How to get your foot in the door

It’s that age old chicken or egg thing ... you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get the experience! There are a couple of ways to get round this ....

Day working

The best way to start off is to Day Work. Head to a busy harbour teeming with yachts and walk the docks. Ask to speak with the First Mate, give them your CV and try to get Day Work. Be brave, talk to as many people as possible. Be persistent and look smart. Be willing to do any job on board (within reason!) It will be hard graft, often monotonous and the nasty jobs the crew don’t want to do themselves, but once you get known in the industry as a hard worker permanent jobs will be forthcoming.

Day workers on Karima


If you are successful in gaining some day work always remember that this one day’s work could well lead to a long term position, either on this boat or through word of mouth. Here is some advice to turning day work into permanent work.

  • Arrive on board looking presentable and clean shaven. Attire should be practical but fairly smart.

  • Do not get overly familiar on board. You might be inadvertently calling the Captain ‘mate’ or ‘pal’!

  • Respect the boat and appreciate that it is someone else’s boat and the crew’s home. Don’t treat it as your own!

  • Smoko breaks should be taken off the vessel; do not help yourself to a cup of tea in the crew mess unless you are invited to do so!

  • Punctuality is important. And at the end of the day rather than saying “Are we finished?” try “What else would you like done?”

  • Please bear in mind at all times that you are working aboard a superyacht. Care should be taken not to damage surfaces, decks, or equipment on board. Place down not throw down!

  • Having said that, accidents do happen; if you make a mistake or damage something tell the crew rather than try to cover it up!

  • If you are not sure of anything ask!

  • In general, always bear in mind that one day, even now, the boat you are working on may well be looking for full time crew and that jobs in this industry often come through word of mouth. There might not be work on this boat but get a good reputation as a strong hard worker and you may well get recommended to other boats.

  • Always have a CV with you, whether it is a print out or, more handily, on a USB stick.



The other great way to get experience is do some deliveries as delivery crew. This will get you good experience of watches, show that you have your sea legs, and will give you a taster. Make sure you check out thoroughly the boat and the captain before you go. Speak to past crews, marinas and get references!