Yachting Industry

Q. What is the yachting industry?

Yachts are usually owned by people who vacation onboard. Yachts range in size from 50–450 ft. Yachts that are used uniquely by the owner, friends, and family are referred to as private. If an owner leases his yacht to a third party the yacht is then called a charter yacht. Both private and charter yachts require a crew to maintain and run the vessel.

Where the vessel travels to is determined by the owner. Standards of service, which are mostly quite high, vary from yacht to yacht. This is an industry that brings like-minded people together as crew who are prepared to work hard. Yachting is unlike any other industry which brings rewards and expectations that are unique.

Q. How do I get started in the Yachting Industry?

To get started in the yachting industry there are a couple of key steps. Firstly, research and understand the industry by reading the following frequently asked questions and familiarize yourself with the rest of our website. Secondly, we encourage all crew to obtain their STCW Safety Training Certificates.
Please make sure you know which position you would like to pursue in the industry; if it is the right industry for you and if you are able to be away from home for some period of time.

Q. What are the STCW Safety Training Certificates?

The Basic STCW training classes include the following elements:
• Elementary First Aid
• Personal Survival Techniques
• Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
• Marine Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
• Competency in Security Awareness

We offer 3 different STCW Packages depending on the Career path you choose – the most popular STCW Training Package is the STCW Package specific to yachting which includes the PDSD course which is your Proficiency in Designated Security Duties which is higher ranked than your Security Awareness Course.

The STCW Safety Training Course specific to Yachting is an 11 day course including PDSD (Proficiency in Designated Securities).

We have classes running every week starting on a Thursday to the following Sunday.

The STCW course will cover the following:

Proficiency in Designated Security Duties STCW code A-VI/6—2

Elementary First Aid STCW Code A-VI/1-3

Marine Firefighting and Fire Prevention STCW Code  A-VI/1-2

Personal Safety and Social Responsibility STCW Code A-VI/1-4

Personal Survival Techniques STCW Code A-VI/1-1

We are also able to offer individual STCW Courses depending on your needs.

Q. Other than the STCW, what other certifications do I need?

It is a common misconception that all one needs is the STCW to work on Superyachts. This is not true in today’s modern Superyacht Industry. The STCW certification is a mandatory safety certification required by all crew working commercially.

Even though the PDSD (Proficiency in Designated Securities) is a better Security option to do in the industry if you are serious about a career in the Superyacht world than the CSA (Security Awareness). The industry is a thriving professional environment worth Billions, therefore in any professional business or industry, candidates are required to have relevant and specific qualifications to be able to complete their jobs at the highest level possible. If you do not meet the requirements of the Owners, Captains and Crew Agents then you can lose your chance to the next candidate who does have those qualifications. Be sure to check off all the relevant courses before applying for jobs. Experience is the key.

As first-time job seekers, you need to make your CV and knowledge stand out. This is where we can help you.

The add-on courses really make a big difference to your chances at finding a job. Even day work can be difficult to find. Courses such as your Powerboat Level 2 , RYA Advance Powerboat Course as well as your SRC VHF Marine radio Course and a PWC (Jetski) License can give you the edge you need and there are many more advantageous courses depending on the career path you would like to take. Contact us today so that we can help you get there.

Q. Why PDSD rather than CSA?

Basically, as our sector (unlike others) involves the interior crew (i.e. all crew) signed onto the Ships Security Plan it is recommended that all crew take the PDSD rather than the CSA. We have heard of many crew members who have taken both as they ended up working on – board ISPS code compliant vessels. With the added security and piracy risks in the Mediterranean and elsewhere – there seems to be an increase in yachts actively running Ship Security Plans.

As all yacht crew are usually engaged in security duties as part of the ship’s security plan onboard, it is strongly recommended that the full Proficiency in Designated Securities (STCW A-VI/6-2) course be completed instead of the Competency in Security Awareness (STCW A-VI/6-1).
Doing the PDSD rather than the CSA, you will be able to enter a job, and not lose out on a chance to get hired because you are only holding the CSA.
When you do progress in the industry you will most likely need to complete and upgrade to the PDSD module anyway.

Q. When are the best times of the year to apply for jobs on yachts and where should you go?

Yachts work in Seasons. The Mediterranean Seasons best times are April through to Mid-October. Based in South of France/Palma. Due to the number of ports/marina’s, we suggest South of France (Antibes). Here you earn Euros. The Caribbean Seasons best times are October through to April. Based in Fort Lauderdale, U.S.A. They pick up crew here before boats set off to the Caribbean Islands. The ports are super accessible at these times.

Here you earn US Dollars. You can work all year round in the states, boats move up to Rhode Island, Newport and elsewhere during the Mediterranean season. You do need to make sure that if you are working on a USA flagged vessel that you have a legal US Passport, US Working Visa or Green Card. We recommend that you base yourself in one of the yachting capitals at the appropriate time of year to facilitate finding a job.

