working on a yacht as a chef

Joined Mar 3, 2010
just curious if anyone on here has done that. one of my chefs at school has done it and im kind of curious. i was just wanting to hear some feedback about it and maybe the best way at getting a position like that. i looked around on line but wanted to hear from personal experience. thanks
Joined Sep 2, 2009
seems like those kinda gigs you have to be very lucky or know someone with a yatch....
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Not necessarily. There are a number of cheftalk members who do that for a living. Shipscook comes to mind, for instance.

Hopefully they'll jump in with some of the details about how you land those sorts of jobs.
Joined Jan 23, 2010
never been on a Yacht although i did get the opportunity to attend a recruitment open-day aboard the Aurora P&O Cruise Ship being shown around all the Galleys and restaurants, the Galleys were mostly stainless steel from top to bottom and the chefs didn't have to do any of the cleaning either. the contract and hours put me off working a 6 month contract 7days a week with one afternoon off a week.

If you want to look into it maybe read up on Gordon Ramsey who worked on board a private yacht for the boss of Granada Television Studios,  you can read all about Ramsay's experience working aboard a yacht in his autobiography Humble Pie, Chapter 5 entitled Oceans Apart /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
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Joined Jan 14, 2007
there are several reasons I prefer commercial vessels over yachts or cruise ships--I like research crews best and enjoy where freighters go.

Here is a link to a yacht forum and I have a couple of headhunters in my files if I haven't deleted them?? will check and get back.

I recommend this book right now. The way he gets to a yacht is very interesting! I sent it to a friend, but will read it again. Bargains on amazon now--

Don't know where you are located, but might check out day charter boats or passenger ferrys to get and idea of cooking where nothing stays where you left it.

Also depending on the size of vessel and crew, there are Coast Guard documents you must have and they are not inexpensive. Sometimes the owner will help with the expense if you stay your contract, if not you will pay back.

Also if you have had a drug conviction or a DUI, bye-bye.
Fair seas,
Joined Aug 23, 2008
Joined Aug 14, 2006
I have been working on private yachts for five years now.  To get a job you really need to be in Fort Lauderdale.  Register with crew agencies.  After you register call them.  Be prepared to work much harder than on land because you won't have a very regimented schedule.  You are basically a private chef living in close quaters with other crew.  You don't get days off because the crew need to be fed every day three times a day.  Hard work but the pay off is that you get to travel.  The pay is quite good for chefs.  Email me if you have any more questions.  I am leaving for the Bahamas Tuesday but I should have internet.
Joined Mar 3, 2010
awsome thank you. im not as experienced as i would like to be but definatly looking into things i may be interested down the line.
Joined May 8, 2009
There are private cruise lines in the PNW too.  Some of the people I worked with went on to work yatchs in Florida.  I never ran with the idea, but I may someday before I get too old.  It always sounded like a learning experience to me.  That is to say:   I think they're looking for a deckhand who can cook.  :)
Not to sound disparaging; the 'chef' title is more than handy, but there are other responsibilities you'll need to manage.  And it's FUN!  You get to travel!!!  It's an experience. 
Joined Aug 14, 2006
Not to completely disagree with the above post but the deckhand is normally not in your job description.  Occasionaly assisting with lines and fenders but on the bigger yachts (130ft plus) you tend to only do the provisioning, cooking, clean up.  A very interesting part of the job is getting to buy food all over the world, (actually, searching sometimes) without a budget.  I am always impressed with the high quality of food we get to use.

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