We did an Instagram Q&A with our Engineering consultant Sam More. She will be answering your questions here. This blog has all you need to know about Engineering in Yachting and more!
Q: I’m new to the industry with all of my qualifications – What is the best and fastest way to get a job in Yachting?
A: This greatly depends on your qualifications and background. Connections go a long way in this industry and so one option for those starting out in Yachting is to head to Antibes at the beginning of the season and network. Try to gain some initial experience and good references.
I’ve written a blog previously about getting started in the industry as an engineer, it may provide a bit more information relating to your personal experience: http://quaycrew.com/superyachtyacht-engineer
Send me an email (email@example.com) with your CV and we can arrange to have a chat about your options, I’d be happy to offer some advice tailored to your situation.
Q: I want to work on a Superyacht as an Engineer, but I don’t hold all the qualifications, What’s my first step?
A: All crew require the basic certifications (STCW & ENG1). For engineering specifically, this depends on your background. If you have a mechanical background then the first step could be to take the Approved Engine Course(AEC), which is the entry level qualification. You may be able to get some dispensation from the MCA so it’s always a good idea to check first. For example, if you’ve completed a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Marine Engineering this is actually over & above the syllabus covered in the AEC course.
Have a read of the blog I’ve written previously about getting started in the industry as an engineer, it may provide a bit more information relating to your personal experience: http://quaycrew.com/superyachtyacht-engineer
Feel free to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your CV, I can offer you some advice tailored to your situation.
Q: I am a second engineer on a Newcastle Max vessel (bulk carrier) – How is it possible to step up in my career?
A: Great question! It depends on the current ticket you hold and how far along you are with modules towards your next ticket. It’s important to have a clear career progression path and to discuss this with your line manager so you’re both in agreement & can track your progress. Look at what you can do to improve your skill set, are there any courses you could take? For example, many yacht engineers choose to take an ETO (Electro-Technical Officer) or AV/IT course to improve their skill set in these areas. AV/IT responsibility is becoming increasingly more dependent on engineers in Yachting, particularly on smaller boats where the engineer may need to have a large focus on AV/IT as there’s no room/budget for a dedicated ETO. Depending on their ticket, some 2nd Engineers take the decision to step down in the size of boat to take on a Chief Engineer role, others may go the other way and step up in size acting as a 3rd Engineer on a larger boat, but working as part of a larger engineering team with perhaps more responsibility.
If you’re interested in transitioning across to Yachting from the commercial world then get in touch (email@example.com) and we can discuss your options.
Q: How should I prepare as an Engineer to make the move from Cruise Ships to the Yachting industry?
A: Cruise ships is a great place to start your career at sea, as the face-to-face interaction with passengers, in particular with a hotel services role, provides you with a good foundation for when you work with owners & guests on superyachts. There are a number of differences however between cruise ships and yachts, however most find that they easily and quickly adapt. It’s likely that you’ll join a smaller engineering department to what you’ve been used to on the cruise ships. Therefore, you may want to brush up on your skill set to ensure that you’re presenting your best self against a sea of tough competition. One of the areas I’d suggest you researching is AV/IT, this is often required these days as part of a 2nd Engineer role on a boat without a dedicated AV/IT Officer. JustETOS (http://justetos.com/) run courses in the UK and USA to get you up to speed on the common yachting AV/IT systems. If you’re not keen on forking out the cash for a course then research the systems (google is your friend) and read up on some manuals if possible so at least you’re familiar with the systems used. Many Chief Engineers themselves come from cruise ship/commercial backgrounds so they appreciate the skill set and experience you’d be bringing to the industry.
I wrote a blog previously about starting out in your first yachting role and being realistic about what to look for; http://quaycrew.com/looking-for-your-first-yacht-engineer-role/.
Q: I’m a woman and have an engineering background, I’ve recently thought about becoming an Engineer on superyachts, is it realistic for me?
A: Firstly, I’m so pleased to see more women considering engineering as a career, I previously worked for a large aerospace & technology company and did a lot of work encouraging high school students & university graduates, in particular girls, to follow a career focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).
In terms of getting started in the Yachting industry, I recently interviewed Chief Engineer, Melanie Furniss, who joined the Yachts in 2003 and was told back then by peers that they’d never met a female engineer. She found that captains were reluctant to employ a female in what they saw to be a male job and dominated environment. Thankfully, times have changed somewhat and her advice for females entering the industry is to not give up!
You can read the full interview with Melanie here; http://quaycrew.com/working-as-a-superyacht-engineer/.
Q: “What is the interview process like before being accepted on a Yacht?”
A: There’s no standard answer to this question as each yacht has a different process. It can depend on whether the boat has a management company. If this is the case, these management companies get involved in the recruitment process and drive it from the top meaning it can be a lengthy process with various stages. Others leave crew recruitment down to the Captain or heads of departments. At Quay Crew we send your CV over to our clients with a full cover letter and verbal references detailed, saving them the time and effort to contact your previous employers. There are Captains who may like to do some additional checking, especially if they’re familiar with some of your previous Captains. Other Captains/Chief Engineers may have a telephone interview with you & offer you the job on the spot, others may have a few people they’d like to speak to or you may be interviewed by both rotational Chief Engineers, or the Chief Engineer interviews you initially and then you have a second interview with the Captain. Additionally, some of our clients prefer conducting interviews via FaceTime. Each boat operates differently, we know our clients well and understand their recruitment needs and interview processes so can assist in managing your expectations and keep you up to date with progress and feedback.
Q: Are yachts looking for multi-skilled Crew e.g. Engine and Deck qualified? & Is it possible to work on deck and in the engine room?
A: Yes absolutely, dual roles are common on the yachts and I’m often placing Deck/Engineers. On the smaller boats, where they run with fewer crew, everyone needs to chip in and be good team players. For example, you may find that as a sole engineer on a 30m you’ll need to help out and be an extra pair of hands on deck when guests are on, or on a 50m they may require some extra assistance in the engine room. A Deck/Engineer role is a good option for Deckhands wanting to transition across to engineering, or as an Engineer entering the industry it could be a good option to get you used to how yachts operate across the deck & engineering departments. You’ll often find crew on the larger yachts are more departmentalised due to the maintenance required, however you may still find Tender Engineer/Deck roles on the bigger boats.
If you have any further questions, please email them over to firstname.lastname@example.org