Q. Is the Yachting Industry for you?

It is not just about having a job. It becomes a lifestyle. You can work long hours for days at a time. This industry is not for everyone. As an entry-level candidate, you will need to work hard, share a cabin with other crew members, you have little privacy – little time to yourself. If you have a positive attitude and are not easily offended by impoliteness. These personality traits are crucial. Yachting can test you, other than that, the benefits are amazing.

You live and work in the world’s most luxurious yachts. You get paid well in US Dollars and Euro. Free accommodation and food whilst on board. You work with a team of young and like-minded people. You visit the world’s most exotic locations and you can get some weeks of annual leave and there are definitely excellent advancements in the industry.

Q. What salary can I expect working on Superyachts?

This depends on the position you hold. Therefore, salary is based on industry experience, licensing and how long you intend to be employed in the industry. As an entry-level candidate, you need to expect to be at the lower end of the salary scale. As you gain experience in the industry your salary will undoubtedly improve. Starting salary guidelines are usually in the range of R30,000.00 to R40,000.00 per month.

Q. Can working on Superyachts be a career?

Yes definitely, and many people have dedicated themselves to the industry and established successful careers. Once you are placed and gaining experience please stay in contact with your crew coordinator. It also gives a lifetime of incredible memories and experiences.

Q. How long will it take to find a job on a Yacht?

In many situations, it is about being in the right place at the right time. There are many factors that contribute to your placement and the time it will take to find a job. The best thing to do is to be well presented in person and on paper. Keep in touch with your crew coordinator and check jobs online regularly.

Getting overseas to the Yachting hot spots would be a better start than waiting here in South Africa where the Captains cannot meet you in person – this from their perspective is illogical. Networking is also great to start in finding out how to better your chances but completing your courses not matter how much money you have invested in starting your career is not a guarantee but as long as your network and are in the right places your chances are much higher.

Q. What is the purpose of a Deckhand or Stewardess on board?

Superyacht Deckhand: Is responsible for the exterior – Driving & maintenance of tender (Powerboat) & Jet ski’s, Teak maintenance, Polishing, Cleaning of boat, Assisting engineer, Engine room duties, Rope work & line handling, Varnishing, Painting, Repairs, Water sports experience is also good to have, Navigational watch etc.

Superyacht Stewardess: Is responsible for the interior & assists with exterior when required: Polishing, Cleaning, Beds and Heads, Provisioning, Laundry, Silver Service, Wine & Cocktail & Barista service and General hospitality duties. Exterior additions: Driving tender (Powerboat), Line handling and assisting in general deck operations

Contact us today for our Deckhand and Stewardess Course packages.

Q. What is an ENG1 Certificate and why do I need it?

This is a medical examination done by a MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) a Certified Medical doctor, stating that you are fit to work on board a yacht. It is usually valid for 1 year. Please note that this cannot be done by any medical practitioner, it must be done by a doctor who is affiliated with the MCA. Most Yachts will not even look at your CV if you do not have your STCW, it is the same with your ENG1 Medical.

Q. How safe is the Yachting industry?

Captains and crew are regarded as professionals and no captain would ever allow his crew to be put in a dangerous situation. Regardless of what it is, such as drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, sinking or piracy. These situations are extremely rare, almost non-existent in this industry. However, all yacht crew is presumed to have the maturity, responsibility, and understanding, especially when they go out for a drink during the offseason.

Do you need any qualifications or previous experience that will be beneficial when applying for a job to work on the yachts?

Having the following training could be beneficial when joining the industry:

  • Having experience in the hospitality or hotel industry is extremely beneficial to have, such as working as a Waiter/Bar Tender, working at events or doing promotional work as well as working on Cruise Liners. Working in Hotels or as a butler is also beneficial.
  • Having Water sports experience is also a great way to enter the industry, such as scuba diving, wakeboarding, wave skiing, water-skiing and sailboarding.
  • Being a nanny or au pair entertaining and teaching children.
  • Working in therapies such as massage therapy, pedicures, aromatherapy and hairstyling.
  • Having a natural ability to cook, working as a chef in a restaurant or hotel.

Q. Do you offer placements, or will I find work after the training has been completed?

We do not offer assistance in placements after the training takes place – The competition in the Yachting Industry is fierce, and with many Steward/esses or Deckhands looking for work with only their STCW Course (which does not cover any Steward/ess or Deckhand training or skills), it is considered a huge bonus if an inexperienced guy or girl has done a Steward/ess or Deckhand Course, preparing and equipping him/her to better perform his/her duties. We are not a crew placement agency and we encourage students to find their own employment – however the courses do cover VISA, CV applications and where to go and how to start applying for work.

As with any tertiary training or course, a job can’t be guaranteed, but you will be equipped with all the information to find a job yourself.  It depends on the individual, but being motivated, self-reliant, persistent, dedicated and driven definitely helps!

It really just depends on your level of maturity and whether you are disciplined, responsible, mentally strong, motivated and eager.


Please Contact Us should you need any further information or have any questions – we are here to help!