How to Get Your First Yacht Job

Every single superyacht crew member has been asked this question 1,000,000 times since they set foot on a boat. But, the answer is not so straightforward.

Jamila Garcia, founder of Starfish Crew and yachtie shares her knowledge and tips on how to get your first yacht job.

First Yacht Job
Credit: super_yacht_chief_stew

There is, of course, a general answer to this question, being:

  • Get your STCW and medical certificate
  • Sign up in yacht crew agencies
  • Dockwalking

And so on…

However, there are more to these things than you may not know when trying to land your first yacht job:


Do you even know the modules of the STCW that are necessary to work on a yacht? As many of you know, Jamila owns an online consultancy business for people wanting to get into the yachting industry – 80% of her clients hire her services AFTER doing their STCW, and 70% of them realise they’ve wasted a lot of money previously, for these exact reasons:

  • Been sold modules that are absolutely useless to work on yachts
  • Done it in schools that are not internationally recognised, therefore their certificate is worthless
  • Been charged an extortionate amount for the four basic training modules, and have not even been offered the PSA

And so on…

SO, telling you that you need to do your STCW is great. But, you need to know lots of things before you invest your money in a school that may not be the best option for you.


Yeah sure, there are AMAZING crew agents out there, but:

A crew agency is not going to find you a job unless you have put the work into your job searching – Simple as that.

They will help you (a lot) IF:

  • Your profile is exactly what any recruiter wants on a yacht
  • Have second skills such as carpentry, beauty therapist, diver, professional trainer…

So, sign up to crew agencies, BUT, the one that needs to get out there and pursue your dream is YOU.

Tips on landing your first Yacht Job
Credit: @amelia80, @milanvanrhyn


It is absolutely impossible for someone to tell you (properly) all the info you need to know about how to get a job on a yacht in a simple message, or email.

Of course, like in any other industry, but especially on this one, if you do have someone “on the inside”, it’ll be much easier for you.

Any yacht crew member will tell you that, in this industry, having contacts will make things a lot easier.

But, what can you do if you do not have anyone “on the inside”?

Do all the research you can, and always make sure the information you’re are trusting comes from recognised industry professionals.

I understand it may seem a bit overwhelming, and you might not know what information to trust.

This is the exact reason why, after years of sending people in the direction of lots of different websites and blogs, some industry professionals have come together and built a platform where you will find all of the answers you need about how to get your first job on a yacht: The Crew Library.

It has taken months to put all of this info together.

Jared and Dean, managers of the Crew Library, have worked endless hours for you to have access to this amazing platform.

You will also find the most helpful information, tools, and resources from:

And, of course, Jamila

The Crew Library is an online learning platform for crew in any department. They provide the ability to connect with existing yacht crew through Whatsapp groups and offer training discounts worldwide to existing members.

This is what you will find:

  • Dockwalking routines
  • Q&As from Captains
  • Chief Stewardesses interview tips
  • Engineering qualifications questions

And much more.

Oh! You will also have access to a WhatsApp group where you will be able to communicate directly with everyone.

Depending on your needs, you will get the answer from a Captain, Chief Stew, Chef, or someone from the Deck and Engineering department.

Crew Library is the only platform you need to go to when looking for information about the industry.

You have absolutely nothing to lose joining, and SO MUCH to gain!

*Jamila has recorded a total of seventeen videos with the Crew Library so sign up now for all the info you could possibly need!

If you are wanting to get your foot in the door and begin a career in yachting, make sure to check on the crew mess section on our website for more tips and tricks.

For more of the latest yacht crew news, click here.


10 Stew Hacks You Should Know

Are you a Stew looking for ways to make your life easier? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Stew hacks consist of tricks, shortcuts, skills, or novelty methods that increase your job productivity and efficiency. And, founder of Yachts Mermaids Marién Sarriera has ten that will make your stew duties so much easier. Ok, let’s get to it!

