When starting a yachting career, there are limited choices to go by. As a newbie yacht crew, or “Greenie“, as they call it in yachting, you will take every job that offers you the opportunity.
However, most crews find, over time, the right path for them. The sooner the crew discovers the right fit for their personality, skills, desires, and limitations, the higher the chances of surviving and succeeding in this competitive, stressful, and one-of-a-kind industry.
We are here to take you on a journey. Find the right yacht job and sail to new horizons.
The first step is to do your research. There are many different types of yachts, from motor to sailing, private to charter, and luxury to commercial. Each type of yacht has its own set of requirements, duties, and expectations. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the different types of yachts and what they entail before making any decisions.
The second step is to assess your skills and experience. Once you have a good understanding of the different types of yachts and what they require, you can start to narrow down your options based on your skills and experience. If you don’t have much yachting experience, you may want to consider starting out on a smaller yacht or one that doesn’t require as much responsibility.
Working on a Charter or Private Yacht?
Let us understand the differences between charter yachts and private yachts.
A charter yacht is a commercially registered yacht that can be owned by a company, as part of a fleet, or by an inpidual owner. It can be used by the owner and his friend in a private capacity or hired by a third party for a vacation for a limited time.
The charter yacht crew will need to be able to hit the ground running. Handle the pressure of changing charter guests every week. The basic salary might be a bit lower on a charter vessel, but charter tips will make it a higher-paying overall gig. Usually, between 10%-20% of the charter price will be pided between the crew.
A private yacht will fit crew that enjoy building relationships, understanding of the owner’s wishes and routine. Usually, it will be a more relaxed and balanced position, with fewer burnouts due to pressure and more time to learn and perfect your craft (depending on the owner, of course).
Sailing Yacht vs. Motor Yacht
Do you have a passion for sailing? If so, then a sailing yacht is the way to go. Sail yachts are powered by wind and rely on the skills of the crew to navigate. This type of yacht can be very rewarding for those who love the challenge. The charters are at a much higher rate as catamarans are the most chartered oriented boats.
Motor yachts are powered by engines and they tend to be larger and more luxurious than sailing yachts, making them also a popular choice for more luxurious charter vacations.
There is quite an obvious distinction between Motor yacht crew and Sailing yacht crew. You can see it almost immediately when docking next to each other.
Sailing yachts tend to be more lenient on appearance. Beards, tattoos, long hair, even dreadlocks and body piercing. For sailors, your skills and hard work is what matters most. Owners of sailing yachts tend to be more of the adventurous type and treat crew on a personal level. However, it is not only fun and games. Sail yachts, on average, have lower salaries, harder work and the crew will need to participate in various chores on deck and interior. Sailing yachts will fit
Motor yacht is all about the service. Crew will need to be clean cut and focus on the cleaning and service. Motor yachts are basically a floating micro hotel and the crew must be able to provide 6 star service. In general motor yacht crew will have a more stable work environment.
Pleasure yachts, Superyachts or Mega-yachts
The size of the yacht you work on will largely be determined by your experience and qualifications. If you’re just starting out, it’s likely that you’ll be working on a smaller vessel. As you gain more experience, you can move up to larger yachts.
The bigger the yacht, the more defined the role is. For crew coming from cruise ships or merchant ships, it might be easier to start off on larger yachts of 50 meters or more. There is no real legal distinction between the sizes of yachts, but in the yachting world there are common adjectives to describe the difference.
- Pleasure yachts – Ran by crew can be found in sizes from 20 to 40 meters. Usually from 2 crew members up to 10 crew members
- Superyacht – Is commonly used to describe yachts in the range of 40-60 meters. Crew ranges from 8 to 20 in the larger vessels.
- Mega yacht – Is a yacht of over 60 meters and is managed as a full-scale hotel.
- Giga yacht – Is the newest term to describe 100+ meter yachts, while the largest privately owned yachts in the world, such as Azzam or Eclipse, hire more than 50 crew members, and bigger yachts are built every year. The newest and biggest of them is Somnio, a 222 m Giga yacht, worth over 600,000,000$!
As yachts get bigger and bigger every year, we find new terms to describe the luxury and splendor. We wait and see what is about to come in the future!
Which yacht crew department to choose?
There are five main departments for yacht crew on board: Deck, Interior, Galley, Engineering and Bridge (officers and yacht captain).
- Deck – They will be in charge of the yacht’s exterior, water toys, and delivering guests off and on the boat.
- Interior – The crew will focus on service and housekeeping. The Chief Stewardess is the “face” of the yacht and will have the majority of the interaction with the guests.
- Galley – Usually, consists of one qualified yacht chef, one crew cook, or a small team on the larger yachts, and will be delivering mouth-watering food to the guests while providing healthy, nutritious meals for the crew.
- Engineers – They will be in charge of the technical and mechanical operations of the yacht.
As mentioned above, the roles depend on the yacht size.
Smaller pleasure crafts can often have perse roles, such as:
and even all of the above on the smaller yachts.
Those roles will fit a crew who enjoys taking part in various departments and learning more skills.
Large yachts can have very specific roles, such as laundryman or bartender. Those positions will suit yacht crew who prefer to specialize and excel in a specific area of the yacht.
Busy program or Dock bound
Some yachts move around a lot. Sailing or cruising from location to location. It might be around the world, dual seasons between the Mediterranean and Caribbean, or even within a limited area. The yacht crew will be busy, and some of the crew prefer the excitement and exploration.
Other yachts barely move from the dock, which can be great if you are looking for a structured routine, predictable working hours, and weekends off.
Location, location, location!
Yachting is a very portable profession. You can work on yachts in almost any country in the world. The most popular destinations for yacht crew are:
- The Mediterranean
- The Caribbean
- The Malpes
- New Zealand
- The United States
Many crew members start their careers in Europe and then move to other locations as they gain more experience. Others choose to stay close to home. It really depends on your own preferences and goals.
Finding longevity and success
As a professional yacht crew, you will need to conduct an honest assessment of your own personality, skill set, and career goals to contour your own path for longevity and success. It is not always about the highest salary, the fanciest yacht, or the most exciting program, but the right yacht and crew for you.