The top five skills you need to thrive in the Superyacht industry

The top five skills you need to thrive in the Superyacht industry

One of the first things students say to me about the Superyacht industry is how cool and exciting it must be. And they’d be right. A career in the Superyacht industry comes with many perks: travel, outdoor adventure, low cost living and the chance to meet new people.

However, boats come in all shapes and sizes and the demands are high. You need a positive and flexible attitude to thrive, whether your goal is Deck, Engineering, Interior or Chef. That's why it’s a good idea to know who you are and what you like and dislike before embarking on this career path.

I've put together a list of the top five skills you need to enjoy a successful career as a crew member on a Superyacht or passenger boat in the Tourism industry. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it provides the foundational skills any captain will require of you, no matter what type of yacht you are fortunate to crew on.

1. Can you operate a power boat?

Not a single day will pass without some time spent in or operating a power boat. They are a Superyacht’s lifeline to the shore, doing provisioning runs, transferring passengers and providing safety cover in case of an emergency. You need absolute confidence in your boat handling abilities – particularly around operation at high speed and navigation at night.

2. What’s your seamanship and navigation like?

Life as a crew member onboard a Superyacht means a life devoted to the ocean. You’ll be working with lines, fenders, winches and lifting equipment one day and then doing watch duty, filling in logs, monitoring the trip and systems onboard another day. Your ability to multitask, solve problems and have a common sense approach is invaluable.

3. Are you prepared to clean…and clean?

Maintenance and cleaning is a huge part of the job. Once your passengers depart at trip’s end, a full detail will begin. Detailing includes scrubbing, sanitizing and polishing the interior, washing walls and ceilings, vacuuming mattresses, curtains, sofas and carpets, ironing sheets onto the beds and so much more. Some boats require a lot less than this, but having an eye for detail, a great attitude and being content with some of the more monotonous tasks is necessary.

4. Will you work hard for your money?

Crewing is hard work. To thrive you need massive amounts of energy and a ‘can do’ attitude for all the tasks required of you. Your personal situation will depend on the type of boat you crew on but make no mistake – you need to bring your A game. You will also need to feel comfortable sharing a confined space with one or a few of your colleagues in bunk style quarters for days, weeks or months at a time.

5. Do you like people and service?

Crewing is all about relationships and hospitality. From breakfast to lights out you are in a service industry interacting with diverse cultures and groups. Your ability to think critically, understand and improve human relationships and resolve conflicts before they become an issue is vital.

At NMIT, we've designed the Certificate in Superyacht Crewing with these very skills in mind. And to help you experience what life would be like on the water, we've included the following in the 12 week programme

  • Five-day sailing trip
  • Two-and-a-half day navigational training trip
  • Minimum of four days learning how to operate a power boat onboard our 6m rigid inflatable boat.

All on water training is completed in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions. You'll get to see and experience Abel Tasman National Park, Marlborough Sounds, Mapua, and Tasman Bay.

NMIT is the only institute in New Zealand offering the newest and most up-to-date New Zealand Certificate in Superyacht Crewing. Keen to join the next intake? Make an enquiry today with our course coordinator Milo Coldren.

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