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First yacht symposium offers support for industry, tips for crew

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Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler opened the first Fort Lauderdale Yachting Symposium in October by telling the audience of crew and business owners how important the yachting industry is to the city.

“This industry is so vitally important to the city of Ft. Lauderdale,” he said. “We are all sensing that we have turned a corner. There’s optimism again.”



Seiler noted that as the economy has rebounded, so has the city, which has seen 18 months of increases in home prices, the median home price increase 21 percent to $255,000, and home sales that are up 11 percent in the second quarter.



Unemployment, too, has declined, and he cited statistics for the city, county and state.

“There is no better job than a job in the marine industry because of its ability to sustain a family,” Seiler said. “You can’t support a family on a tourism job salary. Don’t get me wrong; tourism is great for the local economy and for sales tax revenues, but it doesn’t sustain a community.



“That’s why we want the marine industry to come back,” he said. “The marine industry is not just about the wealthy; it’s about an impact that crosses all economic sectors. Your success is so important to our community.”



Seiler ticked off several projects that have or will benefit yachts in Ft. Lauderdale, including the dredging of 3 miles of the Intracoastal from the 17th Street bridge to just before Sunrise Boulevard bridge, slated to begin this spring. The city will dredge into Bahia Mar, Las Olas and Hall of Fame marinas.



“Dredging the ICW without that is like building I-95 with no off ramps,” he said. “We have to do it.”

And as for the 54th annual Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show held each fall, he assured attendees that the city would not allow anything to hinder or hamper it.



“No event that we hold in the state of Florida has the economic impact of the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show,” he said. “Nothing will happen to Bahia Mar that will impact the boat show. We are committed to the boat show and to you all succeeding.”



In parting, he urged attendees to e-mail him with ideas on how the city can support the yachting industry, jack.seiler@fortlauderdale.gov.



“No good idea starts in government,” he said. “E-mail me.”

The full-day Fort Lauderdale Yachting Symposium held on Oct. 3 included more than 30 speakers in panel discussions on topics ranging from crew training and leadership to provisioning and shipyards. It was organized by King’s Institute of Private Service.


In another session, crew placement agents offered tips and advice for young crew.



Resume tips

  • Have a clear objective. This is who I am, what I can offer the program and what I want. Not money.
  • Take the time and expense to produce a professional-looking resume. Spell check it, get a professional photo taken. Our industry is about perfection and attention to detail.
  • Make it easy to read. Bullet points, some bold headers.
  • Make sure it is readable on electronic mediums. Bullet points are vitally important.


What not to do

  • Don’t wear much cologne or perfume.
  • Don’t use social media-type photos. Facial recognition is key.
  • Don’t let people searching you on the Internet find your social media pages. Learn how to change your privacy settings so it’s not visible.
  • Don’t work for the money. Build your career; the money will come.
  • Don’t show up for an interview in beach attire; first impressions matter.
  • Don’t use a fun-sounding e-mail address. Change it to a professional-sounding one.
  • Don’t jump job to job. Develop longevity with a minimum of a year, but it really should be longer. Interview the vessel so it’s a good fit for you.
  • Don’t expect to move to a senior position without putting time in. Learn your job and do it well, then move up.
  • Don’t ask about the salary or time off in your job interview. Educate yourself about the job and the yacht. Ask your placement agent for help there, and with the salary range you can expect.
  • Don’t dress inappropriately. Dress for the job you want. Less than 10 percent of crew have an appropriate professional photograph.


Career advice

  • Focus on the path you want. Invest in your career. Have ENG1 and STCW done when you walk in.
  • Be a team player. Work together to make everyone’s job flow.
  • Be positive. This is the hospitality industry. Smile. Think positively.
  • Find a mentor. Getting perspective on yourself or your career objective isn’t easy with someone on your boat. You need an external perspective.
  • Have a good attitude. People who succeed in this industry want to help others and make others happy. This is a service industry. Keep your work; that’s your most valuable asset. This is a very small industry. Break your word once and it gets around.

 

Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome: lucy@the-triton.com.

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