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 Captains  Engineers  Mates/Deckhands  Chefs/Cooks  Stewardess/Steward

Captains

USCG / RYA License or insurability required

Responsibilities are :

* Management of Yacht *
* Navigation and Operation *

A captain's job description is multi - faceted and dynamic. One day he or she may be at the helm piloting the yacht to a safe anchorage; the next in charge of a multi million dollar refit with 20 or more people scurrying about, organized into various jobs amidst the chaos. The position ranges from being in charge of a full time staff of one (him or herself), to being the CEO of a large operation with many departments, personnel, and a large budget. Some captains are perfectly able to manage themselves and/or a crew of one or two, but do not have the skills, are incapable of managing larger yachts and crew, or simply prefer to work on a smaller yacht. Others work best in a large yacht environment and function much like a conductor guides an orchestra. Just as expenses grow geometrically as a yacht grows larger, so does the job description and responsibility. Here we've listed a basic set of qualifications and skills that ProCAPTAINS suggests for the captains of today and tomorrow.

Practical Experience - Actual time spent at sea in a position of authority. Whether a captain began on small boats and gradually made his way to larger vessels or began as a deckhand/mate and worked his way up the chain of command practical experience is a must. A captain must be familiar with every aspect of the vessel in his or her command. On a smaller yacht the captain must wear many hats, often taking on the role of the engineer, mate, steward, and even cooking as well. On a larger yacht with more crew, his day to day duties will be more "captain oriented," though knowledge of all aspects of the vessel must be maintained.

Licenses - A professional captain must have proper licensing and documentation for the size of the vessel in his or her command. U.S. Coast Guard, R.Y.A. or equivalent, to meet with approval of insurance companies.

Personnel Management - This can be the most difficult skill of all and mastering it starts from hiring the best crew. ProCAPTAINS can assist you with presenting the best candidates for a position, but the final decision on who to hire is up to the captain. Working and living on a yacht places unique demands on people and it us up to the captain to make sure that each crew person is working to their full potential AND can live and work together under sometimes stressful conditions. Some captains are much more suited to a smaller boat, bigger is not always better. There is a fine balance between hard work and play; too much or too little of either one can cause problems.

Public Relations - A captain's ability to interact socially and professionally with the owners of the yacht is vital. In many cases the owner is a substantial business man, accustomed to dealing with highly skilled and educated people. He is unlikely to expect less from his yacht captain. The captain sets the tone for the rest of the crew and the image of the boat. The captain often must also be able to interact with charter and yacht brokers, yard personnel, foreign officials, port authorities, and
countless others.

Emergency Management - Safety is always the number one priority and a captain must be able to say "no" when a situation is deemed unsafe, even if the decision is unpopular with the owner or charter guest. Plans must be made in advance to react to emergencies so that all crew are able to function and assist to the best of their ability. The captain must at all times remain vigilant to ensure that safety procedures are followed.

Accounting, Budget, and Inventory - The captain must be above reproach when it comes to handling the owners funds. There is no faster way to alienate an owner than to be unable to account for his money. The larger yachts of today often have operating budgets in excess of one million dollars per year. Fortunately the many wonderful and easy to use accounting programs available for computers have helped to simplify this task.

Engineering Knowledge - The captain must have full engineering knowledge, even if he commands a vessel with a qualified engineer in the crew. The complex systems on a modern yacht demand a high degree of technological expertise.

Environmental Regulations - Compliance with all environmental regulations is vital. Substantial fines for violations is reason enough but without a healthy environment there will be no future for any of us. The rules are there for a reason.

Insurance Considerations - The captain should be well advised regarding the insurance on his vessel. He should make every effort to make sure that safety is always a chief concern for his crew, passengers, and the vessel. All logs and records must be properly maintained and he should have a working knowledge of maritime law as it applies to his situation.

Enjoy It - A love of the sea and a genuine appreciation for this lifestyle is essential. As with other demanding professions you must enjoy what you are doing.

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Engineer

License or similar experienced preferred

Responsibilities are :

* Repair of Mechanical Systems *
* Preventive Maintenance *

Engineer Qualifications

The engine room is the heart of the vessel and the engines themselves often represent the single most costly part of the yacht. Needless to say protecting this asset is of paramount importance. Often an engineers license is required, and some larger vessels carry 2nd or even 3rd engineers. Highly qualified engineers are always in high demand, some earn as much or even more than their captains. The following are a list of the minimum qualifications deemed necessary for this position.

Advanced Diesel Knowledge
General Refrigeration & Air Conditioning
Basic Plumbing
Electrical and Electronic Knowledge
Fire Fighting and Prevention
Inventory Control
Yachting Etiquette - Engineers must occasionally emerge from the engine room, dress in their whites and epaulets and interact with owners and guests!

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Mates & Deckhands

License or similar experienced preferred

Responsibilities are :

* Exterior/interior Maintenance *
* Watch Keeping *

When you see a beautiful gleaming yacht with highly varnished teak it will be the mate and deckhands who have made her so. There are many duties that todays mates and deckhands must perform. The yacht must be kept clean and washed and the maintenance of her many systems is a never ending process. Knowledge requirements grow constantly as yachts become more complex and sophisticated. Service skills are important as well, interaction with guests and owners is common.

