Caring for Your Yacht: Crew, No Crew, or Shore-based Care?


By Bob Marston
Partner, Wellington Yacht Partners

Is hiring professional crew right for you?

Any boat, no matter how big, is going to require maintenance and care. For most owners this is something they either take on themselves or engage a professional boatyard to do. Others will often consider the options of either a shore-based care service or hiring full-time crew.

Shore-based care has become a very popular option, especially as yachts are becoming easier for consumers to operate on their own. With this service you are essentially hiring the skills of a professional captain on a part time basis.  Maintenance and care levels can be ordered “a la carte,” based on need. Most shore-based yacht care professionals tend to be ex-crew. They look after a couple of clients’ yachts, sharing their hours between each customer. Examples of different levels of care can be something as simple as weekly cleaning, to delivering the yacht south to the Caribbean for a season. Many of our clients choose this option, and you will find that wherever there are yachts, there is shore-based care.

For owners who require a higher level of service, there is the option of hiring full-time crew. As one would expect, the number of crew a client may require is often directly related to boat size. The owner of a 56-footer may only need a single captain, whereas the owner of a 100-footer may require as many as five full-time crew.

There are many qualified candidates available who can take excellent care of your yacht. The real success in hiring crew is making sure they get along well with your family and are a proper fit for your personality. A good crew can cater to just about anyone, and they will ensure you have a great time while aboard your yacht.

Finding the right crew is much like hiring a manager for your business. Candidates need to be vetted and references checked. The marine industry is relatively small, so referrals and networking go a long way.

At Wellington Yacht Partners we keep in touch with professional crew and shore-based yacht care services all over the world. We have great success assisting our owners in finding the right people to match their needs.