It’s not uncommon that crew, even green crew, have their sights set on the 80m+ motoryacht market – it’s seemingly glamorous and some of the biggest (yacht) names find themselves in this category.

But find yourself as a crewmember in a crew of 60, chances are your job will be very clearly defined and there will be little room to expand upon it until you’re promoted. Find yourself as a crewmember in a crew of 10, however, and you’ll be needed to help out on deck, in the galley or with service, immediately widening your experience and improving your CV should you wish to move up the size ranks at a later date in your career.

“Expectations vary through the superyacht size ranges,” explains Katie Burton, senior consultant at Faststream. “From 30-50m, crewmembers are going to have varied jobs with numerous responsibilities, and the same is true of 50-90m vessels, albeit to a lesser degree. However, when you move beyond 90m, responsibilities are limited to specialist tasks.”

Guy Booth, captain of 37.3m Heesen Aurelia, uses the example of one of the yacht’s previous stewardesses to highlight the point. “One past stewardess from Aurelia is now working on a high-profile 100m+ superyacht as the purser,” he says. “She highlighted the route she wanted to take in her career and she quite rightly took it. However, I know for a fact she is capable of driving all the tenders on board that yacht, as well completing other necessary tasks.”

"When you move beyond 90m, responsibilities are limited to specialist tasks."

And while, in this case, driving the tender isn’t a skill required by the purser, it is important to remember that having an understanding of your colleagues’ jobs is important in developing a sense of empathy for those colleagues and therefore becoming a closer-knit team.

According to Burton, people who have worked on smaller yachts tend to be more accustomed to longer days that involve harder work. “They have a knowledge of how the yacht works, they are a lot more hands on, they work longer hours and they are more prepared to help out with a variety of tasks,” she says. “They drive the tenders, they’ve held watches and they have far greater all-round experience.”

In issue 82 of The Crew Report, Rory Jackson takes a look at the additional benefits of starting your career on smaller yachts. Pick up your issue at the Monaco Yacht Show from The Superyacht Group stand QE9, or download the issue here.

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