Category: Do you have the skills?

Deckhands – Do you have your NWR certificate?

The Navigational Watch Rating (NWR) certificate is becoming an increasingly common requirement for the majority of deckhands on large yachts which follow a commercial or passenger yacht code. The NWR is achieved by showing you have advanced deck skills and completed a specific set of watchkeeping tasks to become a valuable crew member. It also helps to signal that you’re someone who takes their role seriously and is looking to further your career and experience.

What is the required experience for deckhands?

A Chief Officer on a 100m+ yacht told us: “On the yacht I am currently on, we need a minimum of three deckhands who hold the NWR certificate for our MSM/Safe manning requirement. Those who hold the ticket have a better understanding of what happens on the bridge. As a Chief Officer I can rely on deckhands who are already qualified as they can teach the other less experienced deckhands whilst refreshing their own knowledge and training.”

So, if you’re thinking seriously about your maritime career, we recommend you look into obtaining the NWR certificate as soon as possible. It acts as an official record of your experience which can be taken from yacht to yacht throughout your career. Before you begin, you’ll need to be at least 17 years old and have a minimum of six months serving at sea on a vessel of at least 15m. You’ll also need to have completed the four elements of STCW basic training and hold an ENG 1 or MCA accepted equivalent.

What does the NWR training involve?

One of our candidates, a recently certified deckhand, told us: “I completed my NWR training to strengthen my knowledge of the bridge and to prove that I am fully competent at launching life rafts and life boats, anchoring whilst maintaining good communication to the bridge, identifying other vessels and channel markers while at sea. I completed my NWR rating over 16 hours with the help of my First Officer who came from a cruise ship background and this gave me a professional approach to my work. It’s been invaluable to me.”

wilsonhalligan’s Deck recruitment consultant Louise Forster worked to gain her NWR certification and saw it as a fun challenge. She said: “I worked with officers from varied backgrounds and picked up many tips and tricks. For me, gaining the NWR certificate meant I felt more confident when acting as lookout on the bridge and was able to understand the flags and lights we saw along the way, and how to keep a safe navigational watch”.

What you need to get an NWR Certificate:

To gain your certificate, you’ll need to complete a log and prove that you have completed a specific set of watch keeping tasks including (but not limited to): safe navigational lookout, points of the compass, communicating effectively, steering the ship, and learning light and flag signals. To find out more information or to apply to the MCA for a NWR training record book, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-navigationalengine-room-ratings-certificate#watch-rating-overview

How Do I Become A Yacht Engineer – Qualifications and Requirements

If you are looking for a career as a yacht engineer, we’ve compiled a breakdown of the qualifications and requirements needed to start out, insight into the job day-to-day and how to effectively land your dream position.

What Does a Yacht Engineer do?

Depending on type, size and usage of the yacht, the Engineering department (be that a Sole Engineer or a department of 6 or more Engineers) are responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of all mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic and in some cases, structural systems and appendages found on board a modern yacht and superyacht.

Skills Needed to be a Successful Yacht Engineer

The role requires a keen eye for planning and organisation, as planned maintenance (carrying out preventative and explorative maintenance before failures occur) is a very important aspect in modern marine engineering. Skills in project management, resource allocation and time management are very desirable in addition to extensive and diverse technical ability. Many yachts employ software programs to aid a methodical approach to planned and preventative maintenance and to record failures and repairs as they occur as well as keeping an accurate inventory of spares held on board. Being able to efficiently use such software programs efficiently would be highly advantageous. Examples of these asset management programs are AMOS and IDEA.

Challenges as an Engineer Onboard a Yacht

Engineering on a superyacht has particular challenges as some yachts (particularly charter yachts) can be very busy, meaning a very fast paced and demanding environment. High expectations from owners and guests in regards to service and entertainment also puts a keen onus on engineering departments to keep all systems working to minimise or eliminate down time and negative impacts on the itinerary. Of course, when the yacht is at sea, many of these systems are safety critical and break downs and failures offshore bring a whole new set of challenges and risks.

Which qualifications do I need to get in to superyacht engineering?

There are really two main entry routes in to yacht and superyacht engineering which follow two distinct certification pathways – entering from commercial shipping, or working through yacht-based certification routes.

Commercial Shipping Route of Training for Yacht Engineering

The Commercial Shipping route most commonly begins with a sponsored cadetship with a shipping company working in partnership with maritime training provider. Candidates must apply to one of a number of cadetship schemes and if accepted will undertake usually 3 years of study and work experience on the sponsoring companies’ vessels, culminating very often in the Officer of the Watch (Engineering) or ‘EOOW’ ticket and usually either an HND or BSc Degree in Marine Engineering or similar.

Once the EOOW certificate is in hand, candidates can be considered suitably qualified and experienced for junior engineering officer roles on large yachts. A common first yachting job for EOOW qualified candidates is 3rd Engineer. The main advantage of a cadetship is that seatime is gained quickly and on vessels over 3000 GT, allows for a ticket which is ‘unlimited’ by tonnage as all yacht engineering certificates are. This opens the door to working on the world’s largest mega and superyachts.

Also, the sponsoring company pays for all courses and examinations which would be extremely expensive if self-sponsored, and very often a small training bursary is paid on top (some as much as €11,000 / year). The biggest disadvantage is that candidates who ultimately want to work on superyachts will have to commit to different types of vessel for the duration of the cadetship – these are likely to be chemical tankers or containerships, but most of the large luxury cruise ship companies also offer cadetships which is in some ways closer to the yachting industry. One facilitator of maritime cadetships is the Warsash Maritime Academy – see here.

Yacht Certification Route of Training for Engineering

This route is made up of 6 key certificates:

The Approved Engine Course (AEC) – often seen as the base-minimum for superyacht engineers who wish to work on yachts over 24m LOA.  Usually a 4-day course covering the theory of compression-ignition (diesel) engines and includes a large amount of practical workshops. View the full syllabus for the Approved Engine Course (AEC). One common provider of AEC courses is Bluewater Yachting in Antibes – see here.

The Marine Engine Operators Licence (MEOL) – This is the first certificate in the yacht route that requires sea service, specific shore based learning and an oral exam. View further details on MSN 1859 here.

Y4 Engineer – The first of what is commonly referred to as the ‘Y Tickets’ – Y4 allows engineers to work as Chief Engineer on yachts between 200 and 500GT and up to 1500Kw in propulsive power.

Y3 Engineer – Allows engineers to work as Chief Engineer on yachts up to 3000GT and up to 3000KW in propulsive power.

Y2 Engineer – Allows engineers to work as Chief Engineer on yachts up to 3000GT and up to 6000KW in propulsive power.

Y1 Engineer – Allows engineers to work as Chief Engineer on yachts up to 3000GT and up to 9000KW in propulsive power.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have simplified the Y ticket structure however, and page 19 of MIN 524 provides a simple conversion table from Y tickets to the new standard – Small Vessel (or SV) tickets.

Some course providers are now offering yachting cadetships – one example is this one provided by the UKSA in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

How are Engineering Departments Structured on Yachts?

Engineering departments vary widely according to the type, size and usage of the yacht in question, but most large yachts will have some or all of the following roles on board:

Chief Engineer (or Sole Engineer on smaller yachts with only one engineer)
The Chief Engineer is in overall command of all Engineering operations on board and is the senior advisor to the Captain on all matters related to the condition and serviceability of the yachts engines, propulsion, ancillaries and hotel systems. Although Captains always retain supreme responsibility for the safety of the vessel, all the best captains will work very closely with the Chief Engineer and take heed of any advice and requests they make – after all, they are highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable subject matter experts. Chief Engineers are responsible for ensuring that the Yacht is in all respects compliant with the relevant laws and regulations governing the serviceability of the yachts systems and equipment. They are pivotal in ensuring the yacht passes any relevant flag state, port state or P&I club surveys and inspections.

