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secondary skills

You’ve got your ENG1, STCW and maybe even a couple of years’ yachting experience behind you, so finding your next superyacht job should be plain sailing, right?

Unfortunately not.

In today’s superyacht sector, an exemplary onboard experience goes far beyond providing top-notch navigation, seven-star service and luxury locations. It’s about offering something extra special, and that comes from you – the yacht crew.

Having additional specialist skills will not only set you apart from the competition, but gives green crew a real shot at getting onboard their first yacht.

Here are the most in-demand secondary skills our superyacht clients are after from their yacht crew.


Interior crew are key to creating a happy guest experience and additional hospitality experience is extremely beneficial. If your work history spans time as a professional barista, mixologist or wine expert, or within high-end environments like ski chalets and luxury hotels, this will help you to stand out.

2. Massage & beauty therapy

Beauticians of all kinds are in high demand! Health and wellness have become a bigger priority for owners and guests, ensuring they can enjoy home from home comforts while travelling. Whether you’re a nail technician, masseuse, make-up artist, hair stylist or all-rounder, if you are very experienced in your area, you have a real chance of becoming a superyacht beauty stew.

3. First aid and medical training

Safety is paramount at sea, and having crew members trained in first aid, CPR, and medical emergencies is essential. Yachts often require crew members with advanced medical training, such as a medical degree, to handle onboard medical emergencies effectively. Professionals such as paramedics, doctors or nurses are often sought after.

4. Personal training and fitness

Generally, personal training and fitness skills are desirable assets for yacht crew due to the physically demanding nature of yacht roles. Most importantly, owners and guests generally want to stay active during their time onboard and are likely to seek a host for a small exercise class, so experience in yoga, Pilates or as a PT is a definite advantage when applying for a yacht role.

5. Watersports

Yacht charters and active private trips offer a variety of watersports activities, including snorkelling, diving, kayaking, and jet skiing. Crew members that can provide instruction for these activities can ensure the safety of guests and enhance the overall recreational experience onboard.

If you are a qualified watersports instructor or have a strong background in areas such as kite surfing, diving, or windsurfing, this will definitely add value to the crew’s skill set. Not to mention, the ability to drive a tender boat (with a relevant powerboat qualification) is usually high on the list of desirable skills.

6. Carpentry

Carpentry skills are also invaluable for yacht crew as they can help with essential maintenance, repair, and renovation tasks onboard. With these skills, crew members can address issues promptly and minimise the need for external contractors, which contributes to the smooth running of the vessel and helps out with cost savings.

7. Mechanical and engineering

Yachts have complex mechanical systems that require regular maintenance and troubleshooting. Crew members with mechanical and engineering abilities can address minor repairs and maintenance issues promptly, minimising downtime and ensuring the yacht’s smooth operation.

Yachts often look out for these skills to assists with yacht toys and tender maintenance, for example.  Audio-Visual/Information Technology (AV/IT) and Electro-Technical (ET) skills are also highly valuable and can often help people get into yachting via the engineering department as ETO and AV/IT Officers.

8. Photography and videography

Capturing memorable moments onboard is an integral part of the yachting experience. Crew members skilled  in photography and videography can document guests’ adventures and create captivating visual content for promotional purposes, enhancing the yacht’s marketing efforts and online presence.

This is especially attractive to yacht management companies and owners as stunning content and a strong social media presence can improve demand for charters, which ultimately brings in more money.

9. Security

Security and protection is often a necessity for many Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals. Relevant roles include personal security of owners or yacht security services when docked. In our experience, ex-military candidates are normally sought after as they are likely to be capable of both medical and security assistance.

If you don’t come from a sea-going background, then having a diverse set of secondary skills under your belt can really improve your chances of getting your first yacht job. We’d even go as far as saying that these desirable secondary skills are often more important than primary skills.

From medical to service expertise and watersports to carpentry, each skill plays a role in ensuring the safety, comfort, and satisfaction of guests and owners. As the yachting industry continues to evolve, crew members who continuously hone their secondary skills will remain in high demand and secure the best roles and packages.

If you’re searching for a yacht role, get in touch with the Quay Crew team today.

Top 9 secondary skills for yacht crew

About the author

Georgia Smith

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