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Yacht crew positions : Hierarchy, Missions & Salaries explained

yacht crew meaning

Like any well-run hotel, restaurant, or other luxury service, a crewed yacht needs organized structure and good management. Whether you’re staffing your own luxury vessel or looking for an exciting career working and traveling the world, you need to know how this structure works, and what you can expect to pay or earn and do in the various roles on board.

Every yacht is a little different, and organization may reflect the style of the captain or the demands of the owner. But the same jobs need to be done on almost every boat. Organized with ranks, heads of each division report to the Captain. It’s not a military-style organization, but there are parallels with merchant marine grades and structures.

Smaller yachts need fewer crew, and staff may wear multiple hats that cross more traditional divisions and may combine some jobs with others. Large yachts have more distinct divisions or subdivisions, with more specialization to divide tasks and manage staffing. The core skills are the same, but finding staff with the right blends to do the jobs is key. Crew with broader skills are highly sought after.

As a yacht owner, you shouldn’t have to worry about day-to-day management decisions or organizing all this. That’s why you have a captain, and it’s better to leave staffing decisions entirely up to him or her. But it’s still important to know what it is people you’re hiring do, why they’re there, and how many you need. You don’t want too many crew, or to be short-handed. An understanding of what your yacht needs helps you talk to the captain to keep your yacht running how you want it.

For those looking to break into yacht crew work, consider your skills and strengths, and what jobs appeal to you. You’ll need training before you work, and you can direct your job path through the training you seek. Your goal is a suitable position on a well-run yacht, so make yourself the most attractive candidate possible.

Yacht Work Life

yacht crew meaning

Working on a yacht is also living on the yacht. Crew must have a space to sleep, food, and all the basics that any employee needs. Large yachts have space reserved for crew, and owners looking for quality crew should provide good working and living conditions. Your crew takes care of you, and you should take care of them.

Depending on where a yacht operates or what flag she flies, a variety of labor laws or rules may be in effect. These requirements may be for work visas, contracts and written agreements, and compliance with merchant and ship crew treaties and laws. Be prepared to have work and non-disclosure agreements between yacht and crew, though a few yachts skip this.

Seasonal Jobs

Many yacht positions are seasonal. Year-round employment is more likely for senior crew like the captain and department heads, but not all yachts see year-round use. And some yachts may use different crew in different locales between seasonal moves.

Any job listing should give seasonal information, with geographic information, the length of the season, and the prospects for year-round positions and repeat employment.

Hours, Salaries, and Expectations

Yacht crew is a service job at its core, and every yacht owner is looking for service-oriented people who understand how to deliver a hotel-quality living and restaurant-quality fine dining. Work experience in luxury hotels and restaurants is a big plus for some jobs, and makes breaking into yacht work easier.

Yacht work can be very demanding, with periods of intense work when the owner and guests or a charter party is on board. Long days aren’t uncommon, but often balance with slack time when the boat is empty of passengers. There is always work to be done, but there’s usually a chance for time off.

Most salaries are monthly, since many positions are seasonal. Pay ranges are commensurate with experience, rank, and responsibility. Private vessels usually offer higher base pay, as charter crew can earn tips on top of their base salary. Because of the demands of the lifestyle, compensation is good and you have minimal living expenses on board.

Benefits and Time Off

Because so many jobs are seasonal and may occur in different countries and locations, benefits offered to yacht crew vary widely. But it is not uncommon for crew to be offered health and accident insurance and a flight to the vessel. Living on board, you’ll get food, rooming (usually shared), basic toiletries, uniforms, and laundry. Yachts with a longer view may offer additional training to long-term prospects.

Time off is usually linked to boat use, and may be sporadic in-season or when the boat has the owner and guests on board. There will always be some time off, but it may be between very intense work periods.

Most crew jobs have an employment contract that meets the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC). This should spell out the contract period and duration, as well as salary, leave and time off, probationary periods, repatriation policies, and any other crucial details to meet the minimum international standards of crew welfare.

This contract should also contain shipboard policies on confidentiality and non-disclosures, drug and alcohol use on board, personal hygiene expectations, interpersonal relationships, and dispute resolution. Job expectations and requirements can also be included, with specific language about roles, tasks, and cooperation between divisions.

Note that all crew agreements will explicitly prohibit drug use on board, most limit alcohol consumption and ban hard liquor on board, and many boats have policies prohibiting intimate personal crew relationships. Because the crew is living on board full time and in close quarters, rules to maintain decorum and crew harmony may be in writing.

Training & Certificates

Two key certifications are required for yacht crew. Employers look for the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers) and the ENG1 (Seafarer Medical Certificate). Insurers generally require crew to have these two certifications or the equivalent.

The ENG1 isn’t a class. It’s a medical exam to ensure that the crew is physically fit to serve at sea and has no underlying conditions that may arise far from help. It’s best for prospective crew to secure the ENG1 before investing more time and money training.

STCW is a week-long class on the basics of onboard safety. This includes hands-on modules covering personal survival, fire safety, first aid and CPR, accident prevention, and security awareness. It needs to be refreshed every five years.

Shared, Hybrid, and Crossover Jobs

Larger vessels will have more defined duties and specific areas of responsibility. But smaller yachts may want the crew to have different roles in different situations. For example, a hybrid job description may read “3rd Engineer/Steward” and describe a role in engineering when the boat is empty but on inside crew when passengers are on board.

When hiring or seeking jobs be prepared to look for creative crossover skill sets to meet the needs of the vessel.

Extra Skills and Duties

Any extra skills outside the regular duties makes crew more attractive. From stewards who can teach yoga, give massages or play cocktail piano to deck crew who know how to water ski, SCUBA dive, or fish, anything that crew can bring to enhance the passenger experience adds value to the employee.

If you’re looking for a position, list the skills you’d be comfortable using. If a vessel owner is looking for something specific, spell it out and figure out how that special duty fits into the employee work day.

The Four Main Divisions

yacht crew meaning

Most yacht crews break into four primary divisions which group related tasks and responsibilities together. While the grouping sounds like it’s by section of the boat, they’re really more functional. For example, stewards (Interior) will definitely serve meals, whether they’re in the main dining room or out on deck. Deckhands (deck) are going to be involved in painting, sanding, and varnish jobs anywhere on the boat.

The deck crew handles most of the exterior operations of the yacht, and runs it. Deck hands and crew keep the boat looking clean and shiny, and handling most vessel operations. This includes driving and operating the yacht, navigation, running all launches and ship’s craft, handling lines, and all maintenance and painting, washing, and shining.

2-Interior (or Inside)

Inside crew are primarily the stewards and housekeepers. Larger vessels will have a dedicated housekeeping staff separate from the stewards, but smaller vessels may not.

Stewards keep the interior clean, do all housekeeping, laundry, food and beverage service, cabin preparation, and anything else needed for the comfort of the passengers.


Below decks, the engineering department ensures the safe and smooth running of all the ship’s machinery and electronics. Engineers are engine and systems specialists, and there will usually be a dedicated electronics expert. Most engineer jobs require professional training and certification.

Fine dining is a hallmark of the yachting experience, and a full-time galley crew prepares all meals for passengers and crew. The head chef plans the menus and provisions the boat, while junior chefs assist the head chef with meal preparation and keeping the galley spotless.

Yacht Job and Department Details

yacht crew meaning

Departments are all organized in a hierarchy, with a department head reporting to the Captain. The clear chain of command makes for smooth operations, with all communications going up and down ranks. Junior staff will occasionally take instructions from other divisions as all crew is expected to help as needed. A captain or department head may organize staff differently, so reporting structures listed are guidelines only.

All salary ranges are monthly figures and are ranges based on yacht size and crew experience. Senior jobs on larger yachts have more responsibility than the same job title on yachts with smaller crews. Experienced crew are very desirable and can expect more pay for their positions.

Listed responsibilities are not exhaustive, and different yachts may allocate some jobs to different positions.

Read also: The yacht charter experience ladder

The Captain

yacht crew meaning

The captain of the vessel is the overall decision maker for the yacht in all situations, including the safety of the vessel. The owner should leave the Captain responsible for operational decisions about hiring and staff and operating the ship. To become a captain requires years of experience and training, and a broad set of skills including yacht operations, personnel management, budgeting and finance. The captain works directly with the owner and owner’s representative, if the captain is not also acting as the representative.

On an organization chart, the Captain is usually placed in the deck division, but the Captain is always the senior-most crew on the yacht and all division heads report to the Captain.

Responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for all navigation and running the yacht.
  • Senior decision maker on all crew hiring.
  • Manage repairs, refits, and yard work.
  • Manage budgets and accounting. On larger yachts, this task ends more on the Purser, but the captain is always responsible.
  • Ensure all paperwork, clearances, and legal requirements are completed.
  • Primary contact with the owner or charter parties.

Reports to: The yacht owner

Salary Range: $6,000 to $22,000

The deckhands handle all the outside responsibilities of the ship, including cleaning and maintenance of the yacht and all the ship’s vessels and toys on board. Deck crew will have significant contact with passengers in this role, operating launches and delivering guests to and from shore and handling the toys.

All deck crew have watch responsibilities on passage, and daily responsibilities keeping the yacht pristine and clean. They will also do line handling and secure the yacht.

Deck department : Chief Mate/First Officer

The Chief Mate or First Officer is the second in command of the vessel, and left in charge when the Captain is not on board. The first mate has the requisite skills to stand in for the captain and run the yacht if needed and usually acts as the division head of the deck team.

The seamanship skills needed are similar to the Captain’s position.

  • Primary safety officer for the yacht and all passengers and crew.
  • Supervise and manage all operations on deck.
  • Bridge watches on passage.
  • Passage planning and navigation.

There may be additional mates on larger vessels, these 2nd, 3rd, etc. mates have similar responsibilities on rotation. But the first mate is senior and always second in command.

Reports to: Captain

Salary Range: $4,000 to $9,500 (First mate)

Second and more junior mates may earn $2,000 to $4,000

Deck department : Bosun

yacht crew meaning

The Bosun is the senior deckhand and manages the junior hands on board. This will usually be the most experienced hand on board.

  • Organizing all operations on deck.
  • Coordinating the use, storing and launching of the ship’s boats, toys, and equipment.
  • Managing the passerelle, watching passenger safety.
  • Contact point for guest service on boats, toys, and trips to shore.

Reports to: First mate

Salary Range: $3,000 to $5,000

Deck department : Deckhands

yacht crew meaning

Deckhands are constantly busy with maintenance, cleaning, polishing, and assisting guests as needed. They will assist other departments as needed or given special duties.

