Crew Faqs

What is the yachting industry?

Yachts range in size from 50–450 ft. For the most part they are owned by individuals who vacation onboard. Yachts that are used uniquely by the owner, his family and friends are referred to as private. If an owner leases his yacht to a third party the yacht is considered a charter yacht. Both private and charter yachts in all size ranges require crew to maintain and run the vessel. The itinerary (where the vessel travels) is determined by the owner. Standards of service, while usually very high, vary from yacht to yacht. For the most part, yachting is an industry that brings together like minded people as crew who are prepared to work hard. Yachting is unlike any other industry and, as such, the rewards and expectations are unique.

How do I get started in the yachting industry?

First of all you are in the right place. Luxury Yacht Group is regarded as the industry leader for the proper placement of crew and we receive job orders from employers on a daily basis. To get started in the yachting industry there are a couple of key steps. Firstly, research and understand the industry by reading the following frequently asked questions and familiarizing yourself with the rest of our website. Secondly, complete your online LYG registration. Finally, we encourage all crew to obtain their Basic STCW 95.

Do yachts hire people with no experience in yachting?

Absolutely! The most common entry-level positions which offer new crew the ability to learn the “ropes” of yachting are:

  • Deckhand
  • Stewardess
  • Cook

Depending on your previous work background, you may fit very well into a role as yacht crew. Although there are no solid “requirements” for some entry level positions, each Captain will put forth a list of his/her specific “preferences” in a candidate. Should your background be consistent with what the owner or Captain may be looking for, you should be prepared to undertake any variety of duties that would include:

  • Cleaning
  • Polishing
  • Laundry
  • Cabin preparation
  • Detailing the interior of the vessel
  • Food service
  • Drink service
  • Painting
  • Varnishing
  • Detailing exterior
  • Wash-downs
  • Line handling

What skills do I have that would be useful on a yacht?

For new to industry crew, there are many ways to make yourself more appealing to yacht owners and Captains. Emphasize your present skills and experience and focus on what characteristics you have may be applicable to the job you desire. There are a variety of skills that can help give you an edge, such as:

  • Cooking
  • Nanny / Babysitting / Au Pair
  • Formal service training / Silver Service / White Glove
  • Bartending
  • Carpentry / Woodworking
  • Mechanics
  • Painting
  • Diving / Water sports
  • Fishing
  • Experience in a Hotel, Resort, Cruise Ship, Restaurant or Estate
  • CPR, First Aid certification or any emergency medical training
  • Masseuse / Esthetician license

What if I get seasick?

You can expect to have to work regardless.

Do I need a visa to work on a boat that cruises US waters?

Many foreign flagged yachts will only hire non-American crew if they hold a B1/B2 visa for the United States. A C1-D visa is not appropriate for private yacht crew. If you do not have a B1/B2 visa a Captain may be willing to hire you on the condition that you are prepared to obtain the visa, then you can apply for the visa using boat documents. Please visit our resources section for more visa information.

What is STCW 95?

The STCW training classes include the following elements:

  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  • Competence in Security Awareness

Elementary First-Aid Training

One day First Aid and CPR which is instructed in compliance with STCW Code A-VI/1-3 and consists of approximately seven hours of theory and practical covering basic First Aid and CPR in marine situations. The course is followed by a written exam.

Basic Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting

Two day fire prevention and fire fighting module which is instructed in compliance with STCW Code A – VI/1-2 including shipboard fire fighting organization, the elements of fire and explosion, types of ignition, fire and smoke detection, breathing apparatus use and automatic alarm system familiarization. Trainees will fight and extinguish actual fires using personal equipment, practical instruction taught by licensed and certified fire fighting professionals.

Proficiency in Maritime Security Awareness

A half day module which is instructed in compliance with STCW Reg V1/6 and Part A of Section A-VI/6 paragraph 4 and consists of a half day in the classroom covering subjects such as maritime security key threats, recognition and awareness of threats, plans and procedures for combatting threats, drills, communications and reporting.

