Lets take a look at this checklist first to make sure you’re completely ready to go.
- What to Pack
- What Not to Pack
- What to Buy in Port
- $$ Budget $$
- Partying, Smoking, Drinking & Drugs
- Personality Traits Important in Yachting
Mostly summer clothes and shoes
A few warm weather clothes for evenings
A sweater and leggings for the boat as it can be cold with the AC
Small amount of toiletries
Fitness resistance bands
Electronics: laptop, tablets, phones etc and charging cords
International adaptor for electronics
A small item from that reminds you of home such as photos, your favorite tea or pillowcase
A soft bag or collapsible luggage to store easily on board
Travel health insurance (in case of an emergency before you get a job, where you will have insurance)
A big, bulky suitcase (you probably won’t have anywhere to store it!)
Too many clothes and shoes (think bare essentials like only one pair of heels for example)
More than one or two books (too heavy)
Too much of anything!
Anything large (bikes, roller blades etc)
A small throw blanket to use on board and in your crew house
Exercise equipment such as a travel yoga mat and a small set of weights
Any larger fitness equipment like a bike, skateboard or roller blades. However, don’t expect that the boat you end up working on will have room for these items.
You may have to sell them before moving on board. Join the FB group Yachtie Bring & Buy to find used items or sell your items.
South African products in Fort Lauderdale are fairly easy to find. At Publix and the International Store on 17th Street you will find Roibos Tea, a substitute for Bovril and Mrs. Balls Chutney.
Dutchies is also a place to buy South African products. See their Facebook Page here and download their menu.
I recommend having six months of living expenses saved up before coming to look for work.
If that is not possible, definitely have three months saved. There are many yacht Crew looking for work and competition can be high.
Plus, Fort Lauderdale, Antibes and many other ports are not cheap.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Example: Mary’s Crew House:
$200 per week
$20 for a key
$200 refundable deposit
Example: Smart Move Crew Accommodation:
$185 per week during high season
$160 per week during summer
$20 cleaning fee
See more information on Crew Accommodation here.
If you want to save money it is always advisable to cook food yourself rather than eat out. Most Crew houses have kitchens to use. Publix in Fort Lauderdale is the biggest super market chain, however, Winn Dixie is also close to 17th Street and may have better prices.
When shopping at grocery stores try and budget between $10-$15 per day.
Buses are definitely the cheapest form of transportation but are not the most user friendly in Fort Lauderdale. A one way ticket on the bus is $1.75 and a month long pass is approx $65.00.
Find pass information and bus schedules here.
Uber taxi is a fantastic resource for transportation but is much more expensive than buses. Download the APP, set your location and a driver will show up for you.
Taxis are by far the most expensive and meters start at around $2.50 and are approx $2.40 per mile. From Ft Lauderdale to Miami airport, for example, is around $80.00-$100.00.
Sun Trolley is a red and yellow bus that cruises around Fort Lauderdale stopping at a few you designated places where you can hop on or off. It is mostly free except for a few stops around Las Olas and the beach which are $1.00. An all day pass is $3.00. Find routes, fares and a way to track the trolley here.
The Tri Rail is a great way to get longer distances in Florida. Getting to Miami airport from Fort Lauderdale, for example, often takes less time due to traffic. It’s also very inexepensive. A one way ticket from Fort Lauderdale to Miami Airport is approximately $5.00.
Fare calculators, schedules and everything you need to know to travel on Tri Rail is found here.
Car Rentals are expensive in almost every city. Yachty Rentals in Fort Lauderdale, however, is very reasonably priced and as there motto says, they “…speak Yachty”. They have cars, scooters, bikes, RV’s, housing, boats and more to rent. Find more information here.
If you are a big partier, smoker, drinker or do any recreational drugs you will have a hard time in Yachting. You will either find a boat where those things are acceptable and find yourself doing them more often or you will not be hired if you build yourself a reputation.
Either way, Yachting is a place where you have to work to be healthy. There are more crew out there not taking care of themselves than who are (but hopefully this is changing!).
Please try and be a part of this healthy moment and kick these habits before you get on board!
Some Other Reasons not to Bring Addictions on Board:
– Most crew attacks and personal incidents happen when crew are out partying late at night. Crew are often targets. This includes everything from petty theft to rape and even murder.
-Crew have been arrested and put in jail many times over for being involved in drugs on board.
-It’s way too easy to spend all of your hard earned cash. Many crew have blown a good chunk of their paycheck on a single night out before on any combination of partying, smoking, drinking and drugs..
– Yachting is a very small industry and if you earn a poor reputation for yourself it could be detrimental to you finding a good boat or any boat at all.
– Did I mention that when you’re on board, the weight seems to pile on quicker than ever before? It’s true. Yachties have to work hard to stay trim because of all of the sweet and fatty temptations on board every day. Combine that with little sleep, long hours of work and an added hangover it is virtually impossible to stay healthy.
This industry gives you the incredible opportunity to make money and be successful at whatever you want to do. Partying hard and not taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to ruin that opportunity.
-Being successful on board is not just about how you work, it’s also how you gel with the rest of the crew and present yourself on board. All are equally important.
-You will be living in tight quarters with Crew who have long learned how to not annoy each other and how to behave on a boat.
-You will be green (new) and have to learn the ropes to be successful.
If you have the following personality traits you will be leaps ahead of many other crew in being successful on board.
-Clean in your personal space and with hygiene
-Pleasant to be around
-Polite (please and thank you’s go a long way)
-Eager to help out wherever you can
-Positive and uplifting to be around
-Does not thrive on drama or bring drama on board
-Does not affect other crew with whatever is going on in your personal life (still maintains a positive attitude)
-Shows initiative but takes direction very well
-Is comfortable with hierarchy and showing respect to everyone, especially heads of department
-Has a filter (does not say whatever comes to your mind the moment it comes to mind)
-Does not easily offend people
-Has well engrained manners