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Dovaston Crew the world leader in the placement of professional yacht crew
A pro-active business that continues to develop and improve its service to meet the exacting demands of the yachting industry

Crew Salary Guide


The yachting industry was perceived to be recession proof, but as we know this was not the case. Although the industry suffered later and to a lesser degree than some industries there was still an impact on professional yacht crew.

During 2010 and 2011 salaries remained steady and it is still clear that there is a shortage of good quality crew. Hiring of good crew is still very competitive and to entice good crew to move has resulted in salaries remaining stable during difficult economic time.

Rotational jobs are still in short supply, as private yachts are still slow to encourage commercially ticketed crew to move into the yachting industry by offering what is seen to be normal in the commercial sector. The latter part of 2011 saw a partial return to the 2008 recession problems, but as we saw, recovery on recruitment is relatively quick compared to other parts of the industry. 'Without crew the boat can't leave' stands true and, as we saw in 2009, recruitment was one of the first to see a partial return to past results.

An increasing number of yacht owners, managers and captains now recognise that salary alone does not necessarily guarantee the retention of good crew. Qualified professionals as well as career minded crew who are working their way up the ladder need, and very often have, a life outside of yachting. For this reason sensible leave arrangements are equally as important as the salary. Only a few years ago some of the most experienced professionals in the yachting industry had to make a stark choice: family or yachting. There was little opportunity to be able to do both. With today’s climate, an increasing number of yachts are operating leave rotations in order to secure these professionals and others are simply offering more leave. They recognise that the crew of today are on a career path working their way up the ladder, gaining experience and qualifications on the way and understand the need to look after their crew by offering sensible secure terms.

What is happening with yachts that pay in US Dollars?

Good Question. When the Euro was introduced in 2002 many yachts based in Europe switched from US Dollars to Euros. At that time the exchange rate was almost one for one so it was logical to simply switch the currencies and leave the salary amounts the same. However now that the US Dollar is consistently about 30% weaker than the Euro was in 2002, owners paying in US Dollars have found it increasingly more difficult to hire crew without offering Euro comparable salaries.

The following analysis taken from our database shows how the US Dollar has lost its dominance as a salary indicator for yachts that operate outside of the USA.

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
% Paid In Euros     25.78   44.71   79.24   81.17   82.25   80.19   83.71   81.47 
% Paid In US$  71.97   50.20   18.78   17.41   16.51   18.69   15.59   17.85 

Other Considerations

When reviewing salaries, several other factors need to be taken into consideration:
 » Service record and qualifications.
 » Location and cruising programme for the yacht.
 » Annual paid leave. This varies between 4 and 8 weeks per year. More than 8 weeks when crew work a
 » Seasonal and temporary contracts do not normally include paid leave. An end of season bonus is quite
    common and is often agreed in advance as an incentive.
 » Job Sharing: Some larger yachts work a rotation, similar to the Merchant Navy, where the time off can
    total 3 to 6 months per year.
 » Travel expenses.
 » Crew Medical Insurance. If medical insurance is included it is very important that the hired crew are
    shown a copy of the schedule of cover. Some yachts only have a minimum level of cover for their crew.
    Our advice to crew is, if in doubt take out your own cover.
 » Incentives for service and performance.
 » Charter incentives.
 » Compensation for special ancillary skills that are a requirement for a yacht. i.e. carpenters,
    masseurs/masseuses, secretaries, computer experts, electronics engineers, paramedics, doctors, nurses,
    nannies, etc.
 » Motor and sailing yachts in the 15 to 25 metre range, are often crewed by a Captain/Hostess couple and
    the salary negotiated jointly. For couples that are hired on yachts over 25 metres the salaries are
    normally negotiated individually.

Table of Salaries

Captains 60m + 11000 +
45 - 60m 8000 - 12000
30 - 45m 5000 - 9000
20 - 30m 3500 - 6500
Mates 30 - 45m 3000 - 5000
20 - 30m 2500 - 3500
Chief Officers 60m + 5500 +
45 - 60m 4500 - 7000
2nd Officers Regardless of yacht size 4000 - 7000
Bosun Holding an OOW CoC 3500 - 5000
Without an OOW CoC 3000 - 4000
Deckhands Good professional track record, references and qualified 2500 - 3000
Good professional experience and qualified 2000 - 2500
Limited or no professional experience 1800 - 2200
Chief Engineer 55 - 75m + 7000 - 10000
45 - 55m 6000 - 7000
30 - 45m 3500 - 5500
* This is a rough guide only. Salary varies according to experience and Engineering Qualification. If a rotational position it usually drops around 20% if paid x 12.
E.T.O. Depending on size of yacht and if sole or assistant ETO 3500 - 7500
2nd Engineers 50 - 75m + 4000 - 7000
40 - 50m 3000 - 5000
Chief Steward/ess 50m + with good experience and proven track record in the industry 5000 – 6500
35 - 50m with good experience and proven track record in the industry 4000 – 5000
2nd Stewardess 50m + with good experience and proven track record in the industry 3500 - 4000
35 - 50m with good experience and proven track record in the industry 3000 - 3500
Steward/ess Good experience on yachts (1yr+) 2500 - 3000
Entry Level/Some experience (up to 1yr) 2000 - 2500
Cook/Stewardess Regardless of yacht size 2500 - 3500
Cooks No formal training but proven capability in or out of yachting 2500 - 4000
Sous/Crew Chefs Trained/Non trained with proven capability in or out of yachting 3000 - 4000
Chefs Trained with proven track record in the industry 6000+
Trained/Non trained with experience on yachts 3500 – 6000
Trained with no experience on yachts 3000 - 4500
Purser 60m + (salary will depends on requirements and whether the role offers a rotation) 6000+
Last Revision: January 2014
The above figures are a guideline only and may vary according to qualification and experience.
If any person finds these figures to be misleading in any way, we would very much appreciate their comments.