I only tried yachts because SIU took away my seniority and I needed to do something to figure it out. I did it for one month and this is what I learned.
Most people start off by doing ‘daywork’. I learned about it because on the plane to Fort Lauderdale, I happened to be sitting next to a yacht Captain and he told me how to get in. He didn’t offer me a job, but he told me what I needed to know.
I found a ‘daywork’ website, which has a job board, sent them my resume and I got a call the next day. Some people ‘walk the docks’. I don’t know where ‘the docks’ are or which ones you are supposed to walk because I didn’t do it that way but there are other forums on other sites talk about it.
I think from the beginning no matter where you are, you are going to have to do daywork. Just to meet the people have your name start circulating in the biz. Or you can just apply to a 1st mate position on one of those job boards. It could work for you, I don’t know. I got offered a job as 2nd engineer without ever being a deckhand first ( i didnt tell them I had done daywork) and I’m only a qmed. Also most the captains or only 200 tons so you should be way over qualified!
As far as the happiness of the crew/officers, the crew were [I]very[/I] happy. I don’t think their pay was that great but I don’t think they knew it either. The captain and chief engineer seemed happy, I didn’t hear any complaints. They both worked 2 month rotations, so there were two captains and two chief engineers. I don’t know what the captain made, but I asked the chief and he said 9000 dollars when he’s on and 5,600 when he’s off (or something close to that). I have seen job listings offering WAY higher for captains and chief engineers in Europe that pay in Euros.
The crew on the yacht I was on were mostly Australian, and the captain was Canadian. There was some animosity towards me for being American. I have seen jobs on the job boards for US citizens only.
I was down talking to an American yacht captain yesterday, trying to decide if i want to take an engineer’s position for the next few months or not (I already have another job lined up). Anyway, I picked his brain and asked him everything I could think of.
He told me the yacht owners’ [I]wives[/I] are usually the premadonnas. I asked him if they were all like that, he said some are, some aren’t. He also said some of the owners and their wives work as well and help tie up and everything. Apparently the owner of the particular boat I might work on fixes some of the engine stuff himself. I’m not sure if I would like that too much but from what I gather is that its pretty much the luck of the draw.
Here’s some of other stuff I picked up along the way:
On the commercial side, tattoos are good. On yachts they are bad.
On the commercial side, not wearing steel toed boots is bad…on yachts, not wearing shoes at all is good.
I am assuming there’s much much more to it, but my experience with yachts is very limited.
Unfortunately, what they said about age for you is the opposite for me. I think the reason I have had such luck with the
transition into getting yacht jobs is because I’m a girl and I’m young(actually the exact same thing that has worked against me on the commercial side). I know I wont be easy like that when I get older, so if I want to try yachts, I have to do it now. I have seen some ads saying they want younger people in general (for starting out anyway) and most the people that work on them (guys and girls) are for the most part fit.
here’s some aussie engineers and a tech hanging out in the lazarette/machine shop/steering gear room (this is perfectly not against the rules, acceptable and ok) this was after the work was all done of course