9 things you need to know when starting out in the Yachting Industry – Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Posted on: 02/10/2021
9 Things You Need to Know When Starting Out in the Yachting Industry
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Starting out in the world of yachting can be daunting. The idea of working on a yacht may sound glamorous but make sure to do your homework before taking the plunge. Working on a boat in the marine industry means long hours and often hard manual labor but on the bright side, you will get to see the most beautiful parts of the world. It’s important to understand that you will be leaving behind a life of routine and schedule and begin to live more of a nomadic lifestyle which is filled with adventure but is not for everyone. Once you have decided to change career paths, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA is the perfect destination to launch your yachting career. Below are the 9 steps to make sure you are successful.
- Facebook Groups For Crew: It may sound strange, but before you make any big decisions, join as many Yachting Facebook Groups as you can. Any Facebook group with the words “marine; maritime, yacht; yachting; maritime crew; yacht crew” are the ones look out for. You will also want to focus on Groups based in Florida because as you can imagine there are hundreds of yachting groups with crew members based all over the world. Many of the groups are set as private so you must ask to join, but you can then be sure that the members who are involved in the group are focused on the yachting industry. Once you are accepted it’s an invaluable tool for getting started as the resources are unlimited with maritime crew who are already in the industry offering guidance and answering your questions. The yachting industry is a close-knit community of people happy to help anyone starting out, so ask away.
- Maritime Schools in Fort Lauderdale: Fort Lauderdale, often referred to as “Laudy” is the host of the most well-known and highly respected maritime and yachting institutions. Most schools will offer the same classes, but class costs, tuition fees, instructors and schedules will vary. The top 3 marine schools in Florida are: Maritime Professional Training (MPT), Professional Yacht Training (PYT) and Blue Water Yachting. You will need to take time and research each one to find one that works for you. Use your Facebook Groups to ask crew who have already taken their classes. Reach out to each school and find out what services they offer.
- Yachting Classes: when you first start out at a yachting school, there are basic courses you will need to complete. Typically, they are classes for crew that last a week or two that will give you a solid foundation and basic understanding about living life on the water. Safety is a big focus when you start out so many of your classes are geared towards that. The STCW is a required basic class you will have to take. Once you have completed the required modules, you can then decide if there are others you would like to take. Each school will have a guidance counselor to assist you with your next step.
- Housing for Crew in Florida: Most people who are new or “green” choose to rent a bed or a private room in a crew house. A crew house is similar to a hostel but the guests staying in these crew accommodations are all in the marine industry. Living with like-minded yachties is so important when you begin your career. Crew housing in Fort Lauderdale is great for those on a budget and for new crew looking to connect with others in the industry and network. You can take all the classes you want, but its important to build relationships and create lifelong friendships.
- How to Choose a Reputable Crew House: It is important that you thoroughly research the different crew accommodation options available to you. Booking a crew house because its really cheap could be a mistake. Your crew house choice is as important as your choice of maritime school. Make sure you select a company that has been in marine business a long time and has great reviews. Ask for recommendations on the different sites and read all the reviews you can. The location of the crew house is important as you will most likely be on foot. When reaching out to the different crew housing agencies make sure to ask about their cleaning practices.
- Rent and What is Reasonable. Every crew house will charge something different and have smaller fees they apply. Often, a damage deposit or cleaning fee is added to the rent. This is normal practice for all crew accommodations in Fort Lauderdale. Crew house rates will range from $200/week to $450/week depending on what you book. Make sure the crew accommodation you choose is in a great location, well maintained and cleaned regularly. Ask these questions when contacting the different crew housing options.
- Packing for Your New Adventure: what to bring can be very confusing as you want to be prepared for anything and everything. It’s important to remember to bring only the essentials in a soft suitcase with wheels that can be moved with ease. You will be the one moving your luggage so make sure you can manage it. When you move onboard a yacht, your sleeping quarters are tight and will be shared with 1-3 other crew members. Limit your clothing choices and selection as typically you will be given a uniform when working on a yacht. Bring comfortable shoes, bathing suits and sunscreen. As much as you love your pillow and comforter, leave them at home as they are too big and bulky to travel on a yacht.
- Traveling to Fort Lauderdale: Once you have decided on a maritime school, chosen your yachting classes and class dates and booked your crew housing, you need to prepare to relocate to Broward County, Fort Lauderdale. Most people fly or take a train to get there. Driving down so you have a car is not the best idea. You need to plan ahead and decide what you will do when you get a job and need to leave town. Often you will leave the country so having the responsibility of a car is not ideal. Often crew will rent bikes, scooters or take Ubers if they need to get around Fort Lauderdale.
- Arrival Date: Deciding when to arrive is important. Make sure you educate yourself on the seasons and the best time of year to start your new adventure. If you are taking classes, make sure to arrive a few days before the class so you can acclimate to the City, crew house and your fellow roommates. Once classes start, its full steam ahead so make sure you are settled and ready for anything
Becoming a member of the yachting community is great but be sure to research, prepare and set yourself up for success. Best of luck on the high seas!