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Does this sound possible or even a good idea?

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by Dynamo, May 31, 2008.

  1. Dynamo

    Dynamo New Member

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    As this is my first post I guess a introduction wouldn't go amiss!

    After a while of just sort of browsing these forums for a bit of background reading, I finally have a reason to join, just being accepted to study Naval Architecture at Newcastle :D (providing I get the grades of course!). Eventually hoping to pursue a career in the luxury yacht industry.

    I am currently playing with the idea of a gap year, ideally to make a bit of money for uni but also to try and get a bit of experience of the industry and try to gain a but of background knowledge also. Considering which part of the forums this is in I think you might know where I am going with this!

    I'm 18, nearly finished school, once that is done ZERO commitments hold me for at least a year (if I decide on a gap year) so I will be able and willing to travel anywhere! And from what I have been reading in other posts I have no tattoos and also don't smoke, also a strong swimmer. I'll also mention I would not be afraid to do a bit of stewarding ;) .

    What I would be looking to gain most is a better understanding of yachts and their systems so a job on a boat with a engineer on board would be fantastic, but I am aware that beggars can't be choosers so I would jump at the opportunity of pretty much anything, anywhere!

    I am also aware that I would need a STCW '95 which I am willing to do.

    I have read a few posts where captains want long term commitment, as I would be planing on doing this for only a year, I would not be able to offer this, would this be a significant problem in finding work?
    Given from what I have said do you think that I would even be employable? as I would like to know this before forking out to get a STCW '95 ;)
    By the way I am not currently looking for employment, only advice!

    Regards
    Joe
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Welcome Joe.
    What you're asking sounds feasible. I would search the FAQ section of YF and you'll learn alot more.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What you are planning sounds like a great adventure for you and good experience. There are many yachts that will hire someone totally green. Some actually prefer that, because they can be trained their way without bringing any bad work habits to the table. Keep in mind that yacht crew looks very glamerous but can also be a LOT of work. I would say that at least 50% of crew out there rarely stay on one yacht more then a year. So a year commitment would be ok for a lot of Captains. Also, keep in mind that if you come across a yacht that has long time crew members, that is the boat you are looking to work on. They have stayed on the yacht for good reasons.......the program, way they are treated, money, or perks etc......

    Also, you may learn more on a smaller yacht with a good Captain/mate to teach you things and you will learn more hands on engineering then with a larger yacht. If you go on a 50+ meter yacht with a full time engineer, you will typically be a deckhand just washing and keeping the exterior clean and rarely step foot in the engine room. Many engineers are very strict about their engine room and don't like people wandering around in there and rarely need help in the ER.

    Also on a smaller yacht 30-50 meters, you probably will have more freedom. The yacht will most likely be tied up in marina's most of the time and you'll get more of a chance to sight see and have time to do so. On 50+ meters you'll probably spend most of the time anchored off and rarely get a chance to check out different ports...... because the guests are busy using the tender..... the captain is......the mate is....... you'll be low man on the totum pole.
  4. Dynamo

    Dynamo New Member

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    Thanks for the replies!
    After doing more digging around on the internet, i found a course, lasts 6 weeks and is recommended for gap year students looking at crewing a yacht. When you complete the course you have the following qualifications:
    * RYA Day Skipper Practical
    * RYA Day Skipper Theory
    * RYA National Powerboat Level 2
    * UKSA Crew Training Certificate
    * STCW 95 Basic Training
    o RYA / MCA Personal Survival Techniques
    o MCA Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
    o MCA Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
    o MCA Elementary First Aid
    * RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance
    * RYA Short Range Radio

    Am I right in thinking that you only actually need the STCW 95, to essentially make your self employable? And do you know just how much those qualifications would help? The reason I ask is because the course costs roughly £3800, which is a huge amount compared to a STCW 95! But the course looks like an incredible experience :cool:
  5. Castlerock

    Castlerock Senior Member

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    I did exactly the same thing that you are thinking about, only it was 20 years ago, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. When you get older and get tied to a house and family it's harder to break away on an adventure like that. Some of my fondest memories are from those days and I was able to travel to places that I never thought I would see.