  • Daily cleaning of the yacht’s exterior.
  • Painting, varnishing, polishing.
  • Line handling.
  • Launching and operating dinghies and tenders.
  • Repairs and carpentry.
  • Helping guests as needed – everything from handling baggage and gear to embarking and disembarking.

Reports to: Bosun

Salary range: $1,300 to $3,000

Though every position on a yacht is service-oriented, the interior or inside crew provides the primary customer service. They will interact the most with the passengers daily, and they’re directly responsible for the quality of their experience on board.

Interior department : the Purser

yacht crew meaning

The purser is the chief financial officer of the yacht and handles all the financial operations on board. Accounting, purchasing, payroll and hiring, and all money matters end up with the Purser. This is a senior staff position, and may be the interior department head. Smaller yachts may eliminate the purser’s job and add it to the captain’s and other senior staff duties.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping for all financial transactions.
  • Human resources and payroll.
  • Handling logistics for all departments related to purchasing.
  • Managing contracts.
  • Event coordination, including off yacht bookings and payments.
  • Primary administration of the boat’s business paperwork.
  • Inventory and supply management.

Salary Range: $4,000 to $8,000

Interior department : The Chief Steward/ess

yacht crew meaning

The chief steward or stewardess has primary responsibility for all service roles inside. Food and drink service, cabin preparation, and anything to do with helping the passengers be more comfortable and enjoy their stay. The chief steward will be inside crew with several years of experience.

The chief steward manages the interior staff, setting and enforcing vessel service standards. The chief steward ensures the crew delivers a five-star hospitality experience.

Chief Steward Responsibilities:

  • Scheduling and training junior crew for meal and drink service and cabin preparation.
  • Primary contact with guests for meals and drinks.
  • Sommelier and wine service.
  • Coordinate with the galley for meals and presentation.
  • Decorate the interior, from flower arrangement to table settings.
  • Arrange onshore activities and outings.

Reports to: Captain or Purser, depending on the yacht

Salary Range: $4,000 to $8,500


The stewards and stewardesses are the primary guest service staff. They will work closely with guests and passengers, and have daily contact with them as they meet most of their needs while on board.

Steward Responsibilities:

  • Food and drink service.
  • Room preparation and turndown service.
  • Cleaning, polishing, housekeeping, and inside maintenance.
  • Cabin detailing.
  • Laundry, pressing, and folding.
  • Help with outings, trips, debarkations.

Reports to: Chief Steward

Salary Range: $1,500 to $4,500


yacht crew meaning

Larger yachts may have a dedicated housekeeping and laundry staff. This will be part of the inside crew, under either the purser or the head steward. There may be a senior housekeeper, if there are more than one housekeeping crew on board.

Responsibilities are the cleaning and laundry portions of the steward’s job, and a laundry steward may spend most of her time inside the ship’s laundry.

An experienced Head of Housekeeping may earn from $4,500 to $7,000, while a Laundry Steward typically earns from $2,500 to $3,500.


Food service requirements on any yacht are high. Whether it’s a privately owned vessel or a charter, the expectations are always for top tier food service, with a variety of meals planned for the requirements of every passenger. Chefs and cooks prepare all meals on board for passengers and crew, but sometimes other interior crew may help with prep work or cleanup.

Smaller yachts have smaller galley crews, but the largest vessels may have an executive chef and several sous chefs. All chef positions require formal culinary training and experience, but cook positions are often entry level. Promotion from cook to chef is unusual without additional training.

Galley department : the Head / Executive Chef

yacht crew meaning

On larger yachts, an Executive Chef will run the entire galley with the help of sous chefs and cooks. With an Executive Chef, there’s an expectation that the food and menus will be on a level with Michelin star-rated restaurants.

The executive chef brings a thorough understanding of food preparation and presentation, and moves food preparation past creative up to artistic. Job responsibilities are similar to a chef, but the job demands and the required experience and education are much higher.

Salary range: $7,000 to $11,000

yacht crew meaning

The chef has overall responsibility for all meals on the yacht, from provisioning in remote places to hygiene and good safety. If there’s only one chef, she’s the head of the galley crew. Finding the best provisions in far away locations and making the best of local food availability is a major part of the job.

  • Planning a delicious and varied menu for passengers.
  • Sourcing all food and arranging transport to the yacht.
  • Maintaining and operating within the galley budget.
  • Preparing passenger meals with professional presentation and style.
  • Cleaning and maintaining galley and galley equipment.
  • Deliver menus and meals on time, while running an organized and spotless galley.

Galley department : Sous Chef

The sous chefs assist the chef in all aspects of running the galley, and may have independent assignments to plan and guest and crew meals. While not primarily responsible for provisioning, the sous chef will help with food selection, menu preparation, and planning. A sous chef must have formal culinary training.

Reports to: Head chef

Salary Range: $3,500 – $6,000.

yacht crew meaning

Galley department : The Cook

Cooks may be entry-level positions or experienced, but do not require formal gastronomy education. They will assist the chef and sous chefs, cooking meals and dishes for guests and crew, helping with provisioning, and keeping the galley neat.

  • Assist with provisioning and buying high-quality food from local sources.
  • Follow all food handling and safety guidelines.
  • Assist the head chef as needed, taking direction and guidance.
  • Prepare guest and crew meals as required.
  • Staying on top of galley inventories and supplies.

Salary Range: $2,500 to $3,500


yacht crew meaning

The engineering department keeps the yacht and all its systems working. Whether it’s the engines, electronics, air conditioning, or the plumbing – it’s up to engineering to keep it running.

There is considerable overlap with commercial shipping in the engineering field, as many of the same skills apply. And there is a broader range of qualifications and grades based on the size and power of the vessel. Job ratings may be set by required experience based on tonnage of ship or power of engines, with corresponding levels of pay and responsibility.

Unlike commercial shipping, engineers may get involved in other aspects of running the yacht, like helping with docking and water sports with mechanical toys.

Engineering certifications, training, ratings, experience and licensing are critical to hiring competent engineers, and for engineering crew it’s an important facet of career advancement. This is important for Chief and 2nd Engineers, which are often broken out by MCA (U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency) rating or other international equivalent.

MCA ratings for engineers Commercial and Private Yachts over 24m are:

Y4: Less than 200 Gross Tons and less than 1,500 kW engine power Y3: Less than 500 GT and 3,000 kW Y2: Less than 3,000 GT and 3,000 kW Y1: Less than 3,000 GT and 9,000 kW

There is also an unlimited rating for merchant vessels larger than the Y1 category. For discussing salary and responsibilities, we will include all ratings in one position description, but pay scales with the size of the yacht and any required higher ratings.

Chief Engineer

The chief engineer manages all aspects of keeping the yacht and its systems running. The chief engineer manages all the engineering staff, and directs all maintenance, repairs, troubleshooting and upgrades. This is a management position, but requires extensive hands-on technical experience and knowledge. Chief engineers on large yachts hold an MCA Y1 or Y2, smaller boats will have a lower rated chief and a smaller staff. Check  Jooble.org  to find abroad marine engineer vacancies.

  • Provisioning, shopping, and stocking.
  • Preparing passenger and crew meals.
  • Following instructions and cooking under the direction of others.
  • Galley cleaning.
  • Follow food safety and storage procedures.
  • Food pre-preparation.

Salary Range: $6,000 to $15,000

2nd Engineer

The second engineer is also a highly skilled position requiring a rating or license and several years of experience. This senior level engineer also needs knowledge of how to troubleshoot and maintain all yacht systems.

  • Maintain and manage all engineering operations.
  • Hire, train and supervise all engineers.
  • Project manage all upgrades and retrofits, including managing budgets, contracts, and suppliers.
  • Coordinate maintenance schedule for the entire yacht around the usage and seasonal schedules.
  • Maintain costs and accounting for engineering operations.
  • Design and handle all safety operations.
  • Set and maintain standards for operations and cleanliness in the engine room.

Reports to: Chief engineer

Salary Range: $5,500 – $10,000

OOW (Officer of the Watch) Engineer

The OOW is a junior engineering position, but still licensed. There are two categories of OOW – MEOL (Marine Engine Operator License) and the more junior AEC (Assistant Engine Course). The overall responsibilities are similar, working to support the senior engineers and handle independent assignments. The AEC rating is entry level for licensed crew, but has training and certification.

  • Support the chief in all projects.
  • Maintain a clean, safe engine room.
  • Perform all maintenance, troubleshooting and repair tasks as needed.
  • Support motorized water sports.
  • Occasionally assist with other vessel operations, like line handling.

Reports to: Chief Engineer

Salary Range, MEOL: $4,500 to $6,000 Salary Range, AEC: $2,500 to $3,500

Electronics/Technology Officer (ETO)

The ETO takes responsibility for all audio-visual and information technology on board. Ensuring passengers have access to the internet, movies, television, and music is a primary responsibility. This position carries a fair amount of passenger interaction, and an ETO needs good troubleshooting skills to go with customer service skills.

  • Ensure all audio/visual and entertainment systems are always available for passengers.
  • Assist passengers with personal technology and ship systems as needed.
  • Conduct regular maintenance and upgrades of the network, information, and A/V systems around passenger schedules.
  • Assist other engineers as needed, especially with electronic systems.
  • Contribute as needed with other departments for boat and passenger operations.

Salary Range: $4,000 to $9,000

Junior Engineer

This is a lower or entry level position for someone with engineering skills but without formal licensing or certification. The junior engineer will help with safety and cleanliness, and assist in any engineering tasks as needed. The ability to solve problems and fix things opens this spot for anyone capable and willing to do the job.

  • Help with cleaning, maintenance, and safety functions.
  • Help anywhere needed on the yacht.
  • Assist senior engineers as needed, taking direction and following instructions exactly.
  • Constantly develop skills.


Whether you are a yacht owner or considering entering this dynamic industry with an established and reliable crew, it is essential to have an understanding of the yacht’s hierarchical structure, mission priorities, and salary expectations. By doing your research on the complexity of yachting before hiring your team, you can confidently select the right group of experienced and qualified professionals for your needs. Staying up-to-date on top industry trends and knowing the capabilities of each type of yacht crew position will enable you to make sound decisions that support a safe and cost-effective journey. With quality personnel at your helm, you can cruise unhindered in luxury and explore new destinations with peace of mind.

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Yacht Crew Job Roles

yacht crew meaning

The Who’s Who Of Yachting

Superyachts come in all shapes and sizes and with those come different yacht crew job roles. Whilst some smaller yachts out there operate with just a Captain and partner, at the other end of the spectrum are yachts that operate with in excess of 30 crew. Yacht crew are the cogs that keep the yacht moving, in every aspect. From safety and logistics to systems maintenance, cooking, cleaning, hospitality service, and guest experience.

