After building or buying the yacht of your dreams, making your yacht come alive is the next step. It’s time to hire a yacht crew. Everything from a captain to deckhands, to a stewardess and a chef, your yacht crew can make the difference of having the best times on the water or an expensive ordeal. With that said, it is important to spend some time finding the right crewmembers for your yacht.
One of the first things you should do is sit down and map out how you plan to use your yacht. Although this might seem obvious, creating a roadmap of where you want to go and how often you plan to use your yacht will come in handy when looking to hire a crew. Another great question to ask your self is what level of service are you expecting from your crew. Are you expecting a white-glove service, or are you looking for a crew to fish the blue-water arena with? Both levels will offer completely different expectations when it comes to building your yacht crew. The more you are able to define what it is you are looking for, the more likely you’ll be able to distinguish a good fit when you see one.
One tip we might add, finding the “perfect” crew doesn’t exist. You could spend all the time in the world conducting interviews, but that doesn’t mean you will have a better chance of finding crew members more versed. Prospective crew members are often willing and ready to learn. So, it might be a better choice to find someone with a “can-do” attitude than someone who is considered a better “cultural fit.”
To begin your search, you’re going to want to find a respectable captain. Take your time when it comes to hiring a captain for your yacht. In essence, your captain will be able to help you hand-select the rest of your crew, or they may have crew members lined-up from previous jobs. Experience is probably the most important aspect when it comes to finding a captain. Do your research and scope out captains that have familiarity with the type of yacht you own.
Equally as important, find someone who has experience with the destinations you plan to visit. If you plan to cruise the waterways of the Bahamas, you will likely want a captain who is accustomed to those waters. Another quality to look for in a captain is their personality. Since every yacht has its unique style and characteristics based around your liking, it’s imperative to find a captain that will also fit in with your lifestyle.
After you find a well-versed captain, the two of you can establish the rest of your crew line-up. Crew members will vary depending on the style of yacht you and own and length. Crew members could include a first mate (sometimes two positions— first officer and mate, on larger yachts), bosun (the maintenance manager), and then enough deckhands to maintain and dock the yacht. For the interior department, there are the chief stewardess and purser/treasurer (often the same person) and any number of stewards or stewardesses necessary to provide the level of service you desire. In their own departments are engineering—the chief engineer and the second engineer—and the chef and a sous or crew chef.
For these types of jobs, it’s typical in the yachting industry to attract younger single people with a passion for adventure; by no means is this your normal nine to five job. Frequently, prospective candidates will tend to have an outgoing personality, enjoy social settings, and thrive in demanding situations.
Even with all your efforts, the help of your captain, and ongoing planning, finding the right fit may not always work out. Often times, the intermingling of personalities don’t always prove to be a good match. However, these issues tend to resolve themselves, as an unhappy employee is not usually a productive one. Rest assured, you’ll know when you found the right crew; it’ll be smooth sailing and the beginning of many great adventures.