A few weeks after completing a course at NMIT Troy Campbell is about to head off to the south of France to become a crewman aboard a 49 metre (160 ft.) motor yacht.
The 22- year-old only made the decision to apply for the NMIT Certificate in Superyacht crewing in the middle of the year but now can’t believe he’s on track for a career on the water.
“It’s almost too good to be true. I can’t wait,” he says about joining the Mediterranean-based boat skippered by Nelsonian Nathan.
The Wellington student might have failed his level three NCEA examination at Hutt International Boy’s school but the prospect of a glamour marine career spurred him on to a 93 per cent mark in his boat master’s written assessment on NMIT’s superyacht course.
Troy will join the Auckland-built motor yacht T-6, berthed in Antibes on the French Riviera, frequent home to many of the vessels of the rich and famous.
The T-6’s skipper, Nathan McCrorie himself obtained his Inshore Launchmaster ticket at NMIT and has been working as a commercial vessel officer and skipper. He targeted NMIT when he was looking for crew. “I know the students are well trained and will be good deck hands from the word go.”
He says the T-6 travels the world for its owner and is a rarity for its size, carrying a helicopter. It has a crew of 8-10.
Nathan says the vessel owner wants as many New Zealand crew as possible. “Kiwis have such a good name in the industry around the world for their work ethic. The owners are very down to earth and they want that Kiwi family feeling aboard.” Another practical reason for preferring Kiwi crew is that in many parts of the world they don’t need visas.
Nathan interviewed three candidates before employing Troy who, he says, will fit in well on the T-6. He says he’d like to employ more NMIT graduates in future.
Troy says he got the call from Nathan while he was awaiting a doctor’s appointment for a medical check. “I couldn’t stop smiling through the whole appointment. The doctor said, are you alright? I said, yes, I’m off to the Mediterranean in two weeks.”
He got a taste for overseas outdoor adventure working in summer camps in the United States, straight out of school and later worked his way up to duty manager at Macdonald’s.
Troy had spent many summer family holidays at Lake Rotorua, boating and skiing on the lake but did not enjoy school and “didn’t really care about learning,” That all changed when he started the NMIT Superyacht certificate course.
“I just loved it. It was so in-depth and fast. It was only 12 weeks but every second day we were doing something different. I remember the fire training. We did that for two and a half days and by the end of it we were wearing full New Zealand Fire Service gear, putting fires out and rescuing dummies. When we started, we had no idea.
“it was practical learning. You just can’t get that sort of knowledge any other way”.
Troy credits his tutor Pete Carmichael for inspiring him to get the most out of the course.
Pete Carmichael joined NMIT staff last year after his own career as a superyacht skipper, based in the south of France.
For six years, he skippered motor yachts up to 35 metres long, operating in Mediterranean waters around Italy, France and Spain. He was accompanied by partner, Julia who was the chef.
His contacts in the industry helped him to find Troy Campbell a job. “It’s certainly a very rewarding career and Kiwis do have an excellent reputation which helps our graduates.”
Pete Carmichael says New Zealand’s America’s Cup triumph is good news for would-be superyacht crew. “There’ll be many boats in New Zealand around Cup time so there’ll be opportunities for our graduates.”
The T-6’s skipper, Nathan McCrorie himself obtained his Inshore Launchmaster ticket at NMIT and has been working as a commercial vessel officer and skipper. He targeted NMIT when he was looking for crew. “I know the students are well trained and will be good deckhands from the word go.”
While Troy Campbell isn’t looking too far ahead, he’s also keeping an eye towards career possibilities around America’s Cup. But for now, he just can’t wait to board the plane with his skipper Nathan McCrorie, bound for France.
Find out more about the Certificate in Superyacht Crewing at NMIT.
Tutor – Superyacht Crewing
Tangaroa Ararau - International Maritime Institute of New Zealand