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  • Writer's pictureMeeli Lepik

Working on new builds demands a high degree of independence, self-discipline and resilience. It requires a curious personality, eagerness to learn, a willingness to cooperate with external parties and comfort with making significant decisions and handling large funds.

This is why CVs of crew members with build experience are very valuable. This is a strong compelling factor for crew members to consider becoming part of a new-build project.

For senior operational crew, the new-build environment can offer a taste of 'normality' and balance in their work-life dynamic. It enables working classical office hours, leaving more time for leisure activities like joining sports clubs, volunteering at animal shelters, learning a local language, having friends and family visits and traveling and exploring during weekends.

Contracts For New-Build Yacht Crew Members

The biggest conceptual change between operational and yard contracts is that onboard crew are hired under the Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA), while the new-build crew are hired under a yard contract, which is an agreement between two individual parties (contractors).

The project you're working on will assist you with the necessary paperwork for this transition. However, it's important that you are aware of the tax and visa regulations specific to the country where the shipyard is based.

Since most shipyards are situated within the European Union, it's often more straightforward for EU citizens to secure employment at these locations. If you're from an EU member country, you'll likely find the process of starting work at these shipyards less complex. Of course, this is not to say that non-EU residents can't work in EU shipyards, just that the process might be easier for EU residents.

Accommodation and Food

The yard contracts come with a food allowance added to the salary and then it's up to the crew member to organise their own provisions. In the offices, the project usually provides coffee, snacks and fruit, which are often purchased by the interior team or whoever happens to pass by the supermarket in the morning.

When it comes to accommodation, crew is staying in land-based accommodation, where the rule of thumb is that the positions who would have single accommodation on board, would have that also on land. In reality, a lot more crew may end up in single accommodation or share a large apartment.

The apartments are usually fully equipped and often come with cleaning service included but it is not also unusual if the furniture and all the amenities are purchased by the project.


Crew transport is another very vital aspect that the project needs to plan beforehand when setting up for the build team. It is common that HoDs have their own cars which they'll keep until the end of the project. Fuel and expenses are covered. I find this very important because it allows flexibility with working hours to prepare and plan for the week, etc.

Depending a bit on the location of the yard, quite a few shared vehicles are provided for the rest of the crew to use both for work and recreational purposes. Having a valid driver's licence is therefore a huge advantage. It is very important that there would be enough cars for the crew to share to allow people to have a little bit of freedom to go to gym, shopping or sightseeing while off duty.

Bicycles are also very popular amongst the yard crew and these will be passed on to new build teams to come. At the early stages of the build the teams are small and then it is great to connect with the other project teams. I have created my dearest and most meaningful friendships with people I have been together at the shipyard.

Free Time and Activities

Being at the yard is a brilliant opportunity to train the people not only for the job itself but leadership, personality profiling or team building and organise activities to build a great team morale.

Often the shipyards present a welcome package, listing all kinds of fun and interesting things to do in the area, including festivals and fares, restaurants and spas, seasonal and traditional activities. Lürssen especially is well known for their Bossel Tours and Rowing Regattas.

Depending on the country where the shipyard is located, there will be different scenic and cultural hallmarks. Holland, for example, has canals and tulips, while Italy has wine regions and beautiful towns.

Being land-based allows to organise more complex happenings like skiing trips, theme parties or amusement park visits. I have wonderful memories from Octoberfest, Halloween dress up, Medieval Amusement Park visit or Gluhwein at the Christmas Market.

Are You Interested in Working On New-Build Projects or in Need of Crew For Your Yacht?

If you are a crew member looking to work on board a yacht, or a Captain or HoD looking for high-performing crew, get in touch with our expert YPI CREW recruitment team. They are masters of placing highly-qualified crew on board yachts around the world and will be happy to assist you with your recruitment needs.

If you are a crew member looking for work you can get in touch with us by logging into your YPI CREW profile.

If you are a Captain or HoD looking for crew for your yacht, you can get in touch with us by filling out the form on our website.

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