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ex Royal Navy AB after some yachting industry advice
Lee Knights
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2015 1:09 PM
Joined: 14/06/2015
Posts: 2


I served in the Royal Navy back in 2004 until 2008 working as a Able Seaman Radar Operator Maintainer for 2 years and Engineer Technician for 2 years onboard ship.

Since i have left i have done various jobs ranging from Satellite TV Engineer, Security Engineer, and now Field Service Engineer in the telecommunications/transport industry. 

My current job is something that i don't want to be doing for the rest of my life i see myself working onboard a yacht working as a deckhand/ engineer and then working my way up to captain. I know it will be hard work but it is something that i know i'll enjoy. 

In July i have booked time off work to do the powerboat level 2, MCA Approved Engine Course and re do the STCW95 course i already have the ENG1 medical.

Ideally i'd like to work onboard a commercial super yacht.  Come the end of July when i'll have the STCW95, ENG1, Powerboat level 2, MCA AEC certificates  other then registering on recruitment agencies websites and phoning them what else should i be looking at doing? Is it worth quitting my job straight away and heading over to Antibes? 

Many Thanks


Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:55 PM

Hi Lee,

The first 2 sentences jumped right out at me saying this guy would do well as an ETO on a super yacht! The RN gives you the opportunity to learn some serious skill sets and my opinion would be  to bring those skills to the yachts.  

Yacht owners want the best equipment which often involves highly technical satellite telecoms etc. Keep the internet and TV working and the owner will be happy!

If you're set on going the Captains' route, consider doing your Yachtmaster course before applying for a deckhand position. There is a lot of competition to get that first step into the industry. The YM is a highly valued as a starting point. Promote the AEC course on your CV if you are planning to move up as Engineer...MEOL / Y4. Promote the P2 and/or Yachtmaster if you want Deckhand position. 

....I wouldn't quit any job you have unless you have lots of money to pay for the courses. One of the most honest bits of prepared to drop everything and most likely you will have to pay for all your training and find the time to do those courses. It's not easy to "book" time off as plans in this industry always the end of the day we are at the owners' beckoning call! 

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:01 AM
Joined: 25/01/2012
Posts: 4

Hi Lee

I agree with the previous reply, your skills will lend themselves for an ETO role. Personally, I would discard the deck option in your case. There is currently a lot more completion for deck positions and also it will take you a lot longer to achieve an officer’s position as you will have to gain your full service first.

Taking the engineering route seems the obvious choice in your case, especially as there is a process in place for engineers for accreditation of prior learning. The process is called Letter of Initial Assessment and here is a link to the relevant form: 

Make sure your mention ALL your engineering qualifications and experience, not just the maritime related one. You are likely to be offered a route with reduced service duration and may even become exempt from some of the engineering courses (not the safety courses though).

Currently it takes the MCA about 6-8 months to process the Letter of initial Assessment (LIA). It does not expire and you might as well start the process now. The AEC will not make any difference to your Letter of Initial Assessment so no need to wait until you have done this course.

Feel free to contact me if you need more information with regards to the LIA.

Hope that helps. Good luck! 



Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 3:14 PM
We are looking for an engineer/deckhand on S/V Cuan Law.        Very good training ground for onward movement into mega yacht world.   Hands on engineering, plenty of complicated equipment including diving compressors.   Busy liveaboard dive charter boat BritishVirgin Islands.  Email: if interested.
 Average 1.5 out of 5