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Yacht vs. Commercial Ship

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by Steamer, May 27, 2007.

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  1. Steamer

    Steamer Guest

    Dear colleagues,

    I am ex officer working on commercial ships at sea and later as operations manager ashore.
    I am invited now by the yacht Owner for the interview to fill in open position of a Captain on his 26 meters boat.

    Can anybody, please, guide me on main differences working on Yacht if to compare with Commercial Vessel on some matters, like :

    1/ Employment Contract - Qualification documents (Deep Sea Navigator Diploma - Travel documents (Seamen's Discharge Book?);
    2/ Arrivals/Departures - Customs/Immigrations procedures;
    3/ Bunkering / Yacht supply / ...;
    4/ Using of Shipping (Yacht?) Agency services;

    "Funny thing" is I do not know yet if the boat is registered for a Company or a private person as well as if she is registered under any any recognized class.

    Understand, however, that she is Company Owned, then overal position is that the vessel is operated in the way more similar to commercial vessel operations (?)

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    Regardless of above questions I would be thankful to Your any GUIDLINES on what to discuss / start with when my person will be found acceptable.

    Thanks indeed Your assistance !
  2. denzil

    denzil New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ibiza
    where to start? IMO there is a HUUUUUUGE difference between commercial shipping and yachts. Really you need to get friendly with a yacht skipper and have a chat with him.
    I'll start the ball rolling

    1. service service service. Customer service is a massive part of the job. Driving the boat will probably account for about 5% of the job.
    2. Crew. Crew management is going to take up a lot of your time. People skills are imperative

    There really are too many differences to list here. Maybe others want to chip in?

    Without wanting to dampen your spirits i would strongly suggest looking for a mate position on a yacht for at least a year so you can learn the ropes.

    It's a completely different world.
  3. Steamer

    Steamer Guest

    Thanks Denzil for the start !

    Well. I clearly understand what You mean by "different wirkd" ! I used to arranged number of charters of bigger boats (last done is 88 meters LOA) for my clients and know that "white vessels require black job", as we say here.

    Apart I hold Skipper License (sails) so that I can imagine "where that right rope is" on a sailing/racing boat (!)

    What I need is to understand if there is real practical difference when You, say, call another port, or even simply STARTING the trip and willing to depart. In commercial shipping is is as simple as that. Owners' appointed agents will arrange for everything prior vessel's arrival. Customs/Immigration/Shipchandlers/... No any headache for Master, in certain sence, of course if I may say so.

    How about private yacht ? What if the boat belongs to "offshore company" ?
    What about entry visas for the crew ? Is what is called Seaman's Discharge Book "workable" here ?
  4. denzil

    denzil New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ibiza
    i used to be a 'ships agent' so i know the score there. The boat you are applying for isn't big enough to warrant using an agent unless you are in a very remote country with a language problem. Normally the captain has the responsibility of reporting to the harbour masters office with crew list/boat insurance/boat documents/passports. It shouldn't be much more demanding depending on your cruising ground. Here in the med there are no real customs formalities at all. I guess if you are worldwide there will be similar forms as per commercial, the only difference being you have no cargo to declare. You would (i presume) still have to produce boat & crew documents, crew list etc. You wouldnt have any bonded stores to worry about and your crew would only be yourself and i guess 2 others depending on what the boat's being used for.
    Should be as simple as nipping into the customs house on arrival or pre declaring details before arrival.
    I'm not sure about the visa's. I would guess the crew would have visas if needed for the cruising ground you wish to play in. If not, these can be done on arrival in most countries through immigration services.
    All of this though should be checked well in advance of departure last port.
    With regards to leaving a port, all you have to do is advise the harbour master your date of departure and 'clear out' the boat with customs if you are leaving the country. Again, not necessary in Europe.
  5. Steamer

    Steamer Guest

    Thank You, Denzil!

    I found Your comments really useful!
    Cud You /anybody tell me if there are any strict ruls/regulations towards crew qualification control in the Med Marinas ? If anybody will ask for Diplomas/Licenses ? Is it different if the yacht belongs to phisical person ?
  6. Garry Hartshorn

    Garry Hartshorn Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Directly above the center of the earth
    Just do it.

