Nadine Leblanc

Second Engineer

Private Yacht
Sailing around the World

Why did Nadine choose this career area?

Nadine loves the sea and always wanted a job related to marine transportation. The year she finished high school, she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Portugal aboard a tall ship. The experience was great.

Nadine decided to become a marine engineer once she learned more about the job, the salary, and the worldwide shortage. She figured the work would let her see the world and develop more self-confidence.

What’s Nadine’s educational background?

Nadine graduated from Marine Institute’s Marine Engineering Technology program. Her work terms were with Canship Ugland, on a shuttle tanker servicing Hibernia and Terra Nova; and with Canada Steam Lines, on a bulk cargo vessel working the Great Lakes.

She was employed with both companies after graduation, gaining experience quickly. She credits wonderful crews and work on many types of ships for her quick career progression. She wrote all required Transport Canada exams and now has a chief engineer’s ticket.

What’s Nadine’s job all about?

Once Nadine got her chief’s ticket, she decided to check out work for a private employer rather than stay with a large commercial line. Having achieved the top ticket in her field, she sought out a position that would be more fun and better suited to her personality.

She found her dream job! Nadine got a second engineer’s position on a privately owned luxury yacht. She is in charge of the watch on a $70 million state-of-the-art yacht. She can’t reveal many details about the yacht due to a confidentially agreement with her employer, but she makes clear that it is fabulous.

Nadine maintains onboard machinery and equipment featuring lots of up-to-date technology. It’s challenging to work in a small space, but the crew is excellent and everyone co-operates.

What are Nadine’s working conditions like?

Living on a yacht is amazing. There are two full-time chefs who provide the best food possible, and the vessel travels to the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a gorgeous yacht which is kept perfectly clean and in prime condition. Nadine gets to see people and places through this job that would be impossible otherwise.

Nadine usually works eight hours a day, seven days a week. She works on the yacht for two months and then has two months off. She flies to wherever the ship is, lives on it for two months, and then gets her ticket to fly home to NL for two months.

What benefits are associated with Nadine’s job?

Nadine says that a chief engineer can make $90,000 - $150,000 annually. When she graduated with a 4th class ticket, she could make $60,000 - $80,000. It doesn’t take too long to move up.

In her present job, Nadine makes very good money. For her, however, it’s a lifestyle that meets all her wishes. She loves the travel and has been to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, St. Maarten, Korea, Chile, the Bahamas, Brazil, Germany, St. Bart’s, the USA, Italy, Cuba, Holland, Portugal, and Thailand.

What’s exciting or cool about Nadine’s career area?

The yacht usually sails the Caribbean in winters and the Mediterranean in summers.

Nadine’s habit is to fly out to her job a week or two before joining the yacht in order to travel around new places. On her most recent shift, she went to Italy three weeks before meeting the ship in the south of France.

Nadine is keen to enjoy the exciting travel and rich experiences that working on a yacht provide. She’s at the perfect stage of her life and career. She knows that with her chief engineer’s ticket and sailing experience she’ll eventually settle down and take a land-based job. She doesn’t want any regrets.

What advice would Nadine give to people considering a marine transportation career?

Nadine says people should choose a career doing something that they enjoy doing, without placing too much importance on money. She suggests people can do well in this career if they have a strong work ethic, good self confidence, and a thick skin.