Category: How to Guides

How To Get a Job on a Yacht as a Couple

Is it easy to find a couples position?

How long does it usually take to get a position together?

Are there many couple-friendly boats in the industry?

Can crew couples actually work together?

These are some of the questions we’ve been getting lately from couples looking to work together and with the Mediterranean season fast approaching, we are quite certain that many couples are already on the lookout for their new role together onboard.

There really is no right or wrong way or hard and fast rule when it comes to working together. Sometimes it is as simple as being in the right place at the right time. Either way, it takes the right attitude and perseverance to find work together in the yachting industry.

How To Get a Job on a Yacht as a Couple

 Sure, there will be a few ‘couple friendly’ jobs, but the most common and possibly the easiest route to getting work as a couple is to apply as an individual. This will provide far more opportunities and offers the path of least resistance to get your foot in the door and establish a good relationship with the boat, allowing you to be in a better position to put your partner forward when the opportunity arises.

Keep in mind that you are both individuals with your own experiences and strengths so keeping your CVs separate is key. This will show professionalism and that you are able to separate  your personal relationship from your career.

Another option is to be completely honest and look for jobs purely as a couple and not consider anything else. Be straightforward about your goal during interviews. This approach will probably take longer but you may be happier. It may be a good idea to give yourselves a timeframe and then assess your plans if it takes longer than your set time frame.

Once you both have a season or two of experience under your belt, getting work together should be much easier. You may need to look on it as a short term sacrifice for the longer term gain.

Does it work for everyone?

Just like with everything else, working together as a couple has its pros and cons. It’s best to remember that even though working together seems like the ideal situation, it isn’t always the best option. Being onboard can sometimes get lonely and one of the best things about working together is that you will always have that someone to talk to after a busy day.

So is working together for you?

Every couple is different just as every boat is different. The bottom line is that there are great amount of things to consider when deciding to pursue a career together on board. It’s not easy an journey, not for everyone anyway. However, if you and your partner are persistent and determined, you will find the perfect positions that suit you both.



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.

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.

How Can I Get My CV Seen For Yacht Recruitment?

As a recruitment agency, it can surprise us how little time some people take on their CV, which essentially is a first impression of who you are.  Your CV doesn’t just list your career history and hobbies, it also indicates how much pride you take in yourself and your work, your attention to detail and understanding of the industry you are in, the list goes on…

So, why are many crew getting it wrong? The world is a highly competitive place with more people than jobs, so if you seriously want that new job, take yourself, and your CV seriously and read on for some essential Super-CV tips….

1. Size matters.

No employer or agency wants to wade through reams of paper detailing every single job you’ve done since you were 16. You need to edit, and don’t be scared to omit jobs that only lasted for a very short period or have absolutely no relevance to what you are wanting to do now. A good CV should be 3 pages long, as an absolute maximum, but 2 is ideal.

2. Mind your language.

Before you begin, read through your current CV and ensure that everything makes sense for where you are NOW. Referring to a job you had 3 years ago as “I am currently working on….” is just going to look ridiculous. Make sure that all the text on the CV is relevant, current and in the right tense. The other  important thing is consistency with words. Ensure words are spelt the same way throughout the whole document. For example, “Superyacht, Super Yacht and super-yacht” all on the same document is just going to show that you don’t really have any attention to detail.

3. Be succinct.

Each job you list (in historical order starting with latest job first) should have a title (in this case the boat name), dates, and a sub-title of what position you held. To elaborate on the position you held, you can include a paragraph or so outlining your role and the tasks you carried out.  Anything more is going to send people to sleep.

4. Show off what you can do.

Either at the beginning or the end, it’s good to include a list of Professional Qualifications (bullet points work well here).  List all your professional and relevant leisure qualifications, your strongest skills, any awards, your best personality traits (loyal, hard-working etc.). Sell yourself but try not to be trite or cheesy. Don’t list anything out-of-date.

5. Contact.

At the top of the CV, ensure your contact details are clearly listed, including email and local mobile numbers. You’d think this is a no-brainer, but these details often go without being updated each time the CV is dug out. Also, please have a sensible email address – is really not the most professional look….

6. Targeting the job.

This is particularly relevant if you’re not going through an agency. A badly written generic covering ‘letter’ (usually an email these days) never looks good. Do your research, learn about the boat you are applying to and you will not only learn something, you will look intelligent and genuine, particularly if you get to interview stage. An email with your CV attached is perfectly acceptable, as is a letter attached as a PDF to the same email. Be polite, use professional language, and show you want THIS job, not just ANY job.

