Anybody can enter the yachting industry. That includes you, me given that they are of an appropriate age and are physically fit. Of course, though, we will have to fulfil some requirements to get the most out of it. We will show you the right way to get started with the yachting industry.

Get Started with the Yachting Industry: Basics

Basics, here we mean experience and certificates. Even though you might be a newbie in the yachting industry, you shouldn’t be completely new to sailing. Even the freshest candidate in the yachting industry are expected to have some sailing background. So, if you don’t have it, we highly recommend you take sailing courses and acquire SAMSA Skipper License or RYA Skipper License, whichever’s convenient for you. More information about it can be found here: Getting a Skipper License in South Africa

From here onwards, we are going to assume that you already have a general sailing background of varying experiences. So, you are someone who’s looking forward to working in the yachting industry. Let’s see what you will require.

1. Get your STCW 2010

The Superyacht industry is a commercial-recreational industry. And when you do anything on the sea for commercial purposes, like deckhand activities on a superyacht, you will need an STCW certificate. If you don’t know what STCW is, it is basically a safety training course consisting of multiple modules to prepare sailors and/or crew for emergency situations.

We have done a couple of articles on this topic before. For more information, please refer to our article STCW Certificate in South Africa | Do I need one?

2. RYA Powerboat Level 2 Course

This is perhaps the most sought course in the industry. RYA’s Powerboat Level 2 course aims at preparing your base in the world of sailing. It is also a mandatory requirement if you are signing up for the yachting industry soon.

Powerboat Level 2 License proves that you can handle a powerboat by yourself. Also, as deckhands also occasionally handle tenders, having a powerboat operating knowledge and experience comes in handy.

Powerboat courses are exciting and fun. Regardless of whether you want to join the yachting industry or not, you must at least take it to experience and enjoy the thrill of driving a powerboat by yourself!

More about our Powerboat Level 2 Course here: The RYA Powerboat Level 2 (PB2) Course in South Africa

3. ENG1 Medical License

ENG1 Medical License is required for all kinds of commercial vessel activities. It is a certificate of fitness that confirms that you are good to go for working on a ship. This certificate is only valid for a year in most cases.

To get this certificate, you have to make an appointment with an MCA approved doctor. For a list of MCA approved doctors in South Africa, please visit MCA approved doctors for overseas.

What Else? A Deckhand/Stewardess Course!

Of course, that was just the basics. To actually get into the industry, you will have to find a job, right? If you have the above prerequisites, you can try your hand at applying through online job portals, third-party agents in South Africa, or directly going to one of the crowded ports in the Mediterranean Sea or give it a go at Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA.

However, if you are completely new to the industry, we highly recommend you take the deckhand/stewardess course first. We have designed these courses to make you understand the different sides this job has and to make you proficient with them. Covering your basics will make you confident and make your chances better at finding a job.

For more information on the course, please visit our Yacht Crew training page.


Apart from all this, lastly, we would recommend a few extra-curricular activities, such as courses like VHF SRC Radio, or watersport activities like diving, swimming, surfing… anything that is relevant and useful in the yachting industry.

This also means your vaguely relevant experience such as making beds at a hotel, restaurant cleaning, leisure sailing, fishing etc. Everything that could prove useful to work on a yacht will count. If you think it counts, put it in your resume!

And Finally…

Have a great attitude and be clean and presentable. Make sure to know your manners and learn the ways of the elites to match the superyacht industry standards. Don’t worry though, if you are taking our Deckhand/Stewardess course, we will be covering this. This is the best way to get started with the yachting industry.

We would also love to answer your questions if you have any. Feel free to get in touch with us and we will be glad to assist you!