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Finding work during the Pandemic/Lockdown

I have had a lot of calls and emails from crew currently unemployed and looking for work asking me what the current situation is with the job market and yachts in general. This blog should hopefully give you an idea of what the current market is like!

May was an extremely busy month for us at Quay Crew which shows promising signs for the industry and crew. However it hasn’t all been plain sailing with logistics proving challenging along with a large amount of experienced crew looking for work during these unprecedented times. A fair few of my candidates were in the transitional period where they had just left one yacht and were looking for a new position when the pandemic hit. Not ideal timing! 

For the junior crew looking to break into the industry, things are tougher than ever. Not only is it tough to find your first position with little to no experience but this has now become even harder with lots of experienced crew now out of work and looking for jobs too. A lot of yachts are sticking in areas away from the Mediterranean as moving around Europe is challenging currently. This creates issues as not all crew have a B1/B2 Visas, Embassies are shut, and a yacht isn’t necessarily prepared to fly a junior candidate to the Caribbean. A lot of owners are still using their yachts and there potentially isn’t the time to train junior crew at the moment with the busy operations happening. 

I have been asked if it is still worth heading to Europe to dock walk to try and find day work or a permanent role. Right now, I would say probably not. You could be preparing yourself better from home by finding work, saving money and upskilling. We are based on the South coast and from speaking with local marinas and tradesmen within the marine industry they are all extremely busy as customers want to use their boats during the nice weather we are currently having. Why not try and find work in this sector that is going to add to your skillset and allow you to save more money to fund your trip to Europe once things have settled. If you aren’t near the coast, then why not try and find labouring work with a carpenter or builder or maybe there is a lake near you where they run watersports.

For junior interior crew, you could be upskilling in areas such as floristry or hospitality when this sector reopens in the near future. Tim has written a blog previously on upskilling which you may find useful. You can find it here.

For experienced crew the market is getting busier every week, so things do look promising. The best thing you can do is be realistic with expectations and be flexible with what you are looking for. There are a lot of good boats out there which may not tick all of your boxes at the time but offer great prospects down the line. If you do the maths, you would be much better to take a 200 Euro pay cut than be out of work for 4-5 months spending all your hard-earned savings sat at home.

The industry has so far done really well to cope with the current situation and yachts have done a fantastic job of keeping recruitment going and getting crew to and from the yachts. This is all really promising, and I think the industry will recover in no time at all. Be patient, yachting may not happen for you this season, but you can definitely make your life easier by using this time wisely so that next season you can land your dream job much easier.

Make sure you are registered, CV & documents are up to date with us at and keep an eye on the new jobs coming in!


Finding work during the Pandemic/Lockdown

About the author

Tom Rose

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