A good deckhand should be familiar with and possess the following skills:

Yachting Etiquette
Basic Seamanship
Exterior Maintenance
Watch Standing Skills
Safe Fueling Techniques
Varnishing Techniques
Basic First Aid
Outboard Engine Maintenance
Life Saving
CPR
Environmental

A mate should have a number of years experience as a deckhand, and should be well versed in all of the skills listed above. In addition he should also possess the following:

Inventory Control
Navigation
Two-Part Paint Knowledge
Boat Handling
Marlin Spike Techniques
Small Engine Repair
Basic Engineering
Basic Accounting
Advanced Life Saving
MOB
Applicable Licenses (mate and or radio operator)

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Chefs / Cooks

Culinary training or similar experienced preferred

Responsibilities are :

* Presentation of Food *
* Yacht Provisioning *

Chefs are a breed apart. They are the artists of the crew who face unique challenges performing their craft on a yacht. The galley on a yacht is not unlike the kitchen of a home; just as the crew is not unlike your family (with all the inherent ups and downs!). It is the heart of the vessel.

Job Description

Some say that the chef has the hardest job on a boat and they may well be right. Long hours and unique working conditions present the sea going chef with many challenges. Yacht owners can be notoriously demanding, and don't forget the crew, they can be every bit as challenging to please. A chef must also be a bit of a detective, ingenious methods are often needed to procure provisions in remote locations. A yacht chef must know how to shop for lengthy periods of time. If you run out of eggs while you are anchored off a remote island you cannot make a simple phone call and expect some to be delivered in the morning. Often the chef will need to prepare and cook meals while at sea, which presents it's own set of circumstances. The chef may have the unpleasant experience of being seasick and still have to perform his or her job.

The following are a basic set of qualifications we feel all chefs must have:

Yachting Etiquette
Appropriate Culinary Skills
Hygienic Handling of Food
Dietary Restrictions
Galley Sanitation
Basic Accounting
Provisioning Skills
Interior Fire Prevention
Basic First Aid
CPR Training
Environmental Considerations
Formal Culinary Degree or Certificates in Food Preparation - Generally to be considered a Chef one must posses a formal degree. It is recognized that there are many excellent chefs who did not receive formal education and were self-taught or learned through an apprenticeship.

Many fine land - based chefs have attempted careers in yachting, and many have failed because they were unaware of the vast differences between traditional chef positions and those on a yacht. Unlike a restaurant where there are any number of assistants, on a yacht the chef is very often all on his own. He must clean his own galley, do his own prep work, he is the dessert chef, the soup chef, everything. Coupled with the stresses of living 24 hours a day with your co-workers and it's no wonder many give up. For those who can meet the demands the rewards can be great with excellent pay standards, travel
opportunities, and an often free rein to be creative; using some of the finest ingredients in the world. Just remember to feed the crew well, you'll find that they are more apt to help wash the pots and pans when they've eaten a delicious meal.

Bon Apetit!

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Stewardess & Stewards

Experienced or similar experience preferred

Responsibilities are :

* Food and Beverage Service *
* Cleaning and Laundry *

A steward/ess is responsible for the comfort and well-being of the guests. He/she must be polite, entertaining, and skilled in etiquette as well as hard working. It is essential that a steward/ess be able to multi task- for example, he/she must be able to serve a Silver Service meal to any number of guests while at the same time cleaning and turning down the staterooms. Here are some qualifications that ProCAPTAINS find indispensable for this position.

Hostessing Skills - The comfort of the guests is a steward/ess's first priority. In order to assure this, he/she must be friendly, personable, and polite. A steward/ess must be able to accommodate all of the guest's needs without intruding on their privacy. He/she should have polished serving skills and a working knowledge of fine wines. On larger, more formal yachts, a stewardess might be required to know Silver Service. He/she should also feel comfortable with such things as flower arrangement and even some light cooking, such as the making of Hors D'oeuvres.

Cleaning - A steward/ess is responsible for the interior maintenance of a vessel as well as
interaction with the guests. This involves very detailed cleaning. For instance, no fingerprints on the mirrors, no dust on any surfaces, wiping any water out of guest sinks or showers whenever
they are used, etc. It is the steward/ess's responsibility to keep the yacht's interior spotless at all
times. A stewardess should also have a good knowledge of what products to use in the cleaning
of high quality and sometimes fragile surfaces. The wrong cleaner can ruin an expensive finish!
He/she should have some laundering experience as well, in order to see to the care of guests'
clothing.

Overview - A good steward/ess should have all the skills listed above, and be able to multi task. The hours are long and the work is hard! However, beginners shouldn't be discouraged. There are positions available for them as well, on smaller vessels or on larger yachts working under a knowledgeable Chief Steward/ess.

 

 

ProCAPTAINS
Ph 206-236-0099 * Cel 206-915-0099 * Fax 206-275-0055
e-mail
info@procaptains.com * www.procaptains.com

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