Before starting to acquire the qualifications needed to work in the superyacht industry, I was a self-employed freelance sports massage therapist in London.
I wanted to find a well-paid job that would get me out of the UK and into the sunshine. Flying Fish stood out as a training school because of their fantastic customer service whenever I spoke on the phone - plus, of course, the extremely competitive prices.
STCW Basic Safety
I completed my STCW Basic Safety Training certificates and an Interior Crew course with Flying Fish, and found them both to be superbly run and really enjoyable. There was a real camaraderie amongst students and teachers alike and I especially found the experience of serving VIP guests cocktails and canapes on M.Y. Viking to be fantastically fun and eye-opening!
Finding your first job is by far the most challenging part of the whole process. Dock-walking is an art in itself and everyone has differing advice as to how it should be done. I would say the best thing to do is ignore all your inhibitions and just be confident, funny, charismatic and prepared to persevere.
The job is great fun
The job itself is great - sun, expensive toys to play with, exotic locations, people from around the world - and there are lots of different avenues to pursue should you want a career in the industry; interior, deck, engineering etc. The hardest thing is being apart from a partner, but we hope to be working on the same vessel very soon.
Don't be under the illusion that this is a paid holiday though. You are expected to work long hours and to the highest of standards. There is nothing more tantalising than standing on the passerelle in St Tropez, itching to be able to disembark and have a look around - and usually you won't be able to.
I would say you do need a certain mind set to work at sea. The job can be monotonous sometimes, you may find some of your fellow crew members a little strange and it is hard being apart from your family and friends back home but the rewards are there to be had. This line of work is absolutely perfect for young, singletons with no ties back home and as long as you are not too reckless with the spending then you can really set yourself up nicely for the future.