Get a resume together (one page maximum) along with some references
and submit them to the crew agencies. They'll want a photo
so make sure it's as professional as possible (no tank-tops, mullets, beards, black eyes,...). Some places like Smallwoods, Liquid Blue, and other Ft. Lauderdale companies have folders where you can stuff your resume. These places do it as a service
and don't collect a placement fee. For some owners, this is where they send the Captain
Most agencies are either in Ft. Lauderdale of Antibes but I've gotten jobs from places in Canada
and other parts
. Some crew agencies have summer offices in the Med but are homebased in South Florida
. If you've got friends in Antibes or the Med, see if they can pass your resume along.
Depending on your location, you need to be where the boats are. This time of year they're either in the Med or New England
. If you're in the Caribbean
, you'll be way behind the job market. In the winter, the big spot is the Caribbean.
Do the research
and find out where the boats go. The Triton and Dockwalk are two better than average BWB/crew mags/newspapers that you should join and check out. Know where the boats dock
and the general route
they follow (St. Barths, Antigua
, St. Martin, etc).
The boats will be back in South Florida
in September/October and in the Caribbean around Thanksgiving. Crew rotation and replacement will take place in South Florida and you need to be where the boats are. The majority of crew hire takes place in South Florida.
Why? Simply because I can hire you as a day worker and in a couple hours/day find out if you're a fit for a position. I don't have to pay to have you flown in, don't have to wonder if you're the right size for the clothes the last crew member
wore, and your're physically fit and drug free.
Make sure your papers are in order. That means a passport that won't expire for at least a year and that you know the routine and regulations
for getting a visa for any port in the Caribbean (where you seem to want to work). Get a physical and drug test - they'll be required. Be prepared to get your STCW '95. It's not a "requirement" but I know very few Captains who'll hire without one or will pay for you to get it. Given the choice between 2 equally qualified candidates, I'll grab the STCW '95 one every time.
Be prepared to jump on a plane at a moments notice. Chances are the job openings will come - and they can close in a few hours. Being out of the cruising/charter area will be a real hindrance unless you've got something special to offer.
No tatoos. No piercings. No beards. No jewelry other than a discrete chain around the neck or wedding ring. Be honest on the resume.
The more things you bring to the boat the better the chances of being hired. Special expertise can get charters and charters make money
for the owner and crew. Linguistics, SCUBA
, massage therapy, Pilates, watercraft instructor, windsurfer instructor, above average fisherman, kick-butt bartender, and such can move you from the big stack to the stack that I'm going to show the department head
and probably call.
If you've got other questions, pm me and I'll try to answer the questions. It can be a fantastic way to make a paycheck, do some great traveling, and have some incredible experiences.