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  • Writer's pictureYPI CREW

Salary is generally one of the top motivators when choosing a job onboard a yacht, yet it is usually one of the best-kept secrets within the industry.

When negotiating the final salary, it's important that both the employer and employee have an idea of what the standard is for that particular position. This will help keep the transparency and build trust.

To keep their finger on the pulse of the industry and understand the changes that are happening within, YPI CREW set off to launch the yachtingsalaries. com website in 2016. There, every crew member in the industry is welcome to enter their yacht crew salaries along with the position they serve on a yacht. The process is completely anonymous and serves as a way of monitoring the industry's yacht crew salary movements. Yacht crew can also visit the site to check the anonymous data their peers have entered for reference.

The Importance of Yacht Crew Salaries Reports

Informed employers recognise that in order to attract the top level of talent and experience for a particular role, one of the strongest influences they have is the salary they can offer. To stay competitive within the yachting industry you have to offer competitive yacht crew salaries that reflect the current marketplace. And in order to do this, you have to know what the current market rate is.

Equally, employees can use a yacht crew salary report such as this as a guide point to get an idea if a job offer is reflective of the industry and the role they serve.

The Crew Salaries Data and How We Collect It

In 2016, YPI CREW launched a peer-to-peer salary comparison website for the yachting industry. Here, anyone working in the industry is welcome to anonymously enter their yacht crew salary along with their rank.

has so far attracted over 5.655 entries since its launch in 2016, providing an informative yacht crew salary guide for employers and employees. Best of all, the salary data is free for anyone to access.

The figures shown here are median values of the real salaries entered by yacht crew. They can be used as orientational figures but the real salary offered during the recruitment process will vary depending on the candidate's experience, training, certificates, and additional skills. This is why, when looking for work, it's important to have someone guiding you and championing your skills and experience.

All yacht crew salaries are expressed in euros. Please note that the blanks in the graphs are due to either lack of entries for that particular category or the nonexistence of a role in a specific segment. For example, there are generally no third officers on yachts smaller than 50 meters.

To visit the site to contribute your salary or conduct a free search of the salary database, visit

Data presented here is collected from anonymous yacht crew members. It should not be seen as a definite portrayal of the current market but merely an informal indication.

As salary data is entered by members of the community the site works on an honesty system. There is really no incentive for contributors to mislead people about what they earn. Any inflated or inconsistent salary entries can be 'flagged' as suspicious by other members of the community or by YPI CREW and quickly removed from the system to ensure the accuracy of data is maintained.

Yacht Captain Salaries

347 captains have contributed their salaries. Of those, 287 (82%) are working on motor yachts and 60 (18%) on sailing yachts. This is coherent with the ratio of the global world yacht fleet. 83% of which are motor yachts and 17% are sailing yachts. Overall, only 33% of captains who contributed are on rotation. Rotation usually, if and when available, starts on yachts over 50m. When talking about sailing yachts, we didn't receive any entries for sailing yachts above the 51-65m segment. Also, salaries were on average slightly lower on sailing yachts compared to same-sized motor yachts.

Yacht Captains present the most senior management of a yacht, which is obviously reflected in the salary they command. Expectedly, with the size of the yacht increasing, so do salaries.

Experienced recruiters are invaluable at this level as they can definitely add value in the salary negotiation stage; it is their role to act as a middle person to ensure that, when a job offer is made, it is to all parties' satisfaction and is therefore accepted. They not only know how best to champion captains, their skills and experience at interview stage; they help craft and finesse a deal.

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Motor Yacht Captains

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Sailing Yacht Captains

Deck Crew Salaries

214 Deck Crew have contributed their salaries, broken down as 116 Chief Officers, 16 Second Officers, 12 Third Officers, and 64 Deckhands.

From the data, we see that fewer Chief Officers (43%) reported having a rotational position compared to Second Engineers (57%). However, they reportedly benefit more from rotation than Captains who are at 33%.

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for First or Chief Officers

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Second Officers

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Third Officers or Bosuns

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Yacht Deckhands

Engineer Salaries

279 technical crew have contributed; 162 Chief Engineers, 60 Second Engineers, 16 Third Engineers, and 25 ETO/AVIT.

Overall, many more Engineers reported being on rotation than Captains. We see that 72% of Chief Engineers, 57% of Second Engineers and 56% of Third Engineers are rotational, along with 88% of ETO/AVIT Engineers.

For Chief Engineers we note that beyond the 66 – 80m segment, there is no data for permanent salaries. This reflects the engineering recruitment market where in fact, from +65m upwards, the market is rotation only, apart from a few exceptions. The same goes for Second Engineers and ETOs where permanent contracts on +65m yachts are for build contracts only. It is our experience that the market is rotation-only for Engineers on operational yachts over 65m.

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Chief Engineers

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Second Engineers

2020 Yacht Crew Salaries for Third Engineers