1st Engineer
Some of the very largest yachts afloat employ a 1st Engineer similar to those employed on Cruise Ships. If a 1st Engineer is employed, they will take operational (day-to-day) command of the engineering team, supervising engineering tasks and allocating work as appropriate. This allows the Chief Engineer to concentrate on the large amount of paperwork and business management necessary on board a very large yacht.

2nd Engineer
The more common understudy to the Chief Engineer, the 2nd Engineer often has responsibility for Engine Room maintenance and will take on many of the more challenging maintenance and repair tasks as required. The 2nd Engineer acts as a supervisor for more junior crew, and in some cases will be able to deputise for the Chief Engineer if required.

3rd Engineer
The 3rd Engineer will have specific duties, which may include maintenance of the ship’s lifeboats, tenders, jet skis, toys and deck equipment like winches, davits and hatchways. Very often 3rds are responsible for interior maintenance. Again, areas of responsibility vary from yacht to yacht.  3rd Engineers are often focused on gaining the requisite experience and ‘seatime’ to progress to 2nd Engineer.

4th Engineer
The most junior engineering officer on board, the 4th is very often new to Marine Engineering and is learning the trade.  4th Engineers are often engaged in structured learning programs, or at least splitting their time between phases at sea learning on the job with phases ashore attending courses. Again, this can vary widely across the industry.

Motorman
A junior, but important role found almost exclusively on large yachts in excess of around 100m, the motorman (not gender-specific!) is responsible for the operation and basic maintenance of the yachts main engines and engine room systems. They may assist in starting and stopping large engines and generators, operating switch panels under the supervision of an officer or senior engineer and reporting anything unusual. Engine room cleanliness and order will be an important part of the role.

Wiper / Oiler
On the largest yachts, especially those operating medium speed diesels or older conventional ship propulsion technology, a wiper and oiler may be employed in addition to the above with a focused role keeping engines and machinery spaces clean, and keeping greased bearings fed or keeping open rockers oiled etc.  An ability to access confined spaces is often useful, and a keen eye for cleanliness in bilges and bunded tanks etc is often a must.

How To Find a Job as a Superyacht Engineer

Once you have the relevant qualifications, then comes the time to start looking for your first position. Of course, word of mouth and personal connections made through training are a fantastic way to gain knowledge on current positions available however, also consider the following:

Dockwalking – travel to one of the main superyacht hubs like Palma, Antibes or La Ciotet and walk the docks asking yachts if they need engineering crew. Make sure you take a proper CV, written references and go well presented. Be polite and be prepared for a good deal of face-to-face rejection, however don’t take it personally.

Use a reputable crew agent such as wilsonhalligan who is MLC 2006 compliant, vastly experienced and a well respected crew recruitment agency in the industry who does the dock walking for you!

Check out our latest jobs and like our Facebook page where we often post featured engineering jobs as well as the latest jobs and industry news.

Do you have what it takes to be a Project Manager overseeing a superyacht refit?

As exquisite feats of engineering, superyachts will always need working on throughout their lifetime: whether for refit, scheduled maintenance or emergency work, they will have to go ashore at some stage. Refitting in particular can be a daunting experience and the process can be lengthy. If not managed properly, the undertaking can wreak havoc on the owner’s time and money and unnecessarily disrupt scheduling and the ability to attract the best crew.

Owners usually hire a Project Manager or an Owners Technical Representative to ensure that refit projects run smoothly, and are completed on time within the specified budget. Unbiased and impartial, they work towards achieving a process and outcome which pleases all parties involved.

What is required from a Project Manager on a superyacht refit:

When owners can be based thousands of miles away from the yard, the Project Manager will effectively be the owner’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground and can advise the owner on any obstacles that may arise, identifying problems before or as they arise and guiding everyone toward the optimum outcome.

A Project Manager with an established background should be able to prepare a timeline of key construction, plan resources, and manage the quality of the refit. The project will have very clear delivery deadlines pertaining to the distribution of information, the acceptance of drawings and samples, and arrival of owner supplied items. Late delivery can lead to heavy penalties with shipyards so it’s not a job for the fainthearted!

