Yacht Crew Etiquette FunAir

Yacht Crew Etiquette: Navigating Superyacht Job Hunting with Confidence

With the Mediterranean summer coming in hot, it’s time for yacht crew across the globe to dust off their epaulettes and fine-tune their CVs as job-hunting season has officially begun. Whether you’re a bright-eyed greenie or a more senior crew member, there are several unspoken rules for yacht crew to follow when it comes to landing that dream role.

From networking to DM’s, meeting recruitment agents to dockwalking, and applications to interviews, there are a ton of formalities when it comes to superyacht job hunting. While our speciality here at FunAir may be creating showstopping superyacht inflatables, we also know a thing or two about yacht crew recruitment. In this blog post, we’ll go through some tips, tricks, faux pas and no-nos so that you can impress captains, crew agents, and senior crew and sail through the recruitment process.

Networking Face to Face

A superyacht Captain meeting a new crew member face to face in a luxury yacht marina

There are certain bars and establishments in all yacht hubs where junior and senior yacht crew like to hang out and blow off steam. There are also a ton of boat shows and yacht crew parties held, particularly at the beginning and end of each season. These yachtie bars and parties can be a great place to meet new people in the industry and build your network of contacts. In this industry, many positions get filled through word of mouth.

When visiting top yachting destinations, yacht crew looking for work or networking opportunities should prioritise these popular local hotspots, where interactions with industry professionals are frequent.

In Antibes, The Blue Lady, The Hop Store, and The Drinkers Club, are prime spots known for their vibrant atmospheres and are frequented by yachting insiders, making them great for networking.

Palma features Corner Bar and Escape Bar, both hubs for yacht professionals and ideal for making new contacts. Cuba Bar also offers a scenic setting to connect with industry figures.

In Cannes, the Irish pubs Morrison’s, Ma Nolan’s, and The Quays are favorites among the yacht community, providing a cozy environment for informal networking and job-seeking.

Ft Lauderdale hosts Waxy O’Connors, Tap 42, and Boatyard—all popular among yacht professionals and excellent for meeting potential employers or colleagues.

These spots not only provide a space to relax after a day of dock walking, but are also essential meeting points for connecting with yacht industry insiders and advancing your career.

All conversations are networking opportunities. Use them to gather information on yachts, insider industry knowledge and hopefully even job opportunities. Keep in mind that the person you’re talking to might not be in the mood for talking shop if they are just there to blow off steam. Read the room and keep it lighthearted. You don’t want to come on too strong.

Don’t forget why you’re there. Although everyone may be having a good time, you came to network, stay professional and don’t get carried away with ordering drinks at the bar. You want to leave having made a good impression, not looking like a drunken fool. Keep a supply of business cards ready to hand out to anyone wanting to follow up with you, and make sure there’s a QR code linked to your online CV.

Dock Walking Essentials

Superyacht crew steward visiting yachts in a luxury yacht marina

Dock walking is by far no one’s favourite way to recruit or to find employment, but it does ensure that your CV gets directly onto a boat, and there is a small chance you’ll score day work with yachts that need an extra last-minute pair of hands.

Before arriving at the port, always check that it’s ok to be there. Some ports like Antibes, Palma and Barcelona have tough security and do not take kindly to dock walkers. Also, dockwalking in Fort Lauderdale is considered illegal if you are not a US citizen. Plus, post Brexit, it is now illegal to look for work in the Mediterranean docks if you hold a British passport.

Dress like you belong on a yacht. You should look professional yet ready to work – smart shorts/skort, a white polo, with clean and comfortable shoes. Keep hair neat and make-up minimal, and remember to wear your smile.

The best time to dockwalk is early morning. Most crews start work at 8 am. Avoid approaching vessels between 12-1 pm as this is lunchtime for most crew and after 5 pm when the working day is over. Never approach a boat that has guests on. If you’re unsure, check to see if the cushions and tables are uncovered, if there are flowers or plants on display, or if the yacht has a fancy-looking floor mat, chair or shoe box on the dock.

Ensure your CVs are not crumpled, and never leave one on the passereil, as it’s likely to end up in the water. Instead, try to get the attention of one of the crew working on deck and politely ask to speak to the head of the department. If the answer is a flat-out no, thank them for their time and ask if it’s ok to leave a copy of your CV. If you do manage to speak to a HOD, let them know what kind of role you are looking for, your experience and that you’re available immediately. Try not to take up too much of their time.

Yacht Crew Recruitment Agencies

Potential crew members meeting with a woman from a superyacht recruitment agency

It’s not enough to register online with many reputable yacht crew recruitment agencies. They’ll preferably want to see you in the flesh to gain an impression of your personality and character. After all, it’s their reputation that’s on the line if their recruit isn’t a good fit on the yacht.

Take a copy of your CV, along with a QR code, so the agent can quickly pull it up electronically, and be sure it’s kept up to date. As always, make an effort to look tidy and professional and treat the meeting like an interview. Be honest about the kind of role that you’re looking for. If you’re put forward for roles and you turn them down without good reason, they may not be so helpful in the future.

Use Social Media to your Advantage

A superyacht stewardess taking a selfie with yachts in the background for her social media

Like it or not, it’s probable that your social media will be scrutinised during your job search. Your online presence says a lot about you, and the last thing you need is a potential recruiter tapping through recent drunken stories. Your social media profiles really can go one way or the other. If you use your platforms to share your personal life, it’s probably best to switch them to private, even if it’s just while you job hunt. Creating a separate, yachting-friendly profile may be the way to go. Below are some quick tips to create the perfect yachtie profiles.

  • Show off your talents – Are you a passionate photographer? A seasoned scuba diver? Maybe you dabble in flower arranging or table scaping. You consider yourself a cocktail master, a wine buff, or a coffee connoisseur. Anything you’re good at, post it and use your social profiles as a visual CV.
  • Keep your profile updated and check in with your location regularly.
  • Use discretion when posting photos taken in the interior of a superyacht. The majority of yacht owners do not wish for their private property to be shared online.
  • Avoid posting anything too political. It’s great to be passionate, but posting your opinions publically may lead recruiters to believe you won’t gel well in an environment that’s filled with a mix of cultures and belief systems.
  • Engage with other yachting-focused accounts to make your profile seen.
  • If sending DMs, make sure what you are sending is well-written, polite, and relevant. There’s no point sending your CV to a yacht supplier, and a badly written DM will ensure your CV goes unread.

There’s also a ton of yachtie groups online, particularly on Facebook, that offer a great way to connect with fellow yachties and find work. If you’re thinking of posting your CV into a group, make sure you post into a job group and not a social group and resist the urge to post it multiple times as it very quickly becomes annoying to other users.

Crafting Professional Emails

A member of superyacht crew checking emails on a pontoon

During a yacht crew job search, you’ll no doubt send what feels like an endless amount of emails to recruiters. However mundane it may start to feel, don’t get complacent and lazy. Never send an attachment with an empty email. There’s no need to write an essay. A brief paragraph explaining who you are, your experience and the role you are seeking is all that’s usually needed.

Every email should be personalised and well-written. Save yourself a template, or use ours, which can be edited minimally for each email you send. For example, simply change the person’s name and the job which you’re applying for. Treat an email as a cover letter, and be professional while making sure to emphasise your skills. Your cover letter should make the reader want to open your CV.

Spelling and grammar should be on point as they demonstrate your communication and writing skills as well as your attention to detail – a must-have skill on any superyacht.
Save CVs with a file name that makes it easy for recruiters to find – Use your full name and role. For example, JaneDoe-stewardess-2024.PDF. and save as Word documents and PDFs.
Create an email signature that features your full name, phone number and location to make it easier for recruiters to find your contact info.

Lastly, don’t ruin all your hard work by sending an email from an account with a less-than-professional address. No one will be impressed by [email protected].

We wish good luck to any crew on their job hunt this season and hope that some of our advice comes in useful. Get in touch with us at [email protected], check out our social platforms and browse our range of superyacht inflatables over at FunAir.com

Check out @FunAirFun on Instagram
Check out @FunAirFun on Facebook
Check out FunAir on YouTube

Main image credit: @MotorYachtLoon

Share this post