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Renegotiating a yacht crew salary is something that every crew member will consider at some point. The hard thing is, the average salaries for crew jobs are very attractive, particularly when compared to on-shore careers. This high salary is justified by long hours, hard work, and the sacrifice of a social life and personal relationships back at home, but it is also one of the reasons why yacht crew salary negotiations can be tricky. However, just because the pay is high, it does not mean that your salary should not increase with your experience.


So how do you ask for a pay rise on board your superyacht? Here are some top tips to make negotiations a little easier that will hopefully lead to a development that leaves the owner, captain and crew satisfied.


First things first: why?


The first step in asking for an improved yacht crew salary is to consider why you deserve a pay rise. It is simply not enough to demand a pay rise because you want it. You need to give the captain a solid reason to improve your yacht crew salary. Have you gone above and beyond, time and time again? Are you an essential cog in the machine of a boat? Have you gained valuable experience working on the same yacht for more than a year and feel that your loyalty needs rewarding? All are valid reasons to ask for a pay rise.


Always go to the captain


While it may be tempting in some cases to try your luck with the owner of a boat, this is the ultimate no-no in asking for a pay rise. The owner will almost certainly not want to be bothered by these questions, and you will definitely not gain any brownie points with your captain. Ask for a meeting with your captain regarding yacht crew salary negotiations, and prepare. Make it as easy as possible for the captain to understand your value to the yacht, and why it makes sense for him or her to reward your hard work with an increased paycheck. Are you looking to develop in your role on the boat? Whether you are interior or exterior crew, there’s lots of room to grow – from chef or chief stew, to bosun or chief engineer. Showing that you are dedicated to the yacht and your crew could work in your favour – just make sure it’s the truth!


Don’t make empty threats


Or any threats, really. With an abundance of experienced crew ready and waiting to take your place, threatening to leave the boat if you don’t receive your pay rise may cause your captain to call your bluff. And, let’s be honest, it rubs people up the wrong way. If you’re serious and are indeed willing to look for another yacht to call home if your yacht crew salary negotiations are not successful, then do some research into crew jobs and let your captain know.


Check the yacht crew salary guidelines


Do your research before you ask for a pay rise. What are the yacht crew salary guidelines? Ask around the industry, speak to experienced crew and captains – even your yacht management company will have excellent advice on what exactly you should be getting paid and why. Be aware that salaries differ from boat to boat. Crew aboard a charter yacht, for example, may receive completely different wages to those working on a private yacht, so make sure you understand where you stand.

Yacht crew salary increases are possible when you do it the right way. When asking for a pay rise on a yacht, do your research, believe in your own added value, and be professional and respectful.

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