Beyond the 9 to 5 - Working on a Superyacht

a day in the life Jul 27, 2021

If you’ve been working a “regular” job, you’re probably used to a 9-5 workweek, or maybe shift work that includes nights, weekends, and holidays.


No matter what, you’ll find that the Superyacht work routines are a little bit different. We’re here to break it down for you so you know exactly what to expect!


On a superyacht, most of the time you’ll find yourself in one of three work routines:

1. Guest Onboard

2. Passage

3. Shipyard or at the Dock


Each of these routines brings different expectations and opportunities. Let’s take a closer look!


1. Guests Onboard

Potentially 15 to 18 hours a day



Having guests onboard is the entire reason that the superyacht industry exists -- so this is the most important work routine you’ll experience.


When guests are onboard, you’ll be working hard all day long. Deck crew will be coordinating activities, helping guests with watersports and keeping the boat shipshape.


The interior crew will be serving meals, cleaning and entertaining inside the yacht.


You’ll get some periodic breaks but ultimately the crew are there to serve the guests at any time.


Guests want midnight coffee? Crew will be there to prepare it.


Working together during the times with guests onboard can be challenging and tiring, but also highly rewarding.


2. Transit or Passage

2 x 4-hour bridge watches every 24 hours



Yachts frequently relocate from one area to another in between yachting seasons.


For instance, a yacht based in the Caribbean for part of the year may need to move to the Mediterranean for another season.


When a yacht is in transit it usually moves 24 hours a day. There will always be two crew members on watch, in the bridge, at any time of day or night. That means you'll get your turn. You'll watch the instruments, the weather and keep an eye for other vessels or land.


This period of time can be relaxing as you’ll also be getting extended breaks each day when NOT on watch.  You’ll have time to rest and relax, enjoy the yacht’s peaceful environment, catch up on duties, or just enjoy being at sea. 



3. Shipyard / At the Dock

8 hours a day - 5 days a week, with the occasional weekend watch



In between the busy guest seasons, yachts frequently stop at a shipyard for maintenance. Many things can't be fully repaired while the boat is traveling with guests, so a long list will be created during the season and these items can be fixed during the yacht’s time at the dock.


This is a good time for many crew members to take a vacation. Others, like engineers, are very busy during this period. However, it’s more of a standard schedule, with 8 hour work days and evenings and weekends off.


Every day one crew member is on watch to keep an eye on things and stays onboard for 24 hours. These duties are rotated through the crew though, so you won’t be the only one with the job.


Which Sounds Best To You?


The nice thing about yachting is that you will rotate through all of these routines during your time onboard.


It’s a great way to shake up your schedule, give yourself some much-needed time to rest, and ensure you never get bored!


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