The world of superyachts, with their opulent luxury and breathtaking oceanic journeys, has long captivated the imagination of those seeking a unique and exhilarating career path. At the helm of these majestic vessels stand the superyacht captains, skilled mariners, and leaders responsible for navigating these floating palaces through some of the world's most exotic and challenging waters.
As the allure of superyacht living continues to grow, so does the demand for experienced and capable captains to commandeer these vessels. This report delves into the intricate world of superyacht captain careers, offering an in-depth exploration of the employment landscape, the challenges faced, and the highs and lows of the career.
The retention rates of superyacht captains is on an upward curve, with a decreased number planning to seek a new job this year (40%). The top reason for captains to either job seek or stay loyal was the same. They either needed better work-life balance, or their role already provided it. Work-life balance also featured as their top priority at work, replacing retaining talented crew.
The long-term career longevity of a captain has decreased, with 69% sharing that their current career would last more than five years, a reduction from 88% in 2017. However, 91% said they would still choose their career again. 86% would also recommend their career to young people, fantastic news for the continued advocacy of the sector.
Only 7% believed young people viewed a career in the superyacht sector as a long-term career path, and 91% said they thought social media and reality TV were misleading new generations about potential careers in yachting.
58% of captains had received a pay rise in the last two years. It paid to change jobs though, those who did were more likely than those who stayed with their employer to achieve a 10% or more pay rise, at 52% and 24% respectively.
Over half of the captains received an annual bonus, most commonly valued at between five and ten percent of their annual salary. Over half of captains will be asking for a pay rise this year and nearly two-thirds threaten resignation if they do not get it.
Personnel management and guest satisfaction remained the top stress factors for captains, highlighting the complexities of managing people and making guests happy.
A 2/2 rotation was rated as the most desired working pattern, but less than half were working this way.
Three-quarters of captains have found hiring crew tough over the last 12 months, and nearly the same number said it was difficult to retain talent for more than three years.
Captains wanted to hire crew with adaptability, initiative, communication, problem-solving, and productivity soft skillsets. They also shared that improving work-life balance and training would have the most positive impact onboard their yacht.
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