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Looking for advice as a Greenie?

Updated: Feb 16

Superyacht infront of Grand Piton, St. Lucia

If you find yourself daydreaming about globe-trotting adventures, the thrill of the open sea, and basking in the warmth of the sun, then the world of superyachting may be calling your name. This industry offers unparalleled opportunities to explore the world's most exotic destinations and gain rare insights into the lives of billionaires. Picture yourself cruising in style, accompanied by a close-knit group of friends, all while embarking on a journey few ever get to experience. But before you get carried away, getting into the industry can be tough. With fierce competition and unique demands, securing your first job requires a special approach. Here, we offer invaluable advice to help you navigate the journey into the world of superyachting and kickstart your career.



Where to find work as a Greenie

There are various Superyachting hotspots around the world, the biggest and most common for new crew are: Fort Lauderdale in the USA, Palma de Mallorca in Spain and Antibes in France. Every year there are hundreds of Superyachts in these places preparing for the season ahead. If you are wanting to join the yachting industry it is a good idea to be in one of these places. These yachting hubs are buzzing with crew, it is a high energy environment and a great place to network. There are ‘crew houses’, which are similar to hostels but specifically for yacht crew. Staying in a crew house is a great way to make new friends and learn about the industry.

 

Once you've arrived and settled into your crew house you will want to spend some time visiting and checking in with crew agents. Compass Rose Crew offers tons of free advice on building your CV, networking and landing your first yachting gig. Check out our Green Crew Hub.

 


Dock Walking

Dock walking is a classic way of getting a job on boats. Dock walking is when you walk the docks and go up to boats and ask them for work. It can be quite daunting at first, but think of it as a right of passage into the industry. You will be pleasantly surprised at how friendly yachties are when you approach boats, after all everyone was once a ‘greenie’.

 

There are hundreds of dock walkers in the top yachting hubs. When walking the docks there are a few things you can do to help land your first gig. First is to always be presentable, yachting is a service industry and service professionals must be well groomed, decently dressed, and polite. This is very much the basic requirement and is not going to make you stand out, but looking messy and being rude will definitely make you stand out, but in the wrong way.

 

When speaking to a crew member try to ask a few friendly but not invasive questions, and always remember the person's name that you spoke to - write it down with the name of the boat. That way you could go back to that boat and reference the last person you spoke to, this will help you stand out.

 

The aim of dock walking is to gain some experience, or if you're lucky, get your first job. You gain experience by doing ‘day work’.

 

Day Work

Day work is temporary work on a yacht. When yachts are preparing for the season or doing a quick turnaround they tend to hire day workers to lighten the load on the crew or help get big jobs done quickly. Always show up early for day work, be presentable, don't be hungover. Take your shoes off before stepping onto the boat and be prepared for some hard work. Attitude is super important here, listen carefully, don't be afraid to ask questions and work as hard as you can. Daywork can lead to more work onboard, even a full time position, it can also serve as a reference on your CV for when you are approaching other boats.

 

Once you’ve done some daywork, boats will be more interested in hiring you because you have some experience.

 


Nailing your first job

When you join your first boat, no one expects you to know everything, so don't act like you do. Listen carefully when given jobs and ask relevant questions. Be keen to do any and all jobs that are up for grabs. On yachts there are harder jobs and easier jobs, always raise your hand for the hard jobs. You will quickly be noticed by your Head of Department (HOD). Never complain, there will be tough days and tough jobs, that's life, but complaining onboard yachts can spread like a virus. If you're having a bad day, take the opportunity to learn how to manage your emotions and express yourself in a conscious way.

 

Life at sea is potentially dangerous therefore yachts prioritise safety. Showing that you are familiar with the safety protocols onboard is another great way to impress your HOD. Keep safety at the forefront of your mind when working at sea (check out our post on Safety At Sea).

 


Navigating Crew Dynamics and Mental Health

Yachting can be overwhelming sometimes, being surrounded by people 24/7 with no escape can be a challenge. You will have bad days and sometimes you may take that out on the people around you, or vice versa. In Yachting you get to see people at their best and their worst, it can be emotionally draining. Taking active steps to manage your mental health is crucial in yachting. Things like:

 

Taking time for yourself: 

When you get time off, get off the boat, go for a walk or go to the beach. Take a breather and spend some time away from the crew. This can feel like a breath of fresh air, and is something that I personally do frequently.

 

Exercise: 

Exercise is one of the best ways of managing stress and anxiety. Going for a run on the beach or doing some yoga on deck are both great ways of taking our minds off things and releasing tension.

 

Seeking support:

Mental health is becoming a well covered topic in yachting, which means there are a lot of great resources out there.



Check out Yacht Crew Help or The Crew Coach. Both sites offer great services for crew in need of mental health support.


 

In conclusion

While the industry may seem daunting for newcomers, there is an abundance of free resources online and people willing to help. All you need to do is take the time to tap into these resources. Compass Rose Crew offer guidance and support for green crew navigating their way into the industry. By leveraging opportunities like dock walking and networking in yachting hotspots, aspiring crew members can secure their first jobs and kickstart their careers. Once onboard, a combination of humility and hard work are crucial for thriving in the yachting industry. Despite its challenges, the rewards of travel, friendship, and personal growth make a career in superyachting an exciting and fulfilling pursuit for those with a sense of adventure.

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