Whether a yacht is private or charter, motor or sail, the crew ensures the yacht is run to both the safest and highest luxury standards. Whilst smaller yachts may not have all of the roles detailed below, the requirements often remain the same and responsibilities will overlap. A yacht’s crew can comprise full-time crew members, rotational crew, seasonal crew, and even day workers to fulfill the below roles:

The Captain (The boss…)

The Captain has legal and ultimate responsibility for the yacht. A captain’s primary duty is to ensure the overall safe manning, movement, and operation of the yacht. They must have overall knowledge of the operations within each department and ensure the whole crew works well as a team. The Captain is usually the central contact point between the owner, guests and crew, as well as any yacht management company. The Captain’s decision is final.

“Being a yacht Captain is about ensuring you are totally immersed in the overview of everything concerning the vessel, including but not limited to the owner’s wishes, the motivation and well-being of the crew, and streamlining the program to be as efficient as possible. It’s a constant challenge with ever-shifting components. Despite the huge commitment you need to have, how much time and how much work it requires, there are many rewards coming in many different forms. For me, it’s during guest operations, when you can take a step back, and watch the trained team in action, good crew energised in a good state of mind, delivering next-level service for seriously impressed guests. When you can see the guests truly taken aback, and you know the crew have absolutely nailed it, it’s what you’re here for and it makes you proud to be their Captain.” – Captain Charlie Rowlands, @MYAxioma Video by Jared Watney “Running a superyacht is fun, stressful, and the ultimate challenge. Dealing not only with the owners or charter guests and their needs but with Agents, Ports, and suppliers to arrange for everything to align smoothly is the ultimate task.” – Captain Sean Victor, @YachtBina

Chief Officer/First Mate (The Captain’s right hand…)

The specific duties will vary dependent on a yacht’s size and other crew roles aboard. In general, the Chief Officer is responsible for the safe manning of the yacht as well as passage and planning to assist the Captain. The Chief Officer will oversee crew operations and maintenance schedules. They also must have the knowledge, skill, and qualifications to step in for the Captain if need be.

Chief Engineer (Fixer of all things…)

This crew member heads up the engineering department. Dependent on the size of the yacht, there will be one or two, 2nd and 3rd engineers below the Chief, assisting with maintenance and servicing tasks. They are responsible for all technical aspects and equipment, along with general maintenance and servicing of systems. The engineering department is the go-to when anything breaks and needs to be fixed, from the main engine through to the crew mess TV. Generally, they don’t have much contact with guests but will need to hold up guest relations for when onboard.

ETO (Gadget officer…)

The ETO is responsible for all things electrical onboard, from the electronics equipment to the communications systems. They must have excellent skills in AV and IT, from re-booting the WiFi router to making an emergency call halfway across the ocean, they are the tech guru.

“The role of an ETO/ITO on board a yacht is a unique position not often well understood or defined. The typical ETO should be the ‘Jack of all trades, master of all as well’ kind, a conundrum to say the least. The job demands knowledge and experience of so many different aspects, ensuring the internet is operational, looking after complex entertainment and automation systems along with having a solid Information Technology foundation covering many subsets. Also, often required is a comprehensive understanding of electrical systems, mostly to fix those LED lights which are meant to last almost a lifetime! Finally, tying these all together and still having good people skills sets one up to fulfill possibly one of the most diverse roles, which provides an interesting job that promises to keep one continuously learning. It would be hard to provide any negatives, apart from hearing that most common of questions – ‘Is the Wi-Fi down?’ Well no, the Wi-Fi is always ‘up’ but as for the link to the internet, that is questionable.” – Alan Yeld, ETO @MotoryachtCloudbreak

Bosun/Lead Deckhand (The chamois leader…) Responsible for the deck and exterior team and all deck operations, the Bosun should have a keen eye for detail and take pride in keeping the exterior of the yacht pristine. The Bosun tends to be the main tender driver but will have a team of qualified tender driving deckhands on hand to help. They are responsible for the overall maintenance of the exterior.

“My role onboard is to supervise the deck crew maintaining the exterior of SY Black Pearl in immaculate condition, organising all storage of deck equipment and consumables, and the maintenance of all tenders and associated equipment. I also decide what jobs need to be done and allocate them to the deck department, which then needs to be checked by myself at the end of the day. The only downside to this is that if the job hasn’t been done to my satisfaction, I then have to ask my friend/colleague to redo the job.” – James Benning, Bosun @SYBlackPearl

Video by Dutch Yachting

Deckhand (the chamois expert…).

Depending on the size of the yacht, there may be a number of deckhands onboard to ensure the exterior of the yacht is maintained in spotless condition. Along with the general cleanliness, wash downs, polishing, and ongoing maintenance of the exterior, deckhands will also be qualified in maintaining and driving the tenders. Additional skills for deckhands include varnishing, carpentry, sanding, etc. They are vital in the docking of the boat and need to be confident with line handling and yacht maneuvers. The deck crew will also be involved in taking watches whilst at sea.

“My role onboard is as the bosun’s right-hand man, and the deck department’s first port of call when anything needs to be done.  I am to ensure I am always presentable, as well as the exterior of the yacht, and always with a microfibre cloth in hand or close by!  I am part of a cohesive team that ensures the safety of all crew and guests as well as ensuring everyone onboard is enjoying themselves as much as possible.  From chamois to jet skis, the job is painless and rewarding but most certainly not for the faint-hearted.” – Tristan Morgans, Deckhand aboard –  @DB9Yacht

Purser/Chief Stew (The organiser…)

Dependent upon the size of the vessel, the Purser/Chief Stew has the responsibility of running the interior department. This means ensuring that the interior team adheres to an extremely high, luxury standard whereby the stewardesses anticipate the guests’ needs and go above and beyond to ensure the comfort and positive experience of the guests. As a Purser/Chief Stew, the role also includes paperwork surrounding crew management and general admin – inventorying, purchasing, provisioning, accounting, and guest logistics.

“As a Chief Stewardess, I oversee the interior of the vessel, including all guest and crew areas. Leading a team of stewardesses I ensure everything is maintained and detailed to a 7-star standard. From a full-service laundry to immaculate housekeeping and providing bespoke service, no detail is overlooked. All budgeting, provisioning, hiring and training is the responsibility of the Chief Stewardess. The ultimate goal is to ensure every member of the team feels confident providing the highest standard of service for the guests. My highlight is watching the stewardesses learn their keen eye for detail, and to be able to execute a perfect dinner service.” –  @theyachtstew , 75m M/Y

Steward/ess (The inside magicians…)

Working under the Purser/Chief Stew, a Steward/ess will work on the interior, ensuring the cleanliness and organisation of all parts. Their main focus is the owner, when onboard, and any guests or charterers. They will rotate job responsibilities between housekeeping, service, and laundry. Roles include service, bar, cleaning, cabin preparation, detailing, flower arranging, and table decoration. Depending on the size of the yacht, they may also be called upon to help with galley provisioning and docking. They are also responsible for safely storing items when the boat goes to sea.

“I always thought being a Stewardess and ‘stuck inside’ wouldn’t be a role for me but I have now been working on yachts for 4 years and have recently moved onto sailing yachts, which I love. There is so much more to our job role than simply making the yacht look pretty and keeping it clean, my focus has always been to make sure the guests are enjoying every second.”- @gemmaharris3 , S/Y 30m

Head Chef/Sole Chef/Crew Chef (The feeders…)

Depending on the size of the yacht there will be either one or two chefs onboard. The Head Chef has sole responsibility for the galley, and the chefs cater to both the owner/guests and their fellow crewmembers for all meals and snacks. They are responsible for menu planning to all preference types, sticking to a budget for provisioning and delivering gourmet creations. For the crew, the chefs have responsibility of ensuring they always have a meal on board, even on days off. Dependent upon the size of the yacht they may also be called to help out on the deck with docking.

“Catering to different tastes has its challenges in itself without the added feat of provisioning in different places, remote islands, and at foreign supermarkets, but with these tasks come the perfect aspect of the job as a yacht chef: amazing adventures. Being flexible is key in this role, be it adapting menus to suit different tastebuds or transforming a dinner for two into a last-minute dinner party for 12, whilst facing the probability of different dietary requests. The highlights are not only the travels but also the people you get to meet along the way. Cooking for celebrities might be fun, but making people happy through food is what I love the most, and that certainly also counts for the crew alongside me throughout the journey. Equally as important as pleasing guests is always making sure the crew’s bellies are full and they’re getting a good variety of deliciousness!”- @sailingfooddiaries , 31m M/Y

Yacht Crew Jobs: Stewardesses and Deckhands

More, specialised yacht crew job roles ;

There are also a number of more specialized yacht crew job roles that are usually teamed with a deck/steward/ess role. These include fitness trainers, yoga instructors, water sports instructors, beauty therapists, nannies, helicopter pilots, chauffeurs, and nurses.

For more on the crew mess career and training, click here

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Gemma Harris

Related articles, the crew network: introducing their antibes office, is it possible for men to work as a superyacht stew, the crew network – top jobs this week, big question for crew… so you want to be wealthy.

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Stripes On Yachts: What Do They Mean?

Whether you are new to the yachting industry or an experienced professional, we’ve all asked ourselves the same question at least once in our career, “what do those stripes mean?” This article breaks down the meanings behind these cryptic stripes.

yacht crew meaning

What do Yacht Stripes Mean on Epaulettes?

The epaulettes worn on the shoulders of superyacht crew are a legacy of 17th-century military dress in France —when they were used both as a decorative sign of status and a handy way of stopping your sword belt from slipping off your shoulder.

Epaulettes (also epaulets) were adopted by most world navies by the 18th century as a formal insignia of rank and then made their way into the merchant and leisure cruising industries.

The word ‘epaulettes’ comes from the French ‘épaule’, meaning shoulder, and are black with stripes in either gold or silver braid, with a symbol to designate department.  

Why and When do Yacht Crew Wear Them?

Yacht crew wear epaulettes in their formal dress as a way of signifying their rank and department, as well as adding a certain status to an occasion.

Epaulettes are usually worn while welcoming guests onto the yacht at arrival and on evening service and passerelle watch, but rarely during daytime activities. These small bits of material add formality and are used as a sign of respect to the guests. You will also often wear epaulettes during boat shows or, less commonly, when welcoming officials or marine pilots on board.

Guests can use the epaulettes to know the rank and department of the crew member they are talking to (even if few guests probably know what they all mean!) Knowing the epaulette system is also helpful for crew to identify another’s rank and department at a glance. In contrast, the epaulettes act as a valuable code for the wider industry — for instance, for port officials to recognise a captain upon arrival.