We look for a knowledgeable and professional liaison when recruiting for roles like these. Characteristics such as reputable business acumen, an ability to negotiate on behalf of someone else, excellent problem-solving skills and proven project management experience are all important. Also critical are effective communication and persuasion skills because regular clear communication regarding goals, responsibilities, performance, expectations and feedback will be required for the owner as well as the Captain, crew and shipyard. You should be able to express opinions – your client is paying for someone who makes decisions on their behalf and can offer clear advice.

In terms of experience, previous experience of working at sea either on yachts or commercially and/or boatbuilding and a commercial understanding of the marine industry are beneficial too.

So, have you got what it takes to oversee a refit on a superyacht? Come and talk to us for guidance. Get in touch at info@wilsonhalligan.com.

Big thanks to Andy Tree from Superyacht Technical Services for your advice on this article! –https://superyachttechnicalservices.com

Working on Yachts & Superyachts – What You Need to Know.

Thinking about a career off-shore? Dreaming of living the high life working on a superyacht? There are a host of different paths you can take; from deckhands and watersport instructors to steward/ess’, engineers and beauticians. Whichever route you decide to take, wilsonhalligan can assist you in your job search at every stage of your career but here we’ve compiled the basics of what you need to know when first starting out.

Basic requirements for working onboard a yacht/superyacht:

A good starting point is to gain your STCW95 & ENG1 medical certificate – an essential requirement for all yacht crew. There are many courses available across the UK – a simple google search will locate your nearest course location.

Depending on the route you choose to take, onshore experience that can help enhance your CV includes:
– Interior roles: Hospitality experience is essential for your CV and is experience that can be gained from a young age.
– Deckhand roles: Watersports experience and general boat handling will go a long way.
– Engineering roles: As well as engineering qualifications etc, alternatively, some engineers enter the yachting industry having worked in the commercial sector previously.

Where to get a yacht crew job

We would always recommend going to Antibes to kick-start the job search and build up your initial experience from the off. Being in Antibes has many advantages such as being in the area for face-to-face interviews and to obtain day work to boost your CV, experience and references.

Try to keep open minded when looking for your first position – a sailing yacht may not be what you had in mind, but you could end up loving it, and finding your career heading in a different direction to what you had thought previously! In our own experience, one job can open the door to many other opportunities and progression, so try not to be too picky about the types of jobs that are offered to you.

If you manage to get day work, this a good time to try and impress. Be punctual, helpful and enthusiastic – even if they don’t have a permanent position on board, having a good reference can do wonders for applying to other yachts.

It is possible to find work from home, however it is easier once you have that initial experience to then use a recruitment agency such as wilsonhalligan to find your next position.

Read more on this subject in our article ‘Do you have to be in a major yachting center to find a yachting job?’ https://staging.wilsonhalligan.com/major-yachting-centre-find-yachting-job/ – it is possible to find work from home,

What’s it like working as yacht crew?

There’s no use in sugarcoating it, working in the industry is hard work!! You may go months without a day off, you are away from home for long periods at a time, and yes, you may have to clean a toilet with a toothpick! However, you will also have amazing experiences during this time, some say the best in their life! You will meet interesting people, make friends for life, and travel to new, exotic places.

Our tips for working as yacht crew:

Be prepared to work hard, learn fast and be a good team player – your crew will be your family whilst on board – this doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with everyone, but show respect and remember that you are there to ensure that the guests have the best possible experience.

The wilsonhalligan team have a wealth of first-hand experience working on board yachts in a number of positions so if you would like any advice or help with your job search, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here.
Alternatively, we are now running live chats on our website every Wednesday where our team will be available to chat with you directly online. Simply visit our website on Wednesday and our live chat will pop up!

