Young people from Mallorca are trained to work on large yachts, where the client demands excellent service, confidentiality and discretion. | P. PELLICER


We’ve been talking about working on superyachts, and what qualifications you need to get in order to do so. But I hear some of you are still not sure if yachting’s the right career for you. So let’s talk specifics. What sort of skills and qualities do people like crew agents, captains and heads of departments (chief mates, chief stews) look for when we want to find a new crew member?

Professionalism: Be respectful of other people’s time and space. If you have an interview set up or say you’ll get back to someone in a set time – unless there’s a catastrophic emergency, do it. A good first impression goes miles. So, under this we can include punctuality, and reliability.

Adaptability: The yachting industry is dynamic; plans change quickly, frequently and often with no notice so crew need to be cool as a cucumber, cope well under pressure, and be able to overcome challenges to meet client expectations.

Great communication skills: If you don’t have good communication on board between not just your immediate colleagues but between the other teams, everything falls apart! Relationships don’t work when the communication fails.

Guest facing skills: On most yachts every crew member will be talking directly to the owners or the charter guests. Even the engineers can’t hide forever! The way you speak to guests could have a direct impact on how much they enjoy their trip, which could then affect the tip the crew gets… So we’re looking for people who come across as friendly, helpful and happy to listen.

Attention to Detail: Ok this one gets thrown around a lot, and often I wonder if anyone knows what it even means… But on a superyacht the devil really is in the detail. Examples? The cleaning, inside and out, obviously. But the little details, such as remembering the boss’s favourite chocolates, or that these charter guests loved a particular restaurant so you’ve already made a reservation, or maybe it’s the crew chef remembering crew birthdays and favourite treats, all this stuff goes a long way.

Problem Solving Abilities: Can you think outside the box? As mentioned, yachting is fast paced and things often change with little to no notice – perhaps the weather’s rubbish so you’re no longer headed to that beautiful anchorage, maybe the boss has invited four extra guests for dinner in two hours, maybe a generator has just decided to die, or the air con has packed up in August… the possible problems are endless! Finding crew who stay calm in a crisis, can think on their feet, and find practical solutions is priceless.

Ability to work well in a team: Teamwork, yeh I’m gonna say it, makes the dream work. Not only will a good crew work seamlessly together like a well-oiled machine, they’ll like each other too. We don’t want dramas or bickering. Listen. Empathy, is everything.

Safety Consciousness: A proven track record in safety is of course a great trait to have; especially as a captain or chief officer. We like to make sure you’ve kept up to date with latest regs and safety training.

Relevant skills to the role: This could be certain qualifications, and/or transferrable skills. So a chef will have a culinary background, a stew might have good hospitality or housekeeping experience, a watersports instructor would have qualifications/experience in teaching etc.

Discretion and confidentiality: Now this is a bit of a new one, recently we seem more crew who have prolific social media presences and although some yachts may welcome the attention (often charter yachts are happy for more free advertising via influencers) many owners regard the yacht as their safe space, expecting privacy, so crew members are not permitted to share any content to any platforms involving the yacht.

Stamina and physical fitness: Yachting is physically and mentally demanding, so if you can demonstrate you’re a tough cookie and keep fit, you’re definitely suited.

Extra skills and interests: I love a good hobbies and interests section. Lots of yachts and crews look for different things; right now there’s a big interest in crew who enjoy fitness and adventurous activities (hiking, running, biking…), also environmental interests, sustainability, etc. Any extra skills like massage therapy, yoga, diving, psychology, photography, drones, marine biology, sports sciences… well all this stuff is relevant so don’t be afraid to talk about it!

Loyalty: If you can demonstrate loyalty in previous positions that’s definitely favoured. Some yachts actively seek crew who’ve stayed with previous employers long term, however there’s a lot to be said for crew who’ve moved around and have gained bigger skillsets and wider experiences as a result!

Lots of these qualities are flexible, you can demonstrate many of them in a variety of ways so bear that in mind – not everything has to be yachting related when you’re promoting yourself for a position. And don’t forget, willingness to continue learning and developing your skills will help you be a better crew member too, and get you further in the yachting industry!