Not all superyachts use epaulettes in their uniform, as they are in no way a legal requirement (as they are in the Navy). But most do — even if just for that first welcome of the boss from the airport.

The Epaulette ‘Ranking’ System The stripes run from 4 to 1 in descending order of rank. Unlike in the cruise ship industry, there are no half-stripes.

You might have noticed that the different colours of the stripes are significant: The gold braid is reserved for deck and engineering roles, while the silver is for interior roles.


  • The symbols of anchors and propellers for deck and engineering roles are (hopefully!) self-explanatory.
  • The stew’s crescent moon is a throwback to the 1800s when Napoleon introduced crescent-shaped bread to feed his army.
  • The quills on a purser’s epaulettes refer to their administrative role.

How to Wear Epaulettes Like You Know What You’re Doing

Now that you know what an epaulette is and what each variation means, it’s your job to a) not lose them and b) wear them the right way up. You might wonder how you could lose an epaulette in a closed environment like a yacht, but trust us, those tiny bits of material sprout legs when you’re not looking.

We strongly suggest that you make a first-day-and-forever habit of always taking your epaulettes off and putting them on the same shelf in the bathroom. And once you’ve found them, always take a quick look to see that you haven’t put them on upside down.

Slipping on your epaulettes for the first time is a rite of passage for any new crew member. Relish the moment. Take a look in the mirror. Look sharp, don’t you?

yacht crew meaning

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Laurie Lechene

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How to hire the perfect superyacht crew

Related articles.

Fed up with a revolving door of crew? BOAT shares the industry secrets for finding the right people for the right job...

"Think of how much effort you put into hiring a CEO to run your company. You’d do a pretty good job of finding out who the right person was, right?” asks Jenny Matthews, founder of yachting diversity taskforce She of the Sea, and holder of a Chief Mate 3000GT licence. “Hiring someone to look after your multi-million-pound yacht is the same – but for some reason, people don’t think about it in the same way.”

Whether that’s true or not, it’s certainly the case that many owners have their frustrations when it comes to staff. From all across the industry, there have been tales of questionable stewardess skills, overbearing captains, love triangles on board... the list goes on.

Fortunately, stories like this are the exception, rather than the rule. Many owners, in fact, find that their enthusiastic, hard-working and good-humoured crew makes a large part of their yachting experience. But of course, there is always the odd disappointment – a new recruit that mysteriously doesn’t seem to gel with the rest of the team or those who stay for just a season before moving on.

A well-balanced, happy crew on board, meanwhile, sets the tone for the whole yacht, and it pays to get it right financially, too. Aside from the comfort that comes with being around those who know you well, “about a third of the running cost of owning a yacht every year is avoidable damage”, states Matthews, so trusting your expensive pride and joy to those who know what they are doing can cut down on maintenance costs significantly.

The peace of mind from having a competent, slick crew shouldn’t be ignored, either. “All you have to do is read the accident reports and you’ll find that people drown, they get concussed, boats burn down,” notes Matthews. “Behind this glossy veneer, a yacht is an extremely hazardous environment.” Add to this the fact that each time you replace a crew member on board, you’ll spend around £4,000 on new uniforms, crew agency fees, training and more, and you will start to see why investing a little time and energy into getting it right the first time makes a lot of sense.

So without further ado then, here’s our 101 guide to hiring the right crew...

Should owners hire their own crew?

It’s fairly rare for owners to get directly involved in the recruitment process, with good reason. Roles on board are often highly specialised and need someone who knows the job intimately to act as a recruiter. If you’re a captain-turned-owner or have run your own vessel previously, you might want to try going it alone, but a better bet is to take a double-pronged approach using your captain and a large and well-established recruitment agency.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a say throughout the process. “Think about what kind of experience you want on board,” advises Matthews. “Do you want family-style dining or silver service? Are you going to be at beach clubs 90 per cent of the time or going exploring? You need to really define what you want because that feeling when you’re on board is going to be incredibly important.”

If you’ve got a captain that’s been with you for some time, “they’re going to know you intimately – probably better than you think they do,” says Matthews, so take their guidance seriously.

How do I choose a crew agency?

Choosing the right crew agency is half the battle won, and you only have to look at the recent red tape brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic to see how using one can pay off. “Last year, recruitment was impossible,” says Lucy Medd, fleet crew manager and partner at Burgess, who has worked in the field for more than 30 years. “Getting crew from A to B involved a huge amount of work for many people, involving travel agents, embassies…” The issues remain in play today, with many Australian and New Zealander crew members returning home and choosing to stay there, leaving a gap in the yachting workforce that no other nationality has moved in to fill. Others who were laid off last year when owners scaled back to a skeleton crew have “found new jobs onshore and haven’t returned”, says Medd, so it’s certainly a challenging landscape in which to find good people.

With so many agencies around, it can be tempting to send the same job out to 20 or more companies, in the belief that the more feelers you have out there, the better chance you have of finding true talent. It’s a mistake, says Matthews. “When you do that the quality is going to go right down. People are just going to start firing CVs at you because they know 20 other agents are going for that one commission.” Daniel Küpfer, operations director at Ocean Independence and a former captain, agrees. “It’s turned into a first-come, first-served industry, where it’s obviously imperative to defeat the competition,” he says about the speed in which some agencies send through candidates. “It’s not a good development.”

One-person operations or newer agencies, which can be competitive in offering lower fees, can also seem like a preferable option, but in most cases, a long-standing organisation with multiple offices around the world is the better bet. Often, they’ll have staff who’ll have worked in the industry over decades, and a big black book of contacts that means they’re able to dig deep when it comes to checking out references.

“If they are the dedicated crewing division of an established brokerage or yacht management company, this should guarantee a level of professionalism,” advises Louise Caïlbourdin of The Crew Network in Antibes, which has three global office managers with more than 60 years of maritime experience between them. “For a further guarantee, check that a crewing agency follows maritime industry standards, that it is currently MLC 2006-compliant and has been externally audited by a serious entity such as DNV-GL.”

“My top three are Quay Crew in Antibes and Poole, YPI, and Erica Lay from El Crew Co,” advises Matthews. “These guys value competency over any other factors, and they’re the straight shooters.”

Job postings often receive thousands of applications, and they can’t all be taken at face value. “Do people lie on their CVs? Absolutely!” she laughs. “I once interviewed someone who claimed to have worked with a former colleague of mine. I said I’d get in touch with them and the interviewee looked panicked and suddenly said ‘Oh you can’t… he’s dead!’ Of course, I knew perfectly well that wasn’t the case.”

How else can I find good crew?

You shouldn’t be sceptical of dockwalkers, especially if they’re very young “green” crew. “We’re finding many green crew are getting their first jobs this way,” says Caïlbourdin, and Matthews agrees. “I think people will keep doing it until it becomes illegal; it’s a great opportunity,” she says. “What has changed is that 25 years or so ago, it was basically just backpackers turning up to get some more money. Now people are well dressed and ready to hit the ground running.”

Social media too might be a mixed blessing in terms of the volume of applications, but crew know that “they can get a job through a social media network, through someone else working on that boat, before the job even gets advertised on the market”, says Küpfer. And as for LinkedIn and other platforms? “Why not?” he asks. “It’s quantity but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality.  We also use a platform called Yotspot, which you shouldn’t ignore. Captains and crew members have direct access [to it], it’s easy to upload a vacancy and the fees are reasonable.”

What are some red flags when hiring crew?

While agencies should take on the initial admin of filtering through applications, checking references and running background checks on experience and qualifications, it’s not unreasonable for owners to want to get involved around the final interview stage. Aside from the obvious – turning up late, being sloppily dressed, rude or ill-prepared – there are plenty of potential warning signs when it comes to meeting candidates.

“If I ever interview a captain and he says he’s never had any crew issues, that’s absolutely not true,” says Medd. Bad-mouthing former superiors, yachts or owners is something that Caïlbourdin watches out for, while you should be wary of applicants that seem up for anything. “At the end of the interview, if someone says please put me forward if you have any other positions, that’s not really a good sign,” notes Esther Delamare, senior recruitment manager at Hill Robinson.

It can be hard to filter out candidates at entry-level with little experience, something that Matthews does via simple knowledge tests. “I ask them, ‘Can you do me a bowline?’ Or, ‘What are the ingredients for an old-fashioned?’” she says. “If they haven’t worked on yachts before I’d look at if they’ve had waiting jobs, shop jobs, jobs in pubs… things that are hard work where you’re on your feet all day,” adds Medd.

Basic levels of training might seem unimportant, but it’s useful to differentiate between those who have been inspired by Instagram and reality-TV shows like Below Deck, and those who are serious about a career – not least because these certificates show a significant financial commitment on their part.

Moving from yacht to yacht is more common today than 10 years ago, when a minimum three-year stint was normal, so multiple boats on a CV isn’t necessarily a bad sign. “I see CVs and I’m shocked – it’s very different to when I was working on yachts. But it’s just the way it is,” says Küpfer.

“The thoughts on longevity have changed a lot; people leave boats for very different reasons,” agrees Matthews. “Now a red flag is more likely to be someone who has stayed on a yacht for a number of years at the same level. If I see someone who’s been an entry-level deckhand for six years, I want to know why they haven’t progressed.”

A cursory look at any applicant’s social media accounts is also a wise check, and can help gauge maturity and whether they’re likely to be a good fit for the rest of the boat. Should owners these days accept that their crew are likely to post on social media about the yacht and the destinations that you travel to? “No – owner’s boat, owner’s rules,” says Matthews.

How long does it take to hire a crew?

It’s possible to put together a whole yacht crew from scratch in a very short amount of time, but it’s far from ideal. You might be lucky and find good people who have left yachts that have been sold, or the stars might align and their contracts happen to be coming to an end as the seasons change, but in general “very high-level crew often have very good jobs with proper notice periods in place”, says Matthews. “If you want to essentially poach them, you should be wary about the ethics of asking them to leave a post before they can – when I’ve been in that position, it’s made me uncomfortable; it’s not the best start to a new role.”

On the flipside, good crew know their worth, and aren’t likely to be on the market for long. “If you see someone who fits the culture, has the right qualifications and gave a good interview, make them an offer and make it good,” says Matthews. “They’re not going to be hanging around.”

Which crew members are hardest to hire?

“Really good chefs are always hard to come by,” says Medd. “They’re quite flighty by nature.” On charters, certainly, chefs can get a rough ride,  and of course whether a chef is good or not can often come down to your own personal taste.

