All You Need To Know About Yachting

New to yachting or wanting to know more about a career in yachting? Our frequently asked questions section provides useful information about working as yacht crew. We cover the hours, types of positions, experience required, life on board and expectations from crew amongst many other things. The questions are divided into sections to help you find what you’re looking for more easily.

General Questions About Crew Life

This section covers the basic and general information you need to know before you embark on a yachting career. What to expect from life onboard a crewed yacht and the sort of information you need to be clear on before you start searching and applying for crew jobs.

What are typical entry level positions for crew?

Examples include Deckhand, Steward/ess, Crew Chef and Assistant Engineer.

Where I can find an approved seafarer's doctor?

You can find a list of MCA approved doctors worldwide here:

Medical certificates issued by, or on behalf of, a country listed on the “STCW Whitelist” or a country which has ratified the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 are accepted for service aboard vessels of most flags. Norway (whitelist country) has a wide list of doctors approved to issue Medical Certificates on their behalf:

What are the typical crew sizes and yacht sizes?

Mid- range yachts have 8 to 12 crew and up to 12 passengers. The larger yachts can have 30+ crew on board at one time. We typically place crew on yachts from 24m/78′ – to 120+m/395+’.

How long are yachting contracts?

Contracts are usually seasonal or all year round. There are also dayworker agreements and temporary contracts.

What is the difference between a charter yacht and a private yacht?

A private yacht is used purely for the leisure of a yacht owner and guests.
A charter yacht is rented out to HNWI guests. On a charter yacht, crew may receive gratuities for providing excellent service.

What are the living quarters like?

They are compact with a practical layout. Cabin share is common with usually 2, sometimes more crew members to a cabin.

What kind of experience are you looking for?

We are looking for yacht experience. If you are new to the industry, you will have a more difficult time. If you have a proven history of working in yachting – you move up the list.
If you are new, emphasize any skills that you have that translate to the position you are hoping to land.
Ask existing crew what they do in their positions in order to decide which skills you want to emphasize.

How long should I commit to a job?

Longevity and commitment are highly sought after by hiring managers in luxury yachting. If you wish to make the best career for yourself and establish a reputation as a solid crew person, then you should commit until the end of the contract if seasonal, temporary of until a yacht is sold. If the position is permanent, then you should keep to your word and remain as long as possible – if you stay 2 – 3 years with the same vessel and if you get promoted then this will really help your career development.

What can I do to improve my chances of getting into the industry?

A lot of things. The number one thing yacht Captains look for is a proven record of taking a job and sticking with it. That does not mean 6 weeks. That means 2-3 years.

Add Medical fitness (EMG1) STCW-95 Basic Training – it’s expensive, but you need it.

A great attitude.

The right look (polo style shirt – white or blue), khaki pants or shorts and boat shoes.

Get some day work under your belt.

Finally, a professional looking CV with photo and all pertinent information obvious at a glance. Have 3 written references with updated contact details for verification.
Have all your current documentation (CV, references, certificates, passport and visas, Medical Fitness also known as ENG1..) ready to send to a hiring manager.

What are the usual cruising grounds?

Vessels often travel the Mediterranean or the US East Coast in the summer. In the winter yachts often cruise the Caribbean. Other cruising grounds are becoming increasingly popular such as SE Asia and the Middle East.

How long is an average trip?

There is no such thing as average in yachting. Expect the unexpected, be flexible and be ready for anything.

What are my employment rights as yacht crew?

You are protected by an international maritime agreement, known as MLC 2006 (Maritime Labour Convention) which sets out a seafarers’ rights to decent working conditions.

Will I be expected to bear any costs in the recruitment process?

No fees or other charges for seafarer recruitment or placement, or for providing employment to seafarers, shall be borne directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the seafarer. The only exceptions to this provision are the cost of the seafarer obtaining a Seafarer’s Medical Fitness Certificate, a Seaman’s Discharge book, and a passport or other similar personal travel documents, not including, however, the cost of visas, which shall be borne by the yacht owner if so required after initial employment.


These questions focus on what TCN do and how you can work with TCN to get your yacht career moving.

When is the best time of year to look for work?

In the Mediterranean, the best time of year is March – May, when yachts start crewing up.
In the US and Bahamas/Caribbean area, the busiest time to find work is during the Spring and Fall, but we also have jobs posted year-round.

If I am in contact with TCN, will I find a job and how long will this take?

Being in contact with TCN or any agency does not guarantee you finding a job. We will best market your qualities to a hiring manager, but it is the hiring manager who makes the final decision.
How long it takes you to find a job depends largely on you – your mature job seeking approach, your transferable skills and commendable references. We can help you with information about how to get experience in addition to giving advice on interview tips.

What are the limits of TCN’s role?

TCN is a search and selection agency. We are not involved in contracts and payroll. However, we always encourage crew to make sure they sign a seafarers’ contract before joining any yacht.

Once I have a foothold in the industry, how do I best make this a successful career?

Longevity suggests stability and reliability. Remain with the vessel for the contract period or until a yacht may sell to ensure receiving a positive reference. Crew that leave mid-guest trip or jump opportunistically between boats have unreliable reputations.
Be willing to assist crew in other departments, when requisite.
Continual learning. Self-advancement by training reflects well on your work ethos.
Build lasting relationships. Thank those people that have helped in your job search, even if they haven’t found you your current job, and keep them informed of your career path.
Gravitate towards reputed yachts where the captain and department heads can be your mentors.

What are my salary expectations as yacht crew?

Yachting salaries are generous compared to other maritime sectors and land-based employment. They are high because of the level of service required over long hours and the stamina needed to perform well.
We have prepared a guide to salaries you can expect depending on your role and the size of vessel to give you an idea.

How do I become yacht crew with TCN?

Simply apply to any of our posted jobs which registers you automatically with us. You then request a CareerUpdate link at to upload any future documents. Remember to contact your local office to arrange an interview.

Do I need to contact each TCN office?

No, we have a shared database with shared information. You may be contacted by any of our consultants around the globe for a position, thanks to local agency interview notes on your file.

How can I best build a strong, lasting relationship with TCN?

Communication will be 2-way. You apply to relevant daily additions to our jobs online and we contact you as we feel jobs that are confidential (not posted) may interest you. As your employment status changes, we encourage you to contact your local agent with this information. We enjoy receiving news on your career advancement and want to keep your file accurate. As you acquire additional certification and your documents are updated, we ask that you contact for a CareerUpdate link to seamlessly upload these onto your profile. Likewise, if you wish to receive the latest TCN news and promotions, sign up here.

Application Process

This section deals with the available vacancies you can expect to see on the TCN website and how to go about using our website and working with our team to apply.

What jobs do you have available?

Please review the posted jobs on this website, but don’t be surprised if we call you for a job where the client has asked that we not share the full details with the public.

Where can I upload my CV, references, picture, license, etc?

Please email your scanned copies of reference letters, licenses and certificates to . Please try to make your file “friendly” by keeping each file to less than 500 KB and sending only .pdf or Word documents. Again, you can request a Career Update link for your profile so you can update your documents as and when you like.

How do I make sure my CV was uploaded properly?

If you did not get an error message – it uploaded properly.

Do I have to be in Fort Lauderdale, Antibes, etc. to get a job on a yacht?

Yes. If you want a job on a yacht, especially if you have less experience, but even if you are experienced, you need to generally be where the yachts are.
Most Captains / Owners realize that if they are in the Galapagos Islands, they will have to fly in a candidate. If they are in Nice – they expect you to already be there.

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