10 Ways Working on a Yacht Will Change Your Life


Below we will go over what I think are some of the best and worst aspects of working on a yacht.  Depending on your personal preferences and circumstances, you should compare the rewards and the sacrifices and decide if you think working on a yacht is something you want to pursue.

*Disclaimer*  Every yacht has unique circumstances and programs.   Below are observations that I personally experienced or witnessed, but they certainly don’t apply to every boat. Don’t take anything I say too literally.  These are just some common generalities that you can expect to find in the yachting industry.  


11.  Get paid to travel the world in style

  • You no longer have to separate work from traveling, now traveling is part of your job. As soon as you’re off the clock, simply step onto the dock and your mini-vacation begins.
  • Yachts don’t go to boring ugly places…You can expect to travel to some of the most remote and exotic destinations in the world.  A few yacht hot spots include the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and the Mediterranean.

22.  Live for free, earn cash, save money, and pay off debt

  • Even the most basic entry-level job on a yacht starts off with a salary of  $2,000 – $3,000 USD per month and you don’t have to have a college education to get hired
  • There is also the possibility of earning additional cash tips (tax-free) which can range from a couple hundred to a couple of thousand USD (depending on the length of the trip and the number of guests onboard)
  • When you live on a yacht your living expenses are covered.  You no longer have to pay for food, rent, transportation, or utilities. This can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a month, and reduce a lot of daily hassles and bills.
  • You can pay off your student loans or any debt you have, and even save money much more quickly without monthly bills and expenses.

33.  Live in a floating palace on the water

  • When you work on a yacht, you live on the yacht.  While the crew quarters aren’t exactly spacious, the views are nice 🙂
  • If you are the kind of person who loves salt, sand, and the oh so blue-tiful water like me, you will be in heaven.
  • You can get paid to pursue your love and passion for watersports such as fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing, etc.  You may even get to do these activities daily and in some of the most coveted destinations in the world.
  • Your neighborhood is a marina, your driveway is a dock, your home is a luxurious superyacht, your car is a dinghy, your neighbors are salty sailors, fellow yachties, or millionaires, and you can catch dinner from your back porch.
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44.  Get a glimpse and a taste of the lifestyles of the rich and famous

  • You are now catering to the most wealthy and influential people in the world. To the general public, these people are untouchable and unreachable. You will get a chance to see them in rare form – unplugged, maxin’ and relaxin’, and doing whatever ballers do while on vacation.
  • It’s your job to make sure they have the best time possible- if they request that you take them snorkeling in the Abacos, or surfing off the coast of Harbor Island, you have no choice but to do so.
  • You will get to partake in experiences that you could never dream of being able to afford in your lifetime.
  • Oftentimes you can expect that all of your (free) meals will be prepared by a five-star chef who cooks for the guests and the crew as well.
  • If there is nothing but freshly caught lobster and the best filet mignon money can buy in the fridge, you will likely be eating that for dinner with the rest of the crew below deck.

55.  Make lifelong friendships and connections

  • Yachties come from all over the world.  The type of people who can stick it out in the yachting industry are the resilient and energetic kind of people that you want to kick it with.
  • You live and work as a team with your crew, they can quickly become like family. You will either love them or hate them, but you’re in this together!
  • In some cases, you will also be getting to know the guests very well.  They are some of the most influential people in the world, and the networking possibilities are limitless. You never know what kind of opportunities will arise while mingling with the rich and famous.



6It can be very long, physical work that requires strength and stamina

  • Contrary to popular belief, a majority of the tasks you must execute on a day to day basis are NOT luxurious.
  • You may have to work 16+ hour days for weeks on end if you work on a busy boat.  You may get very little rest during these trips.
  • Some of the tasks you have to do are not appealing.  You’ll be cleaning toilets, crawling around in tiny spaces, lifting heavy things, dealing with lots of chemicals, and getting wet, sweaty, and dirty.
  • At times when the boat is not busy with guests, the work can be extremely tedious and mundane.  You may have to polish metal for 8 hours straight, wax the entire exterior for days on end, or detail the greasy oily engine room.  
  • There are few tasks on yachts that require you to remain stationary- it’s very physical.  You will be on your (bare) feet, moving around all day long.  

7You must uproot your land-based life, and move onto a boat full-time

  • You must be willing to drop everything and move onto a boat.
  • It is a long process that requires a lot of preparation, determination, effort, energy, and time.  At times it can be frustrating and discouraging.
  • Succeeding in getting a job will not happen overnight, it can take several months, and to actually become good at it can take several more.
  • It is a full-time long-term commitment.  You must fully immerse yourself in the yachting industry.
  • You should be willing to commit to a full year in the industry before you expect any vacation.

8You will be away from friends and family for long periods of time

  • You will be living on the boat full-time, and the boat will be traveling all over the world.  You won’t be returning home in the evenings or on weekends.
  • It’s not the best job for people with children, a spouse back home, or pets you are responsible for, as you’ll hardly have time to see them or even speak with them.
  • You will be away from home for several months at a time, and often times may not even have good phone service/ internet to call and check-in.  
  • You will most likely have to sacrifice family obligations, and holidays such as your grandmother’s birthday, Burning Man, and Halloween, while working full time.

9You may have to take long voyages offshore for several days

  • Sometimes you will be out at sea, hundreds of miles offshore for days in a row.
  • You will have to deal with rough waters and stormy weather which can be uncomfortable, nauseating, and scary.  
  • This can be physically and mentally draining, especially if you’re prone to seasickness.

10It’s an adventure you will embark upon alone.

  • As opposed to traveling, you can’t bring an entourage along with you.
  • It is rare you will find work on a boat for you and a friend, although a couple can sometimes get hired together.


 Now that you’ve gained a bit of insight into the yachting industry.  Here’s a little recap:

  • There are a lot of yachts in the world, and it takes a lot of work to keep them afloat.
  • These yachts are owned by really rich people and really rich people can’t be bothered with taking care of their own toys.  They’re too busy influencing people and changing the world.
  • Someone needs to make these toys work properly, and stay lookin’ brand new-and that someone can be you!
  • Warning: Working on a yacht is actually really hard.  
  • Before you even consider working on a boat, you must be willing to make some sacrifices and meet some demands… no pain, no gain!
  • You must weigh out these sacrifices and demands and decide for yourself if working on a yacht is something worth pursuing.

SO! Are you inspired to learn more about what it’s like to live and work on a yacht and how to make it happen? If so, awesome- let’s continue to ABOUT US where we’ll do a breakdown of the various positions onboard. We’ll go into detail about the entry-level jobs that are available to new crew who have no prior experience in the industry.

Coming Soon: Yacht Job Handbook Part 2: Get Hired

For those of you who are already 100% inspired and are only interested in what it takes to get hired: be sure to stay tuned for part two of the Yacht Job Handbook: a step-by-step guide for new crew. It’s available NOW so subscribe to my email list to stay in the loop!

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