Yacht Crew Candidates - FAQ
Am I made for the Yachting Industry?
Is there a minimum age to work on yachts?
What positions does YPI Crew recruit for?
What is the procedure to register with YPI Crew?
When should I arrive in Antibes?
What accommodation is available in Antibes whilst I look for work?
I am a newcomer to the industry: How long will it take until I get a job?
What should I be wearing for interviews?
I am a newcomer to the industry : what qualifications do I need?
What is the STCW'95 basic crew training?
What is an ENG1 and where can I obtain one?
I want to become an engineer/ I am an engineer,: what are the yacht licenses or training and certification guidance?
I am an engineer, what is the Letter of Initial Assessment?
I am an engineer, how do I obtain a CoC?
I am an engineer or deck officer : How do I apply or renew a Certificate of Equivalent competency?
I am a deck officer: what are the yacht licenses?
Do I need to speak other languages apart from English? Do I for instance need to speak French to look for work in Antibes?
Do I need to be in Antibes to find work?
I am a newcomer, what personal affects shall I take with me on board?
Can I find work with my partner?
How long are contracts for?
What are the working hours?
What is the difference between a private and a charter yacht?
Where will the yacht travel?
Who pays for the documents that I need to be able to travel to join a yacht?
I have tattoos - will this affect me getting a job?
How important are Social Networking sites?
Can my family contact me through YPI CREW if they can not reach me on the yacht you have placed me on?
The yachting industry is like no other industry, it is not just about having a job, it is a lifestyle which you will lead twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; it is not for everyone. As entry-level crew, you will be expected to work hard, be a team player, have a global vision and do what it takes, together with the rest of the crew, to provide a special holiday to the guests on board the yacht. You must be able to live communally, share a cabin with another crew member, get used to having little privacy and little time on your own. You must be resilient and be totally service-orientated. If you have what it takes, the sky is the limit and you will be able to have a long and successful career in the industry in whichever field you choose.
Yes,there is. The minimum age is 16. No person below the minimum age shall be employed. Also, night work under the age of 18 is prohibited. "Night" shall cover a period of at least nine hours starting no later then Midnight and ending no earlier then 5 am. This is in accordance to the MLC 2006 Standard A1.1 Minimum age. Please note that you can start the online registration procedure with YPI CREW before the age of 18, but we will wait until you turn 18 years old to place you on a yacht
YPI Crew recruits at all levels from junior deckhands and steward/esses to captains.
An exhaustive list comprises the following professions:
- First Officer
- Officer of the Watch
- Deckhand/ Engineer
- Deckhand/ Stew
- Chief Engineer
- Second Engineer
- Electronic Engineer - ETO
- Chief Steward/ess
- Sous Chef
The jobs below are also in demand and the skills / certificates associated with them are sometimes desirable and/or requested as an addition. For example, a deckhand will be requested to also be a diving instructor, a stewardess can be expected to be a beauty therapist.
- Dive Master / Instructor
- Massage Therapist
- Medic / Nurse
- Spa / Beauty Therapist / Hairdresser
YPI Crew is a recruitment agency so we are not your employer.
Registering is easy and straightforward. Please visit our website www.ypicrew.com and click on 'Register' to upload your CV, certificates, references, passport and your medical certificate. We do need to have all these documents in your file. Don't worry if you do not have everything ready at once - you can start by uploading the CV first and return to your Profile at a later stage to upload the remaining documents.
Our administrator will review your CV and email you to acknowledge your application.
Once you are registered, you can check in online through the website, just click on 'Log In' and then 'Check In'. Please note, we do not answer the 'Check In's but we do of course read them daily.
When you want to upload a new CV or document, please go to your online profile on the website. Please do not email your updated CV to your recruiter - CVs have to be stored on the database.
As and when you arrive in Antibes, please do come and visit us in the office. Depending on what time of the year it is, an appointment may be necessary.
The Mediterranean season starts in May with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival so most yachts have to be fully crewed by then. If you are a newcomer to the industry we recommend that you arrive around March / April time when most jobs are available. If you are an experienced crew member with proven track record and excellent references being in Antibes is less critical as captains will be comfortable with telephone interviews and will fly you to the yacht. Captains will expect to interview newcomers face-to-face so it is important you are local to where the yacht is - everybody else will be !
We of course have job vacancies throughout the year, but as mentioned above, our peak season for recruitment is March to May. There is another peak in October time when we recruit for the Caribbean season. Many yachts will leave the Mediterranean and cross the Atlantic; It is however not likely that a captain will hire a newcomer with zero yachting experience in the Mediterranean in October to do a crossing straightaway - captains will prefer hiring experienced crew for crossings.
