Getting your first break in yachting is always the most difficult thing to do.
There are so many barriers in the way of ‘green crew’ – those with little to no experience – that it can feel like a futile task at times. For those of you looking to get started in yachting, it’s important to understand these barriers and how you can overcome them.
Barrier #1: It’s expensive
Each year, thousands of people head to the famous yachting ports across the mediterranean with hopes of landing their dream yacht job.
They’ll fly out. They’ll likely stay in the local crew house. They’ll go out to the popular bars trying to make the right connections. Flights. Accommodation. Networking. Food and drink. This is all stacks up very quickly. Without day-work to top up the coffers and fund the job search, many face the disappointing prospect of going home early.
Barrier #2: Rules and regulations
Traditionally, the best way to get your foot in the door was by walking the dock and finding work.
This meant approaching yachts early in the morning and asking any crew member in sight if they needed a hand. Known as ‘dock walking’, this could lead to a day’s labour, and potentially – if you impressed and there was a vacant position – a longer-term role. At the very least, it was some extra experience, hopefully a reference, and some money in your back pocket!
Unfortunately, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who now manage the port in Antibes, decided to close the Billionaires’ Quay (quai des milliardaires) to the public due to a security risk. This is where most of the large yachts are situated.
It’s the same story in Barcelona and Palma, where the docks have been closed off to the public for a long time. Even Porto Montenegro in Tivat is now partially closed to the public.
There are still smaller marinas which can be accessed by the public in the surrounding areas in the south of France and Italy, but it’s becoming increasingly more difficult. As a result, dock walking may soon become a thing of the past.
Barrier #3: Recruiters aren’t interested
There are many recruiters in the busy ports. It’s certainly worth knocking on their doors to introduce yourself and make a good first impression. You can also connect online to stay updated with their latest positions.
You’ll likely not get very far with this approach though. The problem is the lack of experience on your CV.
Without any experience, recruitment agents are unlikely to get any commission from placing you. With only a small chance of making any money, they have little to no interest in engaging with you at that point in time – meaning your CV ends up in the pile, never to be seen again.
Unfortunately, this means many people end up in the catch-22 situation of needing experience but not being able to get any. Watch how quick recruiters are to get in touch once you do have some experience though!
Some recruitment agents may offer valuable advice and help with your CV, but in the majority of cases the reality is you are lucky to even hear back at all. So, what to do?
Solution: Set your own course
You’re the digital generation.
In order to succeed, we can’t let physical barriers stop us from going where we want to go. The future is online.
Crew Board is a digital platform for crew to freely create a profile, upload a CV, and apply for open roles posted by yachts needing crew. We don’t work on commission and we don’t charge yachts to post junior roles. Your profile is free to find. No catches, no hidden fees.
We are committed to removing the barriers green crew face in finding their first role. Our platform will find you the most relevant positions based on your skills and experience, and equally, it will promote your profile to employers looking for crew. We factor in your location too, to help you find positions close by. Oh, and to top it all off, we’ll help you create a winning CV you can download and use as you wish.