Credit: Klaus Jordan

More crew are asking for rotation than ever before. This is an observation of every recruitment agency we speak to, and has been for the past year or so. But there is a general acceptance that those in the engineering department will get rotation, some in the deck department and few in the interior department. Why?

“There are a few reasons, the most important being supply and demand. Looking at our database, we have around 250 Y1 engineers registered. On the other hand, we have over 2,000 chief officers registered,” explains Louisa Gallimore, crew manager and engineer recruitment specialist at Bluewater. “There will always be a shortage of engineers and because of this they are in a great position to negotiate rotational packages.”

"We have around 250 Y1 engineers registered. On the other hand, we have over 2,000 chief officers registered." - Louisa Gallimore, crew manager, Bluewater

Gallimore points out that an engineer’s background is another reason the high-demand, low-supply department will ask for – and get – rotation. While a very few interior crew come from a merchant background, and a tangible number of deck crew, many more engineers have this merchant mariner background, which comes with rotation. “Many of our licensed engineers come from a merchant or cruise ship background and rotation is offered as standard within these industries. When engineers make the transition to the yachting industry, their expectations remain the same.”

And there’s one more factor that separates the engineer and deck departments and, Gallimore suggests, has an impact on this industry’s rotational packages. “On average, it takes more than 10 years and over €15,000 for an engineer to become Y1 qualified. For a chief officer, while the financial outlay might be similar, the actual sea time is only 36 months once you have your Yachtmaster license.”

Do you think it’s reasonable that engineers get more rotation than crew from other departments? We want to hear from you. Share your opinion with us in the comments section below or email editor Lulu Trask at


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