Cruising World

DREAM YACHT ACADEMY

- Randall —Brianna

Cruisers sailing the Florida Keys this year may have noticed the fleet of catamarans clustered off Stock Island near Key West. They’re part of Dream Yacht Charter’s newest US base, which opened in November 2020.

“The North American bases grew very fast,” says Yanik Aube, America and North Caribbean operations manager for DYC. “We now have nearly 30 boats in Key West, as well as 55 boats in the US Virgin Islands instead of the usual 15.”

All those boats require upkeep, of course, and good staff can be tough to find. Enter the Dream Yacht Academy, a new internship program based in Key West that trains marine mechanics, dock staff, skippers and chefs to work in the charter industry. Participan­ts are provided housing (a private cabin and bathroom aboard a catamaran), a stipend and travel reimbursem­ent—and they are guaranteed a job at one of DYC’S North American bases after successful­ly completing the course.

“We’re looking for people who want adventure and aren’t afraid of long days,” Aube says. “During the selection process, we make sure we know where applicants want to work and match them to where we need them after the internship.”

For now, participan­ts must be US citizens, but Aube hopes to eventually use the Key West-based academy to train staff for all 55 DYC bases around the world. The academy launched in February 2021 with a six-week mechanics training course for six participan­ts. The interns ranged in age from mid-20s to mid-50s, some fresh out of college and others looking for a midlife career change. A second two-week session in April was set to train eight dock staff.

The academy wants participan­ts who are willing to move seasonally, just like many of DYC’S yachts do. That means employees would work in a northern base during the summer and then move to a southern base in the winter, such as Marsh Harbour, Bahamas; the US Virgin Islands; or Key West, Florida.

As the name implies, it’s a dream job for people looking to live on the water, work on boats, and escape the snow in favor of tropical shores. Dream Yacht Academy will host at least two more sessions in fall 2021. Learn more or apply at DYC’S website (dream-yachtchart­er.com/dream-yacht-academy).

 ??  ?? Dream Yacht Charter’s new internship program aims to teach students marine mechanics as well as other shipboard and dockside skills.
Dream Yacht Charter’s new internship program aims to teach students marine mechanics as well as other shipboard and dockside skills.

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