New Entrants: View our guide, 'Careers advice'.
Candidates: View our guide, 'Getting Through the Interview'.
Clients: View our guide, 'Retaining Staff and Reducing Recruitment Costs'.
MLC 2006: Click here to read a draft of the Seafarers Employment Agreement.
The purpose of this page is to try to assist those enquiries from prospective candidates who have little or no previous seagoing experience, but have a desire to become crew members on large yachts in the future.
At wilsonhalligan we actively encourage new recruits into professional yachting, for their own benefit and long term health of the yacht world in general. Whilst there remains a steady demand for competent deck engine and hospitality crews, there always seems to be a particular shortage of qualified engineers.
Since the numbers of enquiries we receive are increasing rapidly, we are now unable to respond to all of them directly. However, we have compiled the following information for those serious about taking up a career in yachting.
The large yacht Clients of wilsonhalligan require well trained and qualified, professional crews usually having at least a few years yachting experience supported by the necessary testimonials to support their experience; this should be the goal of all new candidates whom we believe should look on yachting as a career rather than just a job.
Opportunities on smaller yachts, often as unpaid crew, are available even with no qualifications. This is a useful way to gain experience and to be sure that a yachting career is for you. However, we do recommend that Initial training is undertaken beforehand as offered by one of the many Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses enabling a level of competence to be demonstrated. This will give you a sense of safety and confidence creating an initial 'edge' when potentially better positions become available.
Many in the past have found their first break into yachting from the dockwalk at the large yachting centres - Fort Lauderdale and Antibes, South of France are examples - often by offering assistance with daywork while the yachts remain in port. There are also a large number of agencies in these locations that may be able to assist.
For the larger yachts it is a requirement to comply with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW 95) Basic Safety Training (BST). The BST courses are required by all crew members; additional courses will depend on the responsibilities of your onboard position. The STCW 95 Code requires that you take a 5-day course of instruction BST covering 4 courses – Basic Firefighting, Personal Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, and Elementary First Aid. These courses are provided by many training establishments however it is important to ensure that the training establishment is IMO recognised.
It is also a requirement to comply with the minimum standards of medical health and this is proven in the form of an ENG1 medical certificate (or recognised equivalent from other countries). These are obtainable from doctors approved by the governing maritime administration, which in the case of the UK is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
In almost all cases it is the Captain of a large yacht who has the final say in who is recruited. From time to time, for an exceptional candidate, he/she may consider offering a junior position to an inexperienced candidate. However, in all cases as a minimum, candidates will require to have the appropriate training for the position sought, and to have completed the appropriate STCW 95 courses.
The following websites are provided to assist to provide additional information and the appropriate training courses.Maritime and Coastguard Agency - www.mcga.gov.uk
Uk Sailiing Association - www.uksa.org
Royal Yacht Association - www.rya.org.uk
Hoylake Sailing School – www.hss.ac.uk
Plymouth Sailing School - www.plymsail.co.uk
Warsash Superyacht Academy - www.warsashacademy.co.uk
By way of further suggestions, it is worth considering that yachting/crewing jobs will be paid predominately in either Euros or US Dollars. If you are transferring your salary back to the UK or to your domestic currency, you may wish to look at using a foreign exchange broker rather than a bank, as this should result in considerable savings. Without wilsonhalligan endorsing or recommending their specific or individual services to you, examples of apparently reputable companies are given below:
wilsonhalligan recognise that a percentage of future crews for the largest yachts will come from new entries and we look forward to hearing from such candidates once they have gained the qualifications and experience required.