In Part 1 of this series we explored some example crew setups throughout the yacht size range from 58ft to 150+ft…which can be from 1 to 7+ crew total. How many and what type of crew works best for you is largely dependent on the level of service and care you want for both yourself while aboard and your yacht in general.
Let’s say that you just bought a new yacht that is going through the final rigging process and will be delivered in 3 months. With an idea of the different crew options and the type of program you would like to run, you set out to find the people that will make your yachting experience truly wonderful.
What is the first step?
Step 1. Finding the Right Captain.
The captain is far more than just a person who drives the boat. He is a manager of your vessel and all of the rest of the crew aboard, overseeing all the logistics necessary to make your yacht ownership smooth and as stress free as possible.
With this understanding, the Captain is the most important piece of the crew structure and it is vital that the right person is chosen for the job.
These are a few points to consider when looking for a captain:
- Do you like and get along with him?
- Does he have enough experience aboard yachts like yours?
- Is he capable of piloting a yacht like yours?
- Is he organized and able to keep track of necessary vessel maintenance and repairs?
- Can he handle finances appropriately and organize expenses and budget?
- Does he have the people skills necessary to manage the crew effectively?
Some of the biggest crew mistakes come when an unqualified captain is hired…he may be able to pilot the yacht, but if he is terrible with tracking expenses and managing crew you could have a real mess on your hands. Or he looks great on paper and has the right qualifications, but your personalities do not click…that can create some awkward and unwanted situations.
Step 2. Let the Captain Lead the Search for the Rest of the Crew.
So you found a captain that is well qualified and organized, with a great demeanor and personality that you and your family click with. In your talks with the captain you have told him what your expectations are for the yacht, the level of service you want provided and how active the yacht is going to be…from there the captain can pull upon his experience and contacts in the industry to find the right crew to meet and exceed your expectations.
You may instinctively want to take the reigns here, after all you are a successful businessperson with a great history of management and running a company…but the captain is the one that is going to have to manage that crew day to day. Not only that, but they will have to live in very tight quarters together for long periods of time. A good captain will know to pick the right dedicated and hard working crew members that will work together as a cohesive unit, which will make your yachting experience great! It is possible that the captain will be able to bring aboard crew he has worked with in the past and has a great working relationship with.
I am not saying that you have to totally disengage from the hiring process, as you will also have to get along with the crew the captain brings aboard. A final interview by yourself prior to hiring or tagging along with the Captain when he interviews is a good idea. As another line of qualification, your yacht broker is a great source to interview and talk to potential crew members. At the Tom George Yacht Group, we offer that as a service to all our clients to ensure they have the best yachting experience possible.
Where to Look for Crew?
We at the Tom George Yacht Group are experienced in finding the right crew to match your expectations. We work with our clients to not only find the right yacht, but also the right crew.
What are Crew Salary Expectations?
As in all things in life, with crew you get what you pay for. The best and most experienced crew will be more expensive than a bunch of greenhorns looking for their first job…so when deciding how much you want to pay a prospective crew member on your yacht, keep an open mind.
Below is a guideline for crew salary organized by position, the pay can of course vary depending on experience and skill set, also if someone can handle more than one job, such as a stewardess/cook, or mate/engineer, etc. they would not expect to get double the pay, but some sort of increase should suffice.
Final Thoughts from and Experienced Yacht Owner
Written by Peter Herm for Triton Newspaper Nov. 24, 2014
“A great crew can make any boat fun, and a poor crew will ruin the experience on even the $100 million yachts I saw at the Monaco show in September… I think I speak for most owners when I say the most important aspect of boat ownership is that it is supposed to be fun. It is up to the crew to help make this dream a reality.”