Here are Marién’s 10 stew hacks you should know:

1. Say goodbye to silver creams and horrible chemicals!

And say hello to baking soda, aluminium foil, water, and shiny silver! Tarnished silver is no match for this aluminium foil “recipe.” Bring one litre of water, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one piece of aluminium foil to a boil. Drop silver in the container for 10 seconds (longer if it’s very tarnished), then remove using kitchen tongs or reusable gloves. Magic! Click here for a video of the last time Marién used this trick! (it’s at the end of the stories).

2. No more ironing on turndowns!

Don’t waste time ironing the beds. Nature knows best, spray a fair amount of water on the wrinkles (don’t be shy), use your hands to brush the fabric, and stretch the bed nicely. In less than 10 minutes, you will have an ironed looking bed again! This works best on sheets that have been ironed right after drying. If you have, then this trick will work amazingly every time you need to make the bed.

P.S. no need to spend money on Wrinkle Releaser; water is what makes the Releaser work; the rest is chemicals to make your sheets smell. Here is a photo (3 minutes apart) of me using this trick in the Master sheets.


3. Use vodka to keep your flowers looking flawless.

Before putting your flowers in a vase, add several drops of vodka and a teaspoon of white sugar, which delays wilting. When your flowers eventually start to die, add a shot of vodka into the water, and the stems will stand up straight again for a day or two.

4. No more lint or unwanted streaks in mirrors, glasses, stainless!

After 14 years in the industry, Marién’s pic for the best cloth to use is the SALT Micro Fiber cloth. It only uses water to clean! Plus, it ensures there is no lint or unwanted streaks left behind in mirrors, glasses, and stainless. If you are not in America, this one from Riedel will do the same for you.

5. Wool Balls are the new Drying Sheets, get on it.

Some of the many benefits of wool balls:

  • Are chemical-free. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are full of chemicals and perfumes, whereas wool dryer balls are natural and made from a renewable resource.

  • Decrease drying time.

  • Won’t affect the absorbency of your linens or your workout wear.

  • Soften fabric naturally.

  • Are environmentally and human friendly

Marién’s favourite ones are Tumblewool and Molly Suds.

6. Invigorated Water

It’s 2022, climate change is real, and you are a conscious stew. Every purchase you make onboard affects the planet and its inhabitants, that’s why we should make better ones.  Invigorated Water systems are the way forward. Its alkaline water filter system will allow you to hydrate faster, be a conscious consumer, and give back to the planet by saying goodbye to plastic water bottles. This translates to not breaking your back with bulky water cases and having more space for what matters onboard. Swap out plastic water bottles to reusable ones by integrating this system that gives impressive hydration via alkaline water. Swell and Corkcicles are the bottles most of the owners and crew have preferred in the past. Everyone loves invigorated Alkaline water, and the fact that they are contributing to a better planet makes them happy. This is a win-win! Get yours here; Marién always gets the pH RECHARGE 3F Countertop Alkaline Water Filter.

7. Deep Clean Kettle Au Naturale

Clean your kettle by adding a few wedges of lemons into the water. Add the max amount of water and 3/4 lemon wedges, turn the on the kettle, let the water boil and voila! You can also do it with water and vinegar and avoid the lemons altogether, but make sure after it is clean, you boil the kettle a minimum of 2/3 times with water only to get rid of the vinegar taste.

8. Get rid of permanent marker oops marks!

As much as we want to avoid it, there’s always the one crew member who uses the permanent marker instead of the erase one on the whiteboard. No need to worry, use rubbing alcohol to remove the unwanted marks from the board. And, if this happens on wood, use nail polish remover instead.

9. No more writing numbers on Crew Uniforms, use this instead.

Don’t you hate when there have been so many numbers scratched and re-written on the uniforms that you can’t figure out which number/crew it belongs to? Use Iron-on Fabric tapes instead. When a crew member changes, all you have to do is replace the tape on the garment! And the best part is that you can get them for Brother and Dymo label makers, making this task easy and professional looking.

