MCA Efficient Deckhand (EDH)
RYA Powerboat Level 2
RYA Yacht Master
RYA Radar
RYA Tender Operator
RYA Competent Crew
PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
VHF Radio
General GRP and carpentry repairs

Yacht licenses for deck officers:

Please read the Yacht Deck Officer Training and Certification Guidance from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website here.

Yacht Engineer

You can look at the syllabus for engineer on the following link.

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 yacht engineering 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 by following this link on the MCA website .

Yachts licenses or training and certification guidance for yacht engineers – Please read the MSN 1859 (M+F) from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website here.

Please note that “Yacht” Engineering Qualifications as per MSN 1859 (M+F) are still available until 2021 where they will be superseded by the “Small Vessel” Engineering Qualifications.

You can also apply for the “Small Vessel” Qualifications which are running concurrently with the Yacht Qualifications as per the following link.

Guidance Notice MIN 524(M+F) :


Find out more about the Letter of Initial Assessment for yacht engineers here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-an-lia-or-college-letter-to-train-as-an-engineer-officer

CoC for engineers – https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-seafarer-coc-deck-and-engineer-officers

Certificate of Equivalent Competency – https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-cec-for-deck-and-engineer-officers

Yacht Stewardess Training: How To Become A Yacht Steward Or Stewardess

While you don’t need to have worked on a yacht before to secure a yacht stewardess job, you do need certain qualifications and personal attributes. Below we’ll run through a range of yacht stewardess training certifications, including must-haves and nice-to-haves.


What Qualifications Do You Need to be a Yacht Stewardess or Steward?

A yacht stewardess or steward needs to complete the STCW Basic Safety Training and have a relevant Seafarers Medical Certificate, such as the ENG1.

If you are employed on a ship, and it’s your normal place of work, then regulations require you to have a medical examination. This is to prove that you are in good enough health and fitness to carry out your duties.

In terms of personal qualities, you will need to be full of energy, dedicated to providing the highest standard of service and attention to detail. You need to be able to think on your feet and anticipate guests’ demands, working well in a team and remaining calm under pressure. Hospitality experience and formal training will be an advantage here, as will any customer-facing roles.


Where Can You Get Yacht Stewardess Training?

STCW Basic Training can be obtained from a number of certified schools around the world, some of which will allow you to spread out your modules to work around other commitments.

You can get your Seafarers Medical Certificate from a doctor approved by the appropriate board – the most popular of these accreditations is the ENG 1 certificate, which is the British Seafarers Medical Certificate, and it must be obtained from a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) approved medical professional. You can find a list of approved doctors here:

If you are a non-British crew you can contact the relevant maritime authority of your country to establish how to obtain a seafaring medical certificate. As much of the yachting industry revolves around the MCA we recommend that you check that your national Seafaring Medical Certificate is recognised by the MCA (all EU Medical are) and if not, we advise you obtain an ENG1.


Yacht Steward or Stewardess Courses To Boost Your CV

We have already covered what qualifications you need to be a yacht stewardess, but there is always more you can do to secure that dream job.

  • For excellent all-round hospitality training, check out the GUEST Program, approved by the International Association of Maritime Institutions, or the UKSA’s Superyacht Stewardess and Steward Training.
  • For wine and cocktail making expertise, try the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) yacht stewardess training We particularly recommend the three-day Level 2 course for interior crew members, which will show you how to serve guests with confidence.
  • To become a trained diving instructor, the PADI Divemaster course is essential.
  • To be able to train guests in different watersports, the two-week UKSA Kickstart course is a good place to start.
  • To offer beauty therapist services onboard a yacht with a spa, try a masseuse course – there will be plenty local to you.


Meet Sophie the Stewardess

Wondering what kind of tasks you’ll be faced with as a yacht stewardess, or looking for pointers to help you in your current yacht role? YPI CREW is excited to present new videos from Sophie the Stewardess, just one of our happy crew placements, who has taken to YouTube to share her best tips for keeping a superyacht shipshape. Sophie covers orchid care, laundry advice, the secret to folding a fitted sheet, and more. Watch her brilliant yacht stewardess training videos below.

How to pop open a bottle of champagne

How to pour a glass of champagne

Laundry tips

How to fold a fitted sheet

How to clean your appliances


What to keep in your cleaning basket

Vacuum cleaner care

Orchid care


How can I make my CV stand out from the crowd?

Due to the competitive nature of the yacht crew industry, it is essential to illustrate your skills and experience in the best possible light. It is therefore essential to refine your CV, ensuring it is concise, relevant and well formatted. YPI CREW advises prospective candidates to consult a CV professional – such as The Crew Coach, a valued long-term partner of YPI CREW – to give themselves the best chance of perfecting their CV.


Is YPI CREW listed on the French national register of seafarer recruitment and placement services?