7. Spellcheck, Spellcheck, Spellcheck.

Then repeat x 1000.  This is SO important, and so easy that it is utterly inexcusable not to do it. Enough said.

8. References.

There are two minds about references, we feel that either option is acceptable. You can either provide the details of two good referees at the end of the CV (include boat name, position, phone number and email address), or you can write “references upon request”. If an employer is interested in you enough to get you in for an interview, that information can be shared at the point they feel they might hire you.

*With the amendments to GDPR in May 2018, we are currently unsure if the laws regarding adding reference contact details may change. Keep an eye out for our upcoming GDPR blog for more information!’.

9. Attach a Photo.

As far as this is concerned, just ensure it looks professional – a photo of you in a bar is not going to send the right message. Wear a clean, smart t-shirt/polo, smile and only include head and shoulders (minus the sunglasses on the head!)

10. Keeping up appearances.

Finally, presentation. Pick a good, modern font and ensure your layout is simple and easy to read. Don’t decorate your pages with little borders of sailing boats, or over-complicate anything.  Remember, less can be more. Simple, elegant and professional is always a good look.


So, there you are.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but we feel it highlights the most important ‘do’s and don’ts’ of CV’s. If you want your application to shine take your time and take care. Do remember, wilsonhalligan are always on-hand to help and offer advice with your CV, and do not charge for this service.

Get your CV to the top of the pile with Your Free CV Template

    Yacht crew agencies & how to get the most from them

    When looking for work onboard a yacht, a yacht crew recruitment agency is the place to start. Consultants can provide an invaluable service, finding the right role to suit your personality, skill set and ambition. Below is a list we’ve compiled explaining how you can be sure to get the most out of yacht crew agencies and find that role thats perfect for you.

    Start by making a personal introduction (if you’re able to)

    A good first impression can go a long way. Be sure that you introduce yourself in a friendly and professional manner, but most importantly, make them remember you. You can do this by either a phone call or email. Having a good rapport with your recruitment contact will encourage them to want to help you. We would all rather help someone we get along with rather than total strangers, so work with the recruiter; not against them.

    Why not try the Live Chat feature on our website every Wednesday to introduce yourself to a member of our team. It’s a great opportunity to talk to one of our consultants directly and have any questions answered instantly.

    Make the most of their expertise

    Do you need help with a CV? Are you worried that you struggle with interviews? Ask for advice! Yacht recruiters are there to help bring the best out of people and do what they can to appropriately prepare you for your applications and interviews. Utilise your communication with recruiters and don’t be afraid to ask and learn about the tricks of the industry.

    Try to develop a good relationship with just a few key Consultants, rather than registering with 20 agencies

    Having a good relationship with a recruiter can benefit you now and in the future should you wish to find work elsewhere. They can be there for you throughout your career, and also help on the other side when you might need to hire crew yourself. We like to take the time to find out about our candidates, and have watched many who started out in the industry become Captains, or Heads of Departments over time. You want to find a solid few consultants that you trust and get on with. Refrain from signing up to every agency, although your inbox may be full of opportunities, a consultant you can trust will aim to find you the right fit for your personality and ability.

    Be clear about how you would like them to use your CV

    At the end of the day, it’s your data. If you don’t want it going out without your consent, then be sure to tell them loud and clear. Without doing so will result in your information being put forward for jobs you would never have applied for.

    Make sure that they are listening to the positions you are interested in

    Following on from the previous point, be clear with your recruiter on which roles and variations of roles you are interested in, the more specific you are the better. This may however limit the number of opportunities you’re put forward for. A good yacht recruitment agency should not be sending your CV to jobs which don’t match your expectations – it wastes your time, as well as the yachts’.

    Once a Consultant places you, stay in touch with them once on board

    It’s important to stay in contact with your consultant because if things aren’t going well, or its not what you expected, we would much rather hear from you and try to advise how you should proceed before hearing from the Captain that it’s all gone wrong, and you have left the boat. Even in instances where you feel the position isn’t the right fit, we can continue to help you through the resignation process and try again for a better fit.

    Above all, if you are not getting these things, don’t feel obliged to keep using them

    Sometimes finding a good yacht recruitment consultant can be easier said than done. Finding the one who works for you, and has your best interests at heart can be a difficult acquisition. However, do not feel obliged to stay with one that you’re in contact with, if it’s not working out. It is your career and you should dictate whether you feel as though your experience with a consultant is working or not. Read more on how to identify the best kind of recruiter.

