Show me the money: A guide to crew finance in the superyacht industry

Written by Sophie Allen | With thanks to CESG Ltd and YPI CREW

Last updated: 01/12/2016

Working on a superyacht can be hugely advantageous in terms of finance, and while people choose to work on superyachts for any number of different reasons, one key theme across the industry is that crew can earn a great income - often tax free.

Search for crew finance companies on Yachtingpages.com 

Pile of currency money notes of euros dollars and pounds

Yachting Pages provides an overview of marine finance for crew, covering the financial benefits of working as superyacht crew, including insight into the best services for saving money, and the potential challenges of pay in the marine industry.

What costs are covered for yacht crew living aboard a superyacht?

Yacht crew have little to no living expenses, paying no bills, rent or medical expenses. Add to this the fact that toiletries and meals are readily-supplied aboard, and this puts superyacht crew in a pretty strong position financially. 

Whatever your reason for working on board a superyacht, the chances are you will be saving a substantial amount of money with your daily living costs being covered, and the potential to earn a very healthy monthly salary. 

Crew salaries: How much are yacht crew paid?

Depending on your job and level of seniority on board, your salary as superyacht crew will vary. Regardless of the role, crew salaries depend on multiple factors including:

The vessel should also provide transport for crew (including to and from the yacht), food and drink, uniforms and other possible expenses. Private yachts tend to offer a higher base salary due to there being no income in the form of tips from charter guests.

The below infographic provides a guide of how much you could earn per month working on a superyacht in Euros. Please note that the image is only a guideline, and salaries can vary depending on your position, currency and the yacht’s size.

Graphic showing how much superyacht crew members earn

If you want to find more specific salaries, crew recruitment specialist YPI CREW created Yachtingsalaries.com, a tool to enable current and prospective crew to find out how much others are earning. 

Laurence Lewis, director of YPI CREW explains, “Over the years we have been collating salary data, publishing a yearly salary review. We have always felt frustrated with the yearly salary review we used to produce as the salary ranges presented were so broad that in reality they were of little use.

“We wanted to take the traditional paper-based salary to a whole new level and this is how Yachtingsalaries.com came about.”

Financial advice and tips for crew

Do i need insurance?

The yacht should provide its crew with health insurance and accident insurance. Unless stated otherwise, all crew are however responsible for their personal income tax. Each should therefore investigate tax rules and regulations and seek official advice, remaining up-to-date with the national requirements.

What about tax?

Many crew think they know everything about their tax, but are wrong, so it’s important to find out exactly what is required of you in terms of tax and social security.

One important factor to consider is residency. Leaving your home country to work and becoming a non-resident should enable you to legally avoid taxes. However, becoming a non-resident is not always easy.

To become a non-resident you will have to cut all ties with your home country, including things like mobile phones and properties. Professional companies are able to help with these more complicated matters.

One tax challenge which crew need to be aware of and which authorities are increasingly clamping down on, is gross pay. Gross pay is the amount paid before taxes and other deductions, and with a crackdown on crew being offered gross pay by owners and operators, there is an increasing pressure on employees to identify and address any potential liabilities.

Social security enrollment form

One example of this need to show proof is in EU member states, as Neil Carrington, CEO of payroll specialist CESG explains, “We have noticed increasing interest from EU states to seek either proof of a contribution elsewhere or seek a contribution into the local system. It can only be a matter of time before severe penalties are imposed.

“Even though commonly crew will not have to pay tax because of the nature of their work, it will need to be shown that this has at least been addressed.”

Do I need to enter a social security system?

If you haven’t already got an active investment plan, it’s important that you enter into a recognised social security system, not just for the present, but for your future beyond yachting. The MLC requires all member states in the EU to put social security benefits for seafarers in place, however, if you don’t enter into a system, you’re unlikely to receive any of these benefits.