10. Save the Best for Last

Marién’s last and number one stew hack is… REST. Yes, that is correct, rest! As a stew, you believe that everything and everyone is more important than you, that your job is to be there 110% of the time no matter if that means not eating and resting properly. But, you’re mistaken. You can’t be 100% in your job if you don’t rest properly. Avoiding taking care of yourself because you believe you don’t have time is a lie that will cost you your health and career. You have time to rest if you make the time- The boat will continue to run efficiently without you for 2/3 hours or hopefully a day if you are on your bleeding phase.

If you want to learn how to implement time off during your menstrual time while working on board, invest in the Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible.

With the MKSB, you get over 90+ Interior Management Templates, and access to an Exclusive Members Area filled with workshops, masterclasses, and courses that will support you in your career. Download yours here, and if you need extra help in your transition to a Chief Stew role, click here.

We hope you find these stew hacks helpful!

For more of the latest industry news and content, click here.

Working an a Yacht & the Things I Wish I’d Known as a Stew

Cover Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

How many times have you thought: If only I had known?

Jamila Garcia, founder of Starfish Crew is here to tell us what she wishes she knew before working on a yacht, with a simple career tip-based guide. She reminds us that even those who are happy with the path they have followed and have no regrets can still reflect on the past. There are always things that we think we should have done differently if we could go back in time.

So, what did yacht stew Jamila wish she’d have known?


“If I was 18 again, and had to decide what I was going to do with my life, I would still complete professional butler training. That is the one thing that I have always known I wanted to do. However, I wouldn’t spend 6 years at Uni for that. After completing my training, I would look for a job at a luxury hotel, or private residence. I would work for a year, to achieve the experience I consider basic to work on a superyacht, even as a Junior. Then I would look for my first yachting job, because by that point, (unlike it happened “in real life”) I would know that the yachting industry exists and you can earn a lot of money working on a superyacht! So… I totally knew what my passion was long before yachting: high-end service. But, if that’s not the case with you, I wouldn’t recommend you to go spend thousands of euros on service (let alone housekeeping) courses. I have had many Stewardesses over the years with 0 to very little service experience, and they turned out to be amazing Stewardesses (most of them Chief Stews nowadays)”.

Figure out what you enjoy and start from there

  • Find a job first
  • See what the reality is when working on a superyacht
  • Decide what aspects of it you really like
  • Focus on that route

Let’s say that, before working on a superyacht, you didn’t have a clue that you were going to be passionate about wine.

  • You love inventorying all those fantastic bottles onboard
  • Decanting it
  • Serving it
  • Advising your guests on the correct wine for each menu…

Invest your hard-earned money on wine courses. Even become a Sommelier! It would be a privilege to have a qualified Sommelier on board and it would certainly be appreciated in the industry.

Let’s say you find yourself loving flower arranging:

Invest in flower artistry courses!

Let’s say you dream of becoming a Purser:

Invest in a professional Purser course!

This career tip is especially important as it will allow you to learn more about yourself and unlock your skills!


“However, I did get one thing right: the size of the vessels I wanted to work on. At the beginning of my career working on a yacht, I was lucky. My first yacht was a 56-meter motor yacht. Because it was an explorer yacht, the interior was quite large for a vessel that size. I instantly felt comfortable on board. So that’s the size I have continued working on. The largest yacht I have worked on is 62 meters, with 17 crew. That was more than enough for me. I have never wanted to work on a larger vessel, even when I have been offered amazing positions on large yachts. I just know that I feel much more comfortable with a certain amount of crew around me. Amongst other factors”.

This is to say that no one knows you better than yourself.

  • If you don’t feel comfortable working on a 100-meter vessel, or a 30-meter vessel, remember that when you are looking for your next position.
  • Don’t just accept another position on the same size vessel you have just resigned from if a big part of the reason for your resignation was the size.


