Could you work on a superyacht?
Written by Yachting Pages
Last updated: 12/12/2018
Do you like the idea of cruising around the Mediterranean or Caribbean on a superyacht, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, and earning thousands in tax-free money? If you’re considering a job on a superyacht, we recommend you first ask yourself these questions to see if the crew life is right for you!
Five questions to ask yourself before moving aboard
1. Do you value your privacy and personal space?
As a junior crewmember starting out in the industry, it’s worth knowing that you’ll find yourself with very little personal space (and time) on board. With the majority of space on a superyacht reserved for the owner and guests, you’ll likely be allocated a bunk in a shared cabin with at least one other. With this in mind, and the nature of the job generally, you’ll rarely be alone and will have little space for home comforts and personal effects. So, if you enjoy your own company and a little solitude from time to time, the cramped crew life of big personalities might not be for you! On the other hand, living in close quarters will often grant you some lifelong friends and lots of fun – after all, you're all in the same boat, literally!
2. Are you happy away from home?
As with many jobs that include travel, a career as crew in the superyacht industry will involve plenty of time away from friends and family at home. In fact, it means moving aboard (or abroad) indefinitely, with a limited amount of annual leave allocated to fly back to your old existence. Life on board will therefore often mean missing the birthdays and weddings of loved ones and holidays away from home – something you’ll need to make peace with if you want to last a while in the industry. That's not to say, however that you'll be alone in missing home. As discussed above, the superyacht will soon become your home away from home, and the crew your 'family', ensuring you never feel too alone.
3. Are you in a relationship, or would you like to be?
If you’re already settled in a relationship before moving aboard, it’s worth considering that life as crew could change things for either you or your partner. The distance, possible time difference and demands of the job will often mean that you’ll miss video calls and arrangements to catch up with your significant other, which can either make or break your relationship.
If you’re single and looking, it may also be difficult to meet anyone with whom to form a worthwhile relationship, whether with someone working on board a yacht or ashore. For those who like to be footloose and fancy free however, the crew life can offer some great times, allowing you to meet people you perhaps wouldn't have before, with many in the same position.
4. Are you prepared to work long days and unsociable hours?
Superyacht crew will typically work long days and/or in shifts with unsociable hours. Furthermore, they are usually on call day and night for the owner and/or guests.
Crew will always be the first people up and last people to go to sleep on the boat, meaning working days can sometimes last up to 20 hours. Inbetween which there will also be little downtime. If you elect to work on a charter yacht, or a private yacht where the owner spends a lot of time aboard, it may be that you don’t get a day off for weeks during the peak season. But on the other hand, you’ll see some of the best sights in the world and be rewarded with a pay cheque to compensate you for your time.
5. Do you have a strong moral compass and are easily offended?
If you’re going to enjoy working on a yacht then the ability to turn a blind eye and not get offended or upset by rudeness and some of the things you may see is crucial. The yachting industry and the characters you will meet along the way may certainly test your morals!
If you can make peace with all of the above, the rewards for your hard work are outstanding and you may never look back!