Royal Navy to Super Yacht Engineer Information Guide

Engineers? Are you ready to jump ship?

If you’re a marine engineer at any level, junior or senior we want to hear from you!

Who are we?

YPI Crew is a luxury yacht crew recruitment agency based in Antibes in the South of France as this is the hub of the Super Yacht industry. We specialise in recruiting highly trained marine engineers for the Super Yacht Industry worldwide.

What do we want?

We want YOU! We recruit engineers at all levels – mechanical and electrical. As such, where better to look than the Royal Navy? We are always interested to hear from engineers leaving the Royal Navy who either want to start a second career in a maritime environment where your skills are easily transferable. Or those with less time served who may be facing redundancy in the foreseeable future. Your expertise, training and work ethics are second to none and the Super Yacht Industry wants you now. There is a real shortage of strong, qualified engineers in the industry from junior assistant to chief engineer so if you have the right aptitude, attitude and determination to succeed, we’d like to hear from you! The rewards are there, the industry offers fantastic long- term opportunities.


Our clients are captains of private or charter luxury sailing and motor yachts, worldwide. To enjoy the benefits of this exciting career, you need to have a hands-on professional approach with good social skills, the flexibility to adapt to an ever changing environment and be free to travel. Does this sound familiar?

Super Yachts:

We recruit for a vast number of yachts worldwide, both motor and sail. They range from 35 meters in length to 180 meters for motor and typically 30m to 95m for sail. As such, placements range from 4th engineer to chief engineer depending on the size of the yacht. As with most industries, there is more opportunity at the lower-mid range level due to career progression and this is the perfect level for you to make the transition.

‘Private’ – all yachts are privately owned. Those that remain ‘private’ are used solely by the owner and their family/personal guests. The amount of time spent on board varies depending on the individual client. Some as little as several weeks per year (the yacht will still be manned by crew all year round), a small few clients live on board all year round.

‘Charter’ – some owners allow their yacht to be ‘chartered’. This allows 3rd parties to pay for exclusivity to use the yacht for a fixed period of time. Some yachts have very busy charter periods, perhaps up to as much as 12 weeks in a season. These are extremely intense periods as we are operating in a 5* luxury environment 24/7 – literally. Whilst demanding, they are also very rewarding and a lot of crew love charter yachts!


We offer ‘permanent’ contracts which in general are 12 months commitment with minimum 4 weeks holiday. These contracts are reviewed annually and mutually agreed by the candidate and captain. If you wish to move on to another opportunity after completion of the contract, then we will happily source another placement for you.

We also offer ‘seasonal’ contracts which have the same principal as above but tend to last anywhere from April to October in the Med but these are rare for engineers and more common for deck or interior crew.

In addition, we have ‘relief’ contracts which are usually there to cover holiday periods or assist with yard periods. These can last anywhere from 1 week to several months.

All crew live on board the yacht full-time and share a watch-duty rota for time off at weekends when the yacht has down time.


Every yacht is individual and depending on size, location, responsibility, engineering licence and experience, the salaries vary. That said, we work to an industry standard. As we work only with professional clients, we ensure that the salary is well within the industry standards.

A typical salary for a SV Chief Engineer 3000kw (this is the level most Petty Officer/Chief Petty Officer Navy engineers with a HNC/HND join the industry at) should start in the region of 4500 – 5500 Euros per month.

For more junior engineers who have yet to attain the MCA licences but will hold the AEC or MEOL certificates, the salary range is 2500 – 4000 Euros per month and this will apply to engineers with perhaps less than 5 years’ service in the Navy.

Salaries (gross) are paid directly to the individual’s bank account and it is up to the individual to declare their tax returns/national insurance/offshore earnings etc as you will be living on-board the yacht outside of the UK. As standard, medical cover is provided by the yacht for all crew and 1 paid flight per year.

All meals are catered for as there will be a chef/crew chef on board each yacht. All uniforms (all weather) will be provided for by the yacht. Laundry is done by the stewardesses. Most yachts have state of the art entertainment systems with free wi-fi throughout so you can keep in touch with friends/family. TV screens for each bunk with access to 1000’s DVDs/CDs and a typical set up is 2 crew per shared cabin/bathroom.

Tips – Busy charter yachts tend to pay good tips for all crewmembers (this is not guaranteed). Private yachts may compensate by offering annual bonuses/annual pay rises. Occasionally, private yachts may pay a higher monthly salary than charter. Either way, the annual packages will blend across an industry standard which we monitor on your behalf.


Every yacht is individual – the ‘charter’ yachts in general will do 2 seasons, April – October in the Mediterranean and November – March in the Caribbean. Alternatively, some charter and private yachts will cruise for 1 season in the Med and after a busy summer, will remain here in the Med berthed for the winter or undergo yard/refit work. In the winter, they tend to have more normal working hours and subject to watch duties, crew can take weekends off to go home as there are so many low budget airlines in Europe with regular flights.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you’re thinking of jumping ship then contact us now – we’d be delighted to hear from you! Our dedicated Engineering consultants Jacqui Young, Marjorie Baillet and Anna Horak will give you advice on how to make the career transition and once they have successfully placed you on board one of our Super Yachts, they will follow your professional development, listen to your goals, help formulate them and together, we’ll enjoy a long career Partnership!

Take the plunge now and register on-line at with your CV. For more information visit, call Jacqui, Marjorie or Anna directly on +33 (0)492 904 610 (9am-6pm Mon-Thur, 9am-5pm Fri) or email [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] with your queries.