In the October issue of the Islander magazine I wrote about the questionable offers that so called professional delivery companies make to Pocket Superyacht owners. As of mid October you can read that article in our blog section here.
I rant about companies sending inexperienced crew, “mile makers” who don’t expect to be paid.
On yachtie forums like Palma Yacht Crew I often see very passionate reactions to people looking for crew who are willing to help out on a yacht delivery at expenses. Using power words like slavery and exploitation and other name calling from keyboard heroes towards those who ask and those accept. Under the right circumstances I am not against these mile making experiences because we all have to gain experience somewhere, some time.
In my opinion there are 7 criteria that need to be met when taking on an unpaid crewmember:
– If the yacht’s experienced core crew is strong enough to handle the delivery without the extra person (but is a little extra comfortable with yet another hand.) So this is related to the distance that will be covered as well as the size of the yacht.
– If said crewmember has a good amount of experience on the water (paid or unpaid) including overnight offshore trips.
– If all expenses are paid.
– If the crew is willing to train and educate the trainee and understands the implications of their low level of experience, especially regarding safety.
– If the trainee is open to be trained.
– If the owner of the yacht is not being charged for the free crewmember.
– If the yacht is not over 24 meters in length. The rigging and systems are simply to powerful for inexperienced people to be handling any of it.
“How To Find Work On Pocket Superyachts”
In our course “How To Find Work On Pocket Superyachts” we teach our students all about life on board during deliveries. So they have already been briefed extensively on how to behave and what their responsibilities are. However, an online course doesn’t offer practical experience so we explain how to get that first experience. It’s unfair to charge for crew without experience, it’s even unfair for free crew to be expected to assume the responsibilities of a professional.
To break the catch 22 of experience to get work, work to get experience, I think it is important that everybody communicates openly with an open mind.
If you have experience, you know you were once inexperienced.
If you don’t have experience, you have to understand the value of the offered experience over a few 100 euros.