Crews share ups, downs of life on a superyacht (13 April 2014)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Want to see the world and get paid well for it?
Consider the life of a stewardess aboard a superyacht crew. While you’d be a glorified housekeeper in a crisp white uniform, the perks are many. Education requirements vary, but start pretty low, and you can work your way up the career ladder.
No experience? Start at $3,000 a month with room and board paid. With 10 years’ experience, you could be making $7,000 a month or more, depending on the job. Technicians and engineers can start higher, as can someone with the captain’s license.
Superyachts are over 80 feet, though the pay and perks are better the bigger the boat gets, for the most part. Working for a charter company gives extra earning potential, but a lot more stress.
“It can be a great career path for the right individual,” said Donna MacPhail, who started Palm Beach Yachts International with husband Duane in 1995 as a crew placement service. The company has grown into yacht management, brokerage, sales and charters.
A service-minded person who is willing to work a varied schedule and give up many family holidays can take a $900 safety course and join a yacht crew, probably with a year’s contract, she said.
Yachting is a niche industry. About 4,500 superyachts roam the world and provide employment for 30,000 people in the United States, including landside jobs, according to the U.S. Superyacht Association based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
For a $6 billion industry in the U.S., “it feeds a lot of people,” said John Mann, chairman of the association.


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