Engineers, too, are in short supply, but as a general rule of thumb they move around far less. “Engineers never leave – once they fall in love with a boat that’s it and they’re there forever,” laughs Medd. Female engineers and captains are also rarer, while the number of experienced female interior crew out there means that candidates can afford to be picky about the jobs they take. “Often it’s a case of, do they [crew] really want the job?” says Delamare, rather than the other way round.

Interior staff in particular often work for no more than a few years in the industry, but if you’re keen on a really long-term crew, looking at those who’ve previously worked on commercial boats can be productive. “Especially engineers or people who’ve worked in oil and gas – there are  a lot of them coming into the industry,” says Delamare, “and unlike green 19-year-olds, they’ve got plenty of experience.”

When it comes to finding a charter captain, “charisma and a repeat client base” is the secret ingredient, according to Caïlbourdin.

How can I keep crew happy?

In a nutshell: pay them fairly, treat them with respect and offer them competitive leave and time off for training. In general, owners tend to place more emphasis on salary than perhaps they should. Of course, “money is still right up there”, says Medd, and “if someone’s been on your boat for three years and they’ve not got a pay rise, they’re going to be looking around”, observes Matthews. Experienced, motivated staff, however, are more likely to be impressed by a calm, supportive working environment and the opportunity to move up the career ladder than an extra £1,000. “Very high salaries can actually be counterproductive,” says Küpfer. “We had a boat recently where people were overpaid and it meant they were staying put on a yacht that they didn’t like, rather than moving on. It wasn’t the best atmosphere.”

Allowing staff a healthy amount of shore leave prevents burnout. “There’s only so much time people can spend on board before they actually have to leave,” notes Matthews, while time off for training is all too often neglected. “Every single good crew member I know has had to leave a vessel because they weren’t even allowed a week off to do a course to further their career.”

This is why, when hiring department heads, someone who can act as a mentor and encourage crew development is key – if talent don’t feel supported and can’t rise up through the ranks, they’ll often leave to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Should I psychometrically test my crew?

It might sound sinister, but psychometric testing is becoming more and more common, “especially on the larger boats”, reveals Matthews. Many who’ve engaged with it seem to find it yields erratic results. “I tested one captain once, and I said, ‘I’m never doing this again,’” says Medd. “The results were absolutely crazy. I think there’s got to be a lot more input to get the right output.” Nevertheless, it’s likely something that will be relied on more heavily in years to come, as tests become more sophisticated.

What if a member of crew just isn’t working out?

Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into finding the right person, things still don’t seem to click. “It’s very easy to just hoof someone off,” says Medd, “but you need to find out what the problems are and if you can train people up or improve the situation somehow.” On larger boats, even good captains and managers can be far removed from problems happening further down the chain. Replacing crew members is costly, and can often be avoided with the right approach. Nevertheless, sometimes things don’t work out for reasons beyond your control, “in which case, both parties just have to walk away”, says Medd.

“The crew atmosphere is contagious and bringing happy, fulfilled and passionate energy to everything from cocktail parties to beach barbecues is a surefire way to ensure that owners can experience their vessel at its full potential,” says Matthews. “At the end of the day, it’s people that can make or break the experience.”

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  • The Superyacht crew hierarchy explained

When you first start looking for Superyacht crew jobs, you’ll most likely be considering becoming a Deckhand or Stewardess.

These are two of the most popular entry point roles into a Superyacht career, and – as we never tire of saying here at Flying Fish – promise an abundance of benefits and incredible experiences!

Of course, these are not the only Superyacht crew jobs on offer, and if you are about to or have completed your Deckhand or Stewardess training, you may be wondering what other kinds of crew members you’ll be working with.

What’s just as important to know however is the hierarchy of those crew members; not only so that you know who to report to in different situations, but so that, if you want to progress your career beyond the Deckhand or Stewardess role, you’ll have an idea of the best path to take!

To help you out, we’ve outlined the hierarchy of a Superyacht crew for you below…

Depending on the size of the Superyacht, the hierarchy of a Superyacht crew goes something like this:

Working under the owner of the Superyacht or the owner’s representatives, the Captain of a Superyacht is responsible for the safe and smooth running of the ship – so he or she is who you will ultimately need to answer to!

The duties of the Captain go beyond navigation and the sailing of the vessel to managing admin, health and safety, ensuring compliance with maritime regulations, financial reporting and much more.

If you’re looking to become a Superyacht Captain yourself, you’ll need to have worked your way up from the majority of the other roles in this blog, as well as undertake a number of other qualifications and be able to demonstrate a variety of knowledge and skills, including seafaring, admin, IT, health and safety, and even accounting.

2. Officer of the Watch (OOW)

The OOW is second in command to the Captain and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the deck, as well as taking care of navigation and running watches when on passage.

They’ll also have a significant hand in the maintenance of the Superyacht, as well as being in charge of the deck equipment inventory.

If this is a role you’d like to progress to, there are several different paths you can take, all of which we’ve shared in our blog “ Becoming an Officer of the Watch (OOW) ”.

This is one of the lesser-known roles on a Superyacht (as their duties will usually fall to the Captain on smaller vessels), but is nevertheless important!

In brief, the Purser works under the captain, taking charge of financial matters on the Superyacht (e.g., accounting, purchasing food, drink and cleaning supplies etc.), as well as taking care of HR and recruitment.

In fact, they may well be one of the first people you meet when you begin applying for Superyacht crew jobs!

In order to become one, you’ll need to have sound knowledge and experience of the Superyacht industry, and have a range of financial and IT skills and qualifications under your belt on top of your STCW certificate and ENG1 Medical certificate.

4. Chief Engineer

A Superyacht is a vast and complex vehicle – so, as well as Deckhands taking care of its exterior, it also needs someone to manage it’s mechanical functioning – and that’s where the Chief Engineer comes in!

In a nutshell, the Chief Engineer (and the 2nd Engineer who works under him/her) are responsible for ensuring that every aspect of the Superyacht’s mechanics runs without a hitch.

If Chief or 2nd Engineer is a role you’d like to pursue, starting off with Deckhand training is a good choice, as it will provide you with a good introduction to Diesel Engine Maintenance and general maintenance and repairs.

5. Head Chef

A Superyacht holiday wouldn’t be complete without delicious meals for guests to enjoy. Every Superyacht therefore has an appointed Head Chef to take on the role of providing these to the highest possible standard throughout the day.

To become a Head Chef on board a Superyacht, you’ll need to have completed all the necessary culinary qualifications to become a chef and have comprehensive experience of working as a Head or Sous Chef in a hotel or restaurant. You’ll then also need to have your STCW Basic Safety Training certification on top!

Working as a Crew Chef (working under the Head Chef and making meals for all the members of the Superyacht crew) is a great entry point into this role.

“Bosun” is another term for “Senior Deckhand.” Their role is to take charge of daily cleaning and maintenance tasks, as well as drive the yachts tenders and (if on a larger boat requiring more crew) look after the Deckhands working under them.

After a few seasons of experience and proven hard work and dedication as a Deckhand, you’ll be in a great position to apply for a Bosun job!

7. Chief Stewardess

The Chief Stewardess is in charge of the Superyacht’s interior, including laundry and service. It is their duty to ensure that guests on board have a five-star experience around the clock! Like the Bosun, the Chief Stewardess will also be in charge of looking after a team of Stewardesses, depending on the size of the boat.

Again, as with a Deckhand, after a few seasons working as a committed and stand-out Stewardess, the Chief Stewardess role will be within easy reach.

8. Deckhand

The role of the Deckhand is to maintain and clean the exterior of the yacht to ensure that it is in perfect condition at all times.

The Deckhand is also involved in other deck operations , mooring, anchoring and sometimes security.

This, along with the Stewardess, is at the bottom of the Superyacht hierarchy, and is best pursued after the completion of a Superyacht Deckhand course .

9. Stewardess

As a Stewardess, you’ll be assisting the Chief Stewardess to ensure that guests on board the Superyacht enjoy only the best possible experience.

This involves working on the interior of the yacht, including service, cabin preparation and providing guests and owners with whatever they need.

Although you can work as a Stewardess without any prior experience (same as a Deckhand), it’s always a good idea to undertake a Superyacht Stewardess course first and gain a number of other skills to give you the upper hand when applying for roles!

How much money do these crew members earn?

Once again, depending on the size of the Superyacht, salaries can vary in these different roles. You can find out more about this in our Superyacht salary guide.

In sum, the hierarchy of Superyacht crew jobs is straightforward – but offers a wealth of exciting career possibilities to the most dedicated of seafarers!

If you can see yourself taking up an office on the ocean and climbing the Superyacht career ladder, be sure to take a look at our Superyacht training courses at Flying Fish.

After just two weeks of Deckhand or Stewardess training, you’ll have everything you need under your belt to impress yacht crew agencies (such as YPI Crew and Insignia Crew ) and take that very first step into a truly rewarding and memorable career!

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The Full List of Yacht Crew & Staff

Super Yacht

Published on November 22, 2016

Working on board a super yacht is a fascinating career.  Life at sea, whilst demanding can be an extremely lucrative and exciting career path. But do you know the full list of yacht crew and staff? And what it takes to work on a yacht?

Whilst it is more suited to the younger generations, the process and types of crew involved with running these magnificent vessels is impressive.

Of course, the types of staff required for each vessel vary depending on the size of yacht and the type of yacht.  In the super yacht world, it is likely that a large number of the below crew will be involved for each yacht. Wow, the staff required to operate a yacht... Click To Tweet

Here is an overview of the crew involved in building, maintaining, and running these floating mansions: 

Super Yacht

As captain it is you are responsible for the crew, guests and vessel. Every crew member and even visiting guests fall under your command and you have the final say on all yacht decisions.  Alongside your qualifications , expect to be paid a high salary in return for your professional service.

Captain/Engineer – A multi-faceted role, this combines the skills of captain with Engineer.  A highly sought-after type of crew, they will straddle the skills for both captaining the boat and ensuring engineering issues are dealt with whilst at sea.

1st Officer – Sometimes known as Chief Officer or Chief Mate is second in command to the Captain and manages all the deck crew including the Bosun, Deckhand and any second or third officers.  You would be required to undertake bridge duty and thus have a good range of qualifications and skills.

2nd Officer – Is the second-ranking position to the 1st Officer.  You would require a good level of qualifications   and skills to achieve this position.  A 2nd Officer may also be designated in additional areas such as security, medical, or safety, depending on background and specific skills.

3rd Officer – Is the third-ranking position to the 2nd Officer.  Qualifications and skills as per the other officer roles are required.

Chase Boat Captain – A chase boat  is a vessel which does not live on the main yacht and often has their own crew. These can be towed, driven separately, or berthed in a convenient location.

