Whitsundays Sailing Crew Jobs Course Australia

Qualify for crew jobs in the Whitsundays marine park!

The Whitsundays is blessed with having 74 Islands and 66 of the islands are still in their natural state, so what better place to learn how to sail and get a taste for a life on the ocean. Do you want to get paid to do a job you love? Do you want to experience the ocean and all its beauty and sailing on luxury yachts over the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays in Australia? Well then this is the ultimate Australia gap year programme for you, training you to qualify as a salty sea dog, and be able to work on boats all over the world. After this 23 day internship you will have exceptionally good chances of being paid up to $500 a week too!

Whitsundays Sailing Crew Jobs Course Australia: Trip Highlights

  • Meet like minded people and make new friends
  • Experience life as a true yachty
  • Visit awesome places like Airlie Beach
  • Become qualified with the NSCV, National Standards for Commercial Vessels
  • Set your self up for an amazing career in yacht life.

Whitsundays Sailing Crew Jobs Course Australia Photos

Whitsundays Sailing Crew Jobs Course Australia: Full Details


The course consists of four components. The course is for novices so don’t worry if you have no previous  experience  of sailing.

Starts each Monday, departing Abel Point Marina at 9:00am.

Week 1:

Training takes place on our NSCV (National Standards for Commercial Vessels) registered boat, where you will live aboard for five nights and six days, undergoing theory and practical application, while sailing around the Whitsunday Islands.
Includes: All meals on board, course notes, tuition, snorkelling instruction and equipment, marine and national park fees, training record log books and certificates.

Weeks 2 & 3:

Twelve nights on sailing tours, comprising of six, two day two night, Maxi Sailing tours around the Whitsundays as an extra crew member aboard our charter yachts. Trainees will be rostered on the yachts and get to work with professional crews, reinforcing the theory, plus learning other customer service aspects of working on charter yachts.



The programme is specifically tailored and managed all the way through from Day 1 to Day 23.
With an additional two weeks of consolidation training specifically to practice the theory/skills learned from the first week, the programme is geared towards getting the participants ready to work on the ultra high specification Maxi yacht favoured in the Whitsundays.

  • The first week is undertaken on a smaller yacht, learning the basics in a safe environment before moving to the Maxi yachts.
  • Weeks two and three take-ups in all the other aspects of working on the Maxi, including managing guests, snorkelling watches, guided island walks, re-provisioning, turning vessels and refuelling.

On this programme you will receive two full crew uniforms, and six nights accommodation in Airlie Beach. This is a fully managed programme from day one, our team will manage the 23-day schedule for you:   rostering on the yachts, booking in accommodation and dealing with operational aspects for the participants.

Man, that cup of coffee will taste good in the morning as you watch the sunrise over the ocean…

All of the different courses start in Airlie Beach at Abel Point Marina. This is where you will receive a comprehensive orientation and safety briefing prior to heading out into the tropical waters for your training.

This certificate gives you the skills to command your own private vessel. The International Crew Certificate and documents (IYT) requires a local payment of AUD$100, not included in the price.

Note: If you already have sailing certificates, we can adjust the programme for you.

Finding work after the course

We have 80 operational crew working on the fleet of 16 vessels who work with us in the Whitsundays. Approximately  20% of these crew positions are filled by graduates of this programme. Only 4 spaces are available on this course per month.

It is difficult to predict when the crew will be moving to another location or job or switching to other boats in the Whitsundays, but typically staff move on after 3 to 6 months.

This is very important: We DO NOT guarantee work, however, if you are diligent and punctual, attend work neat and tidy, get good results and reports from the Skippers and Crew you work with, the odds of employment improve.

You may have to wait a while for a vacancy as we cannot predict when the crew will move on to create vacancies. You are welcome to seek work with other Whitsunday operators who will be looking for the same skills. We also monitor the number of applicants starting the program and do at times block out spots if we think too many are starting.

During December the crew numbers leaving does tend to increase, creating more vacancies. It is important to note that we encourage the students who have finished the course, that they are welcome to seek work with other companies in Airlie Beach, and our operational managers do speak to the other companies regularly regarding staffing and employment.

What does the job include

The job typically includes most accommodation and food, and you can be paid up to $500 a week. Imagine spending your time cruising one of the worlds most beautiful locations and have no living expenses and getting paid!
Many gap year students end up working for a few months, saving up a boatload of cash and then travelling further.

Who joins?

