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Old 11-06-2008, 20:52   #1
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How hard is it to start crewing on a yacht

I have a friend that through a series of mistakes and missteps finds himself pretty much at the bottom of the barrel... he has three things going for him: 1) he's Smart, grad honors from Ga Tech 2) He's very socialble, could handle the eletes and thier wives 3) He's free to move, no family no ties...

At nearly 50 and with some sailing experience,I suggested he might find a decent life on a mega-yacht... from what I can tell the owners are only using them a few weeks a year anyway... Does anyone have insight into how someone might get started crewing on a Mega-Yacht and what kind of life that might be???

Many Thanks
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Old 11-06-2008, 21:11   #2
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I have a friend that through a series of mistakes and missteps finds himself pretty much at the bottom of the barrel... he has three things going for him: 1) he's Smart, grad honors from Ga Tech 2) He's very socialble, could handle the eletes and thier wives 3) He's free to move, no family no ties...

At nearly 50 and with some sailing experience,I suggested he might find a decent life on a mega-yacht... from what I can tell the owners are only using them a few weeks a year anyway... Does anyone have insight into how someone might get started crewing on a Mega-Yacht and what kind of life that might be???

Many Thanks
Sean Sullivan, this one's for you.

I don't mean to be a $marta$$, capcook, but when I first mis-read this, I though I read " . . . I suggested he might find a decent wife on a mega-yacht . . . from what I can tell the owners are only using them a few weeks a year anyway . . . " but after I stopped laughing, I realized my mistake.

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Old 11-06-2008, 23:08   #3
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As someone who has had a +20 year career as master of some of the world’s top super yachts, I can tell you, we don’t pick apples from the “bottom of the barrel”.

Anyone, at 50 years who does not have professional marine skills and a solid CV would rarely be considered as crew, since at this level, expectations are very high, as are the standards.

He might find a caretaking position on a budget yacht that is tied to the dock with an owner and captain who are just going thru the motions, but for a serious cruising super yacht, it is no place for amateurs or those with the wrong impression of what this demanding career is all about.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:28   #4
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I have a friend that through a series of mistakes and missteps finds himself pretty much at the bottom of the barrel... he has three things going for him: 1) he's Smart, grad honors from Ga Tech 2) He's very socialble, could handle the eletes and thier wives 3) He's free to move, no family no ties...

At nearly 50 and with some sailing experience,I suggested he might find a decent life on a mega-yacht... from what I can tell the owners are only using them a few weeks a year anyway... Does anyone have insight into how someone might get started crewing on a Mega-Yacht and what kind of life that might be???

Many Thanks
I have a friend who was "personal" yacht crew. He had successful ocean racing experience, excellent rigging and maintenance experience and is a person I consider to be an "expert" sailor. He was in his early 30's.

These are the kind of people the Rich and Famous want on their "personal" yachts. For many reason but for one they like to hear racing war stories from people who have been there to make them feel like one of the boys.

My friend made great money but left because he was pretty much vegetating and not growing.

I would imagine that Pelagic has pretty well summed up the Mega-Yacht world but, hey anything is possible.

I wish your friend all the luck but frankly it will take some luck.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:20   #5
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You know, I have to laugh at the stereotypes that are portrayed about the ``Rich and Famous`` who own super yachts. (Sort of like the Howe’s from Gilligan’s Island on Steroids)

I think it is because at the publically most visible Rivieras like Monaco, Antibes and Ft Lauderdale, ….paid yacht crew gather for drinks and try to out do one another in a perverse game of bragging about their employer’s excesses. These stories get repeated (and embellished) until it becomes gospel amongst the yacht paparazzi and a ``fact`` is born.

My first hand experience is quite different as I have always worked on cruising yachts with no home base and an itinerary that took us to the remotest corners a yacht could reach, following the seasons in both hemispheres and around the world. We avoided the ``Rivieras`` like the plague!

With these super yacht owners having the same simple desire to rub their toes in the sand of a deserted white beach, catch their own diner and enjoy camaraderie devoid of the business or political restraints that often make up their regular lives.

No matter the size of the yacht, it still demands co-operation and discipline amongst the guests. They see that as a valuable lesson for their children, who often help the paid crew with chores and as an extended family develops the employer often shares his counsel with promising young crew who have demonstrated a strong moral character and work ethic. Many have left me to go to work for the ``boss`` or one of his guests.

It is a wholesome environment and no place for the cynical Riviera Crew, that most of you seem to hear about and seem to accept as the norm.

Just another perspective!
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:42   #6
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Pelagic beat me to it!

There's just about nothing can add that he hasn't mentioned.

Starting your way up the ladder (as a deckhand or something) at the age of 50, being at the "bottom of the barrel" is going to make it very difficult to join a megayacht (or superyacht) crew.

Maybe if he went for his engineering licenses and got some experience (the old chicken and egg), then he would be able to land a position, but to be a 50 yr old deckhand... I'm not sure he'd get in.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:11   #7
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Thanks all for the frank and insightful comments... Having only seen a bit of the life through the eyes of another friend who was Captain for a famous Rock Band member's yacht, then on a Ford family yacht and now with a very successful RE Broker's 110 footer.. it seemed to me that managing relationships is as important as the technicial skills. The Friend in question has a Chemical Engneering degree from GA Tech with Honors... but prefered software sales to engneering becuase of the money and relationships skills required. Now at 50 and not willing/able to get up to speed on constantly changing software he is out of the loop there and drifting... Still I can appreciate crewing on one of those mega-yachts is a professional position that requires years of experience, both technical and management... Ha, what this guy really needs is to to befriend a rich widow and take care of her every need including the yacht... earn the money the old fashion way, marry it... Cheers
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:54   #8
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I have a friend who was a banker. Very personable. He bought a boat and had other people race it for him. He would just stay on the back of the boat and pitch in grinding winches or the like. After awhile he sold the boat and quit his job. He got a job helping deliver sleds up and down the coast. Taught himself to navigate and then got a "job" navigating some of these sleds in Transpac , Mexican races, etc. He was over 50 when he started sailing but very fit and very personable and responsible. I imagine there is hope for your friend b/c half the battle is getting your foot in the door.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:48   #9
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I have been looking at this website, lots of crew and captains in their later years.
The Superyacht Community Online - Jobs | Courses | Crew Search | Directory
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Old 14-08-2008, 16:02   #10
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Can I ask a question on the other end of the crewing spectrum? I am 43, no experience, broke, with nothing much holding me in one place.

How can I get started as a crew? I am so not interested in anything to do with a Mega-Yacht, I just want to get my feet wet (so to speak) on something close to what I am going to buy when I finally sell my truck. Something small, maybe 1 or 2 other people just to get some experience.

It has been my experience so far that someone with no experience whatsoever is not given a second look because of the bad apples in that barrell.
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Old 14-08-2008, 16:54   #11
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At nearly 50 and with some sailing experience,I suggested he might find a decent life on a mega-yacht... from what I can tell the owners are only using them a few weeks a year anyway...
I would suggest he gets a job at West Marine or Boaters World.
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Old 15-08-2008, 08:32   #12
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capcook,

Was that Mark on Unity a Ford blue boat? If so tell him Imagine says hi, and my offer still stands!
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Old 15-08-2008, 19:48   #13
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I guess I will be applying for a job at WM too.

More likely I will just buy the boat and go it on my own. I have always had to do things the hard way, this doesn't look any differant.
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