    Best of luck to you and enjoy it while you can....
  6. Dynamo

    Dynamo New Member

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    Well its happening!

    About a week and a half ago, my A-level results came out here in the uk, thankfully they got me into uni, not newcastle but plymouth (and now studying marine sport technology) ;) and were good enough that I am able to take a gap year!
    In one of my previous posts I quoted a course that I was thinks of taking which would have given me numerous qualifications and much needed experience at sea. By some miricle I managed to convince "the bank of mum and dad" to grant me a lone and I start the six week course in september :D
    Going by the qualifiactions that I quoted in my previous post, how much more favorably would captians look upon my CV when I come to look for work? And do you have any quick personal advice for when that time comes other than what might not have been included in any of the books i've been slowly chewing my way through?
    You never know, a few of you reading this may be speaking to me face to face in a few months time... if all goes well!
  7. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Dynamo whilst I like your enthusiasm I have to ask how does a Uni degree in Marine Sport Technology translate into Naval Architecture?

    To answer your earlier question even though it's a bit late now- You could sign on as Crew if you had the STCW 95 Basic Training and an ENG 1 ( Seafarers Medical). If you have any doubts about the medical bit I would advise doing one first before spending all that money only to find you can't work with any of the quals you have got.

    If you are going to do:

    * RYA Day Skipper Practical
    * RYA Day Skipper Theory
    * RYA National Powerboat Level 2
    * UKSA Crew Training Certificate
    * STCW 95 Basic Training
    o RYA / MCA Personal Survival Techniques
    o MCA Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
    o MCA Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
    o MCA Elementary First Aid
    * RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance
    * RYA Short Range Radio

    in 6 weeks which as it is the UK won't include any weekends how much depth of knowledge do you really expect to have in all these subjects?

    Having these certs may well put you in front of someone who hasn't but please don't expect to step from the dock to the bridge in one step. You will still have to start off near the bottom of the ladder and work your way up.( the ships side, superstructure and mast all the while with a bucket and brush in hand, while someone further up the ladder has the hose:) ).

    Now that the doom and gloom is out of the way I wish you good luck and ask that you keep us updated with your adventures.

    We were all young once and have come to yachting through a wide variety of routes.
  8. Dynamo

    Dynamo New Member

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    As for translating into Naval Architecture, things have changed slightly in that my interests have shifted... i just havent updated my signature jet! and dont worry, I am well aware that no matter how many qualifications I have in my CV, if i dont have the experience then I go in as a deckhand, a post which i am certainly looking forward to! :cool:
    I should point out also I got a sample schedule from the school and I do train over most weekends, infact through the whole course there are only 2 days off!:p
    And you're right in the depth of knowlegde, it will be basic, i guess just what I need to get me through the exams etc, but would I need a greater depth at this time, the perpose that i am using the course for is to train me to be a useful deckhand.
    As for the kind of jobs i would be given on board, I spent the summer jet washing paths on a school site followed by the bins outside the kitchens (which brings a whole new meaning to the word disgusting :eek: ) so already proficiant with a jet washer and completely desencitised to the most disgusting and mundane of tasks :p
    I guess the reason I have spent a large amount of money on this course is also because I do intend to take sailing smaller boats further later on in life and I cant deney the fact that the course did just sound fantastic!;)
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Like most of us 'Oldies', I just kind of fell into yachting. There were no courses as pro-crew.

    I trained as a mechanic for the Army under an engineer who used to be a chef at the Dorchester Hotel. Then naturally I went to College to study Hotel Management for three years and bumped into a skipper who needed crew for a crossing to the BVI.

    Three years training with the finest chefs, where did I end up?

    The bloody engine room.

    After 20 years, working as a deckie, steward, chef, mate and finally skipper,
    getting an allround knowlege of the industry is so important.

    I wish you all the best in your endevour, have fun in Plymouth.

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