When and where to find jobs on yachts

WHERE TO FIND WORK ON YACHTS

Being new to yachting relocating to typical yachting destinations such as Antibes, Palma or Fort Lauderdale (if you are legal to work in the US) will increase your chances of find a job on a yacht massively. The benefits of doing this are several;

  • More yachts (obviously)
  • You can dockwalk
  • You can find daywork
  • Great networking opportunities
  • Easy to meet with crew agents in person
  • You can interview in person at a short notice
  • Captains prefer to hire green crew locally (unless they have specialty skills)

Generally, those new to the yachting industry will travel to either 

  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida*
  • Antibes/Monaco 
  • Palma de Mallorca

Alternatively, you may also want to check out 

  • Barcelona 
  • Imperia
  • San Remo
  • Genova
  • Viareggio
  • Livorno
  • West Palm Beach, Florida*
  • Newport, Rhode Island*

In these locations you will find less competition for the jobs, in particular for daywork, but perhaps also less of a yachting scene. What some chose to do is to base themselves in Antibes, then hit the various ports on the Cote d’Azur and perhaps also running off to the Italian ports for a week or so. They are only a few hours away by train – and the views underway make a nice scenic excursion!!

The hiring season in the Med starts late March and continues through late May-ish. In the following months there will still be crew changes, but the majority of the jobs are found in the pre-season.

During the winter months and while it is the quiet season in the Med, some may chose to try their luck in

  • St Maarten
  • Antigua
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida*
  • West Palm Beach, Florida*

* If you seek employment in the United States, please beware that you musteither

  • Be a US citizen
  • Possess a US work permit (please notice that the B1/B2 and C1/D visas are not work permits)
  • Apply and get hired from an overseas location and fly in to join foreign flagged vessels only
  • Foreign crew are not legally allowed to dockwalk or apply for work in the US

***Violating US law you may risk having your visa revoked along with a 10-year re-entry ban***

Should I go to Palma or Antibes?

That’s a pretty good question! Below you will find some pros and cons for and against both places;

Aerial view of Port Vauban, Antibes. Photo courtesy: Leigh Dunne. You can follow Leigh’s adventures on Instagram @motovagabond

ANTIBES (SoF – South of France)

Pros:

  • More yachts
  • More large yachts
  • More jobs
  • More marinas
  • Few gated marinas
  • More crew houses
  • Great public transport

Cons:  

  • More competition for the jobs
  • Sailing community not as developed as in Palma
  • More expensive
  • More spread out
  • Winter refit work in La Ciotat hours from Antibes

One of the advantages of working on yachts in Palma de Mallorca is the proximity to the city. Photo courtesy: Lars Molin

PALMA

Pros:  

  • A little less competition for the jobs
  • More sailing yachts
  • Marinas not as spread out as in France
  • Safer than France
  • Cheaper than France
  • Great community feel
  • Full of picturesque beaches, mountains and a beautiful old city all within an easy reach
  • Nightlife even better than Antibes
  • Winter refit work centrally located in the city

Cons:

  • Most marinas are gated
  • Less yachts, in particular yachts 70 m+
  • Only two dedicated crew houses (but heaps of hostels and private accommodation)

Should I go to Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale is considered by many to be “The Yachting Capital of the World”. There is some truth to that statement, as it is indeed a yachting hub for yachts of all flags. The city is a great place full of yachting facilities, both in terms of yachting services, but also for crew. You will find a number of the more well-established crew agencies and training schools there, crew houses galore as well as a great nightlife. Moreover there are good dockage and repair facilities as well as excellent provisioning, so it is only natural yacht owners, captains and crew prefer to bring their vessel to South Florida. That means there is a fair demand for crew, but foreign crew* need to beware that they are not allowed to seek work there, including dockwalking.

* If you seek employment in the United States, please beware that you must either

  • Be a US citizen
  • Possess a US work permit (B1/B2 and C1/D visas are not work permits)
  • Apply and get hired from an overseas location and fly in to join foreign flagged vessels only
  • Foreign crew are not legally allowed to dockwalk or apply for work in the US. This includes looking for work locally on Daywork123 or social media if you are in the US
  • Foreign crew are allowed to visit and sign up with crew agencies as well as doing yachting courses, however

***Violating US law you may risk having your visa revoked along with a 10-year re-entry ban***