This module is required from January 1, 2014 as a part of the update to the STCW Code mandated by the 2010 Manila Amendments, by all personnel employed or engaged on-board ships to which the ISPS Code applies.

Personal Survival Techniques

One and a half day personal survival course module, also known as Basic Sea Survival, which is instructed in compliance to STCW Code A – VI/1-1 and consists of a day in the classroom covering subjects such as emergency situations, evacuation, survival craft and rescue boats, personal lifesaving appliances, survival at sea, emergency radio equipment and helicopter assistance. The theory part is followed by a written exam. The remainder of the course is spent in a swimming pool performing the simulation of abandon ship procedures. The practical exercises are subject to ongoing assessment by the instructor.

Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities

This is a one day course which is instructed to STCW Code A – VI/1-4 as revised by the 2010 Manila Amendment. The course covers working relationships on board, health and hygiene, drugs and alcohol, shipboard management structure and responsibilities, emergencies and safe working practices, with enhanced coverage of communications, control of fatigue, teamwork and marine environmental awareness issues. The course is followed by a written exam.

How does the LYG system work?

Luxury Yacht Group introduces employers to crew through a balance of technology and personal contact. Our website is database driven, so it is in your best interest to keep your online registration updated. In addition, our crew coordinators have the capacity to introduce you to many employers so approach all interaction with a high level of decorum.

To get the most from our system:

  • Login to our site on a regular basis and check your My Jobs page. Our database will alert you to open jobs for which you may be an appropriate candidate.
  • For each of these jobs either confirm or decline your interest. If you confirm interest our crew coordinators and the employer will be able to view your details and you are then a potential candidate for the position.
  • Most importantly, we request crew to change their availability status to unavailable when they are no longer looking for work.
  • If you find work remember to update your availability and experience.
  • If you complete a course update your certifications.
  • If you update your resume make sure to upload the latest version.

By keeping your online file current you are helping our crew coordinators to find you your dream job.

What is the first step after I register?

Once you are registered and your file is adequately complete the system will indicate to you that you can submit your file for consideration. Once you have submitted your file our team of crew coordinators will review your file and begin the reference verification process.

What positions are available on luxury yachts?

Depending on the size of the yacht, you will find a variety of positions. See our job descriptions page for more details.

Can yachting be a career?

Of course, and many yachtsmen have dedicated themselves to the industry and established successful careers. LYG is committed to helping you make yachting a career. Once you are placed and gaining experience please stay in contact with your crew coordinator. Our web site is a great tool to providing extensive information on licensing and training and you may track your experience and longevity in relation to salary and certifications.

How long will it take to find a job?

This is not an easy question to answer. Yachts are always looking for crew and in many instances it is about being in the right place at the right time. There are many factors that contribute to your "place-ability" and consequently the time it will take to find a job. The best thing to do is to be well presented on paper and in person. Stay in touch with your crew coordinator and check your My Jobs page frequently.

How do I make my interviews successful?

First impressions are paramount, it is important to make a terrific, lasting impression.

  • Make sure to arrive on time, dress in professional yachting attire and be immaculately presented.
  • Bring copies of your resume, licenses and references.
  • Please don't chew gum, smell of cigarettes or wear excessive jewelry.
  • Turn off your cell phone and try to keep your tattoos hidden.
  • Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and make eye contact.
  • Speak with confidence and be honest about your experience and ability.
  • Be clear about your career objectives and how they apply to your career path.
  • Stress positives, avoid negatives.
  • Keep your questions focused on the job and its requirements - not the benefits.

What can I do to increase my chances of finding the right job?

Return job related phone calls and emails promptly. While you are waiting for an employer to contact you we suggest that you enroll in additional courses to increase your suitability for your dream job. Maritime Training Schools offer entry level courses for interior and deck departments in the following areas:

  • Professional Etiquette and Social Skills
  • International Table Service (French, Russian, etc.)
  • Interior and Exterior Detailing
  • Bartending and drink service
  • Wine courses
  • Flower arranging
  • Massage Therapy
  • Boat handling and general boat operations

Please visit our resource section for list of schools in your area.

