Mallorca’s yacht scene

One of the top four hiring ports in the world, Palma ranks alongside Fort Lauderdale, Antibes, and Newport on Rhode Island.

The importance of the yacht industry to Mallorca cannot be stressed enough; it provides thousands of jobs and is described as a ‘lifeline’ by Balearic president Francina Armengol.

The diverse demands of a rapidly growing industry mean that positions available extend past the standard captain, officer, mate, and deckhand to encompass engineers, chefs, stewards and stewardesses, and even nannies, medics, beauticians and massage therapists.

The superyacht industry leader in the Med is admittedly the South of France, but living costs are outlandishly high there, so many crew members prefer to live in the Balearics, which are not only markedly cheaper, but also offer a host of benefits including quality of life, an excellent infrastructure and easy international transport connections.

Mediterranean yacht season runs from April until September, and the end of March to beginning of April is the most favourable time of year to find work in Mallorca. Those candidates more interested in sailing yachts will find they have access to a wider job market than those who focus on motor yachts.

Mallorca’s busiest yachting hubs are at Port Adriano, Puerto Portals, Port d’Andratx and Palma itself, all yacht crew throughout the seasons making use of their extensive facilities, including the bars and cafes, which offer a great place for useful networking opportunities.

Dockwalking is a popular activity and consists of just that: walking the docks in search of day work. Some captains use this as a way of trying out new crew members, meaning a temporary day job can end up becoming a full-time job. The best times to be present to offer services are between 7.30 and 8.00am, or around 4pm.

Of course, basic qualifications and experience in your chosen area of speciality are essential. There are currently 14 courses offered by the Balearic government, with the capacity to train 1,600 people. The Nautical Academy is a first-class training facility in Palma offering accredited courses in all departments, including deck, medical, safety, security, interior and culinary courses.

The Escuela Náutica Palma, the Escuela Balear de Náutica and IB Yachting are three such other schools offering courses. We can’t think of a better place to train or complete mandatory refresher courses than in Palma, an important sea trading centre since the 15th century currently enjoying its modern incarnation as a bustling, world-class maritime hub.

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