Law & Licences

Working on Luxury Yachts, then there is more than a few things to consider

Sun, blue skies, the allure of travelling all over the world, not to mention the fantastic change of scenery, is the main reason that most of us work on yachts.

For those that have not had the chance of working on Luxury Yachts, then there’s more than a few things to consider.


The Luxury Yachting market is with out a doubt a niche industry and a young one at that.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s yachting was given a new lease on life, the rich got richer and within elite circles, large luxury yachts were the new choice of transport.   A fantastic way to cruise to some of the more secluded ports and islands around the globe.  All the while you would never miss out on the creature comforts that you might expect at home.

All of these yachts would need experienced crew to run and maintain these new icon’s of wealth.  If you were lucky enough to start in the beginning, you were part of the birth of what is now an amazing niche industry.  As each new year was born, a new breed of owner emerged.  Open cheque books, with the desire for a larger and more impressive yacht that anyone else.  Owning a yacht soon became a symbol of wealth and power, your only restriction was your imagination and the depth of your pockets.

With such amazing yachts came the need for crew to run and maintain this new breed of yacht.  It was a sharp learning curve for all involved but close to 20 years later the bench mark for experience and expectations have been set.  Long hours, a strong work ethic and the ability to offer 5 star service for weeks on end, is what sets this industry apart from many others.  You took the job with the understanding that you weren’t going to be going home anytime soon and it was done for the adventure and allure of travel, not to mention the money that soon started to pile up due to working busy seasons.  The motto that most lived by was ‘work hard, play hard’ and for all concerned it was just a way of life.

With the boom in yachting over the last couple of years there was a definite shortage of experienced crew.  Now with the current market being hit by a global recession the yachting market has definitely taken it’s fair share of hits.  Hundreds of crew being laid off all around the world but at the same time there are new crew lining the docks all looking for their chance to work on yachts.

When the media caught hold of the shortage of yacht crew 12-18 months ago, the world listened.  Seriously who wouldn’t want to work on a luxury yacht and travel around the world.  The unfortunate part about this story, is that unless you left the day you heard this story about yachting, then now just isn’t the best time to be looking.  Realistically it would take someone months to prepare themselves to pack up their lives and fly half way around the world for their chance to work on a yacht.

The unfortunate part about this whole story is that Yachting has been glamourised to a point that new prospective crew have very unreal expectations about what they are going to experience. A lot of newbies now arrive with the idea that they are worth thousands of dollars with little or no experience and with a list of demands as long as their arm.  Unwilling to work the hours necessary to do the job but willing to take the money, all the while associating life ashore and the old 9-5 to working on a luxury yacht.

For anyone looking at starting out in yachting I would highly suggest doing your homework.  As fantastic as yachting sounds, speak to any experienced crew member and they will all tell you that this is not an easy job.  With an average work day being 14 hours and the possibility of not having a day off for weeks on end, is not something that most people are ready for.   If you then threw in Atlantic crossings and not going home to see friends and family for months on end then you have a basic idea of what this is all about.  Yachting is a compromise that you enter into, as you leave the real world of 9-5 on land and join your crew to maintain your new home.  These are very realistic hours when you are working with guests on, however your down time tends to lean more towards a more normal 9-5 work day, ( again there is no guarantee of this).

Soon as you are in the market to look for work, then you are on show to all potential employers.  The industry is so small that everyone knows everyone.  So the way you act when you are out, or the way you present yourself when you look for work, are the things that people remember.  If you show that you are willing to work hard, listen and learn then you will go a long way in this industry.  Just remember, if you really want to work on yachts, stay positive and the right job will come your way!

nauticweb |

About the author


Norberto Moreau is co-founder of the Allied Management Ltd Consulting Group (Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties, Events and Online Services.
Activity with own Projects (70%) / Consulting (30%). Norberto Moreau is available for Consulting worldwide at Fairs, Regattas etc.

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