Most crew will stay in crew houses. In Antibes the following crew houses are available :
- The Crew Grapevine +33 (0)619032652 or +33 (0)616662843
- The Glamorgan +33 (0)493344271 or +33 (0)624165457
- Debbie’s +33 (0)493744140 or +33 (0)632387528
- Ammas Crew House +33 (0)619638250
- The Crew House +33 (0)492904939
- Hotel Etoile +33(0)493342630
We cannot answer this question, it's the same as asking : how long is a piece of string. It depends a lot on your skill set, enthusiasm, professionalism, neat and tidy presentation, politeness, resourcefulness and, of course, luck. Some people find work within a few of days or couple of weeks...others will not make it. We recommend you give yourself a month to find work and have the financial means to sustain yourself during this time. If within a month nothing happens, you need to re-evaluate your position. Please note that recruiters will not interview you unless your online profile is up to date with a copy of your CV, STCW'95, ENG1 and passport.
Look around you and look at what employed yacht crew wear during the day and copy that style. This will position you one step ahead of your competition. There are a few uniform shops in Antibes where you can buy everything you need. Generally speaking the professional yacht crew attire is a polo shirt or a shirt, white, blue or beige and plain shorts, skirts (not too short in length) or pants with boating shoes. Dangly and ornate jewellery is not appropriate.
It depends whether you are looking at a career on the deck side, engineering side, stewardess side or cooking side.
The common certificate required in all fields is the STCW'95 basic crew training certificate. We cannot find you work unless you have this basic certificate. ( click here for more info)
A) Do you want to pursue a career as a stewardess?
If you have a hotel school degree or even diploma that's fantastic; If you don't, it's not the end of world. Perhaps you have worked in high end hotels or resorts and have acquired good hospitality and service experience. If you have not, it's not the end of the world either. You can always learn the ropes on a yacht working under the guidance of an experienced Chief Steward/ess : You need to demonstrate during the interview that you are willing to learn without challenging your Head of department and that you have stamina ( the hours are long) and a team spirited attitude. Also, there are plenty of stewardess courses available which you can take before joining or after the first season; We do not recommend any specific courses or schools, do your research on the internet.
B) Do you want to pursue a career as a yacht Chef ?
Cooking on yachts is very challenging yet rewarding. You will cater for high net worth individuals who will have eaten in the best restaurants in the world, who probably already have private chefs on their estates; Basically, there is no room for error. So, it is likely that you will come to the yachting industry with already an impressive land based curriculum vitae and a long list of cooking achievements from all over the world.
Depending on the size of the yacht there will be between 1 and 4 chefs in the galley. Typically, a yacht below 50 meters will only have one chef which means that the chef will also cater for the crew ( a 50 meter yacht will typically have a crew of around 10).
Larger yachts will have two chefs : one guest chef and a crew chef. Starting as a crew chef is often the best way to establish yourself in the yachting industry. You will get a feel for the industry, get to know the Supplier and build relationships with them without having the pressure of having to deal with the guests frontline.
Just like for stewardesses, there are many chef courses available suited for yachts.
C) Do you want to pursue a career on the deck side which will lead you to a captain's position?
You can look at the syllabus for deck crew by consulting the following MCA link : http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/workingatsea/mcga-trainingandcert/mcga-yachts/stc-syllabuses-yacht.htm
The competition can be harsh at the beginning of the season for deckhands, there are many people looking for work, so the more you have to offer the better. Sometimes the STCW'95 is not enough and captains may want to see evidence of recreational boating, sailing, water sports, jet sky driving, diving, perhaps a yacht master or power boat level II which qualifies you to drive a tender.
D) Do you want to pursue a career as a yacht engineer?
You can look at the syllabus for engineer on the following MCA link http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/workingatsea/mcga-trainingandcert/mcga-yachts/stc-syllabuses-yacht.htm
The basic certificate required ( in addition to the STCW'95) is the AEC : Approved engine course. This 4 or 5 days course gives you the theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on experience of diesel engines. It will enable you to carry out regular servicing of marine diesel engines, and to carry out fault detection and prevention. It is the first level for the MCA engineering officer training scheme, and will also allow you to work in the dual role of deckhand/engineer. There is a clear career path available for engineers on yachts and it is a very rewarding career.
You can find out more about the AEC by following this link on the MCA website :
Once you are working on board the yacht, in whichever capacity, your captain and or Head of department will be able to advise you and guide you on further certificates you can take to go up the career ladder.
It is likely that you will have skills to bring to the table which are transferable to the yachting industry;
We all had to start somewhere, so don't be shy; in yachting a positive personality and hardworking attitude can go a long way.
STCW'95 stands for: Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, it was ratified by the IMO in 1995. Generally speaking, within the industry, the basic entry level certification is abbreviated to Basic STCW 95 and comprises four modules:
- Personal Survival
- Fire Fighting
- First Aid & CPR
- Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
The course will take five days to complete and is available in all major yachting centres. All modules must be completed to obtain the license.
By obtaining this basic certificate, entry level crew will achieve two things: You will you be a more able and knowledgeable candidate and you will also confirm to potential employers that you are serious about this industry.
