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floridaguy's Blog

Newbie trying for yachting industry

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Hello everyone am trying to start in the yachting industry and it's a very tough road for me,so am hoping anyone out there with any good advice could tell me excatly what is it am doing wrong or what am not doing. I have been working on cruiseships for the past ten years and i wanted to try something different so i decided to join the yacht career came here in march got day work for one month and that was it. Ive join  almost all of the crew agencies here in fort lauderdale then i took there advice went to IYT spent a lot of money FOR MEGAYACHT INTERIOR and MEGAYACHT EXTERIOR , walk the docks, hang out at waxy's and walk the mariners still not even daywork.Some people told me things like it's going to be very tough for me because am BLACK and they don't hire black people that much. Now it breaks my heart when i know it's going to be tough for me because am from the caribbean am not a lazy guy and i have down some of the toughest jobs on cruiseships working like 9 months straight no days of go on vacation for two months and do it again for ten years straight so i know what is hard work, right now things are a little slow her in fort Lauderdale so am waiting to see when the boat show starts in octorber if am going to get lucky because the way i see it i cannot depend on these agencies. Am here with my girl friend and we are willing to go separate or together but she always gets call for jobs. I know am new in this industry and i really want to learn but no one is giving me a chance.This is an example, i applied for jobs on these sites as a deckhand and they telling me i have to have yacht masters, now how can i get yachtmaasters when am not even giving a chance to be a deckhand i have all my certificates from ENG,STCW all they way to silver service and because of my color there's no place for me in the this industry.I thought they are looking for hardworking people with good skills and likes to serve people because thats what i have been doing all my life so i cant understand what color has to do with it but it only makes me stronger and makes me want to push more for a job on the yachts and i know my time will come around because with my sweet communications skills and my service background i will get there. So with that being said i would like for someone whose been in this industry a long time can give me a little advise it would really be appreciated because nothing seems to work no matter how hard i try i dont expect it to happen over night but if someone had told me this industry is like believes in the stereo types i would of said no.LIVE and let LIVE.

its sad
Posted by: kg at 24/09/2010 15:58

Difficult to pass on any advice. Its unacceptable that Non white crew are virtually absent from modern yachting. In the past black British and Black Caribbean were well respected yacht crew, but over the last 15 years or so they have absolutely vanished from yachts. . I personally know a British Black superyacht captain with gray hair, but not one young guy coming up the ranks. I would recommend to you that persevere, keep your skill level up and pay particular attention to British and American staffed yachts. Other nationalities, particularly Australians, are very racist and parochial in their outlook. Keep us on Dockwalk updated with your thoughts and as the Italians say..." In Culo alla Balena"
Posted by: junior at 24/09/2010 17:32

I tried hard to let this one go, but seriously... you want to add a stereotype to an article about racism?
You are the one being parochial if you want to categorise Aussies like that. I'm sorry that you have obviously had some bad experiences with those form 'down under', but in my experience, it seems that American's don't get our humour and mistake it for racism. (see Hey Hey it's Saturday reunion 'black face routine' and Harry Connick Jnr's reaction- classic example)
If you're a good worker, then go for it. Keep pounding those docks and badgering the agencies (got to stay on their case!)
I can't deny that this industry is dominated by whities but just remember- its not always the captain making the decisions- they have to follow owners instructions...
Posted by: Katie at 24/09/2010 18:33

Both of your comments are total BS, especially yours junior, you %^%$& idiot. I have a young man from the Genadines,he's our Bosun, top of the line and probably one on the hardest working kids I've ever met. He is going to be a Super Yacht Captain one day, oh yeh..he's black,almost forgot.Maybe your should get out of your arm chair and go visit the yacht crew agencies before
talking S%^& about who are the racists. Bleepin idiot.
Posted by: RP at 24/09/2010 18:35

I don't think that you are any different from all the other people who are out there looking ... and there are a lot of them.
We have just hired a black deck hand, so keep your head up and your heart focused, I am sure that you will get there.
Posted by: Richard at 24/09/2010 19:35


Posted by: PAGE at 24/09/2010 20:20

its so easy for 'stereotypical' looking yachty to say oh thats BS .my question is, have you experiened what it is like to look diferent and still be searching for work in this industry??? its not easy... you go dock walking and you get nothing but when your white friend goes to the same boat just 2 minutes after you magicaly he has daywork or a job and this was not an isolated incident and it was not the last.