    We hope that this information will help you to find the consultant that’s right for you and can find the right fit for you. For more yacht crew careers information, be sure to visit our Yacht Careers Advice page offering advice and FAQ’s from other yacht crew candidates. At wilsonhalligan, we actively position new crew members into the yachting industry, for their own benefit and for the continued progression of the yachting world in general. Good luck!

    How to Keep Your Mind and Body Together During the Season

    Working on Superyachts may look glamorous, but in reality it involves a lot of hard work, which is why it’s essential that you keep your mind and body healthy, especially during busy seasons.

    Yacht crew members work long hours and deal with the endless (and sometimes insane) demands of charter guests and owners, all while remaining positive and readily available to fulfil every client need.

    Despite the constant demands and little to no time off during busy seasons, working as a yacht crew member is an incredibly rewarding career full of enriching experiences.

    Yacht Crew Members Guide to a Healthy Mind and Body

    It’s essential that crew members take good care of their mental and physical wellbeing.

    There are many methods of self-care, we recommended relaxing at a beach club, but if time doesn’t allow, here are some other helpful ways you can nurture your mental health:

    Mindfulness and Meditation

    Mindfulness and daily meditation are a simple way to improve how you’re feeling, both emotionally and in your perception of the world.

    These methods help with anxiety, depression, overwhelm, stress, awareness, and increased immune function.

    Just ten minutes a day can make a huge difference. With apps like Aura, Calm and Headspace available, you can access guided meditations that are as short as three minutes, so all you need is somewhere quiet!

    A Good Night Sleep

    We understand that guests can stay up pretty late, which means it’s unlikely that you’ll get your full 8-hours every night.

    While this is out of your control, you can control the quality of sleep you get. Discover our tips for maximising your sleep efficiency:

    • Cut out caffeine! Studies show that caffeine consumption will impact your sleep up to 6-hours before you go to bed. A cut-off time of 2pm is recommended, and a limit of four cups per day.
    • Don’t drink! When on duty it’s unlikely that you’ll be drinking, but if you are offered a drink or have a night off, remember that alcohol is the worst disruptor of your sleep cycle. You fall asleep quicker, but the quality of sleep is poor, so you will feel like you’ve been run over the next day. Try and leave a good couple of hours at least between a drink and bed, and don’t overdo it!
    • Reduce your screen time! The blue light omitted by screens – phones, tablets, and computers play havoc with your tired brain and reduce its natural melatonin production, making it hard for you to fall and stay asleep. At least an hour of no screens before you turn in.
    • Similarly, don’t have any electrical displays on. Even things like the green light from your laptop charger can really disrupt your shuteye. Use an eye mask if you have to, and ear plugs if your cabin mate snores!

    Eat Well

    Diet and hydration play a huge part in your self-care routine, eating healthily and drinking plenty of water are essential to keeping your body functioning properly.

    Although being cooked for by chefs is a wonderful luxury, remember to get your fill of fresh fruit and veg, lean protein, and complex carbs.

    Avoid snacking on high-salt and sugary foods, instead opt for probiotics, multi-vitamins and mineral supplements.

    Dehydration can give you a nasty headache and make very ill. Working in hot climates, it’s essential that you drink plenty of water, men should be getting at least 3-litres a day, and women 2.5-litres.


    It can be hard to achieve a good exercise routine during the season, generally the physical work involved in each role is often the only exercise you get.

    However, some daily exercise each day can really help your mental health. If possible, find a space where you can do some stretches, yoga, Pilates, or sit-ups and weights.

    There are many apps and video offering short work outs and routines that don’t involve equipment.

    Two more things that will help:

    • Essential oils – read up about which ones are good for relaxation, anxiety, and sleep. You can diffuse them, wear them or just smell them when you’re feeling wound up.
    • Having a good friend. Having someone you trust and can talk to is so important, if you’re tired, emotional and feeling low, a shoulder to cry on can make all the difference.

    Remember to Take Care of Yourself

    Nurturing your mind and body requires discipline, but it’s worth it when you can enjoy your time off, rather than spending it in bed feeling like death, only to feel human again just in time for the next charter.

    For more information on our yacht recruitment services, contact wilsonhalligan.

    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?’ – 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!

    Web Chat Wednesday Q&A session

    Recently at wilsonhalligan we hosted our own Web Chat Wednesday Q&A session for anyone in the yachting industry to ask the team questions about yacht recruitment, careers on-board, our favourite yachts and the current job climate due to Coronavirus. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions via our website chatbox, here are the results of the most asked questions of the day.

