Get Hired (and avoid COVID) at the 2020 Ft Lauderdale Boat Show

job hunting Sep 28, 2020

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 28th through November 1st, with enhanced COVID health and safety measures in place.


In fact, it's one of the only major boat shows in the world scheduled to go ahead in 2020.

Here are some of the major safety changes you can expect:

  • Multiple and Increased Entrances – With seven waterfront locations spanning more than 90 acres and over 3.9 million square feet of exhibition space, this year’s FLIBS will now be accessible by 14 show entrances. Each entrance will be widened to disperse crowds.
  • Contactless Ticketing System – Attendees will pre-purchase tickets online and use their mobile device to scan at one of the show’s multiple entrances.
  • Temperature Checks at Entry – At each entry point of the show, every person will have their temperature checked through a contactless thermal imaging system. Following CDC recommendations, any guests registering a temperature of 100.4 F or above will not be allowed to enter the show.
  • Widened Docks – FLIBS is increasing its six miles of floating docks to widths up to 30 feet on the F facedock and all docks will be marked with guest circulation paths to encourage social distancing.
  • Hygiene Stations & Additional Staff – Hygiene stations will be installed throughout the show’s seven locations. 
  • Face Coverings Required – Exhibitors and attendees (two years and older) will be required to wear a face covering.
  • Enhanced Deep Cleaning – Enhanced deep cleaning with disinfection will take place each hour on all high touch points during show operating hours. All show areas will be deep cleaned overnight.


So, this is great news for you when you're planning to launch your yachting career in 2020.


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


Here are our top 7 tips to make the most out of your Boat Show experience: 


1. Stay in a crew house


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

Crew houses are still operating but they also have enhanced health guidelines to help keep you safe.

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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And 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.


2. Get there early


Hint hint -- we’ll tell you again. Get there ahead of time. This isn’t just good practical advice - it opens up some great ways to meet more people and learn more about the industry.


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. 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 service 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!


5. Make it easy


In our FreshYacht Interview series, everyone we’ve talked to emphasizes the importance of networking -- and making yourself easy to remember. A few great tips from our Insiders include:


  • having your digital C.V. ready to go
  • creating business cards with your contact information and personal website (if you have one.)
  • dress like you're already yacht crew




Most importantly, introduce yourself. Have a short and focused statement, be friendly, and dress the part.


You’ll impress prospective employers and stand out as someone who has made the effort to show up in person at the show.


6. 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 sending something like this to your new contact’s email or Facebook account:


“Hey there <name>, it was nice to meet you at <where did you meet?>.  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.


7. 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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