Working on Yachts and Cruise Ships
Yacht Jobs - Work on a Boat
Ever wanted to work on a sailboat or cruise ship? It's possible, even if you have no experience!
First step -- research where you want to go and what kind of boat you want to work on:
- Luxury Yachts -- Working on the mega yachts can be the highest-paying kind of boat job. Certifications and experience are important. One way to break into the industry is to go to an area where there are a lot of yachts (e.g., Fort Lauderdale during the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show), and start with daywork on the yachts. Pay is usually $10 to $15 per hour and no experience is required. Most of the work involves cleaning the exterior and interior of the yachts, though there are other jobs like painting, sanding and varnishing. In places where there are a lot of yachts there are also a lot of crew houses--accommodation that caters to yacht crew. Expect to pay about $150 per week for a dorm bed in a place like Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Sailboats -- Working on sailboats generally pays less than on motor yachts, but it can be a more enjoyable experience. If you don't have previous sailing experience, contact your local yacht club and get information on how to get involved with local sailing. Put up notices at the marinas and marine supply stores indicating your interest. If you don't have much sailing expeirence, cooking experience is a good substitute.
- Cruise Ships -- Working on cruise ships is not for everyone. The hours are very long and many people can't wait to finish their contracts. Talk to people who have worked on cruise ships before you sign up and see if it's really for you. Get on a US-flagged ship if possible (like the ones out of Hawaii).
Here is some background reading for finding work on boats:
- Yacht crew community
- Crewing a boat
- Crewing a yacht
- Round the World Travel Guide (sailing page)
- Wikitravel's working on boats
For cruise ship jobs, check out these sites: