Yacht Captain Jobs

A yacht Captain is responsible for the manning and safe operation of the boat and all crew members working aboard fall under their command.

The Captain is in charge of managing the yacht owner’s asset and most prized possession, and, whether a private yacht Captain or a commercial charter Captain, they must ensure that all guests on board have an enjoyable experience – both on, and off the yacht as they are often in charge of planning the guest’s cruising itinerary and experiences.

What Does A Yacht Captain Do?

Regardless of the size of the yacht, Captains operate boats under strict international rules and regulations. Their responsibilities are all-encompassing and their position can be, to some extent, compared to that of a CEO on land.

Responsibilities of the Yacht Captain Job

The responsibilities of a yacht Captain include:

  • The safe navigation and operation of the yacht
  • Setting of budgets and budget management
  • Hiring, leading, appraising and dismissal of crew
  • Overseeing the upkeep of the vessel
  • Managing yacht refits and surveys
  • Being an ambassador for the yacht, hosting and entertaining guests as required

Generally speaking, the smaller the yacht, the more hands-on the Captain must be. The larger the yacht, the more administrative duties the Captain will hold.

Skills and Experience Required for a Yacht Captain Job

The skills and experience required to get a yacht or boat Captain job include:

  • A “can-do” attitude
  • A charismatic and unflappable personality
  • Excellent navigational skills
  • Excellent leadership, etiquette and communication skills
  • Maintenance and engineering experience or understanding
  • Good grasp of accounting and IT

How to Become a Yacht Captain

To become a yacht Captain an individual must have years of maritime experience and extensive training, working their way up through the deck/officer route. Previous experience of hands-on sailing a yacht will certainly be required, with experience of handling a yacht in a similar size range a distinct advantage.

Business and management experience will also be beneficial in helping with the crewing, accounting, and administration of the yacht.

Getting a yacht Captain job is, in many ways, no different to other roles on board. Candidates for yacht Captain jobs will often have heard about opportunities through their own contacts in the industry, however, it is still recommended to register with an established yacht crew agency, such as YPI CREW who will have access to all the latest jobs for their clients.

If you are not already, register with YPI CREW by visiting our online yacht jobs portal. Here, you will be prompted to submit some basic details and upload your CV, certificates, and references. Once you are registered, you should ensure to login regularly to update us with your latest training and location. Our crew recruiters will use these details to match you to any of the boat Captain jobs currently available.

How Much Does a Yacht Captain Earn?

On our last check, 466 captains had contributed their salaries to the YPI CREW Yachting Salaries website – a tool which helps crew to establish what others are really early to help them in the campaign for fair pay.

Of those 446 Captains, 365 were motor yacht Captains and 81 Captains of a sailing yacht. This corresponds to the global world fleet ratio almost exactly, with 83% of operational yachts motor yachts and 17% sailing yachts.

Overall, less than 20% of those Captains who submitted their details are on rotation, with motor yacht captains benefiting to a higher degree. Likewise with salaries, as perhaps expected, large motor vessels generally pay higher wages than large sailing vessels.

Captains with permanent contracts on motor yachts between 81 and 100m command the highest salaries, at an average of €18,000 per month. At the lower end of the spectrum, Captain salaries start around €5,500 per month on both sailing and motor yachts less than 35m in length. In the 41-50m category, sailing yacht Captains out-earn yacht Captains in command of motor yachts, with an average monthly salary of €10,000 for a charter sailing yacht Captain, compared to just over €8,000 for a motor yacht equivalent.

How much do yacht captains earn?


Yacht Captain salary by ypi crew

Looking for a yacht Captain job? Register your details on our yacht jobs portal today and keep an eye on our current yacht job vacancies