Crew Share Financial Advice for Green Crew

26 January 2022 By Aileen Mack

Associate Editor Aileen Mack joined Dockwalk in July 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If she’s not at a concert or coffee shop, she is lost in a book, movie or a YouTube rabbit hole. Email Aileen at

Money can be a fickle thing, whether you have more than you know what to do with or not enough. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but making sound decisions today can set you on more solid footing in the future. This year, we asked our 2021 Dockwalk Salary Survey-takers for their best financial advice for those getting started in their first seasons aboard. Here are some of the responses we received:

“Do something more than giving your hard-earned money to a bar. Invest in training and your future. Start a personal pension or buy a house or gold, but don’t waste your money.”  
Chief/Sole Engineer on 125-foot motor yacht

“Start small and work your way up. Make a plan to save as much as possible from day one. Put your savings somewhere you can’t easily get at [it] and watch [it] grow. Yachting is an amazing opportunity to invest in your future, so one day, you’ll be able to leave the industry and set yourself up in business, buy yourself a house, or invest for your retirement. Keep your eye on the long-term goal!”  
Freelance Chef on 160-foot motor yacht

“Portion off your salary from the very beginning. Savings,travel, spending,investment, study, etc... I use the same percentages of my salary in different categories now as [I did in] my first season as a deckhand. Just the numbers are higher.”  
Captain of 62-meter motor yacht

“Don’t go crazy, save half your salary every month, and pay off any previous debts as soon as you are able to. Be aware of your legal status with regards to tax payments in your resident country and try to stay inside the regulations so it doesn’t come and bite you later.”
Chef of 40-meter sailing yacht

“After all these years in the industry, I can only give one [piece of] advice: Don’t spend your money drinking or for things that won’t offer anything to your future. Save your money so you can invest and have a good life after [a] few years working hard. Being away from your family and friends and basically having no life, at least make it worth the hard work you put in.”  
Chief Stewardess of 43-meter motor yacht

“Put a portion of your salary in a retirement fund and a rainy-day fund. You will appreciate the savings when you move ashore and transition to a land-based job. You will miss the benefits you took for granted.”  
Freelance Mate of 110-foot motor yacht

“Enjoy the first six months, have your fun, start to build for your future. Decide early what you want to achieve and don’t hesitate to move up the ranks and get the larger tickets as soon as you can. Be proactive; that’s how you grow and from growing can develop some financial freedom.”
Chief/First Officer of 151-foot motor yacht

This article originally ran in the September 2021 issue of Dockwalk.


More from Dockwalk