What to Know about Joining Yachting
New to crewing? Here’s what you need to know to break into the industry, make a positive impression, and build the foundations for a successful yachting career…
“The surest way to fit in on board is to be a team player. Help out your fellow crewmates, even if they don’t ask”
- Manage Your Expectations, Seeing the glamour of yachting from afar, would-be crew can get the wrong idea. James Stockdale, captain of 66-meter Lürssen M/Y Elysian and founder of Pinpoint Works, echoes this sentiment. “Ninety percent of the time, your job will probably be cleaning,” he says. Stockdale points out that green crew often have a preconceived notion of the job — high wages, big tips, amazing itineraries, and time off in exotic places. “You will be lucky if your first job meets just one of these criteria,” he says;
- Make a Good Impression, make sure your CV is spot-on. Sell yourself and remember to always add your land-based skills. Be sure to include hobbies. Crew should treat the interview process seriously, which means dressing the part.
- Protect Your Reputation, The yachting industry values confidentiality, and the privacy of an owner comes first. Yacht owners are very careful of who they allow on board, so make sure you come across professionally on social media.
- Acclimate to Life on Board, One of the biggest challenges is adjusting to tight quarters and working in a high-pressure environment with long days that don’t fit a 9-to-5 schedule. New crew should take the time to learn the dynamics of their new boat. Finding small pockets of time and space for yourself and being mindful of giving your crewmates space where possible can go a long way to feeling comfortable on board early on. It’s also best to avoid getting too cozy with your fellow crew, romantically speaking, Relationships with fellow crewmembers is a guaranteed way to cause drama and stress within the team.
- Mindset is Everything, Perhaps the most important thing a new crewmember can bring to their work is humility and an open mind. New crew should go in with an understanding that they don’t know best. Listening is key. It’s always great to bring new skills to the boat, but you need to sit back, blend in, and listen to those who are more experienced. Every job on board is important and when all jobs are done well, it leads to a smooth-running team.
- Plan for the Future, Save or invest that “extra” cash. When you’re making a good salary and have minimal expenses, it can be easy to spend too freely. Boosting your skillset with training courses will improve your knowledge and confidence. Another plus to continuing your education throughout your yachting career is for the day you decide to return to a land-based job and your qualifications and experience will surely make the transition easier.