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From yachting to Deck Cadetship

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  • From yachting to Deck Cadetship

    Hi everyone,

    I've been looking around this forum for some time now and have found loads of useful information here so wanted to say thanks! Now I have a couple of questions of my own.

    At the moment I am 20 years old and working as a deckhand on a super yacht. I have been doing this since April last year after leaving school doing A-Levels before. I have recently decided that I would like to begin a deck cadetship hopefully starting September 2013, ideally with a cruise company. I am going to get the applications rolling soon but wondered what I should say to any companies regarding interviews, should I be so lucky. My rotation at the moment is 5 months on 1 month off, with my next leave in November, then the next around May if I am still on this yacht. My dilemma is that I would hate to have to resign to attend an interview, but obviously long term the cadetship is where I want to be. Also I am not the easiest person to get hold of as we do a lot of travelling and have a very busy schedule. Ideally I would like to work up until next summer as the job I have now is excellent for saving and would be a shame to give up. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Also, how much in favour do you think having a yachting background now will help me through the application process? Although at the bottom of the ladder I have still accumulated bridge time as a lookout and picked up lots of deck skills.

    It would be great to know anyone's thoughts about my position or hear from anyone in a similar situation! Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    If a potential sponsoring company/agency has any sense they should be willing to use phone or Skype or similar to conduct a remote interview with you. It is not unknown to do so for other posts in the industry for the obvious reasons.

    Having a toe in the door as you do will help answer very well the 'will this candidate survive at sea/away from home' question.

    Presumably you also have the compulsory STCW certificates and an EDH/AB certificate already?


    • #3
      I would say experience as a deckhand on a yacht is a great way to start. I would have thought cruise companies would like the fact you've been on yachts as well.

      The OOW certificate after you've completed your cadetship is an unlimited one. In that it allows you to serve on any ship type in that capacity (excepting DP vessels without your DP ticket and some oil tankers without endorsement). However, I would suggest that you should only be applying soley for a cadetship on cruise ships if that's where you want to end up when you're qualified. Training on cargo would benefit you more if you wanted to go to other areas of the industry. It's not impossible to move from cruise to cargo buy it's harder than a swap in the opposite direction. I would say that if you wanted to go back to super yachts then a cruise ship cadetship/experience would help. But since you're already a deckhand of some experience that would probably serve you better.

      As far as application goes, you may need to take the plunge somewhat. I fear I don't know anyone who's been in your exact position but I would say that companies once accepting you would want you to start at the next college intake after your interview so that would be a September or January start. Maybe you can fit that round your schedule? I don't know I'm afraid. As I say, I've not got any experience from that area of the industry.

      As Steve says, companies may be able to allow for your work by conducting a phone interview.

      Hope you get the ideal job you're after

      To boldly go.....
      Forum Administrator


      • #4
        Originally posted by Randomist View Post
        The OOW certificate after you've completed your cadetship is an unlimited one. In that it allows you to serve on any ship type in that capacity (excepting DP vessels without your DP ticket and some oil tankers without endorsement).
        DP ticket is a corporate rather than statutory requirement, and in fact you have to sail on a DP ship to get the experience to complete the DP certification process.

        Dangerous Cargo Endorsement is similar except that it is statutory, but again you have to sail as OOW on a tanker (provided you have Tanker Familiarisation cert.) without it in order to accrue the requisite sea time (6 months) to obtain the endorsement. It is required for posts where you are responsible for cargo operations (cargo watches...?).


        • #5
          I applied for carnival in the beginning of october and the interview was in November, people were purely electrical/engineer. So dunno if that's any help as things may change.

          But I'm sure if you apply then get the confirmation for a interview you could always email them saying when you are available. I can't imagine them being difficult about changing the interview date if it's 6 months before the intake!


          • #6
            I made a similar choice a few years ago, and went from being mate to a cadet, the reasons for doing it are very simple without big tickets theres a limit to progression.

            for interviews it will depend on the company how willing they are to make the effort to fit around your availabilty, they have lots of other applications and if your out of the country hard to get hold of thats not going to be appealing to them. As for the actual interview they will like that you have some experience and for a cruise ship its going to be at least a bit more similar. but lots of people have the idea that on a yacht you sit in monaco doing sfa still you know the lifestyle better than someon straight out of school. the other big issue is that for the cadetship you will be earning comparitiavely little to what you do now, and will need to convince them that its not going to get difficult and you jack it all in to back to the easy money.

            Get the applications in with a cover letter introducing and explaining your circumatances and see what comes back, if they send you a date that you cant make ring and ask if it can be moved, if it cant then you have to make the choice.

            How you discuss this with your current ship is hit and miss, I made the choice that i was going to leave and work in the uk before the cadetship, so really didnt have any conflict, but obviously once somone knows your going then they will start looking for a replacement which may force a change in your plans.

            anyway have fun and good luck
            you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky


            • #7
              What you have all said makes a lot of sense to me, hopefully companies will be happy to arrange a time when I am back in the UK as you said. Hopefully it won't have to come down to leaving but if it came to it I'd take the interview and go from there. As far as work goes I've done over 24,000 miles on this boat in the last 12 months (not a lot compared to the merchant ships I know!) and we have guest trips all year round so I know how it feels to be busy, definitely in it for the long haul as the options I have at the moment can't take me as far ultimately.

              At the moment I have my STCW and ENG1, but not AB or EDH, very few deckhands on yachts hold these its much more common to hold a yacht master certification, as it is seen as more relevant to them. I hold RYA Day Skipper, one level before this. I realise the salary will be much less but I'm saving well at the moment now while I can so I am confident I will be more than okay living off the Cadet salary, as I will also have much less free time due to studying and increased workload. Going back to the UK is another good option, definitely something I would consider should the need arise.

              I guess each company will view my situation in different ways so I'll just have to see what comes back! Thanks for that


              • #8
                As an after thought, UKSA were running a Superyacht cadetship, which i think was geared towards gaining OOW (Y) 3000t. theres good and bad things to be said about going for a limited ticket and apart from that Trinity House were involved i really dont know much about it, however it may be worth a look and an aplication if it took your fancy
                you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky