Dockwalking Tips

Sunday, September 2, 2018
Dockwalking Tips - Article Image

Does dock walking still work in 2018 to find your first job on a yacht? Absolutely! Dock walking is a great tool if you are serious about working on a yacht. In this guide, we introduce you to exactly that: The best way of obtaining your first job on a yacht by dock walking.

What is Dock Walking?

Dock walking is essentially walking along the dock where all superyachts are tied alongside, approaching each yacht and speaking to crew onboard. The overall aim is to be able to secure day work, permanent work, or simply to leave your CV and hope to eventually acquire a permanent yacht job.

Superyachts are constantly in need of day workers. Quick turnarounds between charters, pre-season preparation or getting ready for a boat show can be an ideal time to look for day work. The deck departments often require day workers to assist with daily tasks like wash downs, varnishing, and polishing. The interior department may need a day worker to help detail guest cabins, helping out with crew mess duties or maybe the engineering team need someone to help tidy up the engine room or clean up the bilges.

Be open-minded when it comes to dock walking, don’t pass up an opportunity for day work. Your goal is to get your foot in the door whether it be interior work, a job on a sail yacht or exterior work scrubbing teak on deck.

Getting a job on a yacht with no experience will involve networking and the best way for this is onboard a yacht.

dock walking

Where to Dock Walk

It used to be a simple as walking down the dock in Antibes, through the gates at the IYCA and before you know it you are faced with a long line of Superyachts all stern to on the dock. However, you fast forward to 2018, security has tightened and access to the public is no longer a simple process. We are finding more and more yacht crew, in general, are struggling to gain access to the previously easy to reach yachting hubs, making it difficult to find your first job on a yacht.

Dock walking is illegal in some areas for some time now. For example, in the USA unless you are a US citizen or are a green card holder, it is illegal to dock walk so be sure to check out the local laws before you book your plane ticket.

  • Dock walking in Palma
  • Dock walking in Antibes
  • Dock walking in Fort Lauderdale
  • Daywork 123 Job Board 

What to Wear Dock Walking?

Many superyacht crew agencies will tell you to get dressed up in khaki shorts and a white polo shirt and as this is still generally the standard, crew uniforms have changed over the years from the traditional yachting attire for a trendier, more modern look. The most important tip is to be yourself.

Don’t go trying to win any fashion awards – this is not a catwalk in Milan. Dress appropriately – a nice clean, well-ironed shirt and trousers or smart looking shorts/skort will do. Avoid strolling down the dock with your flip-flops, board shorts and vest on or promoting your new Gucci logo to the world.

Although tattoos are becoming more acceptable within the yachting industry, they are somewhat still considered taboo so it is best to try and cover them up.

what to wear dock walking

What to Say When Dock Walking – Approaching a Yacht

Good manners NEVER go out of style. Yacht crew are constantly busy onboard, so be patient, polite and friendly – don’t go ringing the passarelle buzzer 20 times.

Superyachts have the latest technology onboard and the intercom system will have notified a crew member or watchkeeper of your presence. Chances are you will be on CCTV so don’t forget to smile! Some yacht crew will be helpful and understanding as they may well have gone through the same process of dock walking at one stage in their career, others not so much. Do your research and try to learn some of the Yacht Terminology and Yacht Positions onboard they may require day workers for. 

Sometimes, you will get plenty of rejections but don’t let that put you off. The superyacht industry is very competitive, it may take days, weeks, or months, and it won’t be easy but you’ll get there. Be polite, say thank you, offer your availability should some “day work” come up, smile and head on to the next yacht.

Don’t skip any yachts (day work is day work, sail yacht or motor yacht, deck position or interior position), everyone has to start somewhere. Unless of course they have guests onboard or busy docking the yacht and have yet to tie up alongside – Then it’s best to come back later.

Don’t limit your options, especially if you have little to no experience. Be open-minded.

Network, sign up to yacht crew agencies and speak to fellow yachties. Try to stand out from the crowd, identify your strengths, skillset and ensure they come across on your CV.

Don’t take things too personally. Crew members are always on the clock, don’t be offended if you’re ignored, instead move onto the next yacht with a smile.

It’s worth having 10 up to date CVs to hand out at any given day. Ensure you proofread your CV, attention to detail is key. We have a great CV writing guide should you be unsure of what to put in your yacht CV.

Bonus Dock Walking Tip: Make up business cards. Add your name and contact details. Show your strengths and unique selling points. Make your CV stand out in the crowd of yachties.

Best Time to Dock Walk?

The best time to go dock walking is 7:00 – 8:00 in the morning so be prepared for an early start. Avoid dock walking at lunchtime, crew members look forward to their lunch break and it may cause them to be annoyed and less inclined to pass your CV onto the captain.

In the afternoon, around 16:00 – 18:00pm can be an ideal time to secure day work for the following day. 

Try to cover as many ports as possible, you never know where you may find an opportunity for day work.

Bonus Dock Walking Tip: Try using Marine Traffic and see which yachts are on their way back to port. 

dock walking antibes

How Much Can I Earn Dock Walking?

The going day work rate can vary depending on location, position and sometimes experience. In Antibes, the rate is around €120 euros – €160 per day. 

Unsure of where to stay while dock walking for yacht jobs? Check out our Accommodation and Crew House Guide for our recommendations. 

Good luck from the Superyacht Crew Agency team! Let us know how it goes and if you are needing more advice on how to get your first job on a yacht, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Further reading on how to get a job on a yacht:

How to get a job on a superyacht