Required Certificates & Credentials
All positions require that you undertake a one week yachting safety course known as the STCW 95. This can be done in Ft. Lauderdale or Barcelona through Blue Water Yachting for around 1500$. However, if the company is really impressed with your qualifications, and wish to hire you, they may put you through the STCW 95 for free.
Additionally, knowledge of English is essential for all positions. Helpful secondary languages include Spanish, French, and Italian.
Where & When To Find Yacht Work
Two of the largest yachting Mecca’s are Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Antibes, France. However, just being there won’t help if you aren’t there at the right time of year. For Ft. Lauderdale, April, May and June are the most ideal months. During this time, countless yachts make the crossing to the Mediterranean in order to avoid Hurricane season and enjoy the European summer. However before the crossing, many yachts lose crew memebers. Subsequently, it is at this time that your chances of gaining employment are greatest.
In Antibes, September, October and November are your best months. Similarly, prior to departure for the Caribbean, to avoid the chilly European winter, captains will be in need of replacement crew. And that’s where you come in.
Once you make it to Ft. Lauderdale or Antibes, there is no telling how long it will take for you to secure a position. Thus, you will need to find a place to stay. Unless you’re rich, you’re going to have to find something long term and cost effective.
Fortunately, in Ft. Lauderdale, there exists a few different “crew houses”(Hostels for aspiring crew) where you can find shared rooms for reasonable prices. See Mary’s Crew House or Sea Park Crew House.
On the other hand, finding reasonable accommodation in Antibes is a bit more challenging. While there are crew houses, such as The Crew House and Debbie’s Crew House, prices tend to be around 25 euro a night.
If this is too expensive for your budget, and you don’t mind squatting with homeless people, you can always go camping. To do so, walk around the old fort until the path is parallel with the sea. There, in the moat of the fort is where you will find the squar. As long as you are patient and kind to your homeless neighbors, you will gain their trust in time and hopefully find them to be good company.
Click Part 3 for information on How To Network, Approach Yachts, & Land the Job