Get a Crew Job at the 2021 Ft Lauderdale Boat Show

job hunting Aug 31, 2021

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the largest boat show in the world. It's also hands-down the biggest opportunity in the U.S. to find a job, build your network, and learn about the industry. 


The show is currently set to run as scheduled October 27 - 31, 2021 with enhanced COVID health and safety measures in place. So, this is great news for you when you're planning to launch your yachting career in 2021. 

But don’t just show up and hope for the best!


Here are our top 8 tips to make the most out of your 2021 Boat Show experience: 


1. Get there early


Give yourself a buffer -- arrive early and plan to stay a few days after the show, to maximize your time to connect with your new network and so you’re not rushing around with all of the other boat show tourists. 

This isn’t just good practical advice - it opens up some great ways to meet more people and learn more about the industry. 



2. Stay in a crew house


Staying in a crew house is the BEST way to network with existing crew and yachties. 

Crew houses are operating with enhanced health guidelines to help keep you safe during COVID.

Remember, crew houses may fill up early for the boat show, so do your research ahead of time and make sure you’ve got a reservation.

 Read about crew houses here.


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3. Have a transportation plan


Parking is a big hassle during the show, so plan ahead and make other arrangements -- whether it’s walking, taking the water taxis, or using a shuttle.

This year the show will be providing more entrances and extra water taxis and shuttles to allow people to stay a safe distance apart.

Our pick for the best transportation is the water taxi - with a flat rate, all-day ticket, you can come and go as you please.




This map shows the major boat show locations with the water taxi and shuttle routes. 

4. Go digital


You'll be avoiding all physical contact as much as possible. All events will encourage that participants avoid physical contact, such as handshakes and embraces, and instead use alternative ways to greet people.


The exchange of printed materials, such as business cards and brochures will also be discouraged, with digital alternatives recommended. So there's no need for you to have dozens of business cards or multiple copies of your C.V. printed up.


Here's how to go digital when job hunting:


  • Create digital C.V. and upload it to a free website

  • In your phone contacts, create a digital business card with your contact information and personal website link



5. Connect  & Follow Up!


Take every opportunity to meet new people, share your (short) story, and ask for their best contact method.


Then -- follow up with the people you’ve met. It doesn’t have to be a long message - just a short note will do. Try texting or emailing something like this to your new contact:


“Hey there <name>, it was nice to meet you at <where you met>.  Thanks for keeping me in mind if you hear of any <type of job> positions or dayworking opportunities. I’ll hope to see you around! 


Sign with your name, email, and any links that are relevant (like your digital C.V.!)


Keep it short and simple - you don’t want to waste their time, but making the effort to send a quick note shows you’re a professional and gives them your name and contact info.


That way when they DO hear about a position, it’s easy to remember and reach out to you.


6. Act the part


Be friendly and have a short and focused statement ready. Also, remember to dress like you're already yacht crew.  You’ll impress prospective employers and stand out as someone who has made the effort to show up in person at the show.


7. Be a Sponge


The Ft. Lauderdale boat show is the world’s largest in-water boat show. It attracts yacht owners, prospective yacht owners, captains, crew, and companies that sell all manner of products and services to superyachts.


If you’re new to the industry take any opportunity to ask questions and learn useful information on new technology, yachting industry advances, and crew best practices. You never know what nugget you’ll tuck away that will be helpful down the road!


8. Pub Crawl with a Purpose


At the end of the day or when it’s time for brunch, you’ll find many crew members at the bars - socializing, drinking, or just unwinding.


Luckily, with Florida's warm climate you can find many bars and restaurants with outdoor seating, making social distancing easier.


So whether you’re a drinker or not, it’s a great plan to stop into some of the top yachtie bars and introduce yourself to some new faces. Here are a few of our favorite stops:



View of the boat show from Coconuts Bar and Grill

This hot spot will be busy - it’s at the same venue as the show, so it’ll be an easy destination for many visitors. With great seafood and killer views, it’s a perfect place for a cocktail at the end of the day.


Bimini Boatyard

This is a popular pick for happy hour -- located on the canal, you can sip a drink or grab a snack after a long day of learning & yacht ogling!



Waxy O'Connor's



This Irish Pub is a bit of an institution when it comes to yacht crew leisure. It’s only a short walk from the boat show venue, so it’s a great chance to stretch your legs after a day of networking.


Tap 42

Another hot spot for yacht crew after hours, Tap 42 offers an impressive selection of beer from across the U.S., with casual fare to fill your belly. Add this to your must-go list for successful networking!




Las Olas & 17th Street


These aren’t bars, but they’re both streets close to the show and offer a range of restaurants, upscale bars, and good food and drink.


Plan to make a circuit and pop into a selection of spots in either destination, and you’re sure to make some new connections.


See the map above to locate Los Olas Blvd.



FreshYacht is your place for online introductory yachting courses. Keep an eye out for our courses opening for registration soon! 

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