How Much Do Yacht Crew Make in Tips?

Working on board a yacht has many benefits. In addition to a salary, many yacht crew receive generous gratuity from clients. Read more.

There are many benefits to working on board a boat or a yacht. You can travel the world, you live at sea on board a boat and you are compensated well. In addition to a base salary, many yacht crew aboard a super yacht receive generous gratuity from satisfied clients, yacht owners and charter guests. But how much do yacht crew make in tips for their work and why are yacht crew receiving tips?

Yacht Crew Tips FAQ

Do Yacht Crew Get Paid a Salary and Receive Tips? 

Yes, yacht crew are paid a monthly salary from yacht owners and can expect to receive tips on top of this from charter guests, if they work aboard a super yacht that does charter trips. Yacht crew receiving tips for their work has become very common on busy charter yachts, even entry level crew.

What is the Base Salary for Yacht Crew? 

If you are hired to work on board a yacht, the base salary can be much higher than for a shore-based job, particularly in a senior role like a captain or a chief stewardess. Also, your cost of living is much lower as you do not have to pay for food, accommodation or everyday products. Your wage often varies based on the size of the yacht.

Yacht Crew Salary 2022

Wages for yacht crew vary depending on experience, the role on board and the owner of the yacht. YPI CREW produces an annual report on average salaries yacht crew are receiving, from entry level to captain.

For 2022, YPI Crew reported these were the average monthly salaries for crew (presented in Euros) and the size of the yacht. 

For 2022, YPI Crew reported these were the average monthly salaries for crew (presented in Euros).
For 2022, YPI Crew reported these were the average monthly salaries for crew (presented in Euros).

*Image and information courtesy of YPI Crew 

How Much Do Charter Yacht Crew Make in Tips? 

On board yachts, charter managers advise that a minimum of 10% of the entire charter cost is the customary amount to give as a tip to the crew aboard a super yacht. Typically, the charter guests will give tips to the yacht captain at the end of the charter and the captain will divide this up among the individual crew members, such as the deckhand, chef and the chief stewardess. Anecdotally, US clients tend to tip 15% – 20% per charter.  

For example, if a yacht charter totals $100,000 for a week, charter guests will tip $10,000. However, if the crew have been particularly good, many charter clients give more than this as a sign of appreciation for their work aboard. It can also depend on the size of the crew, such as how many deckhands are working with guests.

Many yacht crew prefer to work on board busy charter vessels as they can almost double their salary each month with tips. If for each charter, a chief stewardess or deckhand working is awarded $1,000 in gratuity, they could make up an additional $4,000 each month—even if they are entry level. 

Why do Charter Clients Tip Yacht Crew? 

Charter clients tip the crew because the crew work extremely hard to make their time on board an incredible experience. Crew will spend time playing with children, creating memorable evenings and themed nights, delivering impeccable service, and making sure that guests are always comfortable and well-looked after. Deckhands are often working in the heat of the sun. Tips for their work are in recognition of the time and effort spent making every yacht charter an incredible experience.

How Much Do Private Yacht Crew Make in Tips? 

For crew who work on private yachts, it is less common to receive gratuity from yacht owners on a regular basis. However, it is common for owners to say thank you to the crew at the end of the season by paying for a team dinner or trip. This is a way to show their appreciation for all their work aboard the yacht.

How Many Crew Members does a Yacht have? 

The number of crew on board a yacht vary on the size of yacht. A yacht will always have a captain, and most yachts will have a stewardess and a deckhand working. Large yachts need multiple interior crew and many deck hands and engineers to work aboard to ensure that guests are safe and that the yacht runs smoothly. 

Learn more about yachts for charter here.  

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