    How hard is it going to be to find my first job this year?

    Unfortunately, this has been a very unusual start to the season for recruitment and when the European lockdown started we saw many jobs put on hold or cancelled.  This is usually a time when many crew would head to Antibes / Palma in order to find their first position.  Yachts are starting to hire again, but travel restrictions are still currently in place for many and airlines are still running reduced schedules so it’s definitely still tricky to find that first role.  For those already in Antibes/Palma, it could be easier, for those who were due to fly in from further afield may be better to wait until September when hopefully things will have returned to some sort of normality.

    When do you think the level of jobs will be back to normal?

    Over the past couple of weeks, we have certainly seen the number of jobs increase, though of course, it is still below the level we would usually see this time of year.  If the pandemic situation continues to improve, then we are hopeful that the job numbers may return to the level we tend to see in time for the Caribbean season.  However, of course, if we see any second waves of the virus then this could affect the winter season as well and we could see job numbers down until next year perhaps.

    Will there be a Mediterranean season?

    If you had asked us this a few weeks ago we would probably have said no! And certainly, for some yachts they will have their summer season cancelled.  However, talking to Captains recently, many are making plans for owner visits and cruises to places such as The Balearics.  Although many charters have been pushed back to next year, equally we know of some that are still planned for July / August time, so we remain hopeful that there will be some sort of season, albeit not a standard one!

    Should I go to Antibes or Palma now to dock walk?

    The main thing to consider with this is the restrictions which exist in your current country.  As we speak, South Africa is still in lockdown, though there is some talk of allowing seafarers to travel this has not been confirmed.  Safety should be your main priority as well as following government advice.  If you are able to travel, are you able to find accommodation? There are many considerations and your decision should not be taken lightly.

    When are you doing your CV workshop again?

    Stay tuned! This was so popular, we have plans of offering another week of free workshops especially for new crew – follow us on Facebook to stay up to date!

    Will you be in Antibes or Palma soon for interviewing?

    At the moment we have no plans to travel to Antibes or Palma for interviewing like we usually do at the beginning of seasons.  Our teams’ health and safety is our priority so we are turning to video interviewing for many of our new candidates which we feel is the next best thing.  Follow us on social media for any future news of team trips to Antibes / Palma, we hope to return as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Do you post all your jobs?

    Due to the number of jobs we have in (even at the moment!), we cannot post all of our jobs online.  It’s therefore important to stay in contact with your dedicated consultant so that they can let you know of any new and exclusive jobs.

    How often should I check-in?

    We don’t operate a formal check-in system here at wilsonhalligan – we suggest giving your consultant a call / quick email every once a week or so to keep them updated with any changes/movements.

    I am a cruise ship 3rd Engineer will I be able to transfer to yachts?

    Absolutely! Our Engineering Consultant, James, has helped many engineers move across from cruise ships.  The competition is strong, so you might need to be a little patient, but if you have good longevity and references this will certainly help.  We have seen many junior engineers move across from the cruise industry and have watched them progress up to Chief on some of the largest yachts in the world – it’s great to see.

    What are your 3 favourite yachts?

    That is a tricky one! All of us in the office have our own favourites, but ones which often come out on top are Mayan Queen, Octopus and Ulysses.

    Did you enjoy Web Chat Wednesday?

    Sign up to our newsletter, or follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with the next Web Chat Wednesday and have your questions answered. Alternatively, if you would like to have an in-depth discussion about your yacht career options, get in touch with our team.

    The 10 Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Yacht Captain CV – From the Perspective of a Leading Recruitment Provider.

    Although Coronavirus has brought the yachting world to a standstill, leaving many yacht owners, crew and captains homebound, it has provided the perfect opportunity to make those necessary amendments to your current CV.

    It’s one of those jobs that always ends up at the bottom of the priorities list, but hopefully our ‘10 do’s and don’ts for a Successful Yacht Captain CV’ can help to guide you through this process!

    The Do’s

    Do Customise your CV for every application – Ensure your CV is relevant for the role.

    Do proof read and proof read and, oh, proof read – Use your friends, family and recruiter to be honest with your CV.

    Do detail your achievements – Example, completed six refits on time and on budget, maintained a crew turnover of less than 10% over 18 months, xx amount of repeat charter guests.

    Do use white space – Often less is more. Some of the best CV’s of Captains with 20 years’ experience are still on one page and not crowded.

