large yacht with crew

A lot of boat owners are a particular breed of “do it yourselfers,” and that also extends to many motor yacht owners. While there are those motor yacht owners that prefer the ultimate in relaxation and want to be catered to hand and foot, there are still those who enjoy the adventure of piloting their own ship.

Does every luxury motor yacht need a crew? Is there a cutoff point where a yacht is just too big and too complex to be operated without a captain and crew?

What a Yacht Crew Does

When you are considering whether or not you want or need a crew to help you run your yacht, you need to think about the crew’s responsibilities, and how many of those you or your family members are willing to do, or those you would prefer to do on your own.  Basically crew members are responsible for:

  • Piloting/driving the boat
  • Engineering and regular maintenance
  • Cooking, bartending or other “guest services”
  • Cleaning and general housekeeping of the interior
  • Cleaning and maintenance of the exterior
  • Supervising other crew members
  • Accounting/managing the operating expenses of the yacht


server on luxury Yacht

Once you understand the above list, you can decide if you need or want a crew person to handle any or all of the above. Once you get into a motor yacht of appreciable size, say, from 70 – 140ft, there will be less and less of these tasks you would wish to, or be capable of, doing on your own.

Even on a yacht of “entry level size,” say about 50ft, if you have any boating experience, you probably could drive her and take her out for the day with your friends and family without a crew. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to keep it behind your house or your own private dock. But even at this size, you probably do not wish to wash her down, or handle the routine maintenance on your own, so at the very least, you could benefit by signing up for yacht management.

Crew person cleaning yacht

Once you get to yachts larger than that, in the 60ft plus range, you are likely going to at least need to find dockage in a marina, and a maintenance crew. Once you get into a yacht of this size that is docked in a marina, at the very least you will likely hire a captain. Your captain will be primarily responsible for:

  • Navigating the yacht
  • Coordinating the washes and detailing with a detail company, or your yacht management company
  • Coordinating maintenance and repairs, if he is handy, your captain may do some routine maintenance or light repairs on his own.
  • Making sure the yacht is stocked, well-provisioned, and otherwise prepared before going out on any trip

On Demand Yachting and The Right Crew

Let’s say you are considering buying a yacht of a certain size, and are still not sure if you need a crew or not to handle her. A great way to literally “test the waters” is to book a charter yacht of similar size. A chartered yacht will have a captain and crew. This way you can get a much clearer picture of the crew’s responsibilities, and a good idea of what the crew does for you and your guests. You can also have the opportunity to speak to the Captain, who can give you a good idea of how difficult it is to handle a vessel of that particular size on your own.

Once you decide that you do need a captain or crew, where do you find the one that is right for your motor yacht?

crew for motor yacht

Did you know that our On Demand Yachting solution has been designed to remove all of the hassles of yacht ownership, including finding and hiring the right crew for your needs and the needs of your vessel.

All of our crews are completely vetted. We will help you to define your needs, and then do all of the work for you, and match you with crew personnel that are the best fit. And, if you do not want or need a full-time crew, with our stress-free crew management solution, you only pay for crew when you need it.



Operating a motor yacht can be costly. Putting your boat in Charter can earn income, and defray some of the costs of ownership. On Demand Yachting from FYM can show you how. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.