Everyone has a right to their opinoins and yes you have a black bosun or deckhand ,congradulations to you and them.But do you know their hardships in optaining employment?My point is people who have not eperienced being defferent and are employed in yachting should not say the situation is BS.

Yes I am black and I am in yatching and yes most of the time im watching the big and small white boat from the shore side nevre in them.I Try to stay strong and say tomorow will be better , dont pay attention to all the name callings and the Newbies they ask me to train so they can the position I was promised.

But yet someone who dock worked for a week or so and obviously has the right 'features' say 'man you are crazy' or 'get over youself' or even better 'you have a chip on your shoulder'.

Many might say you probably dont even have any qualifications or experience and you come with soppy story,but I do, 4 years that is, ofcause much of looking for work ,I want to improve my self,but you cant go to the MCA without seatime. so what do I do ? I walk the docks,I check-in with all 35 agencies(2 of which told me that it was going to be hard for them to place me(I appreciated their honesty))and hope that tomorow will be better than today.

I've been hoping for tomorow to be better than today for over a year but if things dont change I wonder if I would end up going home with my head down and singing a different tune .

To Aberto: I wish I had the right answer for you.
Posted by: annon at 24/09/2010 20:44

You are looking for a job at a hard time. You are coming from the cruise industry, which I do not think is a bonus. You are not American, yet it seems you are looking while in the US for work, this isn't legal.This isn't a cruise ship that as inside crew, most positions do there work without interacting with passengers, in this business it is required. How is your appearence? How well do you speak the language of the boat you are applying for. Yachts are tight living accomadations, it isn't just what classes you have had, but how it is percieved how you would work out. It could be that you are not right for this industry, and that it has nothing to do with race, it could just be you. Then again, as I stated , this is a really tough time for newbies in this industry. Oh by the way, I have a Hatian as a crew member. ( he is a legal US resident) SO add me to the list of non conforming yachts.
Posted by: CaptErik at 24/09/2010 21:12

I have been the Engineer on some of the finest yachts out there. I have worked for Captains from UK, US, Australia, Africa, France among others. Most of these Captains have never demonstrated any racist bent whatsoever. Most recently I was working for an Australian and then an American Captain who replaced the Aussie and neither had any problem with my hiring a black assistant (he was way more than simply a day worker) to help in the engine room and on deck when needed and, had the size of the vessel warranted it, I'm sure either of them would have welcomed this black Assistant as a permanent addition to the crew. With that said I also at one time worked for a Captain who wouldn't allow a black day worker to eat lunch with the 'white' crew. I'm still not sure if that was because the dayworker was black or just because he was a dayworker. I have also met some Captains who are out and out complete racists and who somehow think it made them a bigger man to cast racist epithets as well as throw the 'N' or 'K' (in the case of a few South Africans) word around. These guys are usually such cowards that they wouldn't do this within earshot of a black person. Fortunately I have never worked for such blatant racists as these and I wouldn't.
The owners I have worked for, by and large, have not been blatant racists either but I am familiar with a few that are. Again I don't care to work for anyone that ignorant no matter how much money they may have. I won't even stay around some of the local 'yachtie' watering holes when I hear the 'N' word being bandied about. That kind of ignorance makes me want to go home and take a shower.
So lets be realistic. I know for a fact that the young black man I had hired as a temp. assistant is having a lot of difficulty getting hired on as a deckhand/asst engineer even though I can attest to his work ethic, skills, willingness to learn, get dirty, clean up and show excellent manners , courtesy and do whatever it takes and still keep a happy outlook etc.
I also know that much less qualified and less motivated guys who happened to be white have gotten the jobs he had been trying for.
With jobs in general hard to come by I am not surprised that it might be a bit tougher for a minority person to get that 'foot in the door' that all of us have at one time or another needed.
I still think most of us in this business are way beyond the old days of rampant racism but when hiring we should really make sure that some little bit of prejudice that we all may have doesn't get in the way of hiring someone outstanding that could be a truly valuable addition to a crew.
I know just such a nice young man who just needs a chance.
Posted by: Daniel Fox at 24/09/2010 23:14

