Updated: Dec 11, 2020
The answer to that question all depends on the context. The answers, of which, would be completely different depending on who you ask - a die-hard sailor, for instance, will undoubtedly have a varying opinion compared to a Billionaire Mogul. The context in which we will be describing it is from the view point of a crew member on a luxury yacht. A "Yachtie" if you must.
So, what then, is 'Yachting'? "Yachting is the act of working aboard a privately owned luxury yacht in exchange for money." As simple as that? Not at all.
If you are unsure of what a luxury yacht is click here.
Different Crew Roles
To properly understand what yachting is, it is important to understand the roles of different crew members on board a luxury yacht. The tasks and duties of each crew member may be vastly different but they all ultimately have the same goal - to ensure the owner and/or guests of the yacht are having the best time possible.
The Captain is the person in charge. The 'Master of the vessel' if you will. Driving the yacht is actually a very small part of his/her overall duty as they not only manage the entire crew, they are tasked with the safe operation of the vessel as well as ensuring the owner and/or guests are receiving the required treatment. Ultimately, if anything "goes wrong", it all falls onto the Captain.
This department is made up of crew known as “Stews” (Stewards/Stewardesses). The department head is referred to as Chief Stew (On larger vessels this may be a Purser). Next in charge would be the 2nd Stew and so on. Their duties on-board include maintaining the cleanliness of the interior, Beds and Heads (toilet/bathroom), Cocktail service and Meal service.
The Exterior staff are made of crew members known as deck crew. The department head is referred to as Chief Officer, First Mate or Mate depending on the size of the yacht. Next in charge would be 2nd Officer or Bosun (depending on the size of the yacht) then your deckhands below them (also known as “deckies”). Their duties on-board include maintaining the exterior, handling lines and fenders, driving tenders, facilitating guest activities in the water and safety on board.
You guessed it, this department deals with the engineering side of things. The mechanics, the guts, “the horses” if you like. Their duties are not limited to just engine work, of course, as they are responsible for all the 'technical systems' on board such as the air-conditioning and sanitary systems and will frequently find themselves fixing leaks and unblocking toilets.
A chef on a luxury yacht is (generally) not only in charge of feeding the guests, but the crew as well. The chefs get all the glory but they also, undoubtedly, work harder than any crew member on board when guests are on. They get no breaks. No breaks. They barely have time to sit and have a meal. Many of them are very difficult to work with, but completely understandable considering the amount of pressure they are under to perform. Especially on a charter yacht - Good food brings good tips. Bad food however…
Even after understanding the different roles on board a luxury yacht it still doesn't fully describe what 'yachting' is. It is so much more than the work. While it can be extremely tough at times, it's the lifestyle it places before you. You will travel to some of the most beautiful and culturally rich places in the world. Make the some amazing friends and have the best times of your life and of course, earn a butt load of money.
One thing is for sure though, there is no industry like the yachting industry and it will take you places you never thought you’d go -Mentally and physically. It’s tough but rewarding and if treated well and respected, yachting can make your dreams come true.
How to Become a Yachtie
Click here or on the image below to download a complete step-by-step guide on how you can live the dream by working on a luxury yacht.