What do Monaco, Puerto Banus and the Cayman Islands all have in common? No it’s not tax dodging gangsters, they are in fact homes to the latest millionaire craze; Superyachts. But these aren’t your typical schooners moored off Southend. These are super dooper extravaganza vessels of the high seas! These multi-million pound boats boast helipads, submarines, cinemas and even missile-detection systems. However, despite all their technological assets, they may have to remain confined to port – why? They can’t find staff to run them!
The fact of the matter is that the maritime industry has warned of a “critical” shortage of professional staff needed to keep the ever-growing fleet of super-yachts afloat. In fact, the shortage is getting so bad that Ivana Trump is forced to have only one manicurist. To make up for the deficit, these mega-rich owners are poaching able seamen from the Navy! In fact, Plymouth University have launched a new degree course in “super yacht studies” and we believe that you should know about this unique opportunity. So how come there are so many of these jobs in the first place? Well, the number of luxury yachts being purchased has soared in recent years, and there are now thought to be more than 5,000 such vessels. Due to this fleet growing at about ten per cent a year, the number of temporary jobs is also increasing. The average size of the vessels is also growing, which is adding to the crew shortage! Perhaps some who are working on cruise ships should shift their career course a little bit…think a little smaller!
Five years ago, the average luxury yacht was about 165 feet in length, but this has increased to 230 feet – and there is now a growing trend for “gigayachts” – boats that are more than 450ft, so basically bigger and better than your house! One such vessel that is currently under construction was commissioned by Chelsea football club owner Mr Abramovich. The ‘Eclipse’ will be 550 feet in length and boast every single modern amenity and possible luxury whilst also housing fifty crew at an astounding cost of £200million. When she is launched she will be the world’s largest privately owned vessel.
You can be sure that Mr Abramovich has started a trend and that’s good for you! They will be needing crew that range from experienced sailors, domestic staff, cooks, possibly even personal assistants and beauty therapists. The marine industry estimates it needs an extra three thousand crew this year and well over four thousand next year. Junior crew members can earn about £16,000 year, tax free with bed and board included! An experienced skipper can earn more than £250,000 a year.
We did some research and found an excellent guide – Working on Yachts and Superyachts, published by Quiller Press, it’s a book written by Jennifer Errico who has been involved in the superyacht industry for over 15 years working as a deckhand, stewardess and chef, we think the book is an excellent and comprehensive guide and will give you essential information and advice on getting a job. So, if you think you can make the perfect dry Martini, or you are able to massage the feet of the mega rich, give it a try!