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Frequently Asked Questions


Yachting Questions

What kind of experience do I need to get started in this industry?

Restaurant and/or hotel cleaning experience, with a great 'service with a smile' attitude, and willingness and ability to live on board and travel with the vessel. The Steward/ess is responsible for all interior cleaning of the vessel, including setting the table and service of the meals, making the beds for the guests, doing the laundry for guests and crew, and for providing attentive service, anticipating their needs before they need to ask. Example, if they're going to the beach for the day, have a picnic basket ready for the including water, lemonade, sunscreen, CD player and CDs, Hat, Magazines, etc. Your job is to ensure that the guests have an enjoyable and relaxing vacation on board, and that the boat is kept immaculate.

Experience requirements for Cook/Chef:
Same 'service' attitude as above, but flair for, and enjoyment of cooking for up to 12 guests and crew. The Cook or Chef is responsible for ordering, purchasing and storage of all food items, liaising with the owners/guests to plan the menu for the trip, and preparing all the food for the guests and the rest of the yacht crew. As the owners use the boat as a hotel in many cases, sometimes in remote locations, the food served is often the highlight of their trip. Most yachts will also require some maritime training, including STCW 95 Basic Safety Training.

Experience requirements for Deckhand:
Boating experience, ability to swim/scuba dive, repair small engines, paint or varnish, and willingness to maintain exterior of the yacht in immaculate condition with pride. The Deckhand is responsible for assisting the guests with their baggage, driving the tender for them, transporting them to and from shore, cleaning the exterior of the boat, assisting in the navigation while underway, and generally helping to ensure a safe environment for the guests' vacation. Most yachts will also require some maritime training, including STCW 95 Basic Safety Training.

Experience requirements for Engineer:
Practical hands on experience repairing any variety of mechanical items such as jetskis, waverunners, air conditioners, refrigerators, diesel engines, generators, electrical wiring, plumbing, navigational equipment, etc. The Engineer is responsible for keeping the yacht in good mechanical order so that the vessel is safe to go to sea with guests and crew on board, and able to provide a first class hotel environment for the owners and their guests. Most vessels will require the Engineer to have some formal training, certification and licensure depending on the size and flag of the yacht.

Can you tell me about the types of positions you place?

Although there is a higher demand for experienced crew, we do place many entry level crew. Restaurant, hospitality, or mechanical background is helpful, and a flexible, positive attitude is a must. The positions are all paid positions, and usually require a minimum of 6 months to 1 year commitment. Most require you to live aboard and travel with the vessel, and you will most likely have to share a cabin with another crew member. Time off is usually 4 weeks paid per year. Generally the owners use the vessel about 1 week per month. The other weeks you are doing maintenance projects to ensure the vessel is 100% ready for guests. You are paid whether there are guests on board or not. If the vessel is a 'charter vessel' then when the owners are not using the yacht, other guests can pay a charter fee for the vessel and use it for 1 - 2 weeks at a time. Charter guests usually tip 10% - 20% of the charter fee to the crew, which can be up to $4000 per crew-member for a week, extra, on top of their salary! However, most tips are around $1000 per person per week.

It is important to note that while the Yachts are designed for the owner and guests pleasure, the crew must work very hard and diligently to maintain the vessel and fulfill the expectations of the owner and guests. Working on a yacht is by no means an easy job.

These yachts are the toys and homes of the world's wealthiest businessmen and women. Obviously, no pets, no overnight guests, no drugs, and no illegal activities. Only responsible individuals who are clean cut, presentable, and well-spoken, will succeed in this industry.

Commercial Questions

What Kind of Jobs Are Available?

It's easy to see that the options are numerous for someone choosing a seagoing career. If you want to stay close to home there are jobs available on vessels on our inland waterways as well as in our harbors. If you like to travel the merchant service is an ideal way to see the world. We as a nation and the world as a whole rely extensively on the maritime industry to move raw materials as well as consumer products, and every one of those vessels have merchant marine professionals guiding them to their ports of call. You will also find them standing on the bridge and manning the engine rooms of passenger vessels and harbor tugs. There is a large population of civilian mariners operating the growing number of support ships for our military. The choices are virtually endless.

MCA Exam Questions

How many times may I retake my exam if I don't pass?

For most MCA deck courses, you will be able to take the exam one additional time without having to resit the entire class. For most MCA engineering courses, you are able to resit the exam as many times as required to pass. ( This may change in the near future - please ask a student services representative at MPT if you have nay questions.)

General Questions

What is STCW

STCW is an acronym for "Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping". Many people confuse the code itself for the requirement for Basic Training in Safety - often referred to as STCW Training, or STCW Basic Safety Training. STCW Code History: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) held a convention to improve the worldwide standards for safety and training of professional mariners in 1978. The Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention established a code adopted by many nations on July 7, 1978 and was named the Seafarers Training, Certification,& Watchkeeping (STCW) Code. Subsequent conventions were held in 1991, 1994, 1995 & 1997, and 2010 to update & revise the code.

What is the difference between Port and Flag State Control?

