A superyacht is a huge luxury boat with a length of more than 24 metres and the ability to sail or motor. They are usually privately owned and professionally crewed, with some being maintained solely for the owner’s usage and others being available for crewed charter. Superyachts have grown in size in recent years, and those that are longer than 70 metres are known as megayachts, while those that are longer than 100 metres are known as gigayachts.
The exceedingly wealthy are the only ones who can afford to acquire a superyacht. Yachts cost hundreds of millions of dollars to construct, and annual maintenance and operating expenditures are believed to be roughly 10% of the purchase price, yet owning a superyacht is the pinnacle of luxury living. The owners are ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and their superyachts are high-profile status symbols, with many updating on a regular basis to keep up with the latest technological advances.
Because of the world’s obsession with the lifestyles of the wealthy and famous, various films about superyachts have been produced, covering everything from how they’re created to what’s inside and where they go, as well as who owns them. But there’s also fascination in how they’re run, as seen by an entire Bravo TV series devoted to a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of superyacht personnel. At least one devoted and thoroughly certified member of a professional yacht crew is on board for every celebrity sunbathing on board in St Tropez or lounging at anchor in Monaco.
What Does It Take to Run a Superyacht?
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea all impose obligations and legislation on superyacht owners and operators (SOLAS). These guidelines aim to protect the safety of everyone on the water, whether it’s a passenger or a member of the yacht crew. The number of crew members and professional qualifications required to successfully operate a superyacht will vary depending on the yacht’s size and the number of passengers on board, although typical superyachts between 30 and 60 metres will accommodate a maximum of 12 guests with a crew of 6 to 18. The number of crew members increases dramatically after the boat reaches 60 metres.
Sailboat vs. Motor Yacht
Sail boats account for only about 10% of all superyachts in existence, making motor yachts the most popular choice among owners. But what is the difference in terms of yacht crewing?
Whether a yacht is driven by motor or sail, the available jobs and crew hierarchy remain the same. The biggest difference is living and working space; aboard a sailing yacht, crew quarters are often more cramped. Deck crew on a sailing yacht are more likely to have leisure sailing experience, however many opt to work on both sail and motor ships. It is customary for yacht crew interested in working on a sail yacht to have sailing expertise or a genuine interest in sailing. Others who favour sail power do so for the excitement of silently sailing over vast seas under the power of nature, while those who prefer motor power do so for the convenience of living and working in a larger space.