Neil says, “We have seen cases where ex-seafarers who, for whatever reason, have not made contributions to any system and find themselves depending upon charitable aid to survive into their old age because they cannot show to any relevant authority that they have made any contributions to a recognised system.

“When young and invincible, it is easy to ignore the future and even as we get older it is easy to underestimate how much money is required to fund retirement especially when you’re used to a certain standard of living.

“I am often told that “I put this much away each month”, but how much is enough when we are all living longer? Also a marriage or relationship may end and the savings may diminish as a result, who knows? At least if you’ve entered into social security, there will be a fall-back position provided by the state.”

What is power of attorney?

Issues with banks and banking are all too common for superyacht crew, who can often get charged and suffer from high exchange rates or debit card problems. An offshore bank account should be one of the first things you look into when taking on a superyacht job.

With an offshore account you won’t be tied to one currency, and you will be able to bank in multiple currencies, which will be especially useful if you are paid in one currency and use various other currencies as you travel to different ports.

Savings money jar full of coins

Financial planning for yacht crew

Will I need an offshore bank account?

Working offshore means there are many options for investment plans. However, advice can often be misguided, with many companies out there to get as much of your money as possible. It’s important to research and use recommended financial advisers who have a track record of assisting crew and other industry professionals through the investment process.

By working in agreement with an independent financial adviser who has experience with yacht crew finances you will be able to work out a savings plan based on your income, personal situation and eventual aims.

How do I begin a saving or investment plan for life beyond yachting?

Working offshore means there are many options for investment plans. It’s important to research and use recommended financial advisers who have a track record of assisting crew and other industry professionals through the investment process.

By working in agreement with an independent financial adviser who has experience with yacht crew finances you will be able to work out a savings plan based on your income, personal situation and eventual aims.

For more advice on how best to plan your finances both before, during and after your yachting career, take a look at these seven steps to financial success for seafarers.

Read more articles on yacht crew finance, or search for financial services companies on Yachtingpages.com.

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Crew Finance Tips

Superyacht Crew Finance Tips | Salary & Tax Advice | Yachting Pages
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Show me the money: A guide to crew finance in the superyacht industry

Written by Sophie Allen | With thanks to CESG Ltd and YPI CREW

Last updated: 01/12/2016

Working on a superyacht can be hugely advantageous in terms of finance, and while people choose to work on superyachts for any number of different reasons, one key theme across the industry is that crew can earn a great income - often tax free.

Search for crew finance companies on Yachtingpages.com 

Pile of currency money notes of euros dollars and pounds

Yachting Pages provides an overview of marine finance for crew, covering the financial benefits of working as superyacht crew, including insight into the best services for saving money, and the potential challenges of pay in the marine industry.

What costs are covered for yacht crew living aboard a superyacht?

Yacht crew have little to no living expenses, paying no bills, rent or medical expenses. Add to this the fact that toiletries and meals are readily-supplied aboard, and this puts superyacht crew in a pretty strong position financially. 

Whatever your reason for working on board a superyacht, the chances are you will be saving a substantial amount of money with your daily living costs being covered, and the potential to earn a very healthy monthly salary. 

Crew salaries: How much are yacht crew paid?

Depending on your job and level of seniority on board, your salary as superyacht crew will vary. Regardless of the role, crew salaries depend on multiple factors including:

The vessel should also provide transport for crew (including to and from the yacht), food and drink, uniforms and other possible expenses. Private yachts tend to offer a higher base salary due to there being no income in the form of tips from charter guests.

The below infographic provides a guide of how much you could earn per month working on a superyacht in Euros. Please note that the image is only a guideline, and salaries can vary depending on your position, currency and the yacht’s size.

Graphic showing how much superyacht crew members earn

If you want to find more specific salaries, crew recruitment specialist YPI CREW created Yachtingsalaries.com, a tool to enable current and prospective crew to find out how much others are earning. 