The sailing course is open to anyone over the age of 18. It is perfect if you are seeking a career in marine tourism (read living on various cool yachts, sailing the around one of the world’s best marine parks in the eternal sunshine of Australia!). You do not need any prior experience if you want to join the full 23 day course.


Day 1: Sunday

Check-in and pick up all of your course materials and at 4 PM you meet at the boat. You will be sleeping on board tonight ready to start your training course in the morning.

Day 2- 6: sail training crew course

Your sail training crew course will run from day to all the way through to day six. This is a crash course detailing everything you need to know about being a competent crew person on board a boat. You learn about marine rope work and knots, your handling under power and sail. We include all of the essential boating information you need including rules and regulations, planning preparing the yacht for a safe trip handling sales, and safe operation of the yacht at sea. You will learn about avoiding and managing emergencies and general information on etiquette as well.

Day 7: Saturday Optional speed boat course

: if you are booked on the advanced course you will do your speedboat licence today. Please note you will need to provide your own meals today. If you are enrolled in the basic program, you get a day off to enjoy rarely beach. Head down to the lagoon and take a swim and kick back and relax in this awesome backpacker spot. Tonight you will be staying in a hostel.

Day 8: Sunday Relax

 is taken off, you will need to provide for your own meals. At 4 PM it’s time to meet in the marina is tonight you will be staying on board.

Day 9 – 13: Practical experience

This week you will gain practical experience reinforcing the knowledge you learnt on your course the previous week. You will be crewing on boats so be expected to get your hands dirty and participate as a genuine crewmember. It can be hard sometimes dirty work, but it’s all about mucking in. This is your time to shine and show enthusiasm because employment is not guaranteed at the end of the course, but usually those who show a lot of promise during this section the trip get selected first for a full-time crew position.

Day 14: .: Saturday Airlee Beach

Can be spent at your leisure enjoying Airlie beach. You will need to provide your own meals today. Tonight you’ll be staying in the hostel.

Day 15 -16: Sunday- Monday: Maxi Yacht Training

  You will gain experience sailing on a large Maxi Yacht.

Day 17: Tuesday

Tuesday you will finish the maxi trip at 1 PM and head back to the hostel. You will need to provide your own meals today.

Day 18-19:: Maxi Yacht

Again you will go out on a maxi sailing vessel. Reinforcing what you have learnt over the previous weeks.

Day 20: Friday

At 1 PM on Friday the boat will dock and you have the rest of the afternoon off.

Day 21-22: Saturday

Back out on the boats on Saturday for another sailing trip. This will be the final one prior to the course ending.

Day 23: Final Day

Monday the boat docks at around 1 PM on day 23. Check out at the office, and sit down with them to discuss next steps on finding employment. You will need to provide your own meals on day 23.


Six nights backpackers dorm/shared accommodation in Airlie Beach to be used for nights in between tours when not at sea. At other time you will be sleeping on the boats.


23 Days - Beginner Option

USD 2779

23 Days - Advanced Option

USD 3279

What's Included?


  • Sailing Course (the NSCV, National Standards for Commercial Vessels)
  • Safety briefing and induction period
  • 17 nights accommodation on the boats
  • 6 nights accommodation in an Airlie Beach backpackers
  • All meals whilst working on the boats
  • Bedding
  • Safety equipment
  • Course materials
  • Your own log book
  • Course completion certificate
  • Job interview on completion

What's Excluded?

  • All flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (WHV needed to work after the course)
  • Transport to Airlie Beach
  • Post and pre-nights accommodation
  • Meals whilst staying at the backpackers hostel during 6 nights
  • $39 AUD fee per person for marine, national parks and admin fees
  • Working Holiday Visa

Whitsundays Sailing Crew Jobs Course Australia Trip Dates

You may also like...

Learn to Earn In The Australian Outback

Experience the Australian outback and get paid to work up to 12 months on a real Australian Ranch! This 2 week trips gives you the unique opportunity to experience a new way of life in the Australian Outback! Including fun activities like riding horses, motor bikes, quad bikes, 4 x 4 and tractors. So if you are not afraid to get your hands dirty, sign up and start earning down under.

Find out more

We can help you customise your trips, and give you tailored advise. Please ask.

The Xtreme Team have done it all so hire away with your questions. All you have to do is ask...

Ask A Question

Find more inspiration

Whitsundays Sailing Crew Jobs Course Australia
23 Days

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.