One of the responsibilities of a Yacht Management company is to provide a good crew for your motor yacht. At Florida Yacht Management, a question we often get asked is how many crew members are needed to man a given boat?

Ask that question to a dozen owners, or a dozen different luxury yacht brokers, and you will likely get a dozen different answers. That is because it really is not carved in stone. The crew you need is dependent on many variables, such as the size of your motor yacht, where you are going, how many people will be on board, etc., etc. However, there are what is known as “minimum manning requirements,” which is basically the minimum number of persons you need to have on board to operate the boat safely. Minimum manning requirement is determined by the yacht flag of registry. In the yachting world, each administration of each Flag-state defines its own policy for minimum safe manning. The minimum staffing requirements do vary by area of operation. It is best to check with the US Coast Guard if you are operating in the states, or similar maritime agency in your country of operation.


However, only commercial vessels must adhere to the standard, not a private yacht that is only used recreationally. If you are putting your yacht out for charter, even if it is privately owned, you also must adhere to the standards. Even if you only use your yacht for personal recreation, it is probably a good idea to use the minimum crew standards as a guideline, even if it is not required by law.

Once you have determined your minimum crew, the next question is, what makes for a good yacht crew?

Staffing Your Yacht

As you might imagine, finding the right crew for your yacht could make, or break any private cruise, or charter. In many ways, the selection of your crew is just as important to your yacht’s “personality” as the design and style of your boat, and should be shopped for just as meticulously.

When the relationship between Captain, crew and owner is the right fit, it can make for years of great times on the water; when it is wrong, it can ruin the entire yacht ownership experience.

A lot of crew selection will have to do with why you bought you yacht, or are considering buying a yacht in the first place. If being treated like royalty in the lap of luxury is your desire, you are going to have a very different staff from a person who is not that into white glove service, but loves fishing and water sports.

Yacht Captain

Either way, from deckhands to the Captain, there are certain things you should look for in your yacht crew. Of course, you want to start with experience and referrals. Beyond that look for:

  • Personality – you are going to be with your crew for long stretches of time, choose crewpersons who are warm, friendly, and show genuine enthusiasm for the job.
  • Appearance – You crew represents you and your yacht, they should always look presentable, and professional.
  • Communications – Good communications between crew, owners, and guests is essential. Look for good communicators, good listeners, and bilingual or multilingual crew persons, depending on where you intend to travel.

When looking for a crew, always put your most time and effort into finding the right Captain. A Captain will then usually bring along with him the rest of the essential crew personnel, i.e., First Mate, Engineer, etc., or help you to find them.

How Yacht Management Can Help You Find the Right Crew

At Florida Yacht Management, we take matching crew with boat owners very seriously. It is our goal to take all of the hassles out of staffing your yacht. That is why we have created our “On Demand Crew Solution,” you only pay for crew when you need it. A few clicks of your mouse, and a quality crew to your specifications is on the way, saving you time, money, and frustration!

We handle the hiring, firing, payroll, all employee arrangements, and so much more. When it comes to crew, our “On Demand Crew” feature allows you to select crew on an “as needed basis,” which can save you money and avoid a lot of the entanglements of full-time personnel.

It is all part of how On Demand Yachting can take all of the hassles out of luxury yacht ownership.

A Yacht and Crew


Avoiding mistakes when hiring crew for your yacht can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, 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 (855) 318-6328.