Laurence Lewis, director of YPI CREW explains, “Over the years we have been collating salary data, publishing a yearly salary review. We have always felt frustrated with the yearly salary review we used to produce as the salary ranges presented were so broad that in reality they were of little use.

“We wanted to take the traditional paper-based salary to a whole new level and this is how Yachtingsalaries.com came about.”

Financial advice and tips for crew

Do i need insurance?

The yacht should provide its crew with health insurance and accident insurance. Unless stated otherwise, all crew are however responsible for their personal income tax. Each should therefore investigate tax rules and regulations and seek official advice, remaining up-to-date with the national requirements.

What about tax?

Many crew think they know everything about their tax, but are wrong, so it’s important to find out exactly what is required of you in terms of tax and social security.

One important factor to consider is residency. Leaving your home country to work and becoming a non-resident should enable you to legally avoid taxes. However, becoming a non-resident is not always easy.

To become a non-resident you will have to cut all ties with your home country, including things like mobile phones and properties. Professional companies are able to help with these more complicated matters.

One tax challenge which crew need to be aware of and which authorities are increasingly clamping down on, is gross pay. Gross pay is the amount paid before taxes and other deductions, and with a crackdown on crew being offered gross pay by owners and operators, there is an increasing pressure on employees to identify and address any potential liabilities.

Social security enrollment form

One example of this need to show proof is in EU member states, as Neil Carrington, CEO of payroll specialist CESG explains, “We have noticed increasing interest from EU states to seek either proof of a contribution elsewhere or seek a contribution into the local system. It can only be a matter of time before severe penalties are imposed.

“Even though commonly crew will not have to pay tax because of the nature of their work, it will need to be shown that this has at least been addressed.”

Do I need to enter a social security system?

If you haven’t already got an active investment plan, it’s important that you enter into a recognised social security system, not just for the present, but for your future beyond yachting. The MLC requires all member states in the EU to put social security benefits for seafarers in place, however, if you don’t enter into a system, you’re unlikely to receive any of these benefits.

Neil says, “We have seen cases where ex-seafarers who, for whatever reason, have not made contributions to any system and find themselves depending upon charitable aid to survive into their old age because they cannot show to any relevant authority that they have made any contributions to a recognised system.

“When young and invincible, it is easy to ignore the future and even as we get older it is easy to underestimate how much money is required to fund retirement especially when you’re used to a certain standard of living.

“I am often told that “I put this much away each month”, but how much is enough when we are all living longer? Also a marriage or relationship may end and the savings may diminish as a result, who knows? At least if you’ve entered into social security, there will be a fall-back position provided by the state.”

What is power of attorney?

Issues with banks and banking are all too common for superyacht crew, who can often get charged and suffer from high exchange rates or debit card problems. An offshore bank account should be one of the first things you look into when taking on a superyacht job.

With an offshore account you won’t be tied to one currency, and you will be able to bank in multiple currencies, which will be especially useful if you are paid in one currency and use various other currencies as you travel to different ports.

Savings money jar full of coins

Financial planning for yacht crew

Will I need an offshore bank account?

Working offshore means there are many options for investment plans. However, advice can often be misguided, with many companies out there to get as much of your money as possible. It’s important to research and use recommended financial advisers who have a track record of assisting crew and other industry professionals through the investment process.

By working in agreement with an independent financial adviser who has experience with yacht crew finances you will be able to work out a savings plan based on your income, personal situation and eventual aims.

How do I begin a saving or investment plan for life beyond yachting?

Working offshore means there are many options for investment plans. It’s important to research and use recommended financial advisers who have a track record of assisting crew and other industry professionals through the investment process.

By working in agreement with an independent financial adviser who has experience with yacht crew finances you will be able to work out a savings plan based on your income, personal situation and eventual aims.

For more advice on how best to plan your finances both before, during and after your yachting career, take a look at these seven steps to financial success for seafarers.

Read more articles on yacht crew finance, or search for financial services companies on Yachtingpages.com.

YP Print Skyscraper