How Much Do Crew Save?

1 September 2020 By Aileen Mack
putting coin in savings jar

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

There’s no doubt that building up savings is a good idea, but the advice on the percentage of your paycheck to save varies from 10 to 20 percent. Granted, the amount differs for each person based on their situation, and crew are in the unique position to possibly save much more than many landlubbers. This year, we asked our 2020 Dockwalk Salary Survey-takers how much of their paycheck goes into savings and how they determined this amount. Here are some of those responses:

“Half if I can, but depends on what plans I have. Travel, purchases, etc.”
Captain of 33-meter motor yacht

“Six percent, just my taxable amount — no savings at the moment. It ALL goes to license upgrades/school.”
Freelance Chief Officer

“It varies, but whatever is left after rent and other expenses.”
Engineer on 52-meter motor yacht

“Ninety percent because I’m planning to buy a house.”
Sole Stew on 100-foot motor yacht

“Sixty percent — seems like a good number.”
Stewardess on 27-meter motor yacht

“Very little. Investing and holding on to cash.”
Captain of 99-foot sailing yacht

“Ninety percent — just been very good at saving my whole life.”
Purser on 82-meter motor yacht

“Five thousand [dollars] — felt it was a good number a long time ago.”
Chef on 42-meter motor yacht

This column originally ran in the September 2020 issue of Dockwalk.


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