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  • Writer's pictureThe Yacht Crew Coach

Differences Working on Private vs. Charter Yachts

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

The pros and cons of working on board private and charter yachts

Private boats are for the exclusive use of their owners and guests. Certain countries do not allow commercial activity (e.g. USA via the Jones Act and Galapagos) unless the vessel flies their flag. There are a lot of websites out there that claim that private yacht crew don’t work as many hours as charter crew but tell that to the crew with live aboard owners. I have experienced very busy private yachts and charter yachts that aren’t heavily chartered where the crew have more time off (generally because the charter fee is so exorbitant).

Charter yachts often reduce their base wage justifying it by saying that crew get tips. Tips are NOT guaranteed. I have had tips ranging from 5% to 35% of the charter fee (the latter amounted to $5,000 each per week). However a good private yacht owner often rewards their crew with bonuses via 13th cheques or season bonuses. I have had both charter and private yachts reward crew with yard bonuses too for sticking out the hard cold winter months in a yard.

Charter yachts generally tend to stick to the Mediterranean or Caribbean because that is where most charter guests tend to go. HOWEVER, there are a few works cruising charter yachts who offer their clients the opportunity to visit exotic destinations like Antarctica and Madagascar for example.

Charter yachts are commercially registered meaning that they have to comply with more stringent regulations (MLC, and need to be in Class for example) and therefore the crew are generally a little more protected because of Seafarer Employment Agreements and better safety and security measures (having to follow the ISM and ISPS Codes).

In reality I have found that Flag States generally do not offer much labour protection in terms of MLC (including Cayman Islands) on issues of pregnancy, harassment, bullying or termination of employment with no just cause. I would love to hear from you on what you have experienced in terms of the differences between private and charter yachts. 📸 @theyachtcrewcoach #yacht #yachtlife #yachtcrew #yachtie#yachtieworld #yachting#theyachtcrewcoach #privateyacht#charteryacht #lifethroughaporthole#nauticnomad #stewardess #deckhand#captain #purser #yachtchef#yachtengineer

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