your yacht's crew

If you have achieved the level of success where you can purchase a luxury motor yacht, it is very likely that you have had to hire, supervise and manage more than a few employees in your life.

However, hiring a yacht crew is a bit more unique, as you not only need to know about a given crew person’s abilities and experience, but you need to know a thing or two about maritime law, rules and regulations.

Today’s luxury motor yachts are very complex vessels. Navigation, radar, and other electronic systems rival that of any private jet aircraft. The larger the yacht, the more complex, and more crew personal she needs. Even if your boat is in the size range, and you have the nautical experience to believe you can captain her yourself, why should you? If you have arrived at that stage in your life to afford this level of luxury, why not be able to leave “the driving” to someone else, and kick back and enjoy the experience?

Payroll, Crew Rights and Responsibilities

One of the main reasons why hiring and contracting with a crew is a lot more complicated than simply hiring workers for your on-shore business, is because under most cases of maritime law, your crew is not only considered your employees, but employees of the yacht itself. That means they could be subject to labor laws, taxes, etc, not necessarily of the United States, but your yacht’s flag state.

However, regardless of the flag your yacht flies, all yacht crew members are required to have certain certifications as mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). One that is usually required is to have passed a crew training course known as Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, or The STCW. The STCW is a group of qualifications which shows that the holder has the minimum standard of qualifications required to work on board vessels of a certain size.

Crew members who work on commercial yachts, have protections afforded them by the International Labor Conference’s (ILO) Maritime Labor Convention, which entered into force worldwide on 20th August 2013. These are similar to the kinds of worker’s protection you would find for land-bound employees, such as a right to a safe work place, Decent living and working conditions, and social security protection, medical care, sickness benefit, employment injury benefit, etc. However, crew employed for a private yacht, may not be guaranteed such protections by the Convention, and are more likely to be considered “independent contractors,” from a taxation and legal standpoint.

Again, depending on your vessel’s flag, non-American crew may or may not require certain visas to work on your yacht as it cruises American waters.

As you can see, hiring a yacht crew can all be a bit complicated!

Removing the Hassles of Hiring and Managing Your Yacht Crew

Finding the right captain and crew for your yacht can certainly be challenging. That is why we designed our On Demand Yachting solution 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.

We will also take care of all of the intricacies of maritime crew contracts, payroll and accounting, and make sure you and your crew are in complete compliance as applicable.

All of our crews are completely vetted. We will help you to define your needs, and then do all of the work for you, matching 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.

A yacht crew person


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.