Posted by: Todd Dawes at 24/09/2010 23:55

well ladies and gentlemen i am not trying to start something about racism because am not like that. Let me first comment on the captain who said add him to the non confirming yachts. As far as i know sir, i never ask you for a job, and in order for you to understand my train of thoughts, you have to put yourself in my position you cannot expect me to think like you because my life aint like yours.Now on the part with the Australians i have to disagree i met some very cool aussies down to earth and straight and really really loving so in that part i cannot complain.My last cruise ship there was 52 different nationalities on board so i have met people from everywhere and i know the cultures of different people.

MY last point is people am not here illegally, after all my time on cruiseship i earn my time here i have my own apartment i go and i come when i want to, i have nothing to worry about. And i would really like positive comments please if you don't understand what am trying to relate please do not comment, and for those people who give me words of encouragement i appreciate it ONE LOVE FROM THE GRENADINES.
Posted by: floridaguy at 25/09/2010 05:04

Check with crew agents if they are honest they ask waht dont you want . Captains will then limit their selection to I >>>>>>

and then go on to mention East European South African. Philippineo , No Australians etc what ever their preference

Posted by: saafrican at 25/09/2010 09:22


I'm sure you will find something when the Carribean starts in a few months. There's a lot of boats starting to leave Antibes and Monaco now and in the next month for Fort Lauderdale. Don't give up and good luck. Surely there's some decency left in the world I hope.
Posted by: Tina at 25/09/2010 10:20

The truth is , black people have always been looked at as subhuman through out history.Look at US histoty ,South Africa history and slave trades.

Now with that said, Captains claim that the owners do not want 'subhumans' as this might 'taint' white yachts rep and outlook from others. If the boss does not hire blacks as his employees and runs a multi-million doller coporation ,do you realy believe that he has no blacks working for him? or even has a no black policy?No way Jose...So the big racist hires blacks in the company that helped him to afford the yacht he wont allow blacks on ,hhhhhmmm??????

My point is 95% of the bosses dont want to get involved in crew issues this includes hiring.

But when you go looking for a job and you look different the Captain says 'WOW great cv but, you see i dont know how the boss would react about a (you know) black guy'.He then procedes 'If it was up to me I would hire you after all my best friend is black' Thats a power statement, this man has a black best friend.

Its the Captains not the Bosses . ARE THERE ANY CAPTAINS OUT THERE WHOS BOSS TOLD THEM NOT TO HIRE BLACKS? I personaly know of only one,the boss was a southern gentleman. And if your boss tells you not to hire blacks and you still take the job that says alot about your charactor.

I hope this blog opens some eyes to the human inside all of us not the subhuman
Posted by: annon at 25/09/2010 16:00

The topic of racism is always a sure way to get folks excited. Junior, you always have insightful comments to make on here, but this time might have been a little close to the edge........are you surprised to get that reaction....and from an Aussie, no less.
That aside, you are, in a way, not far from the truth. Aussies, by and large, are racist biggots, and most people know this. It's not simply a case of the few making a bad rep. for the many, it's quite noticeable that Aussie men seem to be, say, 20 years behind the rest of the world with their acceptance of blacks, asians, certain european nationalities, and gays. I have dozens of great Aussie mates, and I still don't know why this is. In fact, I constantly give them shit about it......they know it, and even they can't accept it.
Anyway, this isn;t a forum about Aussies, and to the person that started this, as many others have rightly said, it's a very tough time in yachting with thousands of qualified experienced crew walking the docks on both sides of the Atlantic, but keep at it, persevere, it'll be worth it in the long run.
Posted by: storm at 25/09/2010 17:30