An ENG1 is a seafarer medical certificate issued by a MCA approved medical practitioner to work on a UK flagged yacht. Please note a medical certificate issued by a maritime authority of any country listed in MSA 1798 (M) will also allow you to work on a UK flagged vessel. The list of these countries can be found by clicking here.
By the same token, an ENG1 certificate will allow to work on most non UK flagged yachts. Always check with the relevant flag state to make sure your medical certificate is recognised.
The above is in accordance to the MLC 2006 Standard A1.2 Medical Certificate. You can find the list of doctors, worldwide, accredited to carry out an ENG1 on the following link from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, MCA. Click here
For a list of MCA approved medical practitioners in the UK, click here.
I want to become an engineer/ I am an engineer, what are the yachts licenses or training and certification guidance?
Please read the MGN 156 (M) from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website by following the link as below :
For information, the CEC helpline is +44 23 8032 9254
Do I need to speak other languages apart from English? Do I for instance need to speak French to look for work in Antibes?
The quick answer is no; English is the language of the seas and the working language on board yachts. Of course, being able to speak other languages is a bonus and can make life easier and enhance your experience. It can also help dealing with some guests on board the yacht and with local suppliers. Antibes and the south of France is the heart of the Mediterranean yachting industry and most suppliers who are serious players in the yachting industry will speak English.
There is a very large English speaking community in the South of France, many yacht crew and captains live here with their families.
Do I need to be in Antibes to find work?
See question "When should I arrive in Antibes?"
Crew cabins are small and you will be sharing with one person of the same sex; Space is at premium so best to travel light. You will be provided with crew uniforms, crew shoes and all toiletries so all you will need are a few civilian clothes for your off time. Laundry is taken care of by the stewardesses. Products such as the Kindle are great for yacht crew; Gone are the days of bulky books taking up valuable space !
We do not not place entry level couples; Working as a couple is a privilege which one earns and only happens at senior level; And even then couple jobs are not that common.
It all depends; some jobs are seasonal jobs, typically these contracts run from April to end of September for the Mediterranean season and from October to March for the Caribbean season. Seasonal jobs are most of the time for junior stewardesses and deckhands. Some yachts below 40 meters with only a one season program may also only hire a chef for that period.
Generally speaking Captains, officers, engineers, senior interior crew are employed on a permanent long term contract.
The maritime and labour convention MLC 2006 stipulates the limits on hours of work or rest shall be as follows :
- Maximum hours of work shall not exceed
(i)14 hours in any 24 hour period and
(ii) 72 hours in any seven day period
- Minimum hours of rest shall not be less then :
(i) ten hours in any 24 hour period and
(ii) 77 hours in any seven day period
However, during a busy season you are on board a yacht which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you should expect to have to work unusual and long hours if required.
How much leave am I entitled to?
The minimum is 2.5 calendar days per month of employment. On medium to larger size yachts, it is not unusual for chief engineers and senior deck officers to work on rotations, such as 2 months on, two months off.
A private yacht belongs to an individual who will use the yacht with his friends and family. A charter yacht also has an owner but in addition it will be rented out to third parties for a determined amount of time.
Wherever the owners want to go.
The standard A1.4 Recruitment and Placement, paragraph 5 of the MLC 2006 states that (b) no fees or other charges are to be borne directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the seafarer other than the cost of the seafarer obtaining a national statutory medical certificate, the national seafarer’s book and a passport, not including the cost of visas, which shall be borne with the ship owner.
Some yachts have a grooming and appearance code and a policy of "no visible tattoos" - This means nothing visible when wearing a crew uniform ( polo shirt and shorts or skirt). It is best to discuss this with your recruiter who will advise you on which yachts this might be a problem.
Be aware that many clients will check your social media presence and activity and we recommend that your profile and pictures on social networking websites such as Facebook do not represent you in a way which may be deemed unprofessional. If you have doubts on any of the photos' suitability, it is best to remove them.
Can my family contact me through YPI CREW if they cannot reach me on the yacht you have placed me on?
In case of emergency, if your family is not able to reach you on the yacht through regular means of communication (telephone and email), your family can email us or call us. We shall forward the email onto you and follow up with a call to make sure the email has reached you. If we have received a phone call for you from your family with an urgent message, we shall email you and also follow up with a phone call. Should we have placed you on yacht through a yacht management company, we shall also contact the yacht management company and forward the message. Your family can reach us on email@example.com and +33492904610 during office hours.
The email address firstname.lastname@example.org is monitored outside office hours and the mobile number to reach us outside office hours, for emergencies is +33612046508. This is the number of Laurence Lewis, the director of YPI Crew. Please note that the above is only to be used in case of emergency should your family have failed to contact you directly. It is your responsibility to ensure that your family has your up-to-date email and telephone numbers on board the yacht you work on and YPI Crew will not be held responsible for failed or delayed communication. YPI Crew will not charge you for the above.