Attention Chefs: Assessment in Marine Cookery at Leiths

As many of you will already know, in order to cook on any commercial vessel registered with ten or more crew and operating more than 60 miles offshore, you need to hold an MCA Ship’s Cook Certificate of Competency (CoC). This applies whether you are a trained chef or not. This mandatory requirement was put in place to ensure that at least one crew member on-board relevant vessels, is certified to handle and prepare food to the necessary standards by means of independent assessment in a controlled environment. The certificate is globally recognised, although certain flag states choose not to enforce these regulations.

 

In order to complete the assessment to gain the certificate, all chefs/cooks must have a year’s provable experience at sea or one years’ experience on land as a chef/cook in addition to a month of sea service.  The assessment is suitable for anyone wishing to start a career as a chef/cook on yachts, or for an existing crew to update their certificates. Full details of the requirements and legalities of the certificate can be found via the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

 

So, if you are in need of assessment for the certificate, we are delighted to announce that Leiths School of Food and Wine in West London is now offering the assessment for a fee of £950, with the next course dates being Sunday 16th– Tuesday 18th June. They are taking over from the Tante Marie cookery school, who previously offered the assessments. In addition, all crew that handle food are required to hold the minimum of a Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering from an accredited provider with a supervised exam. This can be included as an extra day, if required, being 19th June for the upcoming course. The cost of the extra day is £50.

 

Leiths has an excellent reputation and is an award-winning cookery school perfectly set-up to provide this service to yacht crew. Managing Director Camilla Schneideman says: “The Assessment in Marine Cookery, open to Leiths students and external students alike, helps candidates to broaden their CV and work towards and qualification that unlocks global employment opportunities.”

 

Prior to the assessment, students will complete a self-study, covering elements of theory, through access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This on average takes a half-day to a full day to review, ahead of the theoretical exam on Day one of the assessment.

 

The school is easily accessed by transport links, and there is a wide choice of accommodation options in the area. If you would like more information, to view the course content or to sign up, please visit Leiths’ website.

Good luck!

wilsonhalligan Wants You!

Have you been working in the yachting industry for a few years?  Looking for a change of yacht or to progress your career into a more senior role? 

Or are you just starting your yachting career? Or looking to make the jump from commercial ships to superyachts? Are you considering taking some courses, but not sure which ones will be best suited to the position you want?

wilsonhalligan are here to help!

There are no bad yacht crew (well, ok there are a few!) but we know that different crew suit different yachts and here at wilsonhalligan we hand-pick candidates to suit every unique position.  We believe everyone should be treated with respect and won’t turn you away just because you are new to the industry.  We know that today’s deckhand could be tomorrows Captain and we want to support you in your career every step of the way.

At wilsonhalligan we have specialist recruiters for every department, so when you speak to us you know that you are speaking to someone that really understands the positions on offer and what you and the client may be looking for.  Many of our recruiters are also ex-yacht crew so are uniquely positioned to offer you help and advice.

When you register with us (or update your details) a copy of your CV is sent directly to a recruiter for review.  If your skills and attributes match the requirements of our clients, we will get in touch straight away.  If not, you will be added on our database and contacted as soon as something becomes available.  You can also keep an eye on our website for the latest jobs and even register for notifications when new jobs are posted. 

As a candidate, it is important to build a good relationship with your recruitment consultant.  Please do keep in touch and check-in via the website regularly.  We don’t always post all of our jobs online and with over 30,000 people on our database, it is good to be at the forefront of our minds when something new comes in.  We would love to call you all regularly but sadly it’s not always possible, however, we will always do our best to reply to any email you send us.

When representing you as a candidate we are always professional and discreet and would never send your CV for a position without your consent.  Whenever possible we aim to have a telephone interview with you to find out more about you and exactly what you are looking for.  We will then spend some time discussing the various suitable positions we have on offer.  If you would like to be put forward for any of them, the notes that are taken from this interview are written up to form your personal profile and submitted to our clients alongside your CV to further enhance your chances of gaining an interview.

For each position, we will fully brief you on what we know (or are allowed to tell you) about the yacht, its operations and the crew onboard.  We always aim to be open and honest about this information so that you can make sure it’s the right boat for you.  Once we have successfully placed you onboard, we like to keep in touch to see how you are getting on and are always here to offer you any advice or support.

