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Commercial Experience

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by Captd13, Apr 23, 2011.

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  1. Captd13

    Captd13 New Member

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    Jan 24, 2010
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    Savannah, GA USA
    Hello to all Captains and Crew,
    I am relatively new to the yachting industry, yet I have been a professional sailor for about 7 years. I hold my 200 Ton Master of Towing and all certificates needed for this post. I was the mate aboard tractor escort tug Edward J. ***** and multiple other conventional tugs. I have found that in the yachting industry, employers almost overlook all of my commercial experience, why is this. Boats are boats in my eyes, except yachts have more luxuries that seem to make my life a bit easier. I just finished my first season aboard a 37 meter motor yacht, yet I still feel my experience is not utilized or noticed by captain or crew.
    The only difference that I found in the yachting industry is the long work days, which I do not mind since it is rarely busy work. I like having perpetual projects to occupy my days.
    All responses would be welcomed
    Thank you
    David K
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    How are you at serving finger sandwiches? Do you know your wines? How are you at taking orders from a 12 year old who has never been told "no" in his life? How do you look in a skirt? (Saw a pic in a magazine awhile back of a captain serving hors d'oeuvres in one of those roman outfits.) Then there's the electronics. No not the ones for navigating. The ones that keep 25 TV's working. That doesn't fit most tug captains I know.
    A possible transition point might be the dinner cruise yachts.
  3. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    There may be several reasons. First, for what position do you believe your current certification should be accepted? What job are you trying to get?

    Your 200 ton master isn't worth anything on a foreign flag yacht because it is a domestic US license, it can't be endorsed by flag for international service even though it required far more experience and seatime than the MCA boxtop coupon.

    Few yacht crew agents know anything about commercial experience, or have any experience beyond a season as a stewardess for the most part, so depending on them to recognize your experience as having any value is pretty much a lost cause.

    Many MCA captains are suspicious of commercially certificated crew because they don't understand the system or are afraid of seeming inferior. Most are excellent yacht captains and boat handlers but a growing number are afraid of being observed by a junior with more experience or knowledge.

    And probably the bottom line, the yacht industry believes it is somehow "different" and "outsiders" from the commercial world simply won't fit in and many who think that way will make sure that is the case.

    Don't worry though, if you really are committed to getting into the business, you have a good start. Get the 500 ton full STCW license, or better yet, the 1600 ton. A 200 ton is useless unless you want to stick with small American flag boats on the coasts. It is a dead end ticket now anyway.

    Good luck, don't give up but you might be better off keeping that ticket in your luggage for now.
  4. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Very good advice from Marmot. Until you've a bit more yacht experience or a bigger license, you may also want to drop the "Captain" handle; with only rare exceptions, there is only one captain on a yacht.
  5. Captd13

    Captd13 New Member

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    Location:
    Savannah, GA USA
    Marmot, That was a wonderful reply! Thank you. After 6 months on the 37 meter Heesen, I did notice that I played babysitter more than boatsman/ first mate. I am only about 6 months from my 500 master and 1 year from my 1600 master so I will of course be continuing education as quickly as possible. As far as positions applied for, I stick to the 30-50m mates positions and 50+m Bosuns positions, yet still no luck. I do have the International endorsement on my license though.
    Bracewell: also thank you for your advise. I do not use the Capt. handle in resumes or other official paperwork. I understand I must conform to the hierarchy of the industry, and being a military child I trust in the chain of command more than anything!
    Again thank you to everyone for their responses!
    David
  6. Swamp fox

    Swamp fox Member

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    May 19, 2010
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    Man this yachting industry would seem as if its a bit tight knit. It seems hard to get into from an outsiders point of view, but once you have some "yacht time" it seems a little easier to land a job or two. It's great that you've already accumulated a season under your belt.

    I started my career on commercial boats and seems like I had the same trouble you did. Owners, Captains, etc. want yacht sea time on resumes, not just commercial boat experience. Kind of funny though. I had moved to Charleston some time ago, thought it would be a piece of cake to get a yacht job.....Not so much. I quickly found out it was about as good ol' boy as it gets. (even being a carolina boy.) With that said, a yacht owner took a chance on me. So I moved to Florida, and have been working for them ever since. Five years later, just upgraded to my 500 Oceans and never looked back.

    Yachting is still a bit weird though, because working on someone's dream isn't like you know that job will always be there. But I guess pink slips come in all shapes and sizes of boats.
  7. Captd13

    Captd13 New Member

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    Swamp Fox: I agree there is a good ole boy group, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It protects the industry. You have to prove your salt in some way to earn your way up the hawse pipe. I will say that the commercial aspect gave me much more confidence on deck of a yacht. Much more line handling and marlinspike involved. And doing my apprentice mate/ steersman gave me more time at the helm of a 290 gt tug in close quarters to moving ships. CONFIDENCE BUILDER. so i will take that experience over anything else everyday of the week.
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Ain't that the truth and sometimes it is way beyond the Owners control that he or she is no longer able to fund the dream and many suffer as a consequence.