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Need advice

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by RayUSCG, Jun 30, 2016.

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  1. RayUSCG

    RayUSCG New Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Highlands nj
    I'm currently looking at becoming a deckhand and I know most places require experience. I currently live in NJ and have been looking for boats that I could gain the experience an knowledge that is needed. But have had no luck. I'm currently in the process of getting my TWIC and saving the money needed to get the STCW course that is needed also if anybody knows other places to take that course I'd appreciate it. A little background on my experience I served two years in the coast guard after that worked on a passenger ferry going from NJ to NYC for 2 1/2 years. I've done multiple shipyard periods. While in highschool I did some day work on a small fishing boat doing deck maintenance and wash downs. I know my way around a boat and eager to learn and build on to that. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    What kind of boat are you looking to work on? (Commercial, dinner, ferry, private, yacht, SF). That S.S. from Jersey is a pretty good start if you want to go commercial. You could look into Milller's Launch on S.I., Watertaxi, etc. or head to the oil fields in the Gulf for real good experience

    If you're looking to DH on a private yacht you need to go where the boats are. Right now, local to you, you might check with the dockmasters at Liberty Landing or Newport Harbor. If you don't mind getting on the road, take a trip out to Sag Harbor and up to Newport. Next fall you could head down to Ft. Lauderdale (also a good place to get the STCW). Trouble with So. Fl. is there's a lot of competition. A lot of guys go down there each fall with dreams and money in their pockets only to head back north in the Spring with empty pockets.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2013
    Fort Lauderdale
    Getting the STCW course done is very important. Once that's done you can present a very good resume for someone with no experience. I don't know your age and sometimes age makes starting a new career a challenge as you might not be what some picture in their stereotypical view of a position. Nycaps recommendation of going where the boats are is good. Take every possible route to start, including the typically unsuccessful crew agencies. However, the best are likely to be around the boats, the captains, the other deckhands. Not around drinking. People drinking often make an impression but it's seldom one that tells you to hire this guy. So not in their drinking holes but at marinas, near boatyards, sharing your background and the fact you're looking. Hand out cards with your phone number to anyone who will take one. Captains talk. Eat lunch at the Cafe at Rybovich and you'll be in a room full of yacht crew. One may have a need or someone may quit the next day. Moving into a crew house after getting your STCW is a great approach. Most of them have bulletin boards but also some Captains turn to the owners when having a need, especially for day workers. Why? Because the owner of a crew cabin typically observes the real person.

    Most people I've known to break in as either deckhands or stews have gotten their start pretty much by just being in the right place at the right time. One might call that luck, but it isn't. They took their STCW course, maybe even others, and they circulated in the right places. Nycap mentions dockmasters. Well, they often hear the Captain cursing over the deckhand who just left or didn't show up. Captains who don't have needs may know those who do. Your first impression with all you meet is very important, on the docks, in the crew house, even in school. Even as you walk the docks, how you dress and act is important. Luck isn't always random, but something we can create or at least greatly improve the odds.

    If I wanted the best odds, I'd be in Fort Lauderdale starting around September, have my STCW, live in a crew house, and spend as much time as I could (recognizing you might be working another job while trying) in my efforts to have good luck.