Chase boats are becoming very popular due to restrictions in tender garage space.  As the name would suggest this role refers to the captain who is in charge of the chase boat and subsequent crew.

O.O.W (Officer On Watch) – This is a deck officer in charge of keeping watch on the ships bridge and overseeing navigation whilst on duty.  The OOW ensures the ship complies with all COLREGS and safety protocols.  This position requires additional qualifications in order to help perform the said duties.

Bosun  – Sometimes referred to as the Leading Hand or Senior Deckhand, the Bosun is an experienced deckhand most likely able to take on additional and extra responsibilities.  They tend to be the main tender driver and take additional responsibilities in security.  Like a deckhand, less qualifications are required, but flexibility and the ability to take direction and blend into the team environment is very important.

Lead Deckhand – As the name suggests, the Lead Deckhand will be in charge of the other deckhands.  Generally, only found onboard yachts where more than one deckhand is required, this is a position of responsibility. Ultimately the buck stops with the lead deckhand, so it takes a strong personality and adaptive approach to get the job done regardless of the day or hour!

Super Yacht 2

Security Officer – Super yachts are valuable and expensive items, so a dedicated security officer is commonplace.  Spending 60 million on a superyacht is considered to be a mid-level purchase in the superyacht world!

Security officers are often employed to take control of all aspects of security, from when the yacht is moored in the bay (and the crew depart for downtime) through to being moored on land.  This position is suited to close protection and military background candidates with specific qualifications in security.

Commercial  Shipping Master – This is a phrase referring to a Captain of a commercial shipping vessel.  They are in essence the captain of the boat (see captain) but will typically be in charge of commercial operations rather than private or chartered yachts and super yachts.

Professional Race Crew – These are unique and exceptional individuals, with a strong background in shipping.  Race crew members require a high level of qualification and ability to focus whilst leading the crew and vessel to compete in international competitions.

Purser – Is in charge of the interior and financial matters in accordance to the ship.  Normally found on large yachts and superyachts, the Chief Steward will report to the purser.  Due to the amount of admin required a strong background of accounts and bookkeeping is required.

Chief Steward/ess – Will be the most experienced member of the Steward team.  They will often be in charge of recruiting and training less senior members of the team.  The chief steward should have the ability to think ahead, plan for every possibility and focus on the finishing touches and detail required for the very highest standard of service. Yachting qualifications and a proven history of working onboard large yachts are required for this position.

2nd Steward/ess – Second in command to the Chief Steward, the 2nd steward is in charge of all duties as requested by their superior.  The 2nd steward ensures interiors, housekeeping, laundry and the presentation of the vessel is spotless.  Their duties may include anything from childcare (if required) to pet care.  They work closely with the crew to ensure that the guest and clients experience onboard is perfect.

Super Yacht 3

Steward/ess – A role found onboard every yacht or superyacht, the steward is in charge of client experience.  From housekeeping through to food and drink service, the steward helps with all aspects of running the yacht.  Stewardesses are expected to work long hours and have a good, positive and flexible attitude.

Stew/Deck – This is a combined role between a Steward and Deck crew member.  This role straddles both the interior and exterior of the yacht and is a popular choice when needing additional staff on board.

Solo Steward/ess – Typically found on much smaller vessels, the solo steward will be the only steward on board.

Head Chef – Is perhaps one of the most important roles on board. The right chef is the key to a successful crew and perfect guest experience.

A head chef must have a wide range of culinary experiences, and be able to take part in the service for the guests if required, including Silver Service , Buffet Service and Fish filleting at the table.

Sous Chef   /2nd Chef – The assistant to the head chef, the sous chef will help the Head Chef with all cooking duties and also cook for the crew of the yacht.  Often this role is combined with a steward position, but on the larger vessels this may be a self-contained role (see Cook/Stew).

Cook/Stew – This role combines cooking with steward duties.  Assisting the head chef, and then performing standard Steward duties (see Steward).

Cook – This position is suited to an individual who is less experienced as a chef but enjoys cooking.  This would be a candidate who is happy to cook for the crew and guests (if required),and will be often used during off duty hours (for example if the chef is sleeping).  Generally, not an individual role (unless the yacht is very big), this is a good skill for any of the main crew to have on their CV.

Head of Housekeeping – Often this role is found in the larger vessels or commercial cruises, this person would be in charge of housekeeping and be a specialist in this subject.  They would oversee the duties and work closely with the Chief Stew.

Laundry Personnel – This may be a crew member with additional skills in laundry, or on the bigger vessels this may be a dedicated role.  This role is typically found more in commercial shipping where the cruise ships require a huge amount of laundry each day at sea.

Beauty/Spa therapist – This is a role-specific with skills in line with beauty and holistic treatments.  Superyachts will generally have an area for pampering and your role on the vessel is to satisfy the client’s needs.  You would need to have traditional therapist qualifications , along with your yachting qualifications.  It is often common to combine the role of 1st Officer/2nd Officer with a combination role.

Super Yacht 4

Masseuse – Involved in the beauty/spa area onboard, the masseuse role is to relax and treat the guests at their leisure.  From sports massage through to Swedish and reflexology, a range of massage techniques is preferred.  Again, this role can be combined with the Beauty/Spa therapist (depending on the size of the yacht) and can also be combined with main crew duties.

Fitness Trainer – Roles specific for personal trainers or fitness coaches, these team members would work with the guests in the dedicated gym areas helping with fitness goals whilst at sea.  These might be specific training programmes or general conditions.  Again, this role might be a combined role with other crew duties.

Nurse – An important role, particularly if the yacht doesn’t have facilities for helicopter landing.  Qualifications must be in line with medical guidelines, and the nurse or Doctor should have ability to cope with a wide range of illness and ailments.  Up to date First Aid and yachting qualifications will also be expected.  Again, this role can be combined with the main crew duties.


Chief Engineer – This member of the team is required to oversee and ensure that the electrical and engineering of the yacht is operating without issues.  They should be flexible and willing to help fix not only important problems, but even be willing to help fix a broken toilet!

At sea the right part might not be immediately accessible, so an engineer should be able to troubleshoot and think outside the box.

2nd Engineer – Second in command to the Engineer, the 2nd engineer assists and helps with all duties around the maintenance of the vessel.

3rd Engineer – Third in command to the Engineer.

ETO (Electrician Technical Officer) – Normally employed on larger vessels where the support is required.  They report to the Chief Engineer.

Electrical Engineer – Again this role is similar to the ETO.  Reporting to the Chief Engineer and holding qualifications in Electrical maintenance.

Super Yacht

Pilot – For the larger vessels, commercial and cruise yachts, access to the vessel is often by air (helicopter or seaplane).  The larger vessels may well have their own aviation permanently stationed on the yacht, and in turn a pilot is required to fly the appropriate aircrafts.

Shore Based

Admin – As the title suggests this team will manage the administration, HR and paperwork of the yacht.  Working closely with the purser onboard and with the owner of the vessel, ensuring that the specific operation of the yacht is always managed correctly.

Admin will be closely linked to the Captain, Purser and Chief Steward on the yacht and will involve a whole host of specialised skills from graphic designers through the tech, online support teams.

PA – This role is suited to a highly organised and efficient team member.  Working closely with the admin team and the crew onboard the yacht.

Villa Staff – As the name would suggest, this would encompass a wide range of shore-based staff to work within the villa’s typically frequented by the yacht.  This could range from a Butler through to Nanny, Housekeeper, Chauffeurs etc.

Contract Workers

Alongside the main crew of the yacht, there are contract workers who are brought in for yacht maintenance. As and when this might be required.  These roles are self-explanatory. And they all work to ensure that the yacht is maintained. Any repairs are done efficiently when the yacht is in port or moored for the day.

Roles include: Day Worker, Varnisher, Painter, Spray Painter, Carpenter. Shipwright, Metal Fabricator, Welder, Rigger, Laminator, Electrician. Electrician Expert, Sail Maker, Project Manager. Customer Service Staff and Catering Staff.

How Polo & Tweed Can Help

Did you find this full list of yacht crew & staff helpful? And would you like to work on a yacht? Get in touch with us! Polo & Tweed regularly source and place the finest yacht crew around the world.  If you are interested in registering with us or are looking to recruit your new crew members, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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About the Yacht Positions

The diversity and opportunities to work aboard superyachts around the world are endless. The yachts range in size from 60ft to 600ft with crew of 1 - 100 crew members in four primary departments. Each department is responsible for a unique set of tasks aboard and is suited for individuals with specific skillsets and experience. Explore professions within each department.

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Yacht Engineer Training Courses

MCA Superyacht / SV Engineer training for vessels up to 9000kW and 3000GT

Yacht / SV Engineer Training Overview

Although there are different training routes and licensing authorities/countries under which engineers may qualify to work on superyachts, a common, broadly accepted route is the MCA Engineer Small Vessel Training Route. The MCA recently changed its engineering qualification structure in order to simplify the number and level of qualifications across the industry. They have pulled together pre-existing qualifications, leading to certificates of competency (CoC) restricted to yachts (and other small vessels) only. This single generic qualification is now referred to as " Engineer Officer Small Vessel Certificate of Competency" .

Please consult a recognized training provider before booking any training courses and view the "Engineer Officer Small Vessel of Competency" Marine Information note, found on the MCA website.

Find info, requirements and links to yacht engineer training centres for:

  • Junior / Assistant Engineer
  • 2nd Engineer Officer < 9000kW
  • Chief Engineer Officer < 9000kW

Caucasian Male Superyacht Engineer working on the engine room, inspecting the generator with checklist folder and pen in his hand

Junior / Assistant Engineer:

  • An STCW : EVERY crew member onboard must hold a valid STCW
  • An ENG1 Medical Certificate : EVERY crew member onboard must hold a valid ENG1
  • AEC 1: The Approved Engine Course 1 is an entry-level qualification for the MCA engineering training schedule and is regarded as the first step on the ladder. It is generally a 5-day / 30-hour course that aims to provide candidates with practical basic hands-on training and theoretical knowledge of diesel engines. The main intention of this course is to teach the knowledge to serve in an ENTRY LEVEL capacity in the engineering department or for a crew member primarily working in another department to assist with engineering functions, for example, a deck/engineer. Holding an AEC certificate will allow you to be a chief engineer on a yacht over 24m and less than 200 Gross Tons or act as an assistant engineer on vessels over 200 GT up to 60NM from a safe haven.
  • AEC 2:  The Approved Engine Course II follows on from AEC I knowledge. It contains a more practical element when compared to the AEC I. This course has been designed so that engineering qualifications are transferable between different industry sectors such as yachts, workboats, tugs, fishing vessels and so on and there will no longer be offshore limits.

