Your First Season in Yachting

Abi Smith  |  24th April 2019

Are you a newbie to the yachting industry, about to move on board a yacht for the first time? Make sure you do your research before you depart.

Crewing on board a yacht or superyacht is not like any other job, and it is certainly not your classic 9-5! Starting out in any new job comes with a learning curve, but in yachting the job is your lifestyle: you’re sleeping next to your colleagues, not going home to loved ones at the end of each day and dealing with some very wealthy individuals. It is a unique career and can certainly offer a great lifestyle and many benefits. But the more prepared you are before embarking on your first yacht, the better.

Here are some top tips for your first yacht crew job:

  1. Sort out your banking and financials before you depart - superyachts allow you to live and work with virtually zero living costs so take this opportunity to save or pay off any debt you may have.
  2. Be minimal when it comes to packing – remember a lot of necessities will be provided for you and you don’t want to clog up a cabin that you will be sharing with another colleague. Do pack some seasickness medication or acupressure wristbands (just in case!).
  3. Observe, work hard and learn fast. Learn the yachting lingo – there is a particular language for the boating world that you will quickly pick up.
  4. Be honest, hardworking, proactive and professional.
  5. Be positive as positive energy is required at all times, even when you have a busy schedule with varied working hours.
  6. Don’t gossip (about guests, captains or crew) and don’t complain.
  7. Communicate with colleagues – you are working and living together in a relatively small space so try to keep all your relationships positive and keep communication open; if there are any clashes try to nip them in the bud quickly
  8. Communicate with home - make sure you have a decent laptop, tablet or phone to stay in contact with family and friends back home (most yachts and marinas have decent internet access these days).
  9. Always be prepared! Be aware and alert of your surroundings on board and on neighbouring yachts. Anticipate weather, guests’ needs, potential hazards, etc.
  10. Look after your health and weight (it would be easy to get carried away with all the lovely food and drinks!). Wear sun cream and drink lots of water.
  11. Network relentlessly - introduce yourself and meet fellow yachties, socialise and grow your network in the industry. It really is about who you know in the yachting world.
  12. Enjoy the experience! Try to relish all the magical moments that you would never have if you were in a ‘normal’ 9-5 job!

At the end of the day there is only so much prep work you can do before your first on-board experience, but going in with your eyes open and with a little bit of knowledge should help you to have the best experience possible for your first ever season.