    Do think how your CV looks printed in colour or black and white – There’s a possibility that your CV may be seen in black and white. Ensure that your CV is readable and doesn’t rely on colours to make it stand out.

    The Don’ts

    Don’t write your CV as a Ships Captain – Think more corporate like a company CEO, the role of Captain is head of finances, head of human resources, strategic planning, operations director, compliance manager to name a few elements. Many Captains say that manoeuvring is such a small part of the role.

    Don’t use clichés – This is harder than it seems. Certain key words appear is 100’s of CV’s and you need to stand out. Motivated, initiative, organised, hard-working, leader are all commonly used works. Make your CV stand out.

    Don’t turn your CV into spam – Do of course network and field your CV. However; pushing it to too many can dilute its impact and it can get lost in a pile. You fail to be able to present your CV with a cover letter, make it job specific or have a recruiter represent you.

    Don’t spend money with a professional CV writer – Unless you know they specialise in Captain CV writing. We see 100’s of CV’s a week that have been professionally written and have alignment errors, grammar mistakes and are ultimately generic.

    Don’t exaggerate – Dates/experience/qualifications, there’s really no need to exaggerate, just keep it honest.


    We hope these do’s and don’ts help you to refine your own Captains CV, and give your CV an advantage in the current market. For more guidance or to discuss potential Yacht Captain Job Opportunities currently, please get in touch with one of our team and we’ll be happy to help you land the role that’s suitable for you!


    How to nail your application for Superyacht Jobs and Recruitment

    Searching for work on yachts and superyachts can be competitive, however there are a range of things you can do to maximise your chances of securing your desired role. Below are 4 tips to help aid your application and impress your potential employer.

    Get your CV right. 

    We receive hundreds of CV’s and see the same common mistakes being made.

    Just like any other CV, your spelling and grammar needs to be correct throughout. Your CV is your potential employers introduction to your ability and not only does correct spelling and grammar show your communication and writing capability, it also displays your attention to detail; something that is valued in any role. Make sure you double check your spelling and grammar before sending your CV to prospective employers or Crew Agents, and if available, you may choose to ask someone close to you check over it for any errors that you may have missed.

    It is common for yacht crew applications to require an image of yourself attached to the CV, you need to make this stand out. Try to incorporate some of your personality into the image but at the same time keep it professional. Stay away from selfies and photos from a night out, and choose one that encompasses the image you want to portray.

    Why not download our CV template to help you to construct the perfect CV?

    First impressions are key.

    Whether your initial interview is in person or over the phone, you need to leave a positive impression with the interviewer. Remember to speak clearly and to not interrupt, regardless of how enthusiastic you wish to come across.

    Due to the client facing nature of most yacht crew roles your appearance is key. The yacht owner/ employer will want to see that you can conduct yourself and your appearance in a respectable and approachable way. It goes without saying that you want to produce the best version of yourself for the interview intellectually, socially and visibly.

    Know your stuff. 

    We feel most comfortable talking about something that we know about. Prior research into the yacht and/or the ins and outs of the role can be invaluable in an interview and really set you apart from candidates. This knowledge will also make it easier to talk more naturally and confidently with the employer, rather than potentially being put on the spot and going into a state of panic.

    Ask sensible questions. 

    Asking the right questions can show an interviewer how informed and enthusiastic you are about the role. It can really take your interview from coming across as someone just wanting a job, into someone fully invested and willing to learn more about the industry. Do not make your first questions about salary, or even mention it at all during the first interview, unless you feel it is appropriate.

    Hopefully these tips will help you to secure your desired role and impress your potential employer. For more yacht crew careers information, be sure to visit our Yacht Careers Advice page offering advice and FAQ’s from other yacht crew candidates. At wilsonhalligan, we actively encourage new crew into the yachting industry, for their own benefit and for the continued progression of the yacht world in general. Good luck!

    Dockwalking 101

    The Med season is almost upon us, and the marinas will soon start filling up with boats returning from the Caribbean, or further afield. The end of a season for many is a time of upheaval and change – leaving a current yacht to move to another, or ashore. The beginning of the new season is a time when current and new crew are searching for their next position and the next adventure. Consequently, the docks can be flooded with hopeful crew, and you can quickly be lost in a sea of faces all wanting the same thing.  So, how can you stand out, and how do you prepare yourself for (potentially) months of dock walking?  Here are some very simple guidelines and tips to ensure you make a good name for yourself and create a good impression on all those jaded yacht captains who will be inundated with requests for work…


