Yacht Captain

Yacht Captain Job Description

The Yacht Captain is responsible for the total operation of the yacht. The position ranges from being in charge of a full-time staff of one to being the CEO of a large operation with many departments, personnel, and a large budget. The Yacht Captain is the navigator, and as such is responsible for the safety of the crew and passengers, the supervision of the crew as well as ensuring the enjoyment of all guests onboard.

As a yacht Captain you will be a natural born charismatic leader capable of creating a strong and cohesive team. Vessel safety and respect of property whilst ensuring total owner and guest comfort are some of your core values.  You are cultivated with first class people skills, and have a proven track-record in building relationships of trust and respect from owners, clients, crew, management, shipyards and suppliers.  Your innate sense of ultimate responsibility for the successful operation of a valuable luxury entity and the invaluable lives of those on board will be key to the vessel’s reputation within the industry.

The minimum qualifications for a yacht Captain position include:

  • 3-5 years’ experience as a Chief Officer/Mate
  • 5+ years’ experience as a Yacht Captain for larger yachts
  • License depending on the tonnage of the yacht. Some Owners and insurance companies may require more than is required by maritime law
  • Typically, a 200-ton license is the minimum license required up to a Master Unlimited
  • All certificates up to date: STCW, Marine Medical Fit for Duty Certificate, etc.
  • A proven record of navigation
  • Management skills
  • Personnel management
  • Public Relations
  • Exceptional communication and service skills
  • Inventory control
  • Budgeting and accounting skills
  • Emergency Management
  • Engineering knowledge
  • Environmental regulations
  • Insurance considerations
  • Computer literate

The Luxury Yacht World Is Evolving

The luxury yacht world has been evolving. Traditionally, most professional yacht captains worked their way up the deck department hierarchy on vessels under 3,000GT acquiring licences that reflected this maximum gross tonnage.

In contemporary yachting, we have seen an increasing trend in the new build of superyachts over 3,000GT. These yachts have meant that Captains are also known as Masters, and should hold an unlimited tonnage ticket. As such, Captains have been transferring across from the commercial maritime world, particularly from the luxury cruise line sector where they have been dealing with HNWIs. This trend has meant the industry is being enriched by new influences. Captains and Crew with a traditional “yachtie” background and unlimited Masters and Deck Officers with a merchant background are adapting, whilst learning from each other’s expertise on client service, people management and safety.

The industry forecast for traditional luxury yacht captains is one of enhanced professional opportunity, with yachting qualifications turning towards unlimited tickets for the future.

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