YPI CREW Annual Report: 2019 Yacht Crew Trends

Our annual yacht industry statistics for yacht crew recruitment are now in, and are an invaluable tool in helping our entire industry understand the state of yachting today.

The yacht crew industry continues on its upward booming trend in 2019 with data showing that yacht job requests are up by 18% since 2017. 

In 2019, the fifth year in a row, the majority of yacht crew jobs were on yachts of 71 metres plus in length. These roles now represent 42% of total positions on yachts, an increase of 21% from 2017. The second most popular segment was yachts of between 51 and 70 metres, with a 28% share. 

The demand for crew on vessels between 31 and 50 metres increased by 10% between 2018 and 2019, revealing an interesting yacht crew statistic for 2019. This may reflect the struggle captains and hiring managers are facing to attract good, hardworking crew to smaller yachts. 

Yachts in the 70-80 meters range are often perceived, rightly or wrongly, as more appealing places to work. Captains on smaller vessels, therefore, rely heavily on crew agencies’  assistance and network to source, entice and recruit hard to find candidates.

Some 93% of yacht jobs are on motor yachts, with just 7% on sailing yachts. This is coherent with the global yacht market and consistent with 2018’s yacht industry news.
















Many entry-level crew favour jobs on a charter yacht, but our data shows that 65% of jobs are on private yachts. This has dropped 1% since last year but still provides a high incentive to interview for the private roles, rather than waiting for less common charter jobs to open up. 

Yacht captain jobs remained at 4% of YPI CREW’s job requests, while officer registrations hit a record high in 2018, maintaining the same level in 2019. This contrasting yacht industry statistic has raised questions about whether there will be enough captain positions to accommodate all the upcoming future officers. Most of those seeking yacht officer jobs were looking for rotation work.

We saw the busiest ever year in our 17 years in yacht crew recruitment for yacht steward/ess and deckhand job registrations and the second busiest for chefs. The number of chefs we helped find yacht chef jobs is up by 24% from 2018.

A record number of yacht engineers found jobs through YPI CREW – this is up by 26% from 2017. There was also a 59% increase in yacht spa therapist job requests in 2019 and a 70% increase in placed spa therapists/masseuses. All in all, an extremely successful year in yachting.  

Laurence Lewis, Director of YPI CREW, comments:

“2019 was a record-breaking year at YPI CREW with the highest number of job requests and a healthy number of new candidate registrations.

“As previously, behind these positive figures lies another fact about the employment market: The market remains tense with a distortion between job descriptions and offers and crew expectations but also between required skills and skills available on the market.

“Finding Cvs has never been easier but a CV is not a solution; what clients want is to recruit, not to look at CVs. In this complex market, recruiters are the vital link between employers and talent as they have the network and the skills to architect a deal.

“Our advice is, work with well-established recruiters who know their markets well and follow their advice. 2020, the roaring twenties, are you ready?”

If you enjoyed this, look out for our 2019 Yacht Crew Salaries Report, set to be released at the beginning of the Mediterranean yachting season. This will inform yacht industry news and identify trends, detailing the average salary range for each yacht crew position, from deckhands to captains, benchmarking pay standards and providing a point of reference for employers and crew alike.