I have received a crazy amount of requests to share my advice for Dockwalking. Truth be told, I have never dock-walked & I’ll explain why below, so I am solely going to be sharing my advice as a Chief Stew who has dealt with countless dock-walkers over the years.
How to Prepare for Dockwalking
- Print out copies of your CV & keep in a plastic sleeve to protect them in your backpack/tote bag *keep it updated with daywork if you are a junior crew member
- Have business cards ready if you are going to be using them. In the past I’ve made them on microsoft word & the last time Ben & I made business cards, we were in Canada/USA and used moo.com. There are loads of great sites out there with templates & are relatively inexpensive.
*COUPLE TIP: Use the business card to your advantage! Put your details on one side & your partners on the other!
- Wear comfy shoes – Ben had brand new deck shoes & wore them while dockwalking. He ended up walking 5km barefoot because his blisters were so bad! DON’T BE LIKE MY OTHER HALF!
- Dress appropriately (more on this below)
- Map out all of the marinas you want to go to & how you will get there. Don’t waste time waiting at the train station when you could be visiting 3 more marinas in the area!
- Ensure your phone is fully charged & bring a spare battery pack if possible – you never know when you’ll be called about a job!
- Go alone – walking around in groups is always less intimidating for you, however it seldom works in your favour. If a yacht is hiring, chances are, they won’t be hiring 3 junior stewardesses or have 3 openings for a dayworker. When you approach a yacht with a group it’s incredibly difficult to stand out from the crowd without being pushy & at the end of the day, they are your competition. Should you really feel as though you can’t do it alone, go with a crew member from a different department!
- In your bag, bring an extra t-shirt that is plain, simple & you don’t mind getting dirty – if you are successful with daywork, it’s more than likely going to be a dirty job & you don’t want to ruin you “interview” outfit.
- Always have a spare pair of socks with you – if you are asked onboard for an interview or daywork, you’ll quickly realize just how careful you have to be when on the Interior. The Chief Stew (me!) will not be happy to see you walking bare foot on newly polished marble, or wearing sweaty, dirty socks on plush white carpet. Trust me, pack the socks!
- Pack a bottle of water & snacks, it could be a long day.
Majority of yachts start their work day at 8am, be on the dock at 8:15, ready with CV’s. If we need dayworkers for the day, I will know first thing in the morning & it will be first come, first served. Do NOT try to dockwalk between 12-1pm. This is crew lunchtime & it’s just not ideal to be interrupting the crew during their meal time.
If a yacht is looking for dayworkers that day and they think you could be a great fit, you may be asked to step onboard immediately. Dress READY TO WORK. Do not show up to the boat with ripped skinny jeans, a hoodie & hoop earrings bigger than something the Kardashian’s would wear. (This happened last Med season!!) Think of dockwalking as a day of speed interviews & dress as you would if you were meeting a Chief Stewardess for an interview. I would recommend as a stewardess wearing the following:
- Skort (I usually wear navy for interviews, but that is just a personal preference)
- Polo shirt (I have always worn a white polo shirt as it looks crisp with the skirt)
- Deck Shoes (My preference is for loafers as I find them way comfier & cheaper than deck shoes)
Try Topshop, H&M, Zara & ASOS for loafers – they usually have some in stock! (I just checked ASOS & they have 121 loafer options to choose from!)
- Keep your hair & makeup neat, tidy & professional.
If it’s cooler, adjust your outfit accordingly! There is nothing wrong with wearing navy trousers, polo shirt & a cardigan or pullover. Just keep in mind… you are dressing for an interview!
Below are a few examples from some of the top yachting uniform companies! (Tap the photo to be taken to their website!)
I can’t believe I even have to write this out!! The amount of dockwalkers I’ve seen especially in the past year being rude to the deck crew is just shocking. Do NOT tell the deck team to get the Captain! Instead, ask politely if the appropriate Head of Department is available for a quick chat. If you are rude, the deck team WILL tell us, & your CV won’t be reviewed. I know it sounds harsh, but why would we waste our time with someone who can’t be respectful towards our team.
Introduce yourself to the Head of Department, shake their hand, smile! Say you are looking for “x” position, for this instance let’s say you are a junior stew. Tell the Chief Stew you have your certifications ready to go & with your 5 years of hospitality (or whatever the case may be), you are really looking forward to transitioning onto yachts. Ask the HOD if they wouldn’t mind holding onto your CV incase something comes up and that you are available asap for daywork, seasonal & permanent (keep your options open!). Make sure you finish on a positive note, tell them how grateful you are for taking a few minutes to speak with you and how excited you are to be apart of a strong Interior Team. Remind them of your name & walk away.
When to AVOID dockwalking
Curious as to why I never dockwalked even though I was desperate for my first yachtie job? I completely my STCW while in Fort Lauderdale & it is ILLEGAL to dockwalk unless you are an American citizen or have a valid work visa. Do NOT risk it.
If the yacht is uncovered & there are guests onboard, just keep walking. Not sure if guests are onboard? Look for chairs, shoe baskets & a large rug at end of the passarail, or flowers on the aft deck. It’s really inappropriate to approach the vessel when guests are onboard & the crew will do what they can to get you away from the pasarail as quickly as possible.
When a yacht is tying up to the dock and the crew are busy securing the vessel, its a matter of safety. Don’t stand at the end of the passarail that most likely isn’t even secured with handrails. Hold off until the deck crew have completed their docking & return later in the day.
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Have you had success dockwalking!? Let me know in the comments below!