I am tired of all this crap about west Indian blacks not being able to find work in the white man's world.I am a white Antiguan,I have traveled the world,England,Spain.Sweden,Germany,America,and i can go on and all of these places i have been, i have always see black police,taxis,bus drivers,executives,post men....again i can go on and on. Now if i go back home to Antigua and try to get a job as a police man,taxi,bus driver,post man,or a job in government,I could not...I am a white Antiguan ?.... you ever see a white taxi driver,bus driver,government minister in Antigua ? Now tell me about being racist !!!
Posted by: paul scales at 25/09/2010 18:47

I experienced discrimination in the form of sexism, racism and ageism in the yacht industry. Im Eastern European....more than 5 years in industry. It is not easy at all. 90% of the captains prefer first language English......and crewmembers from New Zealand, England, Australia.........asap Im getting tired of it much dishonesty and aroggance. Is this still international industry????????
Posted by: enigma at 26/09/2010 21:54

I'm not in crew on a yacht but I work in the industry. Summer is off season HERE - so add that with economy blow to hell in 2009 and lingering in 2010 and that doesn't help.

Now it is coming back into season. So I suggest you keep trying. But like someone else said - make sure that what you are doing ... looking for work ... is legal here.
Posted by: aspicer( Visit ) at 27/09/2010 02:36

I have a lap top , an ipad and all the latest things so i thought i was living in a morden world.

until I came to yachting and people made me realize that im just a stupid black in a white mans world(called names ,toled to leave and toled to go home cos 'im bucking up the wrond tree' cos im brown(black)

thank you yachting, for remindind me that black is dirty.
Posted by: halo at 27/09/2010 02:55

Clearly it matters to the writer of the post..........
There are many people out there of many skin colors that are battling, so put away the race card and get on with it.
Posted by: anonymous at 28/09/2010 13:39

very ,very easy for to say
Posted by: shamdog at 28/09/2010 16:40

I just came across a stark reminder that racism and discrimination still are a problem. I found a friends facebook page where one of THEIR friends apparently STILL thinks that the terms IBNA or International Boat N**er Association is cute, fun or funny. It isn't any of the above. It is ignorant, hurtful and counterproductive as it always has been. I still see people with IBNA shirts on and have heard people refer to themselves as BN's. Personally I'd be far less likely to hire someone who thinks this is 'OK' than to take a chance with an unknown who at least isn't displaying this level of stupidity.
I would also hope that any LEGITIMATE self respecting crew agency would NOT do business with either a Captain, Manager or Owner who is using race as a determining factor as far as hiring goes. Not to mention that in the United States this is patently illegal and would be such a legal nightmare for a crew agency should anyone file a serious civil rights violation case against them as well as for any Captain, Manager and or Owner 'involved' (read the legal term CONSPIRACY here)in actual discrimination of this kind. We are not talking just fines or lawsuits. Anyone who truly feels that they have been dicriminated against based on their race, creed, religion, gender etc. in th US can call 1-800-669-4000 to file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) they WILL take your complaint VERY seriously. No, you probably don't have a case if they chose a person who IS physically strong enough to carry out the duties of the job over someone who is NOT physically capable of doing that job so don't waste the EEOC's time with anything frivolous. I would love to get some crew agent input on how they would deal with a Captain, Manager or Owner who tries to 'specify' what race etc. they will or will not hire.+
Posted by: Daniel Fox at 30/09/2010 02:20

As an Aussie I accept that there are other Aussies who are a little quick to stereotype. However I have never met a "nationality" as a group that are all not guilty of classifying people. Not one.
As hard as it might seem to be I think its important to avoid making an issue of your own background to yourself or to others. Its too restricting and fills you with fear and destroys your confidence.
People are people, be confident of your abilities and you will find the right people that will give you opportunities. Don't waste time on those that can't see your qualities but don't resent them either.
I have been knocked back from a job because the owner wanted a European chef, not Australian, even though i am trained in classic French and Italian cuisine. As disapointed as I was at first I'm glad I'm not working for someone so fickle. I know that this yacht has gone through 3 chefs in the past 4 months.
Posted by: Nic Barratt at 30/09/2010 11:24

Did this guy ever find a job?
Posted by: Taylor Clemmons at 21/02/2011 12:48

Send your current cv to the first thing is to get a Great CV put together and then I will guide you the rest of the way!
Posted by: Chef Peter_1 at 19/10/2016 21:20

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