Port and Flag State Control are key elements in fulfilling the revisions of the STCW Code. Port State Control is the authority an administration has over vessels operating within their waters (jurisdiction) regardless of Flag. In a nutshell, Port State Control is the oversight and inspections conducted by the administration of the port on a vessel entering their port. Simply stated, in the United States, when the USCG boards a vessel and “checks it out”, they are fulfilling part of their port state control authority. The revised Chapter I of STCW includes enhanced procedures concerning the exercise of port State to allow intervention in the case of deficiencies deemed to pose a danger to persons, property or the environment (regulation I/4). This can take place if certificates are not in order or if the ship is involved in a collision or grounding, if there is an illegal discharge of substances (causing pollution) or if the ship is maneuvered in an erratic or unsafe manner, etc. Flag State Control is the authority an administration has over vessels with their own registration (flag) regardless of where they are operating. Therefore, when the USCG conducts an inspection on a US flagged vessel, they are acting as Flag State Control.

What is the Grace Period for a USCG credential

You may renew your credential during the Period of Grace (no more than 12 months beyond the five-year expiration date), but you can NOT operate under the authority of your credential during this Grace Period. Once your credential has expired, it is no longer valid and you can not work on it.

Untitled Document
Boat Size 80 - 100 feet 100 - 120 feet 120 - 140 feet 140 - 160 feet 160 - 180 feet 180 feet +
Captain
agency range 6,500 - 8,500 8,750 - 10,275 10,200 - 12,000 11,800 - 14,375 13,750 - 16,000 15,750 +
poll average 7,631 9,975 11,111 13,453 15,004 17,593
poll range 2,300 - 11,000 4,000 - 15,833 6,000 - 18,000 8,000 - 23,400 6,400 - 22,500 8,500 - 30,000
First Officer/Mate
agency range 3,500 - 4,250 4,330 - 5,000 5,425 - 6,175 6,450 - 7,325 7,475 - 8,600 9,000 - 9,375+
poll average 5,283 4,676 5,257 5,796 7,500 6,638
poll range 3,150 - 6,700 3,500 - 6,667 3,250 - 7,000 4,000 - 7,250 7,000 - 8,500 2,500 - 9,500
Bosun
agency range 2,600 3,150 - 3,400 3,535 - 4,025 3,875 - 4,375 4,200 - 4,850 4,875 - 5,000 +
poll average 3,300     4,191 4,388 4,990
poll range (1 response) (no response) (no response) 3,000 - 6,000 4,000 - 5,350* 3,000 - 7,400
Deckhand
agency range 2,400 - 2,900 2,750 - 3,000 3,125 - 3,175 3,250 - 3,675 3,325 - 3,750 3,570 - 3,775
poll average 2,465 3,460 3,470 3,055 3,078 3,466
poll range 720 - 3,500 2,000 - 5,000 2,500 - 5,000 2,000 - 3,600 2,400 - 4,000 1,000 - 5,200
Chief Engineer
agency range 5,900 - 6,400 6,200 - 6,950 7,000 - 7,875 7,800 - 8,800 9,450 - 11,075 11,350 - 11,850 +
poll average   7,167 7,321 8,696 10,467 12,919
poll range (no response) 3,500 - 12,000* 3,000 - 10,000 3,400 - 12,000 6,500 - 15,000 9,200 - 20,000
Engineer
agency range 4,000 4,350 - 5,800 5,400 - 6,500 5,750 - 7,200 6,600 - 7,650 7,750 - 8,425+
poll average 3,945 5,400 7,300 6,019 5,950 9,760
poll range (2 responses) 3,500 - 6,500 7,000 - 7,800 3,000 - 12,000 1,800 - 13,000* 4,000 - 22,500
Chief Steward/ess
agency range 3,450 - 3,950 4,075 - 4,600 5,025 - 5,650 6,125 - 6,675 6,550 - 7,300 7,450 - 7,950
poll average 3,433 4,454 5,230 6,084 5,500 7,900
poll range 3,000 - 4,300* 800 - 6,000 4,000 - 6,500 3,500 - 10,000 (2 responses) 6,500 - 9,000
Second Steward/ess
agency range 3,000 - 3,250 3,150 - 3,450 3,525 - 3,800 3,825 - 4,325 4,150 - 4,475 4,375 - 4,800
poll average   2,850 3,167 4,113 4,389 4,400
poll range (no response) (2 responses) 2,300 - 4,000 3,700 - 4,750* 3,500 - 6,000 3,000 - 5,500
Steward/ess
agency range 2,600 - 2,800 2,725 - 3,000 2,800 - 3,050 2,900 - 3,225 3,125 - 3,400 3,325 - 3,500
poll average 3,430 3,743 3,938 2,933 3,700 3,229
poll range 2,000 - 5,000 3,000 - 4,500 3,000 - 5,000* 2,000 - 4,000 (1 response) 2,000 - 4,250
Chef
agency range 4,750 - 5,900 5,300 - 5,800 6,150 - 7,150 7,000 - 8,200 7,850 - 9,350 6,700 - 9,350 +
poll average 4,429 5,287 6,544 6,340 8,175 7,660
poll range 4,000 - 6,000 2,750 - 8,000 4,600 - 10,000 3,250 - 10,000 6,250 - 10,000 5,500 - 10,000
Sous Chef/Crew Chef
agency range (no range) (no range) 4,150 - 4,450 4,500 - 5,250 4,250 - 5,575 4,750 - 5,850
poll average   4,000       5,571