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Are you ready to jump ship?

Switching from Royal Navy to Yachting

If you are a marine engineer at any level, junior or senior, we want to hear from you. Keep on reading this guide to discover who we are, what we do and why the superyacht Industry needs you now.


YPI CREW is a luxury yacht crew recruitment agency based in Antibes in the South of France, the hub of the superyacht industry. We specialise in recruiting highly trained marine Engineers for the superyacht industry worldwide.

What is the yachting industry looking for?

The industry is looking for YOU! We recruit Engineers at all levels — mechanical and electrical. And where better to look than the Royal Navy? We are always interested to hear from Engineers leaving the Royal Navy, who either want to start a second career in a maritime environment where their skills are easily transferable, especially those with less time served who may be serving notice in the foreseeable future.


Your expertise, training and work ethics are second to none and the superyacht industry wants you now. There is a real shortage of strong, qualified Engineers in the industry from junior assistant to Chief Engineer so, if you have the right aptitude, attitude and determination to succeed, we’d like to hear from you!


The rewards are there, the industry offers fantastic long-term opportunities.

Where would you work?

Our clients are captains of private or charter luxury sailing and motor yachts, worldwide. To enjoy the benefits of this exciting career, you need to have a hands-on professional approach with good social skills, the flexibility to adapt to an ever-changing environment and be free to travel. Does this sound like something you could do?

What are superyachts?

We recruit for a vast number of yachts worldwide, both motor and sail. They range from 35 meters in length to 180 meters for motor and typically 30m to 95m for sailing yachts. As such, positions on board range from 3rd Engineer to Chief Engineer depending on the size of the yacht. As with most industries, there is more opportunity at the lower-mid range level where you will gain experience before progressing further and this is the perfect level for you to make the transition.

The difference between private and charter yachts:


Private yachts

All yachts are privately owned. Those that remain ‘private’ are used solely by the owner and their family and personal guests. The amount of time spent on board varies depending on the individual client. Some as little as several weeks per year (the yacht will still be manned by crew all year round), some a few months per year and there is also a small number of clients that live on board all year round.


Charter yachts

Some owners allow their yacht to be ‘chartered’. This allows 3rd parties to pay for exclusivity to use the yacht for a fixed period of time. Some yachts have very busy charter periods, with guests rotating up to as much as 12 weeks in a season. These are extremely intense periods as the yachts are operating in a 5* luxury environment 24/7 — literally. Whilst demanding, they are also very rewarding charter guests often leave generous tips and a lot of crew love charter yachts!

What employment contracts are offered?

We offer ‘permanent’ contracts which in general are 12 months commitment with minimum 4 weeks holiday. These contracts are reviewed annually and mutually agreed by the candidate and the Captain of the yacht. If you wish to move on to another opportunity after completion of the contract, then we will happily source another placement for you.


We also offer ‘seasonal’ contracts which have the same principal as above but tend to last anywhere from April to October in the Mediterranean but these are rare for engineers and more common for deck or interior crew.

In addition, there are also ‘relief’ contracts which are usually there to cover holiday periods for engineers or assist with shipyard periods. These contracts can last anywhere from 1 week to several months.

All crew live on board the yacht full-time and share a watch-duty rota for time off at weekends when the yacht has down time.

What are the expected salary and benefits?

Every yacht is individual so the salaries will vary depending on the size, location, responsibility, engineering licence and experience. That said, we work to an industry standard. As we work only with professional clients, we ensure that the salary is well within the industry standards.


A typical salary for a SV Chief Engineer 3000kw (this is the level most Petty Officer/Chief Petty Officer Navy engineers with a HNC/HND join the industry at) should start in the region of 4,500 — 5,500 Euros per month.


For more junior engineers (LET level) who have yet to attain the MCA licences but will hold the AEC or MEOL certificates, the salary range is 2,500 — 4,000 Euros per month and this will apply to engineers with perhaps less than 5 years’ service in the Navy.


Salaries (gross) are paid directly to the individual’s bank account and it is up to the individual to declare their tax returns/national insurance/offshore earnings etc as you will be living on-board the yacht outside of the UK. As standard, medical cover is provided by the yacht for all crew and 1 paid flight per year.


All meals are catered for as there will be a Chef/Crew Chef on board each yacht. All uniforms (for all weather) will be provided for by the yacht. Laundry is done by the Interior crew. Most yachts have state of the art entertainment systems with free wi-fi throughout so you can keep in touch with friends/family. TV screens for each bunk with access to 1000’s DVDs/CDs and a typical set up is 2 crew per shared cabin/bathroom.


Tips — Busy charter yachts tend to pay good tips for all crew members (this is not guaranteed). Private yachts may compensate by offering annual bonuses/annual pay rises. Occasionally, private yachts may pay a higher monthly salary than charter. Either way, the annual packages will blend across an industry standard which we monitor on your behalf.

Where would I be located?

You will live on board regardless of the yacht’s location/itinerary. Every yacht is individual – the ‘charter’ yachts in general will do 2 seasons, April – October in the Mediterranean and November – March in the Caribbean.


Alternatively, some charter and private yachts will cruise for 1 season in the Mediterranean and after a busy summer, will remain here in the Mediterranean berthed for the winter or undergo yard/refit work.


Off-season, yachts tend to have more normal working hours and subject to watch duties, crew can take weekends off to spend time exploring the area or go home as there are so many low budget airlines in Europe with regular flights.

Superyacht Engineer — Information Guide


Information guide


Are you ready to jump ship?


Superyacht Engineer FAQ's


What do other Navy Engineers say about yachting?


YPI CREW Clients — this is a superyacht!


Yachting licence requirements


Superyacht CV advice — top tips!

What are you waiting for?

If you’re thinking of jumping ship then get in touch with us — we’d be delighted to hear from you! Our dedicated Engineering Specialists Jacqui Young, Marjorie Baillet and Anna Horak will give you advice on how to make the career transition and once they have successfully placed you on board a Super Yacht, they will follow your professional development, help you formulate your goals and will be your Recruitment Partner throughout your yachting career.

Take the plunge now and register online. For more information call Jacqui, Marjorie or Anna directly on +33 (0)492 904 610 (9am-6pm Mon-Thur, 9am-5pm Fri) or email, or with your queries.


To get connected to your dream job, follow these 3 simple steps:

Login or register with YPI CREW

Once registered, you will be assigned one of our specialised recruiters.

Upload your CV and info

Ensure all of your information is up to date so we have everything to land you a new job.

Send a message to our recruiters

Regularly check in with us by clicking the 'Check in' option on your profile.





Let’s get started. Call us on +33 (0)4 92 90 46 10 or email us.

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