With the yacht build boom expected to continue in 2023, crew agency Quay Crew, in collaboration with project management software provider Pinpoint Works, conducted a survey of 220 captains and senior crew to gauge crew expectations for working on a new-build project.
Of those surveyed, 67 percent had previously worked on a new build and 98 percent would consider a similar role again. They ranked background knowledge and operational experience as top essential skills for their role, with project management and foresight on the lower end.
“Despite this, there are some discrepancies between the skills crew think they would need versus those that are considered essential by some builders,” shared Tim Clarke, director and co-founder of Quay Crew, in the press release. “I suspect this is because they have been recruited to the project too late and therefore have little knowledge of the earlier stages of a build, which is the biggest challenge in new-build recruitment at the moment.”
For more than half of crew, lack of leave and tax implications were among the most discouraging factors for taking a new-build role. Clarke shared that comments repeatedly mentioned that some crew felt that the additional tax should be factored into the salaries. However, as for the most appealing aspects, three-quarters want the chance to understand the design and operation of a vessel compared to one-fifth being attracted to working more traditional nine-to-five hours.
“The lack of leave in comparison to rotation is clearly a downside too, but as the survey shows, crew are largely willing to take a full time role provided there are provisions made for regular travel home and/or working remotely,” Clarke said.
Among its key findings, the survey found that one-third would expect to join a project 12 months or more before launch, with captains and chief engineers being most willing to do so. Overall, crew expect a 13 percent average increase in pay for a full-time yard-based role. Almost 80 percent expect reasonable living expenses to be covered, with three-quarters requiring accommodation. In addition, more than half of crew expect more than 60 days of leave and 44 percent expect to be able to travel home at least once a month.
Respondents were also asked which of 16 well-known yards they would consider accepting a role from; Dutch and German yards are most respected by crew, with Italian yards the least popular.
Based on the responses, crew across all departments are willing to join projects earlier than the current norm and their overall expectations are largely in line with what’s currently offered from new-build packages.