Lighthouse careers

Being a yacht captain can be gratifying but there are a lot of job responsibilities, pressure and stress that can come with this position. According to Superyacht times, there are more than 8500 yachts in the world, and they all need at least one captain.

The job is not always as glamorous as it seems and it can get very demanding at times.

A yacht captain’s work is filled with adventure, stress, fun and exhilaration.


Yacht captain jobs

In general each yacht captain is responsible for maintaining safety and operating operations.

Similar to the role of CEO or president, the captain must administer the yacht under clear international rules and regulations while ensuring the owners and all guests onboard have a memorable and pleasant experience.

Generally speaking, the size of the vessel will dictate the specific responsibilities of the captain.

The smaller the yacht, the more hands-on the Captain must be. The bigger the yacht is, the more administrative tasks will be handled by the Captain.

The larger the vessel, generally speaking, usually means there are more complicated issues to deal with.


Job Responsibilities of a yacht captain

The yacht captain is responsible for everything onboard, ranging from hiring crew members, navigating the vessel, handling guest and owners requests, planning itineraries or planning shipyard maintenance and or refit periods.

They also have to deal with numerous compliance matters such as MARPOL, ISM, and other major regulatory requirements.

Most yacht captains perform administrative duties as part of their job.

These may include such as maintaining the logbook and other transportation records, security protocols, audits, accounts, communication with yacht management companies and contractors.



What are the characteristics that a yacht captain should possess?

A yacht captain has to have unfaltering good manners, be well spoken and presentable at all times. Be the first to greet guests when they board their yachts.

To become successful yacht captain you must be willing to learn about leadership and management, become a natural leader, be a great communicator and possess excellent interpersonal skills.

The yacht captain also has to follow a strict code of conduct and etiquette. A yacht is the ultimate luxury hospitality experience, you must be well aware of service standards. While you may not be directly involved with the service side of things, you will be in charge of recruiting crew members and maintaining very high standards, so you must be skilled at identifying these talents.

This challenging job requires well developed skills in leadership, interpersonal communication and at least two years of experience as a captain and the rest is training and certification.

The yacht captain has to be a good listener and observer, and must have an analytical mind. He/she should focus on safety aspects of yachting operations. A high degree of physical fitness is required as the yacht captain job requires him to work under various weather conditions including foul weather. 

Employers look for candidates who are able to take responsibility, have good judgement.

Captains should be experienced at issuing orders at any levels. The Captain is also required to know safety general codes and the crew safe training.

Business and management experience will also be useful for helping to plan the crew, accounting and management of the yacht.

You should be effective in prioritizing tasks and managing workflow, be flexible to work with multiple stakeholders, set priorities and manage expectations.

All of this is your responsibility, you are accountable for everything that happens under your watch.

The best motor yacht captains are the ones who understand the industry and are able to adapt quickly and embrace their job responsibilities and environment.



How to get hired as a yacht captain?

When you receive your license, be aware that it will take some time before you land a dream job on a superyacht. It may take weeks or months, or years before you can get hired.

The fact is that they are more qualified captains than yacht captain jobs, thus the battle is intense.


What is the job market like for yacht captain?

The global superyacht industry is evolving quickly, with yachts getting larger and more numerous. This means there are more yacht jobs available than ever before for qualified candidates.

Longevity on previous position and good references are almost mandatory in order for yacht captain candidates to land a dream job.



Yacht captains qualifications

This job responsibilities, requires extensive navigation skills. Super yachts costs millions, so you don’t want to damage it.

Ideally you will have gained experience during 3 to 5 years as a chief officer, gained the necessary nautical miles and qualifications.

As a bare minimum, you will be required to have a 200-ton license and there license requirements can go all the way up to master unlimited.

It is a position that comes with a lot of responsibility, so you must be proven in this field before being trusted on such a job.



What’s the yacht’s captain market like?

The yacht captain market is extremely competitive and getting more so as the world’s superyacht fleet grows.

There are many people who would love to work on a superyacht, so landing one of those dream jobs can be arduous.

The top candidates will have a long list of references and endorsements from previous employers, along with a proven track record.



What’s the average yacht captain’s salary?


A captain’s salary can vary depending on the size of the yacht and where it’s based, and either the yacht is charter or private, rotation or permanent, or if the this is a motor yacht or sailing yacht.

The salary will increase with the longevity.

In addition to a salary, crew members can often get tips from charter guests.

Find out what’s the typical salary here



Find work as a yacht captain

The truth is that yacht captains jobs are not easy to find.

If you want to be a yacht Captain, you’ll need years of maritime expertise and specialized training working your way up through the deck/officer track. Hands-on sailing experience on a boat of similar size is necessary, with prior experience dealing with yachts in the same size range being advantageous.

Experience in the finance, business, and management of a yacht would be beneficial in assisting with crewing, accounting, and administrative duties.

Individuals who are looking for yacht crew may want to check out online job boards, or activate their own network but it is more likely that they will need the assistance of a professional recruiter.

Registering with a crew recruitment firm, such as lighthouse careers, ensures that you have someone who will advocate on your behalf and assist you in finding a dream career.

Here you’ll be asked to submit the necessary basic information and add your CV certificate and references.


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