As a prospective deckhand or stewardess on a superyacht, you may come across chatter like ‘jobs on private yachts’ or ‘jobs on charter yachts’. Now, what exactly is that? As a prospective crew member, you should be aware of these. In this article, we will briefly articulate the differences between having a job on private yachts versus charter yachts.

What are Private Yachts?

A private yacht has a single owner who uses their yacht strictly for recreational purposes with their prospective clients, business partners, or family members. Private yachts do not go on a cruise as often as charter yachts would do. However, private yachts may cruise off-season more compared to charter yachts. It all depends on the owner and how they want to utilise their recreational vessel.

How does it feel to have a job on Private Yachts?

As private yachts travel less than charter yachts, the off-cruise work hours will be the usual 9 to 5 except if the Owner is onboard. On the cruise, the work hours will be longer depending on the guest’s size. Sometimes it might only be for the owner himself. Usually, the guests will be in lesser groups so will your workload.

You will not face as much workload as a charter crew would have. However, the gratuity (tips, bonuses) will not be as lucrative as much. In most cases, you may not even get gratuity at all. However, you may be entitled to bonuses at the end of your contract year.

Private yachts prefer to have a long contract with their crew, so you can expect employment benefits like insurance and job security. If you are looking for making a career in this industry, this option is the safest and most optimal to grow. This does not mean you should look down on charter yacht jobs though.

What are Charter Yachts?

A charter yacht is not only used by the owner but is also used by other people for a variety of activities, such as for a business occasion or a recreational cruise. Charter yachts are generally hired in seasons. Some yachts may even traverse the Atlantic ocean to switch between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

How does it feel to have a job on Charter Yachts?

As a charter yacht is sort of open to the public, charter yachts during the season are crowded with guests. This also means tons of workload without having any of that precious ‘me’ time. However, having a job on a charter yacht can also be most fruitful in terms of financial income.

Did you know that a charter yacht crew can actually get a tip of up to 35% of the charter fee? And yes, it is not unusual for tips to exceed your actual monthly salary too. When it comes to sharing tips, the crew usually divides the tips received equally among themselves.

The contracts are usually seasonal and short, the financial income is great but yes, the workload is extreme. If you are not an extrovert person full of enthusiasm and energy, this position might not be for you. It may feel possible at first, but as the burnout gets progressive, it will drop the quality of your work too. And as the time passes, it is not uncommon for the crew to be homesick or have a breakdown due to exhaustion.

So, which type of Yacht should I go for?

This is completely up to your preference. To be frank, either of the choices will actually make your career if you are very sincere and serious about working in this industry long term. We say that it’s great to have experience in both fields. It will definitely bring you a dynamic range of experiences and better opportunities in the industry as you grow. So, in the end, you have to ask yourself ‘what suits you the best’.

If you are a fresher and serious about working on a yacht, we would highly recommend you to begin with the ENG1 medical certificate in South Africa or the SAMSA equivalent, followed by an STCW course. For more information, we highly recommend this read.

Or get in touch with us if you have further questions. We would be happy to help you out with the yacht crewing procedures!