Is there a right time of year to find work on a yacht?

Yachts move around the globe in predictable patterns based on the season.

Fort Lauderdale is the nucleus of the industry year round and especially during the shoulder seasons (beginning and end of summer and winter). From April to September the Mediterranean (Antibes, France) and New England are the hubs of the industry. From October to March the Caribbean becomes the focal point.

We recommend that you base yourself in one of the yachting capitals at the appropriate time of year to facilitate finding a job.

Although we place crew at all times of the year the busiest time for crew turnover is at the end of each season.

Ok sounds good - How do I find my dream job?

Registration with Luxury Yacht Group is free. You can complete the application process online from anywhere in the world. We require from you:

  • Personal Information
  • Objectives – What you wish to achieve
  • Certificates – Your qualifications
  • Experience – Your past employment
  • References – Contact information for previous employers
  • Resume / CV – Uploaded in Word format
  • Digital Photograph – Passport Style in professional attire

The application process should take about 15–20 minutes. LYG requires a minimum of three past work experiences and references in addition to an uploaded resume and digital photograph before your application is complete and we can consider you for our available jobs.

What can I do to stand out from the crowd?

Make sure your LYG online profile is properly completed and always current. Your photo must be a professional reflection of you. Your statement of career objectives should be professional, concise and honest. Also, make sure to upload a simple, professional resume (two pages maximum) that shows all yachting related employment and skills.

What salary can I expect?

Salary guidelines are based on industry experience, licensing and longevity. As an entry level candidate you can expect to be at the lower end of the pay scale. If your salary expectations are unreasonable most employers will disregard you. It is in your best interest to request a competitive, realistic salary and be placed. The good news is that your salary will undoubtedly improve as you gain experience in the industry. View Salary Guidelines

What will be expected of me once I am onboard?

Crewing on a yacht is not glamorous. It is not a vacation and it is certainly not for the faint hearted. At an entry level, you can expect your living quarters to be tight and your tasks to be menial. You will often have to work extremely long hours without a break or a day off. In addition you can expect to work holidays and weekends and be away from your family for extended periods of time. You need to carry out your job with a smile and pleasant demeanor — regardless of your level of exhaustion.

The good news is that when you do have time off you may be in a beautiful corner of the world, the crew onboard have become your friends and you will undoubtedly experience the true meaning of being a "yachtie".

What are general Terms of Employment on a yacht?

Again, working on a yacht is not comparable to any land based industry. Many (but not all) yachts may ask you to sign crew agreements, non-disclosure agreements, or comprehensive job descriptions. Crew are normally paid on a monthly basis and are rarely compensated for overtime. Many yachts offer benefit packages that can include health insurance, paid vacations (from 2–8 weeks per annum), annual flights and education allowances. Although your crew coordinator can make recommendations regarding your conditions of employment, you are responsible for all employment related negotiations.

I work on a cruise ship — can I work on a private yacht?

Cruise ship personnel have many skills that transfer to the private yachting industry, though it is important to remember that it is not the same industry. Crew on private yachts tend to work longer hours and have more extensive job descriptions with less time off. We suggest that anyone with cruise ship experience research our job description pages to get an idea of how employment on yachts differs to cruise ships.

Captains and engineers with a cruise ship background often have advanced licenses and ISM experience which can be beneficial to luxury yachts so remember to emphasize this on your application and resume.

Housekeeping skills are easily transferable and, as such, Cruise Ship Housekeeping personnel are regularly placed in the yachting industry.

However, the move to the yachting industry may require even experienced cruise ship personnel to compromise their hierarchal status and prove they are an integral crew member before moving up the ranks.

What about accommodation?

In each of the industry hubs there are Crew Houses that cater specifically to crew looking for employment. Accommodation is reasonably priced and rooms are often shared. Many crew make life long friends during their time at a crew house.