Tips and Private Yacht Crew: How and What You Earn
Working on board private luxury yachts has many benefits. Not just because you’re rubbing shoulders with rich, famous and often beautiful people of the world, getting to see some of the most breathtaking locations, but also as all of your onboard expenses are covered, so technically you can save good money while working on board – if you plan well of course.
Many yachties work on charters where they earn a base salary. Tips are not compulsory on charters, but should be customary as is any hospitality industry. If you do a great job it should be regarded as a gift for a job well done and generally patrons tip based on the satisfaction level of the entire experience.
Tips and Crew Members
Tips are generally divided equally amongst crew. The guest will typically pay the tip to the Captain who will split out the amount amongst the crew. The better the whole team works together, the better your earning potential. So it is quite imperative that the crew get along well, and everyone pulls their weigh on board to ensure an overall good experience for the guests.
How Much Could You earn?
Typically, as a rule of thumb, guests tip between 5 – 20% of the charter rate to the crew. It is quite a wide rate, as some guests are more generous than others. It is also good to note that not all the ultra rich tip well. We’ve been privy to stories where a charter that cost the guest well over a million dollars with a 12 person crew, where the crew walked away with far less than expected. By the guess of what they would earn based on the total cost, the crew were expecting about $10,000 per person, but walked away with only $2,500 each. Which is certainly nothing to sneeze at in itself, but the lesson was learned – don’t bargain on it that you’ll get tipped higher.
On average – depending on a bunch of variables, including, but not limited to charter cost, country guest hails from, crew size and overall experience, crew members may look to earn between $1,000–$4,000 per crew member for a week, on top of their salary.
If you really go above and beyond, it is also not completely unexpected to receive an extra tip directly, and only for you from the guest. Guests notice everything, even when you think they are not paying attention, and they appreciate those that go over and above call of duty.
Want to excel at your job on board a private yacht? See our article that unpacks the skills that could benefit you on yachts or brush up on your existing skills.
If you’re completely new to the yachting industry, check out some of our internationally recognised yacht crew courses, or fast track and download our ultimate yacht crew guide to get a real sense for yacht life, with tips on how to get your first yacht job!