Once you take a deckhand course in South Africa, it is obvious that you are eager to work as a deckhand. What’s not there to experience? Adventures, guests from different backgrounds, elite services, and last but not least, hefty salaries AND tips! But how do you reach this? How do you actually start working as a deckhand? In this article, we will explore more about finding entry-level deckhand work.
Relevant: Becoming a Deckhand in Cape Town
Finding Entry-Level Deckhand Work at Popular Superyacht Hubs in Europe.
And when we say Superyacht hubs, the first most popular location that comes to our mind is Antibes, France. So we would highly recommend you to go there and explore the docks for hiring opportunities.
Also, since Antibes is famous for deckhand recruitments, it is understandable that you will face severe competition there. After all, deckhands from all parts of the world come there to look for an opportunity. Iit is important to prepare yourself for this competition beforehand, and having a positive attitude and willingness to work hard.
Apart from Antibes, you may also try your luck at Cannes (France), Monaco, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), or Viareggio (Italy) in Europe. These are the densely populated superyacht locations looking for all sorts of deckhands prior to charting a course.
If you have more budget to explore, we would also recommend U.S. destinations like Newport, Rhode Island, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
When to Find Entry-Level Deckhand Work on a Yacht?
Apart from where to find the work, when to find is also an important question. Technically, you want to be there when the Yachts are anchored around docks, right? Many experts would suggest that the best season to find work as a deckhand in the Med is between March to September.
March is the beginning of the summer season when many yachts are into their final preparations to chart a summer cruise through the Med. During this, they will also look for deckhands and other crew to work onboard. March will give you plenty of time to explore work, form connections, and make good impressions around the docks.
Another way to find entry-level deckhand work on a superyacht is after a season ends, i.e. during the transition period. Most yachts will be ashore during this season for maintenance, repairs, and cleaning. Some advantages here include building actual experience, limited working hours, better exploration around the docks and forming valuable connections.
Also, if you are someone who likes or is comfortable with winter or wet weather, you can also sign up as a deckhand in the winter season, though that is recommended for a seasoned deckhand crew.
To get an idea of the demand, you should definitely refer to these deckhand requirements posted on Indeed.
Apply through Recruiting Agencies or Agents.
This, you can actually do within South Africa or through overseas agencies. Not all of us can afford to travel and explore and this alternate option may prove the best for you. However, in an ideal situation, we would highly recommend using both options to find work as a deckhand on yachts. The more doors you open, the better odds you will have at finding a reliable deckhand job.
Make sure your CV is up to date and reflects the relevant work experience in the field. For the experience, you may first consider working on small, inland boats. Or even working in the hospitality industry, or craftwork like carpentry, or even if it is as mundane as boat cleaning at South African docks.
In the end, it is your willingness to work and positive attitude that matters. Also, make sure you represent yourself as appealing and clean. As a superyacht deckhand, your clientele will be elite, and so should you be.
What to keep in mind?
Remember that the first impression is everything. Since you are an entry-level deckhand in the industry and this is your first time finding deckhand work, things are going to be tough for you (as they are in every industry). However, with a positive attitude and a resume that vaguely relates to your yacht related duties, you will eventually find work. This can take as short as one week or as long as 6 months even, so make sure you are prepared mentally to face the challenges.
As a novice, your job will mostly be about cleaning or washing, polishing, or varnishing. Your crewmates will help you by showing you the ropes. So, be open to learning and you will definitely go places.
Sail and Power SA’s deckhand course will prepare you for the challenges ahead. We cover every important aspect in our course to make our candidates familiar with the industry and well-equipped to tackle the challenges. For more information, check our deckhand course or contact us today