After starting at Crew HQ for a very long time... and wondering what might be missing from its functionality.. we realised that there was still no ability for users to comment on content, jobs, articles or on directory listings.
The problem is no more.. We have integrated with Facebook chat to enable site visitors to securely and easily comment. Yay !! ( please leave us a nice comment )
Hopefully we won't have to deal with a monster amounts of spam.. (this is why we opted for Facebook comments)
One of the issues with running a community / portal / forum is that when users comment things can very quickly get out of control. The burden of moderation and spam management can become pretty nasty pretty quick.. it's why we avoided it for so long.
Hopefully the fact that users have to be registered to Facebook and may not post in an anonymous fashion will help us keep it under control.
Please let us know via our facebook pages is things start to get out of control. We will do our best to keep the site pretty and the content civilized.
Enjoy the new comments box..
Imagine building a multi-million dollar shiny floating toy and demanding that it remain dry, salt free and look brand new forever. Then imagine putting it in the ocean. Keeping a boat looking pristine and fully operational is no easy task.
You can compare the various roles onboard to the military... a very well spoken army of polite, highly trained and highly educated professionals, who work together to provide the highest levels of service known on earth. Bizarre as it may seem the goal of a successful crew is to provide the best possible experience to the guests onboard, the best maintenance, the best engineering the best water-sports fun ... the list goes on and on.
And yes... the guests onboard are likely to be gazzilionairs or famous or both, and they are used to the highest levels of service.
To keep the operation moving effectively and safely there are well defined hierarchies and reporting lines within the crew structure. Each department has is own internal hierarchy and career progression which match the required manning conditions (qualification required at each level) for a given size of boat. The bigger the boat the larger the hierarchy and the more qualifications are required at each level.
The successful operation of a vessel depends on its crew and each member of that team needs to be able to work well with the rest of the team, take on responsibility for the tasks that they are assigned and help other crew achieve their goals when necessary. A safe boat is one where each member of crew has a broad knowledge of the tasks and risks associated with all other roles onboard. It's no good only knowing how to perform a single function since in an emergency you may be required to step up to a new challenge, be a hero... save the day .. etc.
Here is an example hierarchy of positions onboard, use it as a guide to get the general idea of organisational structure. Every boat is different and the number of crew positions and lines of authority will differ.
Here is a brief description of the departments, roles and duties onboard a Superyacht.
The captain takes ultimate responsibility for the safe operation of the vessel and the welfare of the people onboard. The captain takes ultimate responsibility for the professional conduct of the crew.
First Officer / Chief Mate
The first officer is the captain’s second in command and manages the deck department. The first officer will regularly take bridge watches and may be responsible for the majority of the yacht’s navigation. On large vessels (+500 gross tons) the first officer may be required to ensure that the vessel complies with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code as well as the International Ship & Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
Larger yachts will often have a second officer in addition to the first officer. The second officer will share the bridge responsibilities of the first officer and will generally often be responsible for passage planning and chart corrections, as well as managing deck duties.
The bosun is responsible for the exterior of the yacht and will oversee the deck team in its ongoing maintenance of the vessel. The bosun will often have additional deck maintenance skills including carpentry, basic engineering, varnishing and painting experience. They will co-ordinate the deck crew for close quarter manoeuvring and mooring or anchoring and manage the setup and operation of the yacht’s tenders and toys.
The lead deckhand will assist the bosun with the more challenging deck duties during close quarter manoeuvring and mooring or anchoring. The lead deckhand will often be responsible for driving the tender and water-sports while guests are on board.
The deckhand will be involved in all ongoing deck cleaning and maintenance to ensure the yacht is immaculate at all times. Deckhands will often be required to stand watch, passerelle duty (in port security) and will be involved in all deck operations during anchoring and port manoeuvres.
The chief engineer is responsible for the maintenance and proper functioning of all technical aspects of the yacht and its equipment, as well as managing the team of engineers to ensure everything on the yacht is fully operational at all times.
The chief engineer’s second in command will be responsible for many of the repairs onboard.
Electrical Technical Officer (ETO)
The ETO is responsible for all the electrical equipment, lighting, electronic navigation systems, AV and IT systems on board. With guests demanding fast internet and multi-media systems the ETO plays a crucial role onboard interacting with both guests and the engineering department and will often report directly to the chief engineer or captain.
