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Looking to get into yachting, need advice

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by Kevin Rybak, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. Kevin Rybak

    Kevin Rybak New Member

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    Hey so here’s some background about me, I’m a 17 year old high school senior kid from southern NJ who grew up on the water and developed a love for the sea. Both my brothers are in the USCG and I’m heavily considering joining. I have always loved yachts and would think it would be great to start a career on them but I’m at the stage of my life where I’m stressed out having to decide my next 20 years of my life at such a young age. I’m seeking advice or possibly some stories on how you got into yachting. Is 18 too young to start yachting? Should I join the coast guard first then after I get out possibly get into yachting because I’m older?
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You say "Get into yachting." What exactly is it you want to do? What kind of roles? What kind of boats?

    If your goal is to be a deck hand then a basic STCW course and move to Fort Lauderdale. If it's to be a Captain or Engineer, then CG can be a good start or going to a Maritime School such as the Merchant Marine Academy or SUNY or Mass Maritime or Maine Maritime. While the majority of us here did not go to such an academy, I've seen the quality of education they can provide and they definitely provide an advantage to young persons trying to enter the industry, especially those interested in the engineering side of things.
  3. Kevin Rybak

    Kevin Rybak New Member

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    I want to get started on the deck side possibly as a jr deckhand and hopefully work my way up to captain, if that’s even possible. I’d like to start on motor yachts but I’ll take what I can get starting off. I don’t really have an interest on working on the engineer side.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Your big decision then is which route to take.

    1. Do you do the minimum, get the STCW and try to get an entry level job as a deckhand?

    2. Do you go to a Maritime School and take the Captains Training course even though you don't have the sea time?

    3. Or do you go to a Maritime College and get the education and training to be a captain?

    4. Or do you go the USCG route?

    You have to figure out what is right for you. I believe in the long term #3 provides an education worth having. Others here will have different views.
  5. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Others here will have excellent advice about a yachting career My suggestion is that life can be fun and elastic - a wonderful journey with unforeseen opportunities and experiences. Don't put a "box" around it, or think that what you may select today will be what you're doing even 5 years from now. Prepare with a good and broad education. IMO a successful life is opportunity meeting that preparation.

    You seem very wise for 17, but don't become stressed just now with having to make a definitive choice. look around a lot! You don't know if you're an artist until you've tried to draw

    Sorry to be so "starchy"
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2019
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Starchy Beau is right. Don't be afraid to not know, to change your mind along the way. At 17, not only do you not have to have your life plan, you can't. Until you've seen more, you just can't know.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2019
  7. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    Super Yacht Captain, Captain's VLOG on YouTube has a story for you. That young man started as a lad of 16 or 17 in a boat yard washing boats. Interesting story and well worth your time.

    I like Olderboater's list for you as well. Although I would add Cal Maritime to the list of schools. Jersey boy in Cali!

    What does growing up on the water mean? Did you row boats, water ski, sail, swim...?

    What ever you do don't watch the TV show below deck. You will go further if you take the sea more seriously, me thinks.
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I would put Cal Maritime at the top, just listed the ones I did based on his location.
  9. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    For sure, I am not familiar at all with Cal Marine, just my wife grew up sailing on the Carquinez Straight where they are located and going by there almost makes me happy. Glad to hear their program is well regarded.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We have an engineer who went there for her undergraduate degree. Then she got her graduate degree from the University of New Orleans School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.
  11. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    My son spent 4 years on a Destroyer with 2 stints in the Gulf; then he attended and graduated from CMA. Aside from having saltwater in his veins and having grown up on yachts, Cal Maritime gave him the formal education and credentials to pick his career choices. I've never seen a man happier with his career. He shows his appreciation to his alma mater by being involved in the alumni association and hiring CMA students and graduates.

    Judy
  12. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    Beautiful report, I hope the original poster reads that!
  13. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks, gr8trn. I hope so too. I wear a lot of hats on YF, but I don't wear my Mom hat often, if ever. But can you tell I'm a proud Mom?!
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Not at all unlike our engineer's feelings toward Cal Maritime. After the death of her mother who she lived with, she moved in with her father who was in the Navy in military housing. She was fascinated by both the Navy and Coast Guard boats. However, she also knew the Military wasn't the direction she wanted to go. Her father was happy to send her to school 500 miles north and return to his single life.

    She described going to school there as a total immersion. Your life is about the water. Everyone on campus is pursuing some sort of marine major. Her feelings are that if you're serious, you have all the possible resources, and you'll leave confident and ready for the next step. It's a very focused education. Their graduates have the highest average starting salaries of any college in California and that includes Stanford. The classroom work is combined with a lot of hands on experience.

    Also, she praised the location as being distraction free. While you're not far from San Francisco, she said she only went there about one time a year.

    This isn't to diminish any of the Maritime programs, but just to speak very highly of this one.
  15. Kevin Rybak

    Kevin Rybak New Member

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    This is exactly what I was looking for, assistance in what direction to move forward in, thank you I really do appreciate it

    Practically anything you can think of on the water, kayaking, fishing, boating, and both my brothers were very into sailing and have a couple of smaller sailboats but I was never as interested as them. From the talk of it everyone seems to have a high suggestion of CMA and I will have to put that into heavy consideration.

    That was another idea of mine was to join the USCG then go to college because honestly college out of high school is not exactly an option because of how expensive college is and the lack of money
  16. gr8trn

    gr8trn Member

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    That was another idea of mine was to join the USCG then go to college because honestly college out of high school is not exactly an option because of how expensive college is and the lack of money[/QUOTE]

    There ya go. USCG then Cal Maritime. Sounds like a plan, no sailboats involved either:)
  17. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Rybak, ( wasn't that the name in an adventure movie?) you'd better know everything there is to know about sailing if you're going into the business! When you crew on a 7 meter, you'll get my point. Want to work the windward islands or the Pacific - you'd better know the difference between a boom vang and the old Cunningham!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019

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