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Trying to get into the industry -- advice?

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by boatingetc, Dec 22, 2012.

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  1. boatingetc

    boatingetc New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale/New England
    To start off, I'm 24 and I have several years of experiences on boats up to 25 feet, kayaks and jet skii's. I lived in Fort Lauderdale for two months looking for work either day work or as a deckhand on a yacht. I was able to find 9 days of day work, one for 8 days on a 140 foot expedition yacht and the other day on a 288 foot super yacht. I am now employed full time on an 85 foot sailboat. My salary is a tiny $400USD a month! It was either accept this position or go back home in Connecticut and work retail for the winter.

    I have the motivation to succeed. I'm familiar with yachts and have obtained my 50 ton license as well as a few other tickets. But this boat isn't going anywhere. We've been in the yard for ever a month and I don't see it moving any time soon.

    I am the only crew member on board and when we are under way, its an engineer and the captain/owner. I'm able to cook for everyone as well as focus on interior and exterior jobs also helping navigate and other jobs.

    I find it really difficult to get started in the yachting industry. And it's discouraging seeing the "partiers" get the work and those like me, who don't party...find next to nothing.

    Fort Lauderdale was an experience, but I'm from Connecticut and if I'm unable to get a raise, even to $1,000 a month then I will try Newport around April of 2013.

    I'm looking for the chance. The chance to show I have what it takes. I'm in this career for my life. But how do I stand out from all of the hundreds, maybe thousands of others who are in similar shoes.

    Just curious on any of your feedback or comments.

    I'm following my heart. Money isn't everything and that's why I took this job, to be able to be on a boat, get experience and go after a dream for the career that is best for me. To see the boat out of the water, and to learn and work on it is a fantastic opportunity, but the engineer is also not on board (family issues).

    Thanks for your time.
  2. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    Lighthouse Point, FL
    Feel lucky that you are on a boat, it is always easier to find a new job, while having a job.
    As an American in this industry you will have to work harder at finding a job, sorry but that's the way it is. On the positive side you can dock walk with worry of being deported! I still believe dock walking is very effective, do not count it out.
    The most important thing is to network, and once again that is easiest when already on a boat. Being in the yard is not the worst thing, get out there and work hard and maybe someone will notice. The pay sounds kind of light, but do not get hung up on that, just do your work, put in your time and keep your ears open for other opportunities.
  3. triggerfish23

    triggerfish23 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I agree. Networking is key. Any chance you have (meaning it can't effect your work) you need to start conversations. It doesn't always need to be with a captain either. In fact, sometimes it's better if it's not. We're busy and usually have other things on our mind than an impromptu interview.

    Even some of the subcontractors can be a great source of job opportunities. Don't count them out just because they carry a rag instead of drive yachts. Those are the guys that hear things.

    Don't get discouraged that the 'party' crowd seems to be getting your jobs. My guess is that they'll burn out eventually and you'll be hearing a story about how 'we couldn't keep the last deckhand out of the bar' while you're doing their former jobs. You may want to note though, that they are probably networking while they're out drinking and having a good time.

    I'm glad to hear that you are able to follow your dreams. Hang in there and I'm sure it will get better for you. Most of us started where you're at and it usually gets better right about the time you're asking how it can get any worse.

    If you would like to pm me, I would be happy to give you some other tips and do what I can to help.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,058
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Send me your resume and pict.
  5. Yachtjocky

    Yachtjocky Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Jobs

    I can not believe an owner would only pay $400 per month, does the minimum wage law of the land not apply to all.

    Send your stuff to CaptJ as he is a very expeirenced Captain around town and should be able to help or at least point you in the right direction.
  6. boatingetc

    boatingetc New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale/New England
    Thank you kindly for all of your comments. I've decided to stick it out at least for another 5 months and I'll try to learn as much as I can in this time. Also by that time I'll have enough sea time so I can upgrade to my 100 ton license, and eventually 200 ton and so on. It's difficult trying to make by on such a small income, but if I budget right I can do it. I know I cannot expect to be placed into a deckhand job on a nice brand new yacht where everything works fine. But that is fine. I really never wanted to start out that way. I'd rather work my way up and know not everyone has a new yacht or one where there is an unlimited budget when it comes time to fixing something. Instead of waxing and polishing all day, its great to see the rust, remove the stainless rub rail insert, chip the rust, grind, paint and reapply. And the many more things that I will learn. Also not being #6 deckhand in line, but for me being the only one, I can cook for everyone, clean interior and exterior and focus on many more areas of the boat.

    Again thank you so much for your replies. Happy Holidays!