Sailing the seven seas, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, and making money while you’re doing it. It sounds like a dream life, doesn’t it? It’s not surprising that so many young people opt to make a living on a superyacht.
Those who are on yachts will be quick to tell you that it’s not all glitz and glam. Just like with any other profession, you have to be sure that it is in fact what you want to do. The only way to establish that is to take off the blinkers to look at the negatives, as well as the positives.
Straight from the horse’s mouth
As a crew member on a super yacht you do sail from one tropical island to the next and sometimes you do serve caviar to Leonardo DiCaprio or a Swedish Royal. But you also clean toilets with a toothbrush and earbuds or do the ironing and cooking.
Australian news site news.com.au interviewed three ex-yachties and the phrase that came up often to describe living and working on a superyacht was “pressure cooker environment”.
“As a crew we shared cabins in bunks, we couldn’t both stand up at the same time”, says Kate, who spent three years working in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
Alex worked on a superyacht for six months as a deckhand and felt like a “glorified cleaner“. This feeling is understandable, as owners want their yachts to be in impeccable condition at all times.
Alex did however also add that it’s a great way to save money. “It’s tax free money – that’s a great start, you’re living on board. All food is paid for, the only money you spend is on the bar and the toys you want to buy.”
Sarah started in yachting by chance, but landed a job quickly and worked on a number of yachts. “Small boats are more laid back. You get to know the owners. Bigger boats are more regimented but you earn more money.”
Sarah also mentioned something that is oftentimes not considered and that’s the fact that you work and play with the same faces, day in and day out. When personalities clash, you have nowhere to run to, so you’d better be good at either getting along with a wide range of people or conflict resolution.
You would need to flexible and adaptable too, as there is no typical day on board a superyacht. The work and workload would depend on the season, whether the boat is docked or sailing, as well as any maintenance issues.
There are great pay-offs too
This information is not meant to scare you off working on a superyacht – it is just meant to give you a balanced view on a popular career.
This is the type of job that can groom you for a career in hospitality. You learn interpersonal skills that will prove valuable in any other job, you see parts of the world most people never experience, and you create memories and form life-long friendships.
If these sound like opportunities too good to pass up, and you’re prepared for all the not-so-nice aspects, then look into yacht training courses to get you started on your path to discovering the world.