We know a thing or two after having spent over 10 years living the luxury yacht life. It sounds glamorous, epic and like so much fun and totally not like a “real” job at all. I mean you get to travel the world and rub shoulders with the rich and sometimes even the famous. But pretty postcards, endless parties and bikinis it is not. It’s hard work crewing a luxury yacht. And it’s not for everyone.
Here’s the truth about yacht crew life.
It can be all the fun, sunshine, exploration and travel – but that is not the job. Yachting is an industry of extreme highs and extreme lows. Not all yachts are the same. You may strike it incredibly lucky and land yourself the utopian yacht, crew and billionaires who care. But in reality, you’re more likely to be living off Red Bull and doing 36 hour shifts, too tired to do anything but stare at the shore from your porthole window.
No day aboard a yacht is the same. Workload and the type of work you’ll be doing changes depending on the season, whether you have guests on board, have any maintenance issues and also how new you are to the crew (rank & position too). A superyacht requires never ending upkeep. The yacht needs to be kept in immaculate condition, as do the crew, and the crew always need to be prepared for any situation.
Working on a superyacht is very hard work; you have to be at the beck and call of guests who have some quite particular requests that are almost impossible to fulfill. Whatever the guests require it is your job to make sure they get it. With a smile. The money is great though, but also varies based on position, qualifications, yacht size, where the yacht is located and if it’s private or charter. In general, a slightly higher salary is offered if the yacht is private with the hope that, if you work on a charter, you will make up your salary with tips.
Once you have completed a particular charter you might just get a day or a night to explore the splendid ports of call with a nice big gratuity in your pocket. These kinds of opportunities are extraordinary and for that moment, any trials you may have encountered with the world’s wealthiest whilst facing unruly seas, unpredictable weather and even more unpredictable and unruly guests, diminishes.
All in all what happens to so many people in this industry may happen to you. Despite the challenges, you join for a season and fall in love with the lifestyle. Yacht life might not be for everyone, but if the bug bites you, it bites hard! Yachtie for life!