    I assume you hold some sort of masters license, and it seems like the yacht in question is private, so as long as the insurance company is happy just jump in and do your best. The most important thing is to keep the owner happy if you can do that and keep everyone safe yhen you will be fine.
  7. Steamer

    Steamer Guest

    My special thanks to Garry Hartshorn ! Your message adds power, indeed !

    With regard to documents, I clearly understand that my Skipper License means absolutely nothing for Insurers, while my Higher Marine School Navigator's Diplomas is that sort of documents they may accept, although without any "guarantee", since these are not exactly Yacht Master documents.

    So, in the first instance (in accordance with posts above!) I need to check
    with Insurers if my papers are OK for them.

    Yeah ... Moving ahead thanks to Members support !
  8. Steamer

    Steamer Guest

    Further ...

    Could anybody to clarify on private yacht Captains' legal status when aboard. Is any sort of authorization from Owners required for that ? Or something else ?
  9. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Yes, at least if you are not in the home waters of the yacht and owner.

    If it is company owned, the management company can issue an authorization for you. Here are a couple of mine from my time onboard...

    Attached Files:

  10. denzil

    denzil New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ibiza
    You sound very unsure of yourself and i can completely understand as i was in exactly the same position last January when i got a call out of the blue asking if i fancied skippering a brand new 74' motor yacht. Yes please i said. To be honest i had to blag my way through. I have absolutely no worries about my boat handling skills but my previous boats (as a driver) were a 46' sailboat and a 57' sailing cat that did day trips for tourists :p I'd worked on 1 mega yacht before but apart from that i was completely green. The owner understood this and fairplay to him, he gave me a chance. I was worried as hell when i picked the boat up from the yard.... luckily 1 of their skippers had arranged to take it to Southampton docks to be shipped to the med so i got some time as an observer before i had to meet and greet in gibraltar.
    I was still mega worried but took it bit by bit and eventually learnt all the boat systems and things such as the questions you are asking. It's natural to feel very unsure but i can assure you that if you get the job and don't crash her in the 1st week, you will look back on this thread and smile. It's easy peasy weasy once you get into the swing of things. Other skippers are usually more than happy to help if you have any questions too.
  11. davidg

    davidg New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
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    Location:
    ft.lauderdale
    Steamer

    Hey Steamer,

    Like Garry said, just jump in and do your best. Its not rocket science. Its all about keeping the owner happy and loving getting onboard his yacht. Always kkep things positive. No owner wants to get onboard and hear whats wrong with the boat. Thats why you are there. Owners never really know whats being fixed or whats broken unless its hinders his trip in someway. It will all come to you and if it doesnt, well you had to start somewhere. And if your just to worried about then start out on a big yacht, the experience will be very valuable.

    Best of luck!
  12. Steamer

    Steamer Guest

    Dear colleagues,

    I have to thank ALL of You, how dropped me any single word and supported me before my first ever meeting with the Owner and his family.

    I can say now that it is INDEED DIFFERENT experience (!)

    Regretfully I had to decline the offer to be that "single man crew and the yacht captain in the same face" completely (( The reason was as simple as that. We held 3 times by 5 minutes "breefings", i.e. 15 minutes in total, while the rest 10 - ten! - hours were spent by the undersigned in the Owner's office waiting for the chance to meet one or the other family member. Owners have NEVER touched the matter of, say, the boat or her running costs optimization, etc, or my authorization/employment details, etc. The words most often pronounced by the Owners and the family were "hotel", "bathrobe" and "right place for the owner's sweet sneakers " (!). I was not talking much. I, however, was polite when speaking to the Owners. I was smiling. I re-dressed fresh shirt for final meeting. After we said our last words to each other, later on the very same day I sent Owners the e-mail saying thanks for their hospitality and paid travel expenses.

    And I declined their offer being unable to became that sort "captain and the crew-man", Owners expected to see in my face.

    To finalize this message to YachtForum community I will advise the salary level touched upon very initially, well before I arrived to meet the Owners. You may believe it or not (!) It was mentioned USD 2,500.-/month for 26-meters LOA boat (without any further details).

    I have read of yacht captains salaries on this web-site. Therefore I must ask the YachtForum community to excuse me for my "attempt" to accept above mentioned level.

    Cordially,
    Steamer