What is Life Onboard a Superyacht Really Like?
It's not uncommon to wake up each morning in a different part of the world - but in addition to the obvious travel benefits, it is also important to realize that you have no living expenses at all-no food, rent or utility costs-even your crew uniform and toiletries are provided. There are also significant tax advantages to living and working on a superyacht. Most crew pay little or no tax at all.
On top of this, you have a professional chef cooking luxurious meals for you at least twice a day and everything you earn you can take literally take straight to the bank. You are also entitled to full medical insurance and, depending on the yacht, dental insurance too.
You are entitled to 4 - 6 weeks paid holiday per year, and some yachts even provide one paid flight home per year as well as cash bonuses, should you complete one year's employment.
Crew working on charter yachts can expect several thousands of dollars in tips (it is not unheard of for some crew to receive a $5,000 dollar tip during a two week charter). Some are also given designer watches, jewelry and clothing.
These are only some of the more obvious benefits - but then when one considers that you are learning something new each day and meeting new people from different cultures all over the world on a weekly basis - you really cannot go wrong.
So, all you need to do is decide where you want to work-the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Australia, South America, US-and the world is your oyster!
Wow, that sounds great - but are there any downsides?
Well, there is nothing quite like working as crew on a superyacht. But most of the downsides to the job are related to working with other crew. You are, after all, working in a relatively confined space, which only serves to exaggerate the little annoying practices of others.
Here are the five most common behaviors that annoy crew the most:
1) The Silent Zone
When you're working an 18-hour day while on charter, the one thing you need most is sleep. Depending on your watch schedule, your hours of rest could be split at any point during the day. So when you have an hour to rest, you do your best to get the most out of it.
Welcome to the silent zone…
Yet, there is usually some clueless soul who fails to realize that you're on a break and just when you're about to fall asleep-BANG-a door slams, pulling you back from the verge of a blissful dream.
2) Mixing Colors
One of the biggest gripes for stewardesses is the fact that their fellow crew don't understand the difference between white and the rest of the colors in the rainbow.
Laundry baskets are clearly marked one or the other, yet it's apparently lost on some individuals.
To quote one of my stewardesses:
"How hard is it to put colors in one basket and whites in another? You'd have to be blind to miss it, but it still happens!"
3) The Missing Key
After a pleasant evening in port, you arrive on deck late and open the locker where the 'secret' spare key to the crew mess door is stored… only to find that it's missing.
You then realize that John the deckhand left the bar 30 minutes before you did and has let him in, locked the door, but neglected to return the key!
So, you start calling the numbers of your fellow crewmembers, but none of their phones have signal while they're encased in a steel housing.
So you're stuck outside with two options:
1) Sleep in the rescue tender; or
2) Start banging on the Captain's window to let you in.
Both options are, of course, not ideal. Your only compensation is the fact that John will get a telling-off in the morning!
4) The Clothing Exchange
While the numbering system on the labels of crew clothing goes a long way to prevent this, there are still occasions when you cannot find a t-shirt or worst of all-any clean underwear!
You know it's been washed because you put in your dirty laundry over three days ago, which means it has now made its way into someone else's cabin, resulting in the farcical situation of someone else wearing your underwear.
I have even heard of Captains wearing the deckhand's underwear and knowingly so! But to add insult to the proverbial injury, the clothing exchange is only open when you're on charter and when you don't have the time to go rummaging through the drawers of another cabin!
5) The Spanish Inquisition
This last point comes from the Captain of my yacht. What's the thing that annoys him most about crew generally?
"Being asked where are we going next or what the plans are," he says. "The problem is not the question as such, but the fact that you get asked this question by every single crewmember over and over again. As soon as I know where we're going I'll write it on the board in the crew mess. Until then, relax!"
So, even with all the fabulous advantages that come with a job on a superyacht, it still takes a pretty strong-willed individual to completely ignore the bad habits of fellow crewmembers.
The Superyacht Access Club
Advanced Training For Superyacht Crew
About the Author
Hi I'm Danny! I'm an expert when it comes on how to get a job on super yachts!