    1. Be Prepared – Things to organise before you get there:


    Going back a few years, the yacht industry used to be a tad more relaxed than it is now, it was also not really known about. Thanks to this, approaching the task of getting a job could also be a pretty informal affair.  Not so these days! Competition is fierce and the industry is now a well-oiled, highly professional machine. So, you need to be prepared to spend quite a bit of time in your location of choice to succeed. Primarily, this means you need to ensure you have enough money saved to survive for roughly 3 months, this includes accommodation, food, transport to various marinas and socialising.  Accommodation is of course the most important, and if you’re sensible, you’ll book it before you get there. Crew houses will be over-subscribed but are likely to be your first option. If they’re full, you could look at sites like Airbnb and, or local apartment listings. Ideally, share with a friend or two to lower costs.


    1. When you arrive:


    • It’s always a good idea to purchase a local SIM card/phone number for your mobile. Having a local number shows you’re planning to stick around and makes you easily reachable. It’s also a lot cheaper than using your UK mobile and you could even buy a cheap phone and get a Pay-as-you-go SIM purely for this purpose. Update this on your CV so we can get hold of you…


    • Once you’ve had a little settling-in time, establish what your game-plan is. It will help to really know what you want to achieve in the industry, and what kind of job you’re looking for. Write down your goals – sail or motor? Privately owned or chartered? Are there particular places you’d love to sail to during your employment? What career progression are you looking for? Be prepared to massively compromise if you are inexperienced and looking to get your foot in the door, but it certainly helps to have in your motivation in mind to turn to in times of rejection and uncertainty. It will help you keep your focus, and hopefully help you to be more determined to succeed.


    • Be organised about how you are going to approach the task of finding a job and decide where you are going to start each day, and where you are going to move on to next. Plan your transport in advance so that you don’t waste time waiting for buses or trains and contact any agencies you wish to visit to either agree a time, or find out when they are open for general interviews.


    • Ensure you have a suitable wardrobe. If there’s one word that’s relevant to every aspect of yacht work, it’s PROFESSIONALISM. How you present yourself is key to making the right first, and lasting impression. Have a few sets of clothing you keep purely for job hunting and always ensure they are clean, in good condition and ironed. Generally speaking, you can’t go far wrong with a good pair of shorts and a smart, simple polo shirt or T-shirt. Avoid loud colours, slogans, images etc., and assume simple is best. Shorts should be of a good length, and not too short. Flip-flops are a yachtie staple but proper deck shoes are the most appropriate option, or good quality trainers. Jewellery and make-up should be discrete and minimal. Men should be clean-shaven and any body piercings (other than ears) should be removed or covered. A smile is essential too!


    • Be smart about where and how you socialise. Try to ascertain where captains and crew hang out locally and have a presence there. Get to know people and have fun, but never forget that you might be talking to a first mate, or a head stewardess or even a captain, and you could be in a really good position to create relationships that could benefit you. With this in mind, drink sensibly, dress well, always behave properly and try not to be remembered as ‘the one who fell in the marina after too many rums’. Many job offers have been made at a bar over a few drinks. Also keep an eye out for crew yoga meets, football games or walks to socialise with others away from drinks.


    1. Top Tips for success from those in the know:


    • Treat dock walking as a full-time job. Be early, leave last, be committed and reliable. If you cry off a days work, there will be 10 people ready to step into your shoes immediately.
    • Avoid engaging crew during tea and lunch breaks as this is their time to relax and rest. They won’t be enthusiastic about being questioned during down time. When you do get the opportunity to speak to someone, try and start an actual conversation with a view to being more memorable than someone that just asked if there was work and then left.
    • If there are particular boats you are interested in working on, learn as much as you can about them. Knowledge of the boat will impress and show you mean business. It will also make starting a conversation much easier.
    • Take on as much paid day work as you can, providing it doesn’t interfere with getting a full-time position. Day workers can easily be first in line for permanent positions if they’ve proved themselves and built a rapport with the crew.
    • Obtain contact details and references from crews and other day workers you’ve worked with. This also serves as a really good record of how much work you’ve been doing and shows commitment. Character references are good too, as being part of a crew means living in close quarters with all kinds of people, and getting along is hugely important.
    • Always be personable, polite, interesting and honest. Don’t bother lying about your experience or skills as you will soon be found out!
    • Stay positive! You will likely face a lot of rejection but don’t let it get you down. The right job is out there, you just have to persevere and keep your goals in the forefront of your mind.


    You can find further useful and relevant information in some of our previous blog posts, and we are always on-hand to answer questions and help in any way we can. Good luck!