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Work Permits and such

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by hartz, Jan 2, 2007.

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  1. hartz

    hartz New Member

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    Location:
    Cape Town
    Hello all.

    I am interested in finding work on a yacht. This would be a total career change for me after 15 years in the Computer industry (unless I somehow landed a job as a Computer Engineer on a large yacht, in which case it would be only a partial career change???)

    While I have many questions, my first question is about the legal stuff: What are the requirements, eg for a work permit? Can anybody work on any ship? As you will no doubt see form my profile, I am a South African, living in Cape Town.

    And then, when you land in a port somewhere, what are the legal requirements, etc for entereing that country? Is it the same as for entering as a tourist arriving via plane?

    Thanx,
    _H

    P.S. This is all very new to me, so go easy if this is obvious or stupid questions. Thanx :)
  2. MikeElliston

    MikeElliston New Member

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    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    to work on a yacht, there are 3 things that will help you more than you could imagine. the first of them, get your STCW 95 certificate, (it takes about a week to get after taking a weeklong class), PASSPORT B1/B2 Visa (your work Visas) now that you have the qualifications, its time to move, Winter in the Caribbean, Summer in the Med, it also helps to put a resume together and sign up with a crew placement agency, i personally am registered with Crewunlimited.com, it's free to crew, the boat owners pay for the service.
    there is a book that i would recommend getting for anyone who wants to work on a yacht,
    'The Insiders' Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess by Julie Perry, it's good for everyone who wants to get into the industry, i have read it myself. AND I AM A CAPTAIN OF AN 80 FOOTER.
    it's available at her website.
    www.WorkOnAYacht.com

    i wish you luck and congratulate you on your decision to join the best career in the world.

    Captain Michael S. Elliston
  3. hartz

    hartz New Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your reply. The work permit/visa will possibly be the hardest part, but I think I'll find an agency to help me with that.

    The book's website makes life on a Yacht look all glamorous and fun. I am old enough to realize that it is probably all that, but first there will be hard work.

    One more question : I gather from hints in other posts that the thing about moving and winter/summer has got to do with the yachts being in the docs for maintenance. Is this correct? Please explain this a little more - is the reason for this that captains are looking for new crew to replace lost members after the season, when they leave the docks, or what? Maybe I should open a new topic/thread for this question?

    Besides the book you have recommended, I have done some more searching and found a number of books about living aboard, maintenance of yachts, yacht design, etc. I don't think knowing as much as possible will hurt at all. Hmmmm, and a reference encyclopedia to help me recognize other yachts while I'm green would be nice too ;-)

    _H
  4. MikeElliston

    MikeElliston New Member

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    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    yes, life working on a yacht is glamorous, but it is also alot of work, long hours, repetitive work, and you'll be doing more cleaning than you ever thought possible, every level for working on a yacht is typically deckhand or stew,
    as far as the whole summer in the Med, winter in the Caribbean, is that the yachts travel with the weather, with Hurricane season hitting the Caribbean during the summer, how much sense would it make to keep you multi-million dollar yacht there ? not much at all obviously, so they just make the short hop to the Med,
    as far as crew turnover rates, the more money someone has, the more they tend to replace things it seems, so there is a fast turnover rate, i had done some day work on a 155' christenson last summer to help prep to leave for Mexico, and was told to keep an eye out for them in a few months when they would get back, well, when they got back, it was an entire new crew onboard, Captain and all.

    if you can Cook, Clean, Sand, Paint, Varnish, Wash a car, Wax a Car, just be a Handyman, then you are highly qualified to work on a yacht, IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR MOUTH QUIET ABOUT WHO YOU MEET. these are the wealthyest people in the world you will be around, they are on Vacation, help them to enjoy it, if you meet someone don't go asking for an autograph right away, you'll be with them for a few days, you'll probably get to know them quite well.
  5. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
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    Location:
    Palma Spain/ South Africa
    Hi Hartz

    Well the best thing for you to start of as a South African is to try in Europe. America is very difficult to get a visa unless you have a boat that will employ you as a crew member. It is easier to get a Schengen visa than an American visa. If you want to come to Europe you can either try to find work in Palma de Mallorca Spain or Antibes in France. There are a few crew houses that you can stay in. Like Mike Elliston said get your STCW 95 before even coming over as it will cost you nearly 3 times as much. In Cape Town there is a company that I did all of mine. Sorry cant remember the name of the Company. They are allocated in the harbour just behind the main road that goes onto the N1. The company is before the Cape Royal yacht Club coming from the waterfront. When you come to Europe then you will have to walk the dock and find day work and that is the way to start off. The other option is to go to the Royal Cape Yacht Club and look at the advertisement board for boats looking for crew to do deliveries. There are a few Catamaran companies that send their boats over to the USA. The main thing you want to do is to get some sea time. Good luck with your new venture.
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I wish you luck.

    You will only need B1/B2 Visas if you are going to the US.