So, if you haven’t been in touch for a while, please drop us an email and tell us how you are getting on.  Or if you are not yet registered with us, why not sign up today and let us help you find that dream job! 

Important – Have You Recently Updated Your Skills or Certificates?

Have you recently upgraded your certificates or added to your skills? If so, please do let us know!

As well as the need for candidates that hold particular certifications such as Ships Cook or Navigational Watch Rating, we are also getting more and more requests for crew members that have additional knowledge and skills in certain areas.

ETO’s have you attended a Crestron Course or done Cisco Training?  Deckhands have you completed onboard training such as a Yacht Rating Certificate or Heli Deck Assistant course?  Do you hold Crowd and Crisis Management certificates? All of the above are highly desirable to our clients so make sure they are listed on your CV and that your recruitment consultant is aware of your skills. 

Competition for the best jobs can be tough so make sure you keep your CV updated and highlight any additional skills or training you have that could make you stand out from the crowd.  You can update your CV online, but you can also send us a quick email when you complete a new course or certificate and we can add the details to our database.

For more information on courses take a look at our previous blogs or speak to your specialist recruiter who will be happy to offer advice.


For Engineers contact – James@wilsonhalligan.com

For AV-IT/ETO contact – Freddie@wilsonhalligan.com

For Deckhands contact – Lauren@wilsonhalligan.com

For Deck Officers contact – Louise@wilsonhalligan.com

https://staging.wilsonhalligan.com/ships-cook-certificate-superyacht-chef/

https://staging.wilsonhalligan.com/deckhands-do-you-have-your-nwr-certificate/

https://staging.wilsonhalligan.com/how-to-become-a-yacht-engineer/

Tante Marie: Ships Cook Certificate and Other Training Opportunities

Kelly and Nicola recently travelled to Tante Marie Culinary Academy in Woking to meet with Ally Molyneaux the Academy Head Teacher and Debbie Volans the Director of Administrations to check out their superb facilities and talk to them about the courses they have on offer.

Not only do Tante Marie offer the Assessment in Marine Cookery as part of their Professional Cookery Courses but they also offer a range of other courses from a Four Week Essential Skills Course or a Five Day Food Camp. Courses are mostly practical and consist of demonstrations from Academy Chefs in the well-equipped Demonstration Theatre before heading into the training kitchens and theory classroom.

For established Chefs with a seafaring or shore-based background, the Assessment in Marine Cookery will provide them with their Ships Cook Certificate; it comprises of a full four-day assessment which includes the food hygiene level two for £1,000. Here you are able to take individual modules or the full course depending on your background and experience – course dates can be seen below.

For those new to the kitchen but interested in securing a position as a Stewardess/Cook or similar the Four Week Essential Skills Course is ideal and costs £2,750. It offers an introduction to working in a professional kitchen environment, incorporating practical skill development such as knife skills, before moving on to the foundations of basic cookery – for information on course dates see below.

Course Dates:

Assessment in Marine Cookery
10
th – 13th September 2018
1
st – 4th October 2018
12
th – 15th November 2018
3
rd – 6th December 2018

4-week Essential Skills
7
th January – 1st February 2019
24
th April – 23rd May 2019

For more information on the courses on offer visit the Tante Marie website.

Whether you are an established yacht Chef looking for your next challenge or a shore-based Chef looking to take your first step into the industry please do get in touch with Kelly, our Chef Recruitment Consultant, on kelly@wilsonhalligan.com 

Pursers On-Board Superyachts

Noticing a trend in increased applications to be Pursers we thought we would provide some input into what it takes to be one, including the relative duties, career paths to qualifying and what the job market currently looks like.

Purser positions generally exist on larger yachts and their work is responsible for the effective and smooth running of the yacht, similar to the work of a Chief Stewardess who would look after the interior including provisions, concierge duties and accounts etc. on smaller yachts.

 

The Role

Pursers generally have multiple responsibilities to carry out on the yacht. It is heavily administrative including crew HR, visa applications and immigration, to booking flights and checking crew certifications. It is therefore important to understand the international regulations and daily management of crew certificates and contracts. Understanding the flag state and management company of the vessel is equally important.

Another important aspect of being a Purser is to understand the safety and muster duties on board, which comes from knowledge of yacht operations, crew activities and safety inductions. In addition knowing the maritime laws will be advantageous for ensuring the yacht adheres to ISM and ISPS codes.  Port disembarkation and clearance is another area Pursers’ need to be competent in. Understanding the documentation process and urgency of time keeping throughout, whilst knowing the ships’ certification, immigration regulations in different countries and general customs regulations.

They are also responsible for completing the accounts, payroll and other financial matters such as budgeting and financial planning. Yachts tend to use a software package which makes it easier to record information and present accurate accounts, there are a few different ones around and are becoming very efficient, however some yachts still use good old Excel!

Concierge duties can sometimes be the responsibility of the Purser, although quite often it will be the Chief Stewardess who does this. Either way having the ability to research and present itineraries to yacht’s Owners / Guests is a skill a Purser must have. Quite often there will be all sorts of facets to consider such as security, transport, restaurants and attractions to organise. Then there is the behind the scenes aspect of charter management, structuring cost, suppliers, guest complaints etc.

It is an extremely responsible role with a demanding workload and the need for adept computer skills, excellent communication and the confidence to manage people. The Purser is often seen as a senior within the structure of a yacht and quite often referred to as an ‘Agony Aunt’ for the crew! Captains need to rely on their Pursers for various reasons, candidates therefore usually need to have previous yachting (or cruise) experience, and have a level of maturity about them with excellent leadership styles.

 

I fit the bill, how do I get this job?

At present we primarily recruit Pursers with two main types of backgrounds, those that have been Chief Stewardess’s and those that come from a cruise ship Purser background. This difference arises due to the specifications requested from Captains and management companies, and their knowledge of what work needs to be done on board.

Chief Stewardess’s / Head of departments that have worked on yachts 60m up to 100m+ and have excellent experience (4yrs+), longevity and references, are generally a favourite and certainly dominating the Purser market at present. On the flip side since the yachts are getting bigger, many Captains are choosing Pursers that have come from cruise ships, whom are therefore accustomed to the large volume of crew, accounts and general ship management. Again typically this type of candidate would have been a Chief Purser on board with excellent financial skills, at least four years’ experience and glowing references.

Certainly having completed a degree in Business, Finance, Accounts etc. will largely help a candidate with the workload and type of work experienced as a Purser, whilst having yacht experience generally fills in the gaps with regards to the maritime industry, legislations and life on board.  There are even a couple of Purser courses that exist, plus other maritime training schools that can offer certain modules relating to the job that will help you be more prepared to perform the tasks required.

 

A Final Note

Pursers must have excellent attention to detail, a strong knowledge of the yachting industry and experience living on board. Their administration and accounting must be efficient and accurate, whilst communication skills at the highest level. All in all it is a very competitive position with few jobs out there to compete for. ‘Who you know’ will often work in your favour, so ensure your references are good! It is not an easy option but a different career path to follow within yachting as opposed to the Chief Stewardess, Captain routes. Packages are usually very good with time for time rotation and high salaries for the best candidates.

If you would like any further information or to apply for any of our Purser jobs currently going please get in touch with michelle@wilsonhalligan.com.

A Day in the Life of: A Deckhand

What better way to understand the day to day of Deckhand Yacht Jobs, than hearing from someone with firsthand experience?

Whilst living and working as a Deckhand on a superyacht, you will be lucky to find a dull moment. At the height of the season, you are guaranteed to be busy with tasks from the first glimpse of sunrise, through until the early hours sometimes, when things draw to a calm halt.

Although that may seem exhausting, valuable time off will be spent exploring exotic locations, making friends that last a lifetime, and contemplating what will be up next on the exciting itinerary. During your time at sea, no two days are the same – and quite frankly, you don’t want them to be, there is a certain thrill in not knowing what tomorrow may bring.

