Everyone knows you as an admin of Palma Yacht Crew, the largest online community with over 80K members from all over the world. How do you feel about that and are you aware how helpful your page is for people to connect and get informed?
Palma Yacht Crew started out as a little group for local yachties where we could meet other crew over social activities of various kinds. Little by little that changed to the PYC as we know it today with crew using the board to look for work/crew, a place to crash or answers to their questions etc. It is absolutely fantastic to see how many people have benefitted from being part of our online community over the years. We are talking about tens of thousands – if not more than that when taking the remaining groups in the network into consideration. To give you a perspective, there are so many of us now that we could fill up some of the largest football stadiums in the world. Take a minute to reflect over that… So, how do I feel about it, you ask? It’s mind blowing, to say the least!!
What would be your advice for young people coming to Mallorca to try their luck in the yachting industry?
First off, yachting is not for everyone! People need to be aware that working as a crew on a yacht is not always as fun and glamorous as Instagram and Tik Tok want us to believe. In the worst case scenario, expect very long working hours (up to 18 hours-ish), rough weather, disagreements with colleagues, disrespectful yacht owners or guests, being away from your loved ones at home – and at times some may not even receive their salary! These examples may be somewhat extreme, yet familiar to all yachties. Newcomers to the industry need to be aware that there is another side to the story than the one they have learned of on social media etc. Obviously, there are plenty of good times to be had also. That’s why some of us have remained in the business for many many years. It just needs to be said that yachting is not always as exciting and glamorous as people want you to think it is.
Neither is it as easy to find work as some training schools seem to want their students to believe. Expect at least a couple of months of job hunting before you may have your first shot at an entry-level position. It is not everyone who manages to find daywork either, so bring enough money to support yourself for a minimum of 8 weeks while job hunting. Without finding daywork, I believe a budget in the vicinity of 1,200-2,000 Euros per month is reasonable in Palma (count on spending another thousand per month over in Antibes). It is obviously an individual thing how much you spend and how good you are at living on a very low budget. Landing daywork should pay a MINIMUM of 15 Euros/h and a full day around 120 Euros. So, it can be a huge game changer for those on a relatively small budget!
Once you have landed in Palma, network and get to know people within the industry. Chances of finding work are way higher if you have a large network. Use Palma Yacht Crew to find activity partners, whether that be to meet up for drinks, rent a car and explore the island together, a trip to the beach, a fitness partner or a dockwalking buddy. The more people you know, the bigger are your chances of finding that elusive first job!
When you first start out in yachting, you are in strong competition with experienced crew, in particular for the entry level jobs. So, unless you already have special qualifications within:
(just to name a few skills that are useful on yachts)
then realistically those with a season’s or two experience will be more employable than those with practically no yachting related skills at all. That said, every boat is different; on some boats you will need to be able to hit the ground running while on others there will be plenty of time to teach you all the ”tricks of the trade”. Personality and personal appearance also counts for a lot when new crew members are hired. Having said that, don’t give up, if you have none of these traits; there is still hope, as it is often a matter of being in the right place at the right time!
In addition to the above, dockwalk in the mornings and afternoons to get the word out on the docks that you are in town and available for daywork. It can be a daunting task but say to yourself “Do I want a job – or do I want a job?”. It is just one of these things that you NEED to do! Through daywork you gain experience and in some cases even land a temp- or a permanent gig. Let it be no secret that some yacht captains hire dayworkers only to see if they will suit in with the rest of the crew on board, when in fact there is a deckhand- or stewardess position available.
Last but not least, you will also have the option of going through the crew agents and/or Facebook. Admittedly,it is not uncommon for employers to receive 100-200 CVs when they look for crew on Facebook. For this reason you have to make yourself stand out; Your CV and cover letter MUST be perfect with zero spelling mistakes and a presentable CV photo of you smiling while dressed as a yachty. Make sure to have all the qualifications that are required for the position that you apply for as well! As regards crew agencies, I believe most agents prefer crew with experience, but never say never. After all, there are plenty of yachts out there that are open to hiring crew with little experience as well. These yachts will mostly hire crew right off the dock, though. In any event, always bear in mind that the shots you don’t take are missed opportunities!! That goes for everything in life…
How do you see Palma Yacht Crew community in 2023 and once you mentioned that you will be launching a webpage , is that still a plan?
It never was easy to predict the future – and get it right at the same time, but I can say this;
I do miss the early days of Palma Yacht Crew when it was a small, fun and friendly community consisting of local yachties. People knew each other and tended to be a lot more personal and helpful while often cracking jokes at each other. Over the years, the platform has evolved naturally to what it is today; PYC has gone from being a group of local yachties to a community of thousands of yachties from all over the world using the platform for professional reasons mostly, including finding jobs, accommodation or answers to their questions. I WISH more people would be proactive and use the board to organise meet-ups with other yachties, ask more questions, share ideas, jokes and thoughts, show off beautiful or funny yachting images and videos, share information about our marine environment in relation to our position as crew and how we can do better for the oceans and all that good stuff.
So where do I see the community going in 2023? It is indeed hard to tell, but in short, let’s just be friendly, helpful and respectful of each other.
(No need to mention the web page. It will be ready when it’s ready… LOL 😎)
Mallorca is a very attractive destination where many yachties decide to settle with their families after their yachting career. Do you think it will continue in the same rhythm or do you think that some other countries will be interesting as well because of the current situation in the world?
Yachties tend to settle where they see a future for themselves. While some decide to return back home and get on with life there, many will settle in typical yachting destinations such as Palma, Antibes and Fort Lauderdale, where they can remain connected with the industry. Others have chosen locations like Antigua, St Maarten and Barcelona, but overall I don’t see that changing.
What do you think of real estate on the island both Rentals and Sales from what you have seen, what you are seeing and do you have any opinion on which direction all will go in 2023 and do you have any advice for yacties?
Rental prices have gone through the roof over the last few years while wages have remained stagnant. Everyone seems to want to live on Mallorca, so seemingly this trend will not end until we start seeing further regulation in the space. Perhaps add to that some social housing initiatives that can accommodate the many seasonal workers who arrive on the island every Spring. The same goes for real estate sales; prices only go up and up in line with overseas demand for a property under the sun. With a recession looming ahead, perhaps there will be a temporary slow down, at least in the sub-500K category, but once we are out of that, prices will likely continue to increase.
For years I have been suggesting to all young yachties to invest in a home as soon as they possibly can. It doesn’t have to be big! Get a ”starter-home” and upgrade accordingly as you advance through your career. Take advantage of the unique situation you are in living for free on a yacht. Establish a passive income and rent out your property while others pay off your mortgage (Properties Palma can help you with that!). Come the day when you decide you have had enough of yachting, you can return ashore to a home that has nearly been paid off and remain cool by the pool – so to speak 🙂