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how to staff a yacht

Top Guide 2023: “How to Staff a Yacht”

Finding the ideal crew might appear challenging, but this guide will steer you through the essential steps in understanding how to staff a yacht.

Navigating the waters of luxury living, yachts symbolise class and splendour. However, the elegance of these vessels isn’t solely hinged upon their plush interiors or cutting-edge facilities but also on the quality of the staff who operate them. If you’ve recently acquired a yacht and are scratching your head over how to staff it, you’re in the right harbour.

Identifying Your Requirements

The primary task is to comprehend your specific needs. Do you envision hosting grand soirées necessitating a full staff, or do you fancy smaller gatherings with a more intimate crew? The size and type of your yacht and intended use will determine the crew members required.

For instance, a superyacht might need 12 to 50 crew members, including a captain, officers, deckhands, engineers, stewards, chefs, and more. On the contrary, a smaller yacht may only require a small team. Consider your usage plans: will you be sailing globally, berthing in a Mediterranean harbour, or predominantly using it as a stationary venue?

Embarking on the Hiring Journey “how to staff a yacht”


Begin your journey with the captain’s hiring, as they play a pivotal role in assisting you to staff the rest of your yacht. An experienced captain doesn’t merely navigate the vessel but also recognises the importance of a competent and cooperative crew. They can advise on the roles you need to fill, assist with interviewing, and ensure the crew can work harmoniously together.


After the captain is on board, it’s time to consider the other essential roles. A typical yacht crew might include:

  • Deckhands: They maintain the yacht’s exterior and assist with docking, anchoring, and guest services.
  • Engineers: Tasked with managing the yacht’s mechanical and electrical systems.
  • Stewards/Stewardesses: They oversee interior services, including housekeeping, meal service, and guest care.
  • Chefs: In control of all the meals on board, from daily dining to lavish parties.

The specific roles and number of personnel will hinge on your needs and the size of your yacht.

Yacht Crew Agencies

One of the most efficient ways to staff your yacht is through yacht crew agencies. These agencies possess databases of qualified and vetted candidates, saving you time and effort in hiring. They grasp the unique prerequisites of yacht staffing and can assist in identifying candidates who are an exceptional fit for your vessel.

Ensuring Quality and Cohesion

When learning how to staff a yacht, remember that whilst qualifications and experience are paramount, the crew’s personality and teamwork capabilities are equally crucial. Given the extended periods you’ll be spending with these individuals in a confined space, it’s indispensable for everyone to get along.

Conduct thorough interviews, and don’t hesitate to ask for trial periods where possible. This allows you to assess how well potential crew members fit into the existing team and how they interact with you and your guests.

Training and Certifications

Verify that your crew possesses the necessary training and certifications. This not only ensures the safety of everyone on board but also provides a high level of service. Certifications may include the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and other culinary or hospitality qualifications for chefs and stewardesses.

Legal and HR Considerations

Lastly, factor in the legal and human resources aspects of staffing your yacht. This includes contracts, insurance, visas, work permits, salaries, and leave schedules. Professional legal advice and a seasoned yacht management company can assist in ensuring you’re compliant with all necessary regulations.


Unraveling how to staff a yacht involves careful planning and discerning decision-making. It encompasses identifying your needs, initiating the hiring process with your captain, filling in the other roles, ensuring the crew’s quality and cohesion, verifying their training and certifications, and considering legal and HR aspects.

Remember, the crew you employ will become the heart and soul of your yacht. They are the ones who will make sure your yacht adventures are safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable. So take your time, choose wisely, and soon you’ll be ready to weigh anchor.

And whenever you think of “how to staff a yacht”, remember that Irving Scott is here to guide you through the journey of how to staff a yacht


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