Want to see the world on a big boat, but not interested in the monotony of the Cruise Ship circuit? A Mega Yacht might be for you!
FreshYacht is back today with Trevor, our resident drone pilot, to talk about his experiences working on supersize yachts - often called Mega Yachts!
Trevor, thanks for chatting with us again! We’re excited to hear about your experiences working on big yachts. But first, for those of us who aren’t familiar, can you tell us what you mean by “big”?
Yes! The boat I worked on was a 415 ft yacht - and had a crew of 75 from over 20 different countries! (FreshYacht note: Many superyachts are between 80 and 130 feet, so this is downright gargantuan!)
Wow - that’s a big boat. What did you love about it?
I really enjoyed the diversity of the crew and the work. Working with so many people, you always have someone to do something with -- although of course there are a lot of crew dynamics to handle, too. But learning from different people with different backgrounds was something I enjoyed.
I also liked that we did everything ourselves - all of the jobs and work that the boat required. I got to learn a lot of things I wouldn’t have on a smaller boat.
Because smaller boats often bring in contractors or temporary teams to do specific tasks, you won’t learn everything you need to know in some cases.
On the mega yacht, I got to do a little bit of everything and built skills I wouldn’t have otherwise had.
I bet it could be challenging working with so many people in a small space. How did you handle it?
Ultimately, I tried to be friendly with everyone -- and I avoided getting involved in the small cliques that would develop.
I also made sure not to talk about other people in the crew. That’s something people pay attention to.
Eventually, I got known as the person that no one came to with gossip or negativity -- so I was able to stay out of the drama and get along with everyone.
That makes sense. Tell us something else you loved about working on the mega yacht?
Sure. With a bigger boat, you’re more apt to go literally all over the world. We went everywhere from the South Pacific to the Northwest Passage, to Australia and New Zealand. We could really go anywhere.
One of my favorite experiences was going through the Arctic Circle -- not many people or boats get the opportunity to do that and it was an amazing experience.
We had sunlight all day except for just a few hours, and it was constantly changing colors - so beautiful.
From a skill perspective, driving and hand-steering a 415 ft boat through the ice was a very good experience and great for my navigation and boat handling skills.
It sounds pretty incredible. But -- there had to be things you didn’t like as much?
The flipside of the large crew was the lack of the family dynamic you get on a smaller boat. I developed fewer relationships. And, while it’s a great resume builder for someone newer in the industry, there was a definite ceiling to advancement.
All of the bridge officers came from maritime colleges with multiple licenses and had often worked on cruise ships before moving on to mega yachts.
I was not competitive to advance and move up on a mega yacht. But, the skills I learned were worth it - mega yachts have a reputation for being very professional, and staying active as a crew member for a while says a lot about your abilities.
It’s a great first step into the industry, although most crew do need at least a little bit of experience before getting hired onto a big yacht. I had been working on yachts for about 4 years when I moved onto a big boat.
That makes sense! Such a cool experience you’ve been able to share with our readers. Do you have any final advice you’d leave them with?
For sure! If you’re trying to get hired onto a big boat, it’s really helpful to have a specialty. If you have a background in a trade like carpentry, or you already have your Divemaster certification, that type of thing, you’ll be a stronger candidate.
On a large yacht, you’ll need to get along well with people of different backgrounds and cultures. It’s really important because you’ll find yourself working with such a variety of people and you have to get the job done and not cause extra drama.
On top of that, definitely be prepared to work hard. It’s a lot of hours, but it’s worth it!
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