“I stayed on my first yacht for 18 months. 18 Outstanding months. I did more nautical miles during those 18 months than during the eight next years. However, this was a private yacht where I basically did the-same-exact-thing every-single-day. Guests on and guests off. Because the yacht’s route wasn’t your typical “yachtie spots” I did not have contact with any other yachties other than my co-workers. I literally did not have a clue about the existence of charter yachts. Had I known I would have probably left my first yacht sooner. Not much sooner though, I would have done one year. Longevity, and all that, right?”

So, it is helpful to think about how long you should stay on your yacht and when to move on to the next

  • Stay on every boat you work on for at least a year.
  • Then, do whatever you feel you need to do with your career after your year onboard. Especially when you are just starting.


‘I personally would much rather work on a charter yacht. Not only because of the money. I just get too bored on a private yacht. I like to be the one deciding what I do with the table settings, theme parties, where to serve what etc. Owners telling me to serve red wine in the water goblet, and stuff like that… I just can’t deal. However, this is just me. You might feel much more comfortable knowing your guests, doing the same thing etc… That’s perfectly fine. Also, let me tell you something. Starting your yachting career on a “heavy charter” yacht might blow your mind (in a bad way). I was working on a yacht with a  heavy charter where two of the junior stews were 100% green and that was their first, and last, season. Charter yachts are pretty hardcore. So remember this if you get offered your first position on a heavy charter yacht’. 

You need to be able to know if you have a preference as to which yachts you would like to work on

  • Try both when first starting out
  • Then, decide what fits YOU better


‘I did not know that the yachting industry existed. Therefore, I couldn’t have sought out any advice or guidance on how to get into it from anyone. However, if I had to start again, the first thing I would do is look for a place to get all of this advice’.

Invest in getting the RIGHT information from the RIGHT people

  • Find out the right steps to take to land your first position EXACTLY
  • Connect with yachting industry professionals that could help you find a position
  • Invest in: Getting a professional CV done, finding out what you are going to be asked during interviews, and, what your role will entail.

Two places which offer this advice is firstly

Download the free basic guide to working on superyachts here.

And, Crew Library also has many free resources and services.

Working on a yacht with Jamila Garcia, the founder of Starfish Crew

We hope this article provided you with an insight into the life of a stew working on a yacht.

For more of the latest industry content, click here.

If you looking for your first position working on a yacht or maybe you are a seasoned yachtie looking for your next adventure. Head over to our jobs board to see our available positions.


Yacht Crew: It’s Time to Do Your Tax Returns

It’s that time of year again, where yacht crew suddenly realise the window for submitting your tax returns is closing. If you are British and working on a superyacht offshore, you need to submit tax returns by the end of January. Failure to do this will likely result in fines from HMRC, which is not ideal at all. If you are reading this and starting to worry, do not panic! There is plenty of time to put together and submit your returns to avoid these penalties.

Why Should You File Tax Returns?

British yachties should be diligent in submitting their tax returns for two reasons:

  1. There is no reason not to – It is unlikely, due to your job that you will have to pay tax. And, better still. Being a UK tax resident means you can invest your money into property, pensions, ISA’s, stocks and shares. You can’t do any of this if you are not a taxpayer.
  2. It is the law – You are required by law to declare any offshore income. Your salary is offshore income as it is not earned in the UK.

Can Yacht Crew Avoid Not Declaring?

The answer to this in most cases is NO. But, why would you try to get away with not doing it?  Again don’t panic. We can fix it!

Don’t Put It Off!

Make sure that, no matter what, you are on the right side of the tax authorities.

DO NOT – and we really mean this – DO NOT DO NOTHING. This will not solve a problem or make it any easier to deal with.

Finally, DON’T PANIC. If you know you need to do something then get in touch. We can always help and it is never as bad as it seems. Pick up the phone or send us an email. We are waiting to help

Superyacht Crew Taxes

CrewFO is here to assist yacht crew with the difficult things in life, like tax. If you have read this article and feel like you need advice with your taxes, get in touch.

To keep up to date with the latest Superyacht Content News, click here.

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