The AEC is your gateway ticket into becoming an engineer, it is, therefore, essential to hold this qualification, gain sea time and work on your training record book (TRB) in order to progress in the engine room.

Becoming a 2 nd Engineer:

There are three routes to obtaining a 2 nd Engineer Officer Small Vessel Certificate of Competency’ (Previously known as Y4):

  • Standard Route
  • Experienced Seafarer Route
  • Alternative Route (For Graduate Engineers)

Standard Route:

This standard route benefits those who study through an accepted route of education involving MSQ (Maritime Studies Qualifications) modules. Completion of these will result in a Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer’. This route is extremely beneficial to superyacht engineers because of the reduced sea time required and because some of the syllabi can be completed on-board.

In order to follow this route, you must:

  • Hold a Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer
  • Complete Approved Engine Course I (AEC I) as well as The Approved Engine Course II (AEC II)
  • Have completed 12 months’ combined sea service and workshop training, which must include: - 6 months’ seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping or Unmanned Machinery Space (UMS) duties on vessels of at least 350 kW; - 5 months’ seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW; - 2 weeks MCA-approved Initial Workshop Skills Training; - A further 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW or 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.
  • Complete the MNTB Small Vessel Training Record Book (TRB)
  • Complete the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer
  • Pass the MCA-approved written exams for - Marine Diesel Engineering ; - Auxiliary Equipment Part – 1 ; - Operational procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship construction
  • Hold the applicable ancillary and safety courses: - All STCW Basic Training Modules - PSCRB - Advanced Fire Fighting - Proficiency in Medical First Aid - Human Element, Leadership and Management (Operational Level)
  • Hold a valid ENG1 Medical Certificate or MCA accepted Equivalent
  • Complete MCA oral examination for Second Engineer Officers on Small Vessels less than 9000 kW, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, III/2 (syllabus available online, go to www.gov.uk and search “Small Vessel Oral Examination Syllabus”).

Experienced Seafarer Route:

This route is for existing seafarers serving on small vessels. You will not be required to complete the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer , however you will need to complete a preparatory college course and SQA written examinations.

To be eligible to register for a study programme you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed 24 months’ seagoing service on vessels of at least 200 kW
  • Hold an Approved Engine Course (Both AEC 1 & AEC 2 )
  • Hold STCW Basic Safety Training certificates: - Personal Survival Techniques (STCW Code A-VI/1-1) - Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (STCW Code A-VI/1-2) - Elementary First Aid (STCW Code A-VI/1-3) - Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (STCW Code A-VI/1-4)

Requirements / Notice Eligibility to sit MCA Oral Exam:

In addition to the above, candidates must complete the following in order to be issued with a notice of eligibility (noe) to sit an mca oral examination:.

  • Additional 11 months’ seagoing on a vessel of 350 kW (must include a minimum of 6 months' seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping or UMS duties)
  • 2 weeks MCA-approved initial Workshop Skills Training
  • A further 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW or 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.

Certificate of Competency (Coc):

In addition to completing all of the experienced seafarer route requirements above, the candidate must:

  • Complete and pass the following courses:
  • MCA Marine Diesel Engineering
  • MCA Auxiliary Equipment Part - 1
  • Operational procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction

2. Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates listed in section 5:

- All STCW Basic Training Certificates - PSCRB - Advanced Fire Fighting - Proficiency in Medical First Aid - Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM Operational Level)

3. Hold a valid ENG1 Medical or ENG1 Medical Equivalent Certificate 4. Pass the MCA oral examination for Second Engineer Officers on Small Vessels less than 9000 kW, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, III/2 (syllabus available online, go to www.gov.uk and search “Small Vessel Oral Examination Syllabus”)

Alternative Route: (For Graduate Engineers:)

This route is for those candidates who hold a relevant engineering degree/diploma/apprenticeship. These qualifications should be sent to an MCA-approved training provider who will analyze their relevance and explain what the individual should do in order to obtain a 2 nd Engineer Officer Small Vessel CoC.

More information on the types of Graduate and Apprenticeship holders that qualify for this training route can be found in section 3.5 of the MIN 524 Notice .

If you are deemed eligible to enter into this programme you will need to apply directly to an MCA-approved nautical college. In order to find an appropriate college, search www.gov.uk for “MCA-approved nautical colleges".

In order to gain the Certificate of Competency you must:

  • Complete a minimum of 6 months’ seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping duties
  • Additional seagoing service / Workshop Skill training requirements based on the relevant HND, HNC or Engineering Apprenticeship, as laid out in point 3.5.3 of the MIN 534 Notice.
  • Hold an Approved Engine Course I (AEC I)
  • Hold an Approved Engine Course II (AEC II)
  • Successfully Complete the MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding exams for:- Marine Diesel Engineering - Auxiliary Equipment Part - 1 - Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services & Ship Construction
  • Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates:- All STCW Basic Training Certificates - PSCRB - Advanced Fire Fighting - Proficiency in Medical First Aid - Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM Operational Level)
  • Hold a valid ENG1 Medical or ENG1 Medical Equivalent Certificate
  • Pass the MCA oral examination for Second Engineer Officers on Small Vessels.

Becoming a Chief Engineer :

  • Chief Engineer 3000kw & <500GT
  • Chief Engineer 9000kw & <3000GT

Chief Engineer Officer < 3000kW & 500GT

In order to qualify for the issue of this Certificate of Competency you must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 6 months’ seagoing service as a Second Engineer on vessels of at least 350 kW (While holding an SV Second Engineer Officer < 9000kW & 3000GT STCW Convention regulation III/2 Certificate of Competency.
  • Successfully complete the MCA- approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for - Chief Engineer Statutory and Operational Requirements - Auxiliary Equipment part - 2
  • Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates: - All STCW Basic Training Certificates - PSCRB - Advanced Fire Fighting - Proficiency in Medical First Aid - Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM Management Level)
  • Pass MCA oral examination for Chief Engineer Officer, less than 3000 kW, less than 500 GT, unlimited area, STCW Reg III/3

Chief Engineer SV <3000 GT & <9,000kW

  • 24 months of seagoing service which must include:12 months as an SV Second Engineer or SV Chief Engineer while holding the applicable STCW Convention regulation III/2 Certificate of Competency:

- 6 months of sea service on 350 kW vessels & 6 months seagoing service on vessels 750 kW. (greater or equal to kW provided)

  • Chief Engineer (SV) Statutory and Operational Requirements (Not required if SV Chief Engineer less than 3000 kW, less than 500 GT CoC already held)
  • Chief Engineer (SV) Auxiliary Equipment Part 2 (Not required if SV Chief Engineer less than 3000 kW, less than 500 GT CoC already held)
  • Applied Marine Engineering
  • Complete either:a) MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for: General Engineering Science I & General Engineering Science II (exemptions may apply for candidates holding appropriate engineering degree) OR The Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel and the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Chief Engineer
  • All STCW Basic Training Certificates
  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Proficiency in Medical First Aid
  • Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM Management Level)
  • Pass the MCA oral examination for Chief Engineer Officer, less than 9,000 kW, less than 3,000 GT, unlimited area, STCW Reg III/3


Alternative Routes to Become a Yacht Engineer:

The above method is the new MCA-approved and advised route to become a YACHT engineer, there are however other options available to you:

Experienced Marine Engineers:  Marine engineers with qualifications for larger vessels, such as commercial tankers, container vessels, dredgers etc. or those with merchant navy tickets are usually able to work on yachts with these tickets. It is important to contact the MCA who will review these qualifications and ascertain a plan of action for you.

USCG:  It is also possible to qualify as a yacht engineer through the United States Coast Guard route, again different flag states will have different requirements and it is advisable to contact the MCA for any further advice or information.

Find a Training Course Provider

Select a Course in order to view all training providers (use the location filter on the results page in order to refine your search).

STCW Basic Training Advanced Fire Fighting Approved Engine Course (AEC) HELM General Engineering Science 1 General Engineering Science 2 Proficiency in Medical First Aid SV Marine Diesel Engineering  Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats (PSCRB) SV Auxiliary Equipment  SV Operational Procedures SV Applied Marine Engineering

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London Fields Lido café on a Saturday morning is picture-perfect. There are mothers in perfectly coordinated athleisure sporting coffees and cooing babies, a semi-famous magazine journalist talking in low, intense tones to a friend and a steady stream of swimmers, heading in to take a dip or shaking their wet hair as they stroll out into the soft spring sunshine. 

Sitting on a picnic bench and eating a slice of the café’s banana bread is Peigh Asante, the 38-year-old co-founder of Swim Dem Crew . He is at home in the London swimming community. He started going to £1 swim nights at a leisure centre in south-east London as a teenager, just for some fun (“You’d finish and then you’d go and have £1 pizza, so for £2 you were sorted on a Friday night”). In 2013, he started swimming regularly with two other friends, visiting different London pools, and a year later they founded Swim Dem Crew, a city-wide swimming club. Their first decade has seen them teach more than 200 Londoners how to swim, collaborate with Usain Bolt and travel to Senegal and Jamaica. 

Asante and Cole by the outdoor changing rooms at the Lido

Asante’s best friend and Swim Dem co-founder Nathaniel Cole joins us, dressed in his branded Swim Dem T-shirt. In the 2010s, both were members of Run Dem Crew , a pioneering London running club that sought to make the sport more inclusive. When another friend, Emily Deyn, started swimming with them at weekends, Swim Dem Crew was born: “We would swim together, get some lunch or whatever, and then fall asleep on Emily’s sofa.” The group’s name came naturally – “Run Dem Crew was such a big part of our lives, we would just give anything the moniker. We’d go for coffee: Coffee Dem Crew. You ride your bike: Bike Dem Crew.” Hence, Swim Dem Crew. 

Friends soon started asking whether they could join, and the answer was always “of course!” After a few years of swimming all over London and exploring the different pools the city had to offer – usually followed by brunch and sometimes an exhibition – Cole and Asante decided to get their swimming qualifications so they could teach alongside their day jobs in “creative admin” and advertising. It was a turning point. The duo marketed the lessons on social media, and within two years, just one session a week was no longer enough to keep up with demand. Their response was to add more lessons, and Cole started teaching full-time at pools across the city.

