Working on a yacht?

I realize this is mainly a commercial shipping board but thought I d ask anyway,anyone ever work on a luxury yacht? They are getting pretty large, over a hundred new builds over 200 feet. Im a 3rd mate unlimited and have been checking out the yacht world latley, doesnt seem too shabby, nicer ports too. Anyone have any experience on luxury yachts? Thanks

Might be fun, but the pay is usually less than the cruise industry average as far as I know. Check out this website find-a-crew . A lot of them want older mates, i’m guessing for experience but also maybe because the passengers are likely older and want company they can relate to.
I’m guessing you still have watches in port, maintenance and other work too, just not as much as other ships, especially containers coming and going the same day.

I have never worked on a yacht but I do know the captains average $1000 per foot plus christmas bonuses which can easily add up to a lot more than any cruise ship mate. Of course your not going to get hired as captain of a 200’ boat without relevant experience but you may have a shot at something smaller.

If your really interested try to schedule a class at MPT in Lauderdale. All sorts of boat captains float thru there.

There are a couple major differences between working commercial or yachts. I think the biggest is the “owner/guest” factor. Yeah, you may be asked to pitch in extra off watch on ANY boat, but on a yacht, you are never REALLY off-watch. As crew you are a performer, and you are onstage until the owner/guests are gone. Then, basically, it is back to more a traditional maintenance/delivery/prep for next set of guests scene, or getting the boat somewhere else, or to the yard, or whatever.

The pay can be QUITE good, and like anywhere else its depends on the boat, the owner, where they travel. It’s hard to generalize and say yachts pay more. Back in 2000 I banked about $30K working as mate/engineer on a 100 foot motorsailer in the caribbean winter season, that was after drinkin’ money. It was a heavy charter schedule boat, I was also single. A couple months ago a friend in the placement industry said she had an opening for an unlimited engineer on a 20,000 HP Feadship heading the the MED paying about 4500 per week.

Another consideration is - charter or private. Charter boat crew has more opportunity to make tips - usually 15% of the charter split between the crew. For a 20 - 30K charter price it can really add up, but be prepared for 16-18 hour days. Private yachts tend to have their own rythm depending on the owner, captain, location, type of boat, etc. Generally private boats keep crew longer, and tend to be more picky, so they are generally more willing to pay a bit more salary -wise, more perks, flexibility etc.

Another consideration is benefits, very few yachts pay benefits. There is very little schedule flexibility, especially at entry level, so if you have a family it’s nearly impossible to plan to see them. I don’t know your particular situation, but unless you are just looking to see the other side of the fence I’d stick where you are, it’s not really a career move in my opinion. But if you are single, go into it without lots of expectations - you will definately have some good times in port. But don’t expect the kind of support you get in the commercial field, in the end you are running somebody’s toy. and there is not much reason for owners to give raises as you gain experience, what do they really care if you are better at what you do? Do it for the experience, and opportunity to get paid to see beautiful places. And if it suits you, there are big bucks to be made as Captain on larger yachts - $1,000/foot ain’t shabby, but again - usually no benny’s.

I agree with John, go to Lauderdale in September or October that is when all the boats are picking up crew to head down south. In spring there is a gear up to head either to the northeast, or to the Med. Go to and register, you can also stop in there and talk to them, they are real good at placement and very well respected in the industry. Your more than qualified with a 3rd U/L. Best of luck.

Thanks. I was thinking about trying it out before I joined a union. Do you have a choice between charter and private or is it just where they put you?

Most crew placement companies ask if you have a preference. They also will contact you and tell you what the boat is up to before setting up the interview.

As a 3rd mate unlimted aren’t you also a 100 ton master, even though it might not say that on your license? I remember reading that in the CFR under the heading of, I think, “equivalence” . In any event, it wouldn’t take much to get a 100 ton Master License. I’ll bet yachts are classed <100 ton.

wow, i hope thats true, I’m definitely going to check that out, I suppose you probably need sea time, just as the license doesnt require an exam to upgrade to 2nd mates, just seatime.

No it’s true, I have a couple friends that graduated and are masters on crew boats in the gulf now.

Here it is:



                      Subpart H_Equivalents

Sec. 15.901 Inspected vessels of less than 100 gross tons.

(a) An individual holding a license as mate or pilot of inspected, 

self-propelled vessels of over 200 gross tons is authorized to serve as

master on inspected vessels of less than 100 gross tons within any

restrictions on the individual’s license.

(b) An individual holding a license authorizing service as master or 

mate of inspected, self-propelled vessels is authorized to serve as

master or mate, respectively, of non-self-propelled vessels other than

sail vessels, within any restrictions on the individual’s license.

(c) An individual holding a license authorizing service as master or 

mate of inspected, sail vessels is authorized to serve as master or

mate, respectively, of other non-self-propelled vessels, within any

restrictions on the individual’s license.

(d) An individual holding a license authorizing service as master or 

mate of inspected, auxiliary sail vessels, is authorized to serve as

master or mate, respectively, of self-propelled and non-self-propelled

vessels, within any restrictions on the individual’s license.

Now how does that work? do you have to get an endoresment on your license, or at least some piece of paper that has 100 ton master printed on it?

Sea Fever did an interesting post on [. In it they have links to 2 great sites. check them out:

[URL=]Yacht Forums](>tracking super-yachts[/URL)
Super Yacht Times

How does it work? Ask the USCG. I’d copy and print that excerpt from the CFR and take it to them in case they haven’t heard of this.

I don’t think it’s the job for you but I’m looking for an unpaid to wash my boat? <br><br>any takers?

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