Ben Angel

MY Virginian

Hello to all! First and foremost, I wish everyone good health during this time of uncertainty, and that you and your families remain well.

A brief intro – I currently serve on a 63m superyacht in the capacity of ETO. My career in yachting began a couple of years back; however, I have worked in an electrical capacity for the last 15 years. I started as an Electrician in the UK in 2005 and then went offshore in the Oil&Gas Industry, which took me to some places I never thought I would set foot in my lifetime.

It was all great experience until I found out about yachting, and soon realised I was missing out on an even more exciting life. I had a conversation with an Engineer in the industry and found out what requirements I had to meet before looking for work, and soon after I landed in Antibes. The usual story – setting up with agencies and trying to make some new connections.

My first break came from the Engineer that I had that first conversation with about the industry. I did a three-month winter with them, and then off to find something else.

This initial experience is truly invaluable, and anyone considering getting into the industry may need to bite the bullet at times and take a role that may not necessarily be your ideal job, but still gets you some time onboard; therefore, an opportunity to learn how yachts operate before persuing the role that you want – being electrically biased, working in this capacity was my ultimate goal.

Mid 2018, I was working on a 55m yacht in the South of France as Assistant Engineer or Deck/Engineer; a fast-paced role, and quite full-on, essentially managing two separate functions being on deck and the 2nd Engineer. I was still after something else, so I moved on from this yacht and did some Engineer/Electrician day work on a couple of yachts, testing their generators, and fixing electrical faults in preparation for their five-year inspections.

I contacted YPI Crew in the hopes of finding another vessel and clearly explained my concerns and what type of yacht I was going to be comfortable working on. They immediately noticed my work background and where my experience and therefore, strengths would lie. They were very encouraging and positive throughout the search, and over the next few months put me forward for several jobs, some of which I was a final candidate for after phone interviews with the yacht were complete.

Finally, YPI Crew contacted me about a position that was after just what skillsets I had to offer. The interview went well and off I went. The job was initially a temporary winter yard period, but I now work with the yacht as a contracted employee with time on/off rotation and a great package.

I am genuinely thankful to Marjorie and Anna from YPI Crew, and the rest of the team for the connection, and taking the chance on backing me. I hope to deal with YPI Crew for any further roles going forwards as they have by far been the most supportive and proactive agency.

Going forwards, I am currently studying an HND in electronic and electrical engineering and taking the required courses and oral exam to meet the ETO C.o.C. requirements. I would highly encourage any new yacht crew to pay attention to their training and the experienced crew members that they get to work with, as this is what will keep you and your coworkers safe as well as enhancing your capabilities at sea. Take the time to develop yourself and further your education in whichever path you choose to follow, and be engaged and proactive in what you do, this creates value in yourself and is what your employer will want to see.

I wish you all the best of luck in the future!