Charter yachts and superyachts are often based in the Mediterranean, Caribbean or Florida. Staff can be well paid, particularly the skippers, but owners demand exacting standards of service and competence.
Superyachts often employ a Master, mate, engineer, bosun, hostess, chef and deck crew. Jobs are often advertised in Yachting Monthly, Yachting World, Motor Boats Monthly and Boat International magazines. There are also many crew placement agencies finding staff at all levels of the industry.
Skippering commercial yachts
The qualifications required are determined by the area in which the yacht is operating. With a Yachtmaster™ Coastal Certificate of Competence you can skipper yachts up to 24m, operating up to 20 miles from a safe haven, while the Yachtmaster™ Offshore Certificate of Competence enables you to skipper yachts up to 200gt, 150 miles from a safe haven.
With the Yachtmaster™ Ocean Certificate of Competence you can work worldwide.
Whichever area you are working in, you must hold the commercial endorsement, so a one-day sea survival course and medical fitness certificate are necessary.
Skippering yachts (over 24m and up to 200GT)
Any skipper of a British flagged private or commercial yacht of this size, operating in UK and many non-UK ports, must hold an RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore or Ocean Certificate of Competence with a commercial endorsement.
Additionally, to enable your qualifications to be valid worldwide and on non-British yachts, you can take three short MCA courses on fire fighting, first aid and social responsibilities to obtain an STCW endorsement on your RYA certificate of competence.
Skippering superyachts (200gt to 3,000gt)
There are a range of MCA qualifications up to MCA Master of Yachts 3000gt. Full details of Master of Yachts training can be found in the Guidance and Regulations section of the MCAs website, and a summary of manning requirements is shown in MSN 1802.
Find books for your course at the RYA Shop
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!