Our 11th annual salary survey provided some unprecedented insights to what captains and crew earned. (Although our survey has been around since Dockwalk began, it’s been 11 years since we launched our first poll to get the numbers directly from crew.)
In addition to the monthly salary ranges provided by 12 crew agencies, captains and crew responded to the online poll at Dockwalk.com. (For more on the numbers and the industry’s employment trends direct from the agents, read Louisa Beckett’s “Getting Back Afloat” in the September issue.)
To say that it’s been a strange year for yachting is an understatement, and nowhere has this been more clearly reflected than in the 2020 edition of the salary survey. Of the agencies, captains and crew who took part, the changes due to Covid-19 were clear – crew are moving jobs less than usual, choosing to keep the roles they have rather than risk uncertain positions elsewhere. Those who are moving are likely to accept less than the going rate too, if it means a steady income.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Agencies see these rough waters as a blip, the effects of which should lessen if and when things return to normal, and there’s a silver lining too. There’s speculation that guests spending longer on board as a result of the pandemic may choose to increase their budget and invest in experienced staff. This is savvy thinking: a top team can reduce damage to the yacht, seeing off problems before they take hold and enhance your trip immeasurably. The old saying still holds true: happy crew, happy boat.
The tables below show both data. The “agency range” shows the average lows and average highs of all ranges provided by the agencies. Following are the online poll results from individual working captains and crew; the “poll range” shows the lowest and highest of all the responses, the “poll average” is calculated from all responses. Note that our figures do not account for longevity and experience, crew benefit packages, tips, or similar extra remuneration.
Not all positions with corresponding boat sizes had enough poll responses to be considered significant; those categories are marked with an asterisk to indicate if fewer than five crew responded in that size range for that position. Several categories had only one response, which is also noted. Large variations in salary ranges could be due to experience.
For 2020, this extended version includes additional crew positions, even if there was only one response, and further breaks down the numbers in the size range below 80 feet and 35 meters and above 180 feet and 60 meters. Please note that crew agencies did not necessarily respond in these additional categories.