They were five years into Swim Dem when they realised that “most of our friends and family” were still non-swimmers. “My sister still can’t swim to this day,” says Asante. Many were people of colour. An oft-cited statistic from Sports England states that 97 per cent of Black adults in the country do not swim. The figure for Asian adults (excluding those who identify as Chinese), as recorded by Active Lives, is similar.  

yacht crew meaning

‘Just by being present, and being visible we became role models’

The duo decided to start a Thursday-night session specifically designed to help them overcome their fear of water. “Some people don’t like getting their hair wet,” says Cole, whose parents are from the Caribbean. “Some people don’t like the way chlorine makes their skin [feel].” The pair have tailored their teaching methods accordingly, recommending pre- and post-swim products for skin and hair, ensuring their language and references feel familiar to students and letting them know whether hairdryers will be available. Their approach, and the message of inclusivity, has become a blueprint of sorts. Asante, who is of Ghanaian heritage, says that similar swimming clubs have cited Swim Dem as an inspiration. “Just by being present, and being visible [we became role models].” 

As the club has expanded, so has its power and reputation, which has helped when the pair have faced pushback from the swimming community. Asante remembers a coach at the London Aquatic Centre who refused to give up his lane on time while they were trying to start a class because, as Asante saw it, he didn’t take what Swim Dem were doing seriously. Asante felt his conduct encouraged the children in the pool to think disparagingly of the group. Vindication came both quickly and sweetly. Not long after, the club featured on the front page of Swimming Times magazine. Overnight, the coach’s attitude changed. “That’s his world,” says Asante. “We’re on the front page of your world now.” 

The co-founders and friends wear branded T-shirts made for the Swim Dem Crew participation in the 34th annual Dakar-Gorée crossing in 2023

With their place in the city firmly established, the only threat the group now faces is the slow decline of the pools in which they swim . Sport England data analysed by the Guardian found that almost 400 pools had closed from 2010 to last year. “Public infrastructure around swimming is, I think, a part of a wider conversation [about] how community assets are handed over to private companies,” says Cole. Just because they are in private hands, he suggests, does not mean they’re better places “for you and me”. The lack of “third spaces” for millennials has become “a hot topic”, he says, speaking of the demand for places where people can relax and spend time away from home or work that don’t cost a huge amount. Swim Dem is important because it “exists as one of those”.

The timings clock at London Fields Lido

Swim Dem Crew is now broadening its reach. In 2019, Cole and Asante shot a Puma Swim brand campaign in Jamaica with Usain Bolt, an experience that led to time on the Olympian’s yacht. Last year there was a trip to Senegal to compete in the 34th annual Dakar-Gorée crossing. The two friends chronicled the swim, which pays homage to the victims of slavery in the region, with a documentary and a zine full of photographs by Ash Narod, on sale at The Photographers’ Gallery and the Swim Dem website (£10). But, ultimately, they do it for the sport. Cole is evangelical when he talks about what swimming means to him. “Water holds you up. Water says, ‘I’ve got you.’” He continues: “Especially when it rains. When it rains and you’re swimming…” Asante finishes his sentence: “It’s beautiful.” 


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  6. Day 7


  1. 101 Nautical Words to Know as Yacht Crew

    Perpendicular to the yacht's centerline. Aweigh An anchor that is off the bottom. Backstay On a sailing yacht, a wire that supports the mast, running from the head of the mast to a point on the stern. Ballast Weight added to a vessel to increase stability. Batten Down To secure hatches and loose objects, i.e., "batten down the hatches" Beam

  2. Yacht crew positions : Hierarchy, Missions & Salaries explained

    Hours, Salaries, and Expectations. Yacht crew is a service job at its core, and every yacht owner is looking for service-oriented people who understand how to deliver a hotel-quality living and restaurant-quality fine dining. Work experience in luxury hotels and restaurants is a big plus for some jobs, and makes breaking into yacht work easier.

  3. Superyacht Crew Positions

    An explanation of superyacht crew positions and full yacht crew job descriptions. List of all positions on a boat what is required to work on a yacht and responsibilities on a luxury yacht. course my story faqs blog. login. FREE TRAINING ... Mate definition & Meaning. Dictionary.com. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://www.dictionary.com ...

  4. Yacht Crew Positions and Salaries

    Yacht Crew Positions and Salaries. The organisational structure onboard a superyacht follows a strong hierarchy based upon a military model. Exact job duties and lines of authority are set and strictly adhered to. This hierarchy is followed on the vast majority of yachts; however, responsibilities of the crew on smaller yachts are often merged. ...

  5. What Do Yacht Crews Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

    Should you become one. The Yacht Crew is responsible for operating yachts and serving clients. A typical Yacht Crew includes a variety of positions such as Deckhands, Stewards, and Cooks. There are also many operational roles including Engineer, Second Officer, First Officer, and Captain. Deckhands and Stewards are entry-level positions.

  6. How to Work on a Yacht: Step by Step Job Guide for Crew

    The tips depend on the size of the Yacht and the guests, but a good estimate is 10 - 20% of the total weekly price of a Yacht. If you imagine a 50m (165 foot) Yacht with 9 crew, it typically charters for $150,000 - $250,000 per week. For simplicity, let's add a 15% tip for $200,000/wk.

  7. 18 Yachtie Terms Every Crewmember Should Know

    FACT.) "We'll do the vac-dust on Thursday.". Dusting, but with a vacuum. We have evolved from just wiping the dust around with a cloth, we hoover it out of existence with a high powered piece of Miele engineering. Genius. "Friday is wash down day.". Washing the boat, but only from the top down.

  8. What are the Roles On Board a Yacht?

    The role: Responsible for the interior of a vessel. Responsibilities: Managing the interior team, food and beverage service, cabin preparation, liaising with guests, interior detailing, training of interior crew, upkeep of inventories and provisioning, orchestrating guest activities. Reports to: Captain. The chief stewardess is the head of the ...

  9. Yacht Crew Job Roles

    Yacht crew are the cogs that keep the yacht moving, in every aspect. From safety and logistics to systems maintenance, cooking, cleaning, hospitality service, and guest experience. Whether a yacht is private or charter, motor or sail, the crew ensures the yacht is run to both the safest and highest luxury standards.

  10. Stripes On Yachts: What Do They Mean?

    Yacht crew wear epaulettes in their formal dress as a way of signifying their rank and department, as well as adding a certain status to an occasion. Epaulettes are usually worn while welcoming guests onto the yacht at arrival and on evening service and passerelle watch, but rarely during daytime activities.

  11. How to hire the perfect superyacht crew

    Use one large recruitment agency with a wide-ranging network, not multiple smaller ones. All images courtesy of Adam Nickel. A well-balanced, happy crew on board, meanwhile, sets the tone for the whole yacht, and it pays to get it right financially, too. Aside from the comfort that comes with being around those who know you well, "about a ...

  12. Superyacht Crew Jobs and Hierarchy

    Working as a Crew Chef (working under the Head Chef and making meals for all the members of the Superyacht crew) is a great entry point into this role. 6. Bosun. "Bosun" is another term for "Senior Deckhand.". Their role is to take charge of daily cleaning and maintenance tasks, as well as drive the yachts tenders and (if on a larger ...

  13. The Full List of Yacht Crew & Staff

    Stew/Deck - This is a combined role between a Steward and Deck crew member. This role straddles both the interior and exterior of the yacht and is a popular choice when needing additional staff on board. Solo Steward/ess - Typically found on much smaller vessels, the solo steward will be the only steward on board.

  14. Yacht Steward/ess Crew Position

    Experience in five-star establishments (i.e. Michelin star restaurant, fine hotel) Wine certification. Tender driving certification. Limited computer skills. Yacht Steward or Stewardess have 0 - 3 years experience and are responsible for interior cleaning and maintenance. They earn $30K-38K based on yacht size & experience.

  15. Why Do Yacht Crew Wear Epaulettes?

    It is funny to think how a piece of material could be held in such high regard, but in yachting it is an all-important symbol of rank. The word epaulet, also spelled 'epaulette', comes from the French word "epaule" meaning shoulder (no surprise there) but its origins can be traced back to military coats worn at the end of the 17th century.

  16. Yacht Mate Crew Position

    Sports certification (i.e. Dive certificate, kite surfing instructor) Strong paint/varnish skills. Limited experience in intended cruising area. Yacht Mates have 3+ years experience and are responsible for Assisting the First Officer with administrative and safety duties. They earn $54K - 72K based on yacht size & experience.

  17. Crew Positions

    About the Yacht Positions. The diversity and opportunities to work aboard superyachts around the world are endless. The yachts range in size from 60ft to 600ft with crew of 1 - 100 crew members in four primary departments. Each department is responsible for a unique set of tasks aboard and is suited for individuals with specific skillsets and ...

  18. Superyacht

    Superyacht. Azzam, at 180.6 metres (592.5 ft) the longest superyacht, as of 2020. A, at 142.8 metres (468.5 ft) the largest "sail-assisted" motor yacht, as of 2018 [1] A superyacht or megayacht is a large and luxurious pleasure vessel. There are no official or agreed upon definitions for such yachts, but these terms are regularly used to ...

  19. How To Write a Yacht Crew CV (With Template and Example)

    A yacht crew member is a professional who works on large vessels and cares for the boat and guests who charter the boat. There are typically several positions on a yacht crew that have varying responsibilities, such as deck crew and interior crew. Due to the various types of yacht crew jobs, it can be beneficial for these professionals to personalize their CVs to increase their chances of ...

  20. Home

    This is why we created the go-to platform for yacht salaries and conditions. See median averages for your positions as well as the full range of salaries. Find out what types of contract are being offered, as well as rotation lengths. See which positions usually include business class flights, private cabins and more. YachtCareerHub connects ...

  21. Yacht

    A yacht ( / jɒt /) is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. [2] [3] [4] There is no standard definition, though the term generally applies to vessels with a cabin intended for overnight use. To be termed a yacht, as opposed to a boat, such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and may ...

  22. The Highs and Lows of Yacht Crew Rotation

    Developing Crew. Some yachts use rotation in order to develop their junior crew and help them move up the ranks faster. For example, when the captain goes on leave, the chief officer steps up into a junior captain role, usually (at least to start with) for deliveries, yard periods, etc. (i.e. when no guests are aboard).

  23. How to Become a Superyacht Engineer

    Junior / Assistant Engineer: An STCW: EVERY crew member onboard must hold a valid STCW; An ENG1 Medical Certificate: EVERY crew member onboard must hold a valid ENG1; AEC 1: The Approved Engine Course 1 is an entry-level qualification for the MCA engineering training schedule and is regarded as the first step on the ladder. It is generally a 5-day / 30-hour course that aims to provide ...

  24. Swim Dem Crew is making a bigger splash

    The group's name came naturally - "Run Dem Crew was such a big part of our lives, we would just give anything the moniker. We'd go for coffee: Coffee Dem Crew. You ride your bike: Bike Dem ...