Read on to discover how to work on a yacht like Below Deck – from getting all the right qualifications to signing up to the best yachting agencies and more!
TV series Below Deck follows the lives of crew members as they work on board a superyacht.
The show offers a glimpse into the often-secretive world of yachting, and has brought the idea of having a career on a superyacht to the masses.
Whilst it is often reviewed as ‘cheesy and trashy TV’, Below Deck does shed a light into some of the tasks, responsibility and duties of both Deckhands and Stewardesses. The show also highlights how hard yacht crews have to work to make it in the industry.
It is a TV reality show, and they set up the program to be entertaining, so it’s wise not to believe 100% that what you see in the show is how things actually happen on superyachts.
However, Below Deck demonstrates that spending all day living and working together can be difficult, especially if you are with a confrontational or argumentative individual. Nonetheless, the travel, people and amazing salaries is what makes yachting a great career!
It’s easy to see why the show Below Deck has captivated so many young people and made them think about a career in this industry.
Being a superyacht crew training provider, we are now getting phone calls asking how to work on a yacht like Below Deck. If that sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place!
How to get a job on a yacht like Below Deck
1. Research about the job and whether it’s right for you
So, you’ve watched Below Deck and are now figuring out whether you can start a career working on yachts – That’s awesome! You are doing the right thing by researching what is needed to work in the industry.
Along with core skills and certificates, you need to be aware that job entails incredibly hard work and long hours. You’ll also be living in small and cramped conditions, which makes it difficult to find space to relax.
This may seem obvious, but you’ll also be away from home for months at a time, so you’ll need to be happy with not seeing your friends and family for a long time.
2. Get your ENG1 Medical Certificate
To be able to work at sea and find employment, you must get your ENG1 Medical Certificate. This
certificate is an examination to prove you are in good health and medically fit to be able to perform your duties whilst working on board a ship.
The ENG1 Medical can be done by any certified doctor, will take around 45 minutes and will cost a maximum of £115.
It’s really important you get this done, and ideally quite early on in your new career journey. For example, it’s not uncommon for men to not be aware they are colour blind, and only find out after the ENG1 Medical. Being colour blind means you will not pass the ENG1 medical examination and unfortunately you will not be able to work on a yacht.
3. Yacht Stewardess or Deckhand Training Course
After making sure you are fit and able to work at sea, the next thing is to get all the necessary certificates and qualifications to prove your competence.
Chances are you have not worked on a yacht before, and probably never set foot on a superyacht, so you need some experience and understanding of how it all works before looking for a job.
The majority of green (new) Superyacht crew undertake a training course that gives them all the qualifications, experience and guidance to get their first job.
During the course you will get your STCW Certificates, which is the minimum requirement, plus extras like Powerboat Level 2, VHF Radio, Security Training and more.
The more qualifications you get, the more dedicated you will appear, and the more useful you will be to a captain.
At Flying Fish, we run Superyacht Deckhand Courses and Stewardess Courses from our base in Cowes, Isle of Wight in the UK. These two-week courses give you everything needed to start working on a yacht like Below Deck!
4. Sign up to yacht crew agencies
Signing up to yacht crew agencies is not the only way to get your first job on a superyacht, but may even speed up the process.
Agencies have a big network of yachts and will probably hear of new jobs before you do. They may even have exclusive access to some companies and yacht owners! After you apply on their website, give them a call and try to give them a feel for what you are about.
5. Head to France and look for work
The final step in getting a job on a yacht like the Below Deck crew is to head to where the work is.
Captains tend to only offer jobs to crew after they have met them in person, so you need to be in the right marinas at the right time.
Superyachts will typically arrive in the Mediterranean between February and May to start the summer season. This would be the ideal time to head to a big superyacht marina, such as Antibes and look for work.
Whilst in the marinas, you will do ‘dock-walking’. This is essentially walking the docks where the yachts are moored with your CV in hand, offering your services to yacht captains and asking for day work to get experience.
It’s important to have sorted out your financial situation too, so you can spend a week or two in France looking for work comfortably.
98% of our Superyacht Course graduates find work when they are in Antibes, so after you’ve got all your qualifications, get ready to pack your bags and go for it!
Ready to get your first Superyacht job?
Now you know how to work on a yacht like Below Deck, it’s time to put the above steps into action and land your first role!
Start by reading our ultimate guide to working on Superyachts (which you can download for free via the link below), then get in touch with us to find out about and apply for our Superyacht Deckhand course or Superyacht Stewardess course…