A superyacht captain, who wishes to remain anonymous, has contacted SuperyachtNews.com and revealed that the crew (himself included) of the 40m motoryacht he skippers are suffering from unpaid wages.

The problem began when the superyacht – under management but already suffering slight pangs of financial troubles from its previous owner – was purchased by its new owner. (In fact, it was on this same boat, with different owners, that in the past this same captain also experienced an unfair dismissal.) “We were told money was a bit short before the boat was sold but were told that once the deal went through everything would be sorted out, but it got worse. We went from having little money to no money at all. They haven’t paid the crew since the end of December and I’ve had to use my money to feed the crew,” explained the superyacht captain who from hereon in will be referred to as Captain X.

Unpaid crew wages, moreover, is often the sign of many more unpaid bills lying in the captain’s office – something with which Captain X is unfortunately familiar; he has even had to subsidise costs with the boat’s own cash. “We’re talking about the best part of 200,000 euros of debt. We had to leave Malta at the beginning of November without paying all our bills down there, and they were kind enough to let us go on a signed letter from the management company saying we would pay within 30 days and they still haven’t been paid and they’re furious. I paid 50 per cent with the boat’s cash. And now we’re left sitting in San Remo and we need to pay the port – we’ve been there since November,” explained Captain X, who adds that he is confident money is on the way, believing it to have been sent last week. “In fact, if there hadn’t been signs of any money being sent the yacht probably would have been arrested.”

As the captain, however, Captain X has been left in a difficult position. “You can’t really walk away – if you do that you stand less chance of getting paid. We’re in 2014, not 1914, and it’s really annoying that people can still treat crew like this. It just shouldn’t be allowed. There should be more protection. I’m not advocating any more rules in yachting – there are too many already. But there still seems to be very little to protect crew.”

Since the interview, Captain X and his crew were paid the balance of their January salaries in March. In addition, the yacht’s insurance company has cancelled the cover due to non-payment of annual policies, leaving the crew and yacht, believes Captain X, uninsured. The last few days have seen meetings take place and transfers are being made to clear most of the debts and pay the crew the outstanding sums, though Captain X confirms he believes the situation is not yet over.

Find the full story on TheCrewReport.com.

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