Q: Alex, dayworker:
“I have a question regarding daywork and job hunting. I currently live in New Zealand and have about 2 months of daywork under my belt already, working on a couple of different yachts here at home. I want to know whether this daywork experience will help in Antibes, or do the agencies and captains prefer crew who have had daywork experience specifically in Europe?”
A: The Crew Coach:
Great question! Yachting really is an international occupation, so you’ll find that your daywork in New Zealand will be happily accepted in Antibes or any other major yachting centre. Any yachting experience is welcome in this industry, and you’ll be coming very well prepared indeed with those months of daywork under your belt. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your CV in order to make your Kiwi yachting experience work to your best advantage over here. (And this advice applies to anyone wondering if their lifetime of hobby sailing or week scrubbing a hull in their home country counts towards getting a foot in the door in the Med yachting scene.)
One of the few tangible benefits of getting daywork in Antibes over New Zealand is the possibility that a crew agency in Antibes will recognise a local yacht name, or even know the yacht’s Captain personally. If they don’t, they could still have a good picture of the yacht build, size and type, as a result of seeing similar superyachts on the dock over the years. That may not be the case with your NZ experience.
For example if you’ve been working on small Kiwi-built racing yachts in Auckland, then an Antibes crew agent specialising in superyachts may never have even heard of the build of vessel, let alone be able to picture what your dayworking duties on it might be. This is where a detailed CV comes in- to help the agent understand your level of experience so they can confidently place you in the superyacht industry.
Make sure your CV explains exactly what kind of yacht you’ve been working on: from the basics such as model and size, its usage and crew numbers- right through to your duties on there. Whether you cleaned the hull, sanded and varnished the capping rail, helped get the interior ready or were a general dogsbody; whatever it was, make sure your duties are explained in a way that shows your existing skills and knowledge, as well as tools and products used. Also highlight any interactions with the existing crew or shipyard contractors to show that you understand the teamwork necessary to be a successful team member, even if you never went to sea with them.
The same goes for any family, friends or unpaid yachting or cruising experience you might have accumulated over the years. List this out just as you would as if it were a yacht you were working on, with the name of the vessel, the years or months you were onboard, where you were cruising and what kinds of things you did onboard. Make sure all this info is under a heading called ‘Yachting Experience’ and listed above any other employment history.
In addition to this it’s super important you collect good references from any crew or captain acquaintances in NZ that you’ve sailed or worked with. More than just a written reference it’s important to ask for a telephone number and email address as most people prefer to check these than paper references which can easily be forged. Keep building your contact list, and make sure every testimonial is a great one. Keep adding to your reference list- even if it’s just a day’s work, and if you possibly can get any superyachts on that list-then all the better. Any sea time you can log is also obviously a great advantage and this is why it’s great to join the PYA so you can start recording this officially in a cadet record book.
Best of luck and see you soon in Antibes!