What are Luxury Yachts?
Luxury Yachts can be either sail or motor driven, and are defined by their opulent appearance and the phenomenal expense of their cost and maintenance.
They are like floating palaces, with no expense spared.
Luxury yachts are privately owned and privately crewed, and the maintenance and crewing costs work out, yearly on average, to be 10% of the original buy price. When luxury yachts can cost anything between $2 million to $460 million, they really are the privilege of the very wealthy.
Super Yachts vs Mega Yachts
The main differentiation between luxury yachts is size.
A super yacht is deemed to be anything above 80 feet, whilst a mega yacht refers to anything above 200 feet.
Sailing vs Motor Yachts
Traditionally sailing is a more stimulating, relaxed experienced whilst motor yachts have a more formal reputation. However, the lines between the two are becoming blurred with many new sailing boats being built to motor yacht specifications, and with motor yacht owners loosening up and allowing a more relaxed atmosphere between crew and passengers.
Sailing is still considered the more informal, exhilarating and challenging travel experience, conjuring up images of wind in the hair, salty spray, etc. Crew members are expected and encouraged to multi-task, and so have greater scope to learn and use more skills.
However, sailing can be difficult and dangerous in certain conditions, the pay is less than on board a motor yacht, and the crew accommodation is often cramped.
Motor yachts usually pay better, and staff enjoy more perks such as roomier cabins and work space.
However, roles are generally very defined, therefore is less/no scope to learn new skills. Also standards of appearance are much higher and rules of etiquette must be adhered to.
Private vs Charter Yachts
Private Yachts are used solely by the owner and their guests. Charter Yachts can be used by anyone who can pay to use them.
Choosing to work on a private or charter yacht will offer a very different experience, so it is important to consider the pros and cons of both before deciding which option to pursue.
Private Yachts, depending on the owner, can offer a great lifestyle and more stability, in that you know what is expected, the itinerary can be for up to a year in advance, perks in the form of bonuses from the owner, such as accompanying on trips/excursions, more time off, longer time alongside etc.
However the pay is not as good as charters, also your work experience depends on whether you have a 'good' boss, captain and crew.
Charter Yachts offer great pay potential. On top of your wages, it is usual for charter guests to tip 10% of the charter cost, which can end up a sizeable sum of money. For example a $100,000 charter could give a $10,000 tip to be split between the crew. With back to back charters over the busy seasons this can soon mount up.
However, paying out these sums for a charter, guests will expect the crew to work long and hard, being on call 24/7. You will rarely, if ever, enjoy trips/excursions alongside the guests. Also, turn-around between charters is often just 24 hours – therefore crew can quickly become tired and this in turn affects the dynamics on board.
US vs Foreign Flag Yachts
The flag a yacht sails under signifies its country of registration, the jurisdiction the yacht is under, and therefore the rules and legislation the yacht and crew are governed by.
This is very important for potential crew, as a US flag will mean only US Citizens, or people allowed to work in the US (eg Green Card Holders) can work on board.
Anybody, however, can work on a foreign-flagged ship, as long as the correct visa is obtained.