Let’s get to the point. The short answer is, yes, it can be a very fulfilling career. However, we are going to dive into a long answer here, understanding why it can be so. But before that, let’s make one thing absolutely clear. Working on superyachts is not just a career, it is a lifestyle. How? Let’s see!
What is it like to work on a Superyacht?
We don’t want to bore you right away with words. So how about we watch this video by Jared Watney here. In his vlog, he has explained what a day at work on a superyacht looks like.
The excellent, raw footage captured by Watney here gives us a glimpse of what could life be. Of course, it is just a regular day on a superyacht where you spend most of your (long) working hours cleaning and maintaining the yacht.
While Watney makes it sound cheerful, it can get monotonous at a point. This is what deckhands do every day. Not every day is the same. Sometimes you can get more time for yourself, sometimes the working hours are longer than 10 hours.
The key is to find excitement and awe in every little moment on yachts–be it the tides, the calm seas, the night starry sky, sunrise and sunset, and the moments you spend with your fellow crewmates.
If this sounds like an adventure for you, you can definitely consider this as your career path.
So, how can working on superyachts be a career?
Generally speaking, April to Mid October is the superyacht season. This is when the climate is relatively warm in the Mediterranean. You will see many people flooding the ports of Antibes, France or Monaco, looking for work on superyachts around February-April. This is when the superyachts are ready to set sail.
Mid-October or at the beginning of November, yachts return to ports for storage, maintenance, and other miscellaneous tasks. As a deckhand, your salary would be paid in either USD (if on a US-based yacht) or in Euros (Mediterranean cruises).
So, generally speaking, you will be working anywhere from April to mid-October on one long voyage or different short-distance cruises, depending on your contract. You will be earning within 2500-3000 Euros and additionally, there will be tips. Knowing the generally high service standards on superyachts, you can easily expect to take home a hefty amount.
Working on Superyachts as a Career for South Africans
As South Africans, working on superyachts can be beneficial as the Euros and Dollars have strong currency values. You can certainly turn this into your career if this is your calling, working within the seasons.
We would highly recommend being friendly and maintaining connections with your old captain and crew. Building trust, reputation, and experience are all you should focus on while enjoying every moment out there on the sea. Although it is hard work, for adventurous spirits like you, it will be an experience of a lifetime.
As we previously mentioned, it is a lifestyle–an exciting one if you do swing that way. It is a lifestyle that will keep you away from your family for a long time, give you barely any private time for yourself, and of course, you will have tons of work to accomplish.
But if you could look past that or live past that, it is a fulfilling career for a free, adventurous spirit, indeed!
How do I get a job on a Superyacht?
Getting a job on a superyacht as a deckhand (or a stewardess) is an arduous task indeed. We have written a separate article about it which you can see here. Or we highly recommend you browse our Yacht Crew Courses.
However, on the other hand, if you are looking for professional advice on getting a job, please feel free to contact us. Sail & Power SA has over 10 years of experience in the industry, guiding many aspiring sailors and enthusiasts just like you! We will be glad to assist you with any relevant queries you have.