The electrician will report to the chief engineer and will generally have experience with high voltage and generators and will concentrate solely on the electrical infrastructure of the yacht.
The third engineer will generally perform all ongoing equipment maintenance tasks required onboard.
The purser is the yacht’s financial controller and will generally manage the accounts and provisioning onboard. The role of purser is often combined with the role of the chief steward(ess).
The chief steward or stewardess is responsible for the interior upkeep of the the yacht as well as all guest service onboard. The chief steward(ess) will direct all guest hospitality and housekeeping and will be responsible for ensuring that the guests have everything that they need and are kept up-to-date with any necessary information. Additional medical and first aid training is a great advantage.
The Steward(ess) report to the chief steward(ess) and are on the front line of guest service and will tend to the comfort needs of the guests. Duties include serving drinks and food, looking after the housekeeping / laundry and making sure that the guests have everything they need at all times. An eye for design or flower arranging are useful skills.
Junior Steward(ess) / Laundry
Junior steward(ess) duties may include laundry, cleaning and assisting with housekeeping.
Cook / Steward(ess)
Steward(ess) roles may double as a cook onboard especially on smaller vessels. On larger boats they may assist the chef during busy periods or stand in for the crew chef.
Responsible for all the guests food and dietary requirements. The chef is responsible for creating meals of the highest quality.
Reporting to the head chef the the crew chef may be required to help prepare guest meals. The crew chef is required to provide healthy meals for the crew on a daily basis. This is no mean feat as this can mean cooking for 20+ people three times a day as well as providing for different crew dietary requirements. The crew chef needs to keep the crew fed and healthy.
So... You decided to join the yachting industry but now you need to make sure you have the training and qualifications to work onboard.
Nearly every day Crew HQ is asked great questions by new crew who want to land their first job on a Superyacht. This article hopes to answer the questions you have and point you in the right direction.
Some of the questions we get asked include:
What's the basic training needed?
What would make me stand out from other crew?
What do STCW, ENG1, ML5 ... stand for?
Please note.. these courses are the absolute bare legal minimum requirement to work onboard as a junior deckhand / stewardess. In recent years the Yachting Industry has become extremely competitive and the more courses and experience you have better your chance of landing a job.
STCW - Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping - Basic Safety Training – Minimum requirement
The STCW was a convention that was originally created in 1978 to ensure that professionals working at sea were sufficiently trained and qualified to perform their role safely. In 1995 and again in 2010 in Manila, the convention was further revised to cover technological advancements in the shipping industry. The correct reference for the convention is STCW ’78 as amended, so double check that your new certification has it correct.
STCW basic safety training is made up from the following component modules:
Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting,
Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities,
Elementary First Aid,
Personal Survival Techniques
As of July 2013 the Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA) or Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) modules are also required for vessels greater than 500 gross tons.
Please see the following post for more details: http://crewhq.me/update/psa-vs-pdsd-whats-difference-who-needs-it
Is the STCW required for all yachts?
There is only a legal requirement for crew on commercially registered yachts. Regardless of any legal requirement however most Captains will require their crew to hold this certification in the interests of safety onboard.
How long does the STCW set of qualifications last?
Under the Manila Amendments Personal Survival Techniques and Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting also have to be renewed every five years. From January 1st 2017 the MCA will not renew a Certificate of Competency without documented evidence that all the STCW modules are up-to-date.
Where can i do my STCW training?
So glad you asked. Check out of list of awesome training centres here. http://crewhq.me/yachting_directory_schools
ENG1 / ML5 – Seafarer medical certificates.
In simple terms these are a note from a registered MCA doctor saying you are fit and healthy and able to work at sea. Under the MLC every seafarer must have a valid medical certificate that is recognised by the flag state that the yacht is registered with before they can work at sea. So.. if your boat has a British Flag then you need to have a doctors note that is recognised by the UK.
An ENG1 can only be issued by a doctor approved by the MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency). The MCA have a list of the registered doctors on their website. Seafarer medical certificates from certain other countries are also accepted and these are also listed on the MCA website.
You’ll need to take the following to your examination:
If you pass, your doctor will issue you with an ENG1 certificate.
ML5 Medicals – MCA approved, but restricted to 60 miles from safe haven
The ML5 report and certificate form can be obtained from any MCA Marine Office or downloaded from the MCA website.
With the Yachting industry getting more competitive every year the following qualifications should be considered as the bare minimum if you are looking for your first job.
RYA yachting/powerboat qualifications
The RYA has a range of qualifications from small powerboats through to a Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, as well as PWC and sailing courses. You can find training centres near you via our Sailing School Directory.
As a minimum all crew should hold their Powerboat Level 2 qualification to be able to tenders. Ideally if you are looking for a job in the deck department you should now hold a qualification of day skipper or above to use the main boat tender with guests onboard.
The Personal Watercraft (PWC) Proficiency will enable you to play with the jetski's onboard.
A Commercially Endorsed Yachtmaster will enable you to act as Office Of the Watch (OOW) on boats up to 500gt. With the level of competition where it is a Yachtmaster qualification is often a standard requirement.
Powerboat, Dinghy or PWC Instructor – Will also set you apart as someone who can enhance the experience for guests onboard.
PADI diving qualifications are useful and a dive instructor qualification will make you especially useful when guests are onboard.
Kite Boarding / Wakeboarding / Water skiing – If you have skills with the toys then make sure you communicate this in your CV. If you work on deck and have these skills you will be in high demand when the guests and their kids want to have fun on the water.
English is almost a standard requirement onboard but having other languages at your disposal is always helpful.
There is an increasing demand for Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic speakers onboard. Onboard the more languages you can speak the better as it helps with service, general operations and with safety.
The range of transferable skills onboard is extensive .. essentially a boat is a self contained floating city and it needs a great variety of skill sets to keep is running effectively. So.. if you have any of the following then make sure you make a fuss of it in your CV.
Carpentry / Ship Building / Varnishing / Painting / Electrical Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / AV / IT / Silver Service / Hospitality / Interior Design / Table Setting / Flower Arranging / Cooking / Hairdressing / Yoga / Fitness Training / Massage Therapy / Medical Training / Security
and many more.
Got questions about the new required security courses for working onboard a superyacht?
We thought we would try and break things down for you.
If you are anything like us (human) then the millions of acronyms for complicated courses will be confusing the hell out of you. To be honest, it seams like they do it on purpose.
So here we go.. First... What on earth do they stand for?
PSA : Proficiency in Security Awareness ( In simple terms you need this if you are a standard crew member on a big boat. )
PDSD : Proficiency in Delegated Security Duties ( Do this one if you are progressing your career or want to be able to answer the doorbell onboard. )
Ok.. .so that wasn't too horrid..
What was the deadline for these new requirements?
The big day (deadline) was the 1st July 2015 for the new mandatory security requirements for all seafarers on boats that are more than 500 gross tonnes ( ISPS compliant vessels). If you work on a big boat 45m or more then it is likely that you will need the PSA to work as crew onboard.
If you are advancing your career or are looking for a way to take on more responsibility onboard then getting your PDSD is probably a good idea.
Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA) in more detail.
PSA is required by every crewmember that doesn’t hold any security duties as outlined in the Ship’s Security Plan onboard an ISPS compliant vessel.
Proficiency in Delegated Security Duties (PDSD) in more detail.
PDSD is required for crew who have security duties outlined in the Ship’s Security Plan. If you ever plan on answering the doorbell on your yacht then you need to have this course since this role will be outlined in your Ship's Security Plan. Yes!! You now need this qualification to answer the door.
Do I need the PSA or PDSD if I already hold my Ships Security Officer qualification?
No. If you currently hold a Ship’s Security Officer qualification you do not need to hold PSA or PDSD.
Where can I do my training?
Very glad you asked. Check out our Crew Training Map (click here) - You can search for schools based on the courses they run and contact them directly to book your training dates. Join our loyalty program with Premium Membership to access discounts and special offers.
Another way around it.
Prove that you have at least six month sea service and experience between 1st January 2007 and 1st January 2012, and you can apply to the MCA for your PSA or PDSD without sitting a course.
Please base any decisions you make with regards your next qualification and legal requirements via information provided by the MCA. Full details on the new requirements for security training can be found in the MCA M-Notice MIN 480
The Crew HQ referral system provides every active member of our website with the ability to earn money by referring other yachting industry professionals to our website.
Copy and paste your unique referral link onto your emails, facebook and twitter posts and when your yachting friends register on the site they will be tracked to your account. When any user you have referred to Crew HQ upgrades to a paid membership you will earn.
When you share your referral link you will be bound by our Referral Terms and Conditions.
The following video shows you how to share your Unique Referral Code.