Crew housing and accommodation in the superyacht industry
Last updated: 28/02/2018
If you’re a first-time yachtie looking for accommodation during your job search, or a more experienced yachtie heading shore-side for training or leave, you’re in the right place to find out more about your housing options.
Yachtie accommodation typically comes in a few forms, including hotels, hostels and private rentals, but most crew typically head to "crew houses" near to the ports and marinas of the world’s yachting hubs and hiring ports.
Crew accommodation options for yachties
Whichever port you head to, you’ll need a place to stay while you’re looking for a job, training up, or waiting for visas and qualifications. There are different options available, allowing you to weigh up which is the most suitable for you and your needs.
1. Crew houses
A crew house is a privately owned facility that offers clean, budget accommodation just for yachties. These are typically owned and run by fellow yachties or former crewmembers, and offer reasonably priced accommodation in prime hubs and hiring locations around the world.
Crew houses work similarly to hostels in that there is no lease to sign; you don’t pay a deposit; and they are equipped for basic living during your stay. You may be put in a room with one or two others. The facilities are generally welcoming, economical and placed close to local ports and marinas. Crew houses are known as so due to their connections to the yachting industry. As such, staying in one often offers ample opportunity for new friends and networking, and residents may be the first to hear about the available yacht jobs and day work.
Most crew houses charge rates on a weekly basis. Depending on the time of the year and quality of accommodation, you can expect to pay around €20 to €60 per night. Some may also post your CV on their website and/or social media pages.
2. Rental houses and apartments
Another option is to find a private apartment or house share. These can be found online or arranged through local agents. You could also ‘buddy up’ with other crew members that you've met along the way, giving that little extra comfort and personal space away from the crew house.
Shared accommodation, depending on the location and quality, can be cheaper than crew houses, yet contracts may be longer and harder to get out of on short notice, should you get a job with an immediate start.
You’ll want to make sure your accommodation has Wi-Fi for online job searching and keeping in touch with friends and families.
When renting private accommodation or moving into a shared house, Caimari Crew Accommodation advises that there are still plenty of important factors to bear in mind:
- Ensure to personally check the apartment for damage; make sure you sign a contract and fill out an inventory. It sounds simple, but sometimes you might not be offered a contract, but you’ll need to have one to ensure your legal safety. Confirm what is going to happen with the deposit/bond after the rental period, before signing any contract.
- When paying, international bank transfers can often take more than three days, while cards work faster (within 24 hours). Always ask for receipt if you are paying in cash.
- All communication in shared housing is best done through one tenant and one agent. This will avoid confusion, duplicate information and contradictory requests. Make sure all communication is followed up with a letter or email; this simple action can avoid any possible problems in the future.
- When you find that something doesn’t work or gets broken, make sure you tell your agent straight away.
- If you plan to renew the contract, tell your agent as quickly as possible, or risk losing your apartment.
- You always have the right to your deposit back. If the agent says that the deposit won’t be returned, it must go with an explanation. This must be based on events with evidence.
Agents can help with simple matters, such as where to shop and eat, the closest place to leave the rubbish, parking areas, or any important matters that arise. It’s a good idea to stay in contact with your rental agent throughout your stay, as they have a duty to help you and meet your requests.
3. Guest houses, hostels and hotels
Other accommodation options include guest houses, hostels and hotels; especially if you cannot afford crew houses, or they are full. These can offer good short-term housing options, as you can stay for just one or two nights. Hotels can offer convenient, central locations, but can be very expensive.
Frequently asked crew housing and accommodation questions answered
Is the quality of crew accommodation important?
Though paying more for accommodation has its benefits, the quality of your temporary accommodation may not be as important as you first think. You’ll probably find you won’t spend much time inside, in fact; an active crew member is a smart one. On the job search, crew will be busy tapping into their resources, contacting crew agents, networking, walking the docks and exploring opportunities.
How long will I need accommodation for?
Those with little-to-no experience in the yachting industry, could find it to take a minimum of four to six weeks to find permanent work on board a superyacht. This of course varies, on a case-by-case basis.
Lucky crew may get snapped up quickly, while others may get the opportunity of a few days of day work during this period. Day work can pay anywhere from €12 to €15 per hour or approximately €100 per day.
When should I book my accommodation?
When the yachting season starts in your hiring port, the local crew houses and hostels can get incredibly busy, It’s therefore wise to make your enquiries early and get booked in; preferably a few months before the season starts, even if you will be arriving later in the season.
You may think that by arriving earlier you are beating the rush, but you may well be wasting money on accommodation if there aren’t many yachts around.
Where shall I look for crew accommodation?
When searching for a yacht job, there are a few recommended ‘hiring ports’ where entry-level jobs are thought to be easier to come by. These include Antibes, Palma de Mallorca, Fort Lauderdale and Newport. Learn how to choose the right hiring port for your yacht-job search.
As most of your efforts are likely to be focused around the ports, marinas, shipyards and crew agents of your chosen city, it will certainly benefit you to find accommodation that’s nearby. It’s no surprise therefore that it’s here that you’ll likely find the crew houses and rental agents that can assist in getting your accommodation sorted.
Crew accommodation in Antibes
There are many crew houses in Antibes, but there are also a lot of yachties looking for work, making it difficult to secure a space. If you can’t find accommodation in Antibes, nearby Juan Les Pins or Biot are only a short train, bus or bicycle ride away.
Crew accommodation in Palma de Mallorca
Packed full of crew houses, hotels, hostels and apartments, and always busy with visiting yachts, Palma de Mallorca is another great base for your Mediterranean yacht-job search.
Crew accommodation in the U.S.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Newport, Rhode Island are thought to be the best U.S. hiring ports for newer crew. Superyachts typically come to Florida for repairs, maintenance and crewing once they have returned from trips to the Mediterranean, Caribbean and further up the east coast. They often depart in early winter and early spring, so finding crew accommodation is harder at these times.
Newport is a popular hiring location particularly for sailboats and race crew. In this region you’ll find lots of yachting activity across the six states of New England, all the way down to New York and the islands nearby.