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advice for new deckhand/engineer
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:24 AM
Joined: 03/07/2017
Posts: 3

Hello,  I'm looking for some advice if anyone is willing to share.  I'd like to get into the industry, but I really don't know anyone on the inside. 


single, late 30's, college grad, Master Auto Mechanic, Cisco IT Networking Cert, Spanish speaking, worked for Four Seasons Hotels(chauffeur), former research SCUBA diver, single, no drugs/alcohol

Currently in the Chicago area, but I'm looking to return to California before winter.  I like the west coast of the USA, as well as Central and South America. 

Thus far, I'm a little hesitant to drop the $1200 on the STCW without a paying job lined up.


-Without turning this into an interview, what is the best way to proceed? 

-Are the staffing agencies legit?  Is there anything I need to know about working with staffing agencies?


Thank you for your time.




Posted: Friday, July 28, 2017 9:56 PM
Joined: 29/12/2015
Posts: 14

For starters you don't need to know someone on the "inside". Not that there is one to begin with.

Second, I'll save you some money.
A course for the STCW will run you between $800-$1000 max for the full 5 day course.
Starting is relatively easy. And you can start building a network within the industry as well as get a feel for it prior to getting the STCW by doing daywork.
While doing daywork, let them know you're going for your STCW... This might get you more daywork to help pay for the course. Crew tend to take care of crew in this regard when it comes to getting your tickets. (Certs)
With your background you might like engineering. Start as a deckhand first.. move into whichever area you are drawn to next. Taking the courses you'll need along the way to qualify you to move you into that area on board.
Speaking Spanish... Not sure if that'll help. Depends on the vessel though. 
Wherever you go...  Make sure the ships are there. Yachting is seasonal. They move from one location to another. You want to have all your tickets before they start to crew up. A month and a half before, depending on the area, you start your daywork and make sure you complete your courses, get your CV printed out.. to hand out. 
Daywork will get you references.
Commercial work is very different in many regards. Others might chime in and fill you in on the ins and outs of getting started.
If that's where your interest is.
Hope that helps a little. 

Capt Richard G
Posted: Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:07 AM
Joined: 31/08/2016
Posts: 2

Hi Brocus,

You could take the course SCTW in Cancun - if you speak spanish - for about $100. I've done it twice already.

Once you have it your resume/cv are your presentation and you have few ways to get work. Agents, websites, shows, marinas, etc

Good luck,


Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 7:50 AM
Joined: 03/07/2017
Posts: 3

Captain Richard,

 Thank you!  That is a great tip.

Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 7:58 AM
Joined: 03/07/2017
Posts: 3


  That certainly does help.  I only mention someone on the "inside" because I've gotten a lot more jobs in person than I have sending a resume in.  Your response greatly appreciated!

Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 3:36 PM
Joined: 23/08/2017
Posts: 1

If you want to be in California I would suggest LaCasse Maritime. IT is a crew agency on the West Coast. You have a great set of skills to step into engineering but you are going to have to pay your dues on the deck. West Coast Yachting is not nearly as big as East Coast but there are some opportunities out there. I just hired a guy but you were the type I was looking for.  Good Luck