How to Hire the Perfect Superyacht Captain and Crew

yaCrew  |  21st November 2017

It can be challenging to hire the perfect crew to charter your superyacht, and failing to do so can change your dream vacation into a storm-bound nightmare. Yacht owners not only need to find experienced and qualified crew members, but also potential candidates who are the best match for their own boat and their own personality. And it isn’t as difficult as you think.

To find the right crew, you should first develop a clear definition of the job position and role as well as the aptitude and skills required. Be detailed so that you can attract the right applicant. If you want to sail the Atlantic in two weeks in July and you need a captain that can handle it, then say this when posting your opening.

There are basically three considerations to make when hiring a captain or crew member. The first is a regulatory perspective. Does your applicant have the right qualifications and licensing? The rules will be stricter for commercial vessels than for private yachts, but you may still prefer a fully licensed captain as would your insurance company. All crew members usually require standards of training, certification and watchkeeping (STCW) courses, and may need to take further training within their area. A directory of superyacht crew training providers is available on yaCrew.

Next, you will need to assess the experience level of your potential crew members in terms of the job position itself as well as in regard to the type of vessel, the area and the type of journey you will embark on. For example, you may wish to hire a captain who knows how to charter a large boat through the shallow waters of the Mediterranean. Or you might give preference to an engineer who is familiar with your boat’s engine and propulsion systems.

Superyacht in Barcelona

Keep in mind that you cannot always expect to find perfection. It is rare that you will find crew members that have already undertaken the exact same type of journey on the same type of boat, and this shouldn’t restrict your search. Finding someone with similar experience is good enough.

You also shouldn’t rule out newcomers. They can bring energy and enthusiasm to a voyage and are often eager to learn. Being fresh means that a “green” crew won’t have any bad habits from previous journeys and can often meet the captain’s needs well.

Your third major consideration and one that is often overlooked or underestimated is the personality of your potential crew members. Are you looking for a crew who can entertain and start a party or introverts who are happy to serve quietly to foster an atmosphere of relaxation? Crew members’ personalities should ideally be in harmony with your own and will ultimately set the overall tone of the vessel.

Of course, there are certain characteristics that are always best to avoid, such as dishonesty, as well as traits that are nearly always useful like attention to detail, the ability to be pleasant and positive and the ability to keep cool under pressure. Aside from these, you should be looking to match the candidate’s personality not only with your own but also with that of the existing team.

Ultimately, all the same rules apply for putting together your superyacht crew as for interviewing someone for a job in finance. It’s good practice to perform basic background checks, examine CVs, follow up with references and conduct interviews to speak with potential crew members face-to-face. If you need help, yaCrew has a “crew search” option to help you to find potential candidates.