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Beautiful big shiny yacht, glassy blue water while underway, making friends left and right, traveling to new sites and exploring. It all sounds great, right? Correct! However, like any other job there are pros and cons while working on a yacht. It was definitely eye opening for me, and I must admit that this job is not for everyone. Before you decide to take a position (captain, chef, steward/ess, mate, deckhand, engineer, etc.) working on a boat, I strongly suggest you take the following into consideration:
Pros: When Working On A Yacht
Let’s start with the pros, thats more my style.
- Obviously you get to travel while working on a yacht. I mean It doesn’t get better than that. Clearly you do have to work as well, but I’ll go into detail with that later.
- You live for free as well, meaning you don’t have to pay for room and board. Though, you’ll most likely have to share a cabin with a crew member, but at least you don’t have to pay rent.
- Food onboard is free, if there’s a chef, he/she typically cooks for the guests, you and all crew members. However, you’ll have to pay for your own expenses (clothing, food, extras) whenever you’re out of the vessel. Every boat and owner/captain is different so it all just depends.
- Depending on the position you have, you do get paid well. You most definitely will make the money back you spent taking all those courses in order to obtain your certificates. Every boat and job position is different, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly how much you would make monthly. I can though, give you a ball park estimate for pay. Just send me a message and I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.
- The views when traveling while working on a yacht are a vision. Views that you normally wouldn’t be able to see if you were not on a boat. The sunsets, sunrise, stars… just all of it is absolutely incredible to see in person. Filters have nothing on the real thing.
- Meeting people left and right outside of the boat, including guests and/or crew members. Being surrounded by different personalities can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, but I see it as a good thing as well, I guess it depends who it is that you meet.
Cons: Be Aware
- Traveling is great and all, but if you are family oriented (like me), or have a significant other, it can take a toll on you sometimes. I would get homesick sometimes. Thankfully the captain I was with let me fly back home for a few days to see my family before heading back on board, but I can say without a doubt that is verrryyyyy rare to find (especially if it’s only a seasonal job). Crew members can be strict as well and not give you the same opportunities I had. It’s very common as a crew member to miss holidays and be away from your home base for a while (depending if you’re working full/part time, seasonal or temporary).
- You work a lot. As stated above, every boat is different but I can speak from my own and friends experiences. I worked everyday till 5pm. Others I knew didn’t even have a day off till about two weeks of working straight. Depends if you are working on a yacht that’s private or charter. As a stewardess I had to work on detail cleaning the exterior and interior of the yacht, also serving the owner and guests when they were on board, and keeping my own cabin and galley tidy for my crew members and I. Probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me when I say that detail cleaning is no joke. You’re basically working for rich people or celebrities so everything has to be top notch.
- You’ll have to share a room with a crew member. Unless you’re a captain, you won’t have your own room. It can be hard sometimes learning how to live with someone you just met for numerous reasons. Also, I advise you don’t pack so much. The cabin itself will not be a big room (think smaller than a college dorm room), so you have to be considerate and think of your roommate and what he/she is packing as well.
- It is very possible that you might not get along with your crew members. I wouldn’t say it’s because he/she can be “difficult”, it would most likely be because of the simple fact that strangers are hired onto a boat rather quickly and have to live under the same vessel for weeks, months, or years… so naturally you have to learn about their personalities and get along with them. It can be a lot sometimes but you really have no choice, or maybe you’ll get lucky and get along just fine with your roommate, I know I did.
- The owner of the boat/boss and guests have a say in where they want to travel. So yes, you’ll be able to travel, but most of the time while you’re underway you will be working. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get to explore the town every single time you dock or anchor. Again, it all depends if it’s a private, or charter boat, and on your captain. For me, my boss was very welcoming and nice. I got to explore most of the time. Hopefully you will too!
- Be aware that while you are underway you have to learn how to save on water and energy for showering, laundry, and cooking. Personally for me this is not a con; however, I figured I’d jot this one down just so you’re not blind sided. With that said, keep an eye out on how much time you spend using water while your washing your hands, doing the dishes, taking a shower, etc.
- Bruises, for sure! I cannot express to you how many times I would fall or hit my body against something while working on a yacht. The reason for this is because when the current is too strong naturally the boat tends to move rocky (depending on the size of the vessel), so you have to be careful! I had numerous bruises!