Although work and schedules vary greatly between yachts, below is an example of what you can expect from a typical day working onboard. This example is based on a private yacht, which is not used by guests during the winter season:

Peak Season – May to October

During the season, service is provided by the crew 24/7. As you can imagine, shifts are long and the work is demanding. Many of your tasks will be very similar to jobs during the winter season, but priorities will be centred around the yacht’s guests.  There would also be varying shifts, so that all hours can be covered.  As a day shift example:

06:00 am: 

Washed, clothed and on deck by 7:00 am, ready to prepare the yacht for an inevitably busy day.

07:00 am: 

Preparations begin on all outside areas that the guests will be using throughout the day. You may be removing covers, cleaning windows, decks and all surfaces, arranging cushions in communal areas, laying out towels, and polishing stainless. Over the duration of the morning, yourself and the other Deckhands will be there to tidy up after the guests outside and ensure that everything on deck is maintained in an excellent condition.

10:00 am: 

While guests are having breakfast, you might have the opportunity to take a short mid-morning break – radios at the ready however, you may find your breakfast disturbed if one of the guests decides they would like to go jet skiing, or take a swim.

10:15 am: 

Following your break, there could be talk of some guest movement ashore or to a nearby beach. If this is the case, you will need to prepare the tender by loading it with necessary items, including refreshments, towels, and other essentials.

10:30 am: 

Once the go ahead is given, you will be responsible (usually with one other) for ensuring that the guests are dropped off at their requested location.  You could be asked to wait for them, maybe to accompany them, or if it is a beach, be on hand for any help or requests.  Equally, the guests could ask to be left ashore, in which case you will return to the yacht to continue with the day duties.

12:00 pm: 

Whilst the owner and guests are ashore, you have the opportunity to eat lunch, prepared by the Chef, with the other available crew in the crew mess.

12:30 pm: 

Following lunch, you may get the call that the guests wish to return – it’s time to jump back into the tender and make sure that you know where to pick them up from!

13:00 pm: 

As the guests have their lunch, you will do a quick round of the decks, ensuring that everywhere is looking spotless.  If the yacht is underway during lunch, you may be required to help with lifting the anchor, or  assist on the bridge if needed.

15:00 pm: 

The afternoon can be a popular time for guest swimming or watersports. For the deck team, this involves preparing the yacht’s toys & tenders, packing towels and refreshments if needed for a fun filled afternoon in the water. Some guests may require assistance in the water, i.e. swimming alongside them, whilst others will need a tender driver if they wish to wakeboard or waterski.  Safety is paramount, whilst ensuring that the guests are having a great time.

17:00 pm: 

Deckhands will alternate times to have a break and have dinner.  Break times and durations will vary yacht to yacht, as well as day to day depending on the schedule.  They should however adhere to the hours of rest, even when this can be at times difficult due the yacht’s busy schedule.

19:30 pm: 

The guests may dine any time in the evening, (this could be on board or ashore). Following crew dinner, the Deckhands will be responsible for tidying away the swim platform, followed by another swift round of the yacht, ensuring that everything is tidy, paying particular attention to outdoor dining areas if they are being used for guest dinner. The flag is then traditionally lowered at sunset.

20:00 pm: 

Whilst guests are having dinner, the yacht may be underway again – the deck team prepare accordingly, and ensure a safe passage, with minimal disruption to the guest dinner.  Post dinner, and once guests have left the dinner, the Deckhands attend to any marks on deck surrounding the table area, making sure everything is once again spotless.

23:00 pm: 

If you are lucky, and the guests retire early, it will be lights out and into bed, ready to do it all again the next day!  With the team working shifts, it means that others can be on hand if the guests have gone ashore, or are late to bed.

We hope this experience provides you with the inspiration to pursue a yacht crew deckhand position. If you would like to talk to us further about how to get into the yachting industry and work as a deckhand, simply get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to help and guide you. Contact us here.