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Cost of Living Ft. Lauderdale
Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2015 9:17 PM
Joined: 15/02/2015
Posts: 3

Hi all,

I'm new to the industry and plan to move out to Fort Lauderdale in October 2015 to look for work at the start of the winter season. I have money for flights and courses saved however am wondering what the cost of living in Ft. Lauderdale as crew is like?

I was thinking of giving myself a 6 - 8 week window in which to find work, so if I were to live in a crewhouse (and cook from some cheap supermarkets) how much do you think I would need for that period of time? I would like to live quite frugally however understand that networking / going out for drinks is part of the job hunting lifestyle... and I obviously want to enjoy myself!

Would be great to hear from someone who has got into the industry this way or some experienced crew who have spent some seasons in Fort Lauderdale.

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 3:29 AM
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 1:58 PM
Joined: 15/02/2015
Posts: 3

Was that meant to give me any info on cost of living?
Smart Move Crew Accommodation
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 2:50 PM
Joined: 16/02/2015
Posts: 1

Your questions above are great. Although we cant help you with the general cost of living in Fort Lauderdale we can help you with crew housing. 
We have shared crew housing and private options as well. Being that Oct is the busiest time of year we highly suggest reserving your space in advance. If we can be of any more help please email us at 

Gabriel Poirier
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 1:38 PM
Joined: 21/05/2008
Posts: 31

Wow! What a name! BNBN! To start, this says a lot about you. If you arrive in Fort Lauderdale in October, you are late, very late. You should be in Fort Lauderdale in August to be able to take the classes that you need and to be able to know your way around. For to many years now, there is a lot more newbies than job opening. Cost of living? For a lot of wanna-be, the booze is a major expense. 

"networking / going out for drinks is part of the job hunting lifestyle... and I obviously want to enjoy myself!"

Good idea to be drunk in front of Captains, crew agents and brokers.  


Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:06 PM
It might be as a good idea as  crew housing to be able to provide the housing, a major cost of living, while making a pitch for your company.
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:15 PM

Ah Gabriel the guy was just looking for some well structured advice, he said nothing out of term and did not mention anything about getting "drunk". Are you telling me you never had a couple drinks with other yachties whilst hunting for your first job? Please man! Jog on and take your negativity elsewhere.

BNBN you can expect to be paying around $200 a week for rent. And yes, part of the experience and networking is having a drink here and there with there locals, but remember there is always someone watching. Be sure to dodge the grumpy ones like Gabriel though. All about the balance, work hard... And then play! Good luck.

a.y. achtie
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:31 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

if you are there doing yacht training courses, keep your proof of enrolment as it can/may help you get a study visa as well as tax breaks, I know smart move used to give a tax free price on housing for people training, not sure what else it applies too but it all helps!
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 9:35 PM
Joined: 15/02/2015
Posts: 3

@Gabriel, Thanks for your comments, what exactly does my name say about me? All it says is that BN Biscuits are my favourite! And thanks @Anonymous, you're right, no I don't want to get drunk every night but I don't want to go all the way to America and have a miserable time. Will be sensible though and aware that there is always a standard of professionalism to maintain. Looking forward to meeting people. 

Thanks for those who've contributed good ideas and thoughts on rent etc; really helpful!

What do others think about October? I heard it was the best time to go but is it too late? I'm planning on having ENG1 and STCW sorted before I arrive and may take an Interior Training course once I'm in Fort Lauderdale. 

Numpty Sailor
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 1:11 AM
Joined: 06/08/2014
Posts: 23

I wasn't aware that there was a visa which would allow you to 'look for work' whilst in the USA !!


How To Get Into Yachting
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 5:34 PM
Joined: 10/10/2014
Posts: 1

@BNBN good luck with planning and taking the next step into the industry. Keep you're chin up as there are always a few who like to take a cheap swipe. October is not too late but if you are giving yourself 6-8 weeks to find work then September would give you a better start. If you will already have STCW and ENG1 when you arrive then you are doing well and giving yourself the best opportunity to find employment quickly. Therefore helping to keep your costs low. To put some structure into your planning check my post here - - feel free to email me with any questions you might have and i'll get back to you straight away. Stu
Tom Worswick
Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 6:49 AM
Joined: 18/09/2009
Posts: 1

Hey, I have a couple of tips for you having started in Fort Lauderdale in 2014. These are some things that I wish someone had told me. First off, when to get there. You really want to be done with your courses by the first week of October, the reason being that daywork starts picking up around about that time as yachts arrive from the Med and prep for the boat show which is normally the first week of November. You don't want to get caught doing courses while your mates are eating up the daywork. The daywork dies off a bit  after the boat show so make hay! Have a look at course dates now and book well in advance as places disappear fast! I did my courses at ICT ( which was really great. There are a couple of other options, Google search "STCW Fort Lauderdale".

 Second up, crew accommodation. Also here, book a month in advance and keep in touch over email to let them know you're still coming! As was said before, you should mention that you're taking courses as this may get you a discount on your rent. If you're paying more than $200 a week then you're being had. Smart Move is good, normally $185 a week, as is The Neptune Group, I think Neptune house is $600 a month. One of the perks of The Neptune Group is their website ( Anyone can use this site but if you stay in one of their houses then you get a pineapple on their site. This means that your posts will appear above others who are not staying at Neptune's. There are a couple of places to avoid, I'll leave my email at the bottom if you want to know more.

 Food and drink, make a budget and stick to it. I managed to live off $60 a  week for food but everyone is different. Publix is the best place to shop on a budget but go to Win Dixie and Walgreens and ask to get a card, you can sometimes pick up some good deals. Top tip - stay off the fast food, its super expensive! Drink, here too, make a limit and stick to it, you can still have fun. Mine was $50 a week. A 12 of Corona is normally $15 at Walgreens. Don't go out and get mothered, drink responsibly, you never know who is watching.

Transport! My advice to you is "get a bike!" Craigslist is full of them but get something decent. Spend about $150, it will pay itself off fast! You can rent one too but I didn't look into that at all. Going out downtown? Get an Uber! Its cheaper than a cab, if you don't know about it Google it.

Money talk. Everyone has a bank account back home. Let your bank know you're traveling. First thing I did when I got to Fort Lauderdale is opened an account at Bank of America. I transferred money and it saved me withdrawal fees. All you need to open it is your passport and it gives you somewhere to deposit your daywork money (you don't want to leave cash lying around). Be careful about taking your bank cards out partying. Rather hit the ATM beforehand and take a bit of cash out with you.

If you hit a brick wall and need some more info give me a shout,

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2:25 PM
Joined: 09/10/2013
Posts: 8

HI BNBN.  Tom is spot on. I started this past October also. That's perfect timing. Any earlier and you'll be wasting money. I'll add that it seemed to take most of the newbies in our crew house an average of at least 3 months to get jobs. However much you think you need, add another 30%. Plus, there will be expenses that you don't plan on. Anything from polo shirts to boat shoes to monthly haircuts to CV copies. Get my point? You'll have much more than just rent and food. If you want to look me up on Facebook- Margaret Banks- I have several detailed posts about newbie life and expenses. Also, boat show season means lots of fancy parties. If you don't want to have to spend money, bring a pair of dress shoes, a button down shirt and a nice pair of black trousers.
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