    Don't be fooled into thinking these are Work Permits Whilst they allow you to enter on a foreign flag yacht no problem but not to work in the States on land or on a US Flag yacht.

    What did you actually do in the Computer Industry?

    Do you have any experience with Satellite communications or hold any qualifications such as MCSE etc?
  7. hartz

    hartz New Member

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    Location:
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    Now to make work of that STCW95 certificate...

    Hi Graham, thank you for your suggestions. I will go find that place near the Cape Royal Yacht club - I know the area fairly well.

    K1W1, I am a Unix Systems Engineer. I have certifications in Unix, comparative to the MCSE, but for Solaris and AIX, not MCSE which is for Windows. I do have a good working knowledge of Windows too, but Unix is the area I am specialized in. For those not so familiar with the industry, Unix can be likened to the Big-brother of Linux, in other words it is an alternative to Windows :D

    As far as Satellite communications are concerned, I am only familiar with the technical details at a very superficial level.

    Mike: I am the sort of person who attaches very little meaning to a person's "star" status. I probably wouldn't recognize 99% of all stars if I weren't told who they are :) And I am a Handyman already :)

    _H
  8. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Hartz

    Here are the details of the company that does the STCW95. The owner of the company is Ernest

    ACADEMY OF MARITIME MEDICINE cc
    MARITIME TRAINING ACADEMY cc
    Unit 29b, Foregate Square, Heerengraacht Entrance
    to Cape Town Harbour.
    P.O.Box 246, Bloubergstrand, 7436, South Africa
    Telephone/Fax : +27(21) 425 4381
    Cell Phone : 083 542 3083
    Preferred Email Address: maritimemedicine@telkomsa.net
    Old email: maritime_medicine@hotmail.com.

    Just a off topic question. Have you worked with Ubuntu at all. It is the operating system that Mark Shuttleworth company has developed and it is free. It is a Linex based operating system. And if you did what do you think of it.
  9. hartz

    hartz New Member

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    Hi Graham,

    I use Ubuntu as my desktop system of choice. I am in fact busy writing a book which is meant to bridge the gap between knowing nothing of Linux to being able to read and make sense of the many other "beginners guides" for new Linux users that can be found all over the 'net, targeted at Users of Windows who wants something "better" - Many people complain that the so-called beginner's guides are still too difficult. The book uses Ubuntu as a reference Linux distribution.

    To answer your question in short: I think it is brilliant - and the rate at which it has been adopted by the public certainly speaks for itself.

    I think we can take this discussion to private messages if you would like to continue?
  10. Matterne

    Matterne New Member

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    asd
    Hi there guys sorry to dredge up this old post but i reckon its better than starting a new one...

    So heres my question: I have my schengen visa, am in Palma, and have a prospective job(This is not hypothetical:) ) The only problem is where do I go from here in terms of my Visa(which expires in 2 months)

    Do I have to go back to SA and renew it or can I just hop the border and go to France and renew it there? (apparently you can go to Geneva... hmmm)

    Also, what are the steps to go through to get a seamans discharge booklet?

    Many Thanks

    Matt
  11. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

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    Hi, Matt

    Renewing your visa in Mallorca is basically impossible as i have had a few friends in that situation. I know my one friend had it renewed in Italy but i am not sure who he used. I will try and find out for you. I am not sure on the Geneva issue but it will be cheaper to go there then back home. Just make sure you have boat papers. Do you have a seaman’s book and if you do then that should help. If you don’t have a seaman’s book then you will have to get one either from home (boat papers needed to apply). Depending where the boat is registered you can apply for a seaman’s book from the country of registration, i.e. Cayman Islands, Luxembourg.
    When you go back to SA make sure you have boats papers to apply for a Schengen Visa and ask them for the Maximum time. When I was still on the boats a stew that worked for me got a year visa.
    Good luck

    GrahamF
  12. Matterne

    Matterne New Member

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    ok thanks for the help... Pretty sure im going to have to fly back. What do you think the advantage of going to Geneva would be as opposed to going to Italy/France?
  13. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Matt.

    The Italy connection was a guy that does it for yachties. France wont unless you have a connection. Usually you cannot extend your visa when are in a Schengen country. Geneva (Switzerland) is not part of the schengen countries, that is why you might be able to do it there. I am still waiting to hear from my friend regarding Italy.

    Regards

    Graham
  14. Matterne

    Matterne New Member

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    Oh ja forgot about that:) Well thanks for your help, really cleared it up and I hope your friend has good news:)

    Cheers
  15. GrahamF

    GrahamF Senior Member

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    Matt,

    There is a company in San Remo Called All Services and they got my friends schengen visa extended for him.
    Good Luck
    Graham
  16. Matterne

    Matterne New Member

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    Thanks Graham, I think I might email them and ask them about it... It doesn´t look like they make a habit of it by the looks of the website but I think it will b worth a try... I´ll let you know what they say.

    Thanks for your help

    Matt