Yes, YPI CREW is listed on the French national register of seafarer recruitment and placement services under number GM1/50.  The list can be consulted here.

What is the MLC 2006?

You can find out more about MLC 2006 here.

What salary could I expect?

Yacht Crew recruitment agency YPI CREW has launched a new peer-to-peer salary comparison website for the yachting industry designed to add a greater level of transparency – how much do people really earn. Learn more about it on the Yachting Salaries page.

View Crew Salary Report for 2016/2017

The latest Yacht Crew Salary Report collates salary information from thousands of crew and provides transparency to the yachting industry. The report comprehensively outlines the average salary range for each yacht crew position, from deckhands to captains, benchmarking industry standards and providing a point of reference for employers and crew alike.

What accommodation is available in Antibes whilst I look for work?

Most crew will stay in crew houses. In Antibes the following crew houses are available :

How many holiday days am I entitled to?

The minimum is 2.5 calendar days per month of employment. On medium to larger yachts, however, it is a common practice for chief engineers and senior deck officers to work on rotations, such as three months on three months off.

What are the working hours?

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

Maximum hours of work shall not exceed?:

  • 14 hours in any 24 hour period
  • 72 hours in any seven day period


Minimum hours of rest shall not be less then :

  • 10 hours in any 24 hour period
  • 77 hours in any seven day period

However, during a busy season you should expect to have to work unusual and long hours if required as yachts operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I know the Yachting industry is for me?

The yachting industry is very rewarding, but it is not for everyone, because once you start working onboard, you sign up not just for the job, but also for the unique lifestyle which comes with it. As an entry-level crew member you will be expected to work very hard, be a dedicated team player, the common goal being to ensure the guests have the best holiday. You must be able to live in tight spaces with other crew members and have little privacy and time on your own. Plus, you must be totally service-oriented to ensure that each guest is happy. If you have what it takes to lead such a lifestyle 24-7 and perform well at a yachting job, then the sky is the limit and you will be able to have a long and successful career afloat in a field of your choice.

What should I be wearing for interviews?

Look around you and look at what employed yacht crew wear during the day and copy that style. This will position you one step ahead of your competition. There are a few uniform shops in Antibes where you can buy everything you need. Generally speaking the professional yacht crew attire is a polo shirt or a shirt, white, blue or beige and plain shorts, skirts (not too short in length) or pants with boating shoes. Dangly and ornate jewellery is not appropriate.

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 [email protected] and +33492904610 during office hours.

The email address [email protected] is monitored outside office hours and the mobile number to reach us outside office hours, for emergencies is +33612046508. 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.

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.

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 such as an ENG1, the national seafarer’s book and a passport, not including the cost of visas, which shall be borne with the ship owner.

Where will the yacht travel?

Wherever the owners want to go.

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.

Charter yachts follow the principles of the Maritime and Labour Convention 2006. You can read the MLC 2006 convention on our website in any of the 4 official languages.

Can I find work with my partner?

We do not not place entry level couples; Working as a couple is a privilege which one earns and only happens at senior level; And even then yacht crew jobs for couples are not that common.

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 are great for yacht crew; Gone are the days of bulky books taking up valuable space!

Do I need to speak other languages apart from English? Do I for instance 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 to the industry: How long will it take until I get a job?

We cannot answer this question, it’s the same as asking: how long is a piece of string. It depends a lot on your skill set, enthusiasm, professionalism, neat and tidy presentation, politeness, resourcefulness and, of course, luck. Some people find work within a few of days or couple of weeks…others will not make it. We recommend you give yourself a month to find work and have the financial means to sustain yourself during this time. If within a month nothing happens, you need to re-evaluate your position. Please note that recruiters will not interview you unless your online profile is up to date with a copy of your CV, STCW 95, medical certificate and passport.

How long are contracts for?

It all depends; some yacht crew 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. Some yachts below 40 meters with only a one season program may also only hire a chef for that period.

Generally speaking Captains, officers, engineers, senior interior crew are employed on a permanent long term contract.

Please note, commercial yachts also known as charter yachts will provide you with a SEA ( seafarers employment agreement) which is the proper term replacing the word ” contract”. Commercial yachts should give you the opportunity to examine and seek advice on the agreement before signing and joining the yacht. For further information about SEA refer to the MLC 2006 Title 2 Regulation 2.1 Seafarer’s employment agreements. Private yachts are not required to issue a SEA.

Is there a minimum age to work on yachts?

Yes, there is. The minimum age is 16. No person below the minimum age shall be employed. Also, night work under the age of 18 is prohibited. “Night” shall cover a period of at least nine hours starting no later then Midnight and ending no earlier then 5 am. This is in accordance to the MLC 2006 Standard A1.1 Minimum age. Please note that you can start the online registration procedure with YPI CREW before the age of 18, but we will wait until you turn 18 years old to place you on a yacht.