Qualifications & Certificates – The Basics
Trying to find specific qualifications in order to work on a yacht can be a bit of a minefield. The same role on identical yachts can have completely different specifications and requirements, this is due to its flag state. On top of this there are qualifications needed depending on the size, power and type of the operation on the yacht. So, where do you start?
Any life skills you’ve gained prior to working on a yacht can help. Your future aboard a boat may be determined by jobs or work you’ve been involved with on land. Whether you’re looking to work on the deck, in engineering, or as a steward, It’s likely that you will have skills that are already transferrable to the yachting industry, for example:
Chef: Cooking on yachts can be both very challenging and rewarding, you’ll be catering for high net worth individuals. So, make sure you have an impressive CV, with a long list of cooking achievements.
Interior Crew: Any experience in the hospitality industry will help here. Whether you’ve worked in a bar, hotel or restaurant, make sure your people skills are up to scratch.
Once you’ve established your way onto a yacht, talk to your Captain or Head of Department for advice and guidance on further certificates you need to climb up the career ladder.
There are some basic qualifications that will be expected of every crew member working on board a superyacht. There are also some other qualifications that could set you out from the crowd when you’re first starting up.
Check out STCW’s basic safety training. The Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping have revised and adopted their legislations due to technological advancements in modern boats. They cover several modules such as Personal Safety, Social Responsibilities, Elementary First Aid and Designated Security Duties. Most Maritime colleges run these courses, however to keep you well up to date with their programs, some of the modules have to be re-taken every five years. Superyacht recruitment agencies cannot find you work without this basic certificate!
Alternatively, the RYA has a range of qualifications that can help you in your quest for a job on a superyacht. Choose from an array of courses varying from Small Powerboat skills to a Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate. Everything you need to begin or continue learning is available with RYA. The forward-thinking approach of the course is designed for any level of skill, professionalism and knowledge you may or may not have. It’s a great way of developing your understanding of the dynamic world of boating.
Undeniably, the competition is fierce to get a job aboard a yacht, so make sure you stand out from the crowd before you approach a recruitment team. Once you’re on board, communication, listening, hard work and dedication will get you promoted up the ranks.
From 2006 to 2007 Tim was lucky enough to spend two years as a deckhand on MY Sai Ram and MY Leander, two excellent charter yachts. Quay Crew was formed in 2013 and is proving to be a great success: Tim covers the deck department predominantly working on Captain and Officer roles.
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