In our biggest salary survey yet, we have uncovered detailed insights into Superyacht Captain salary and leave packages.
Almost 300 Captains responded across a range of yacht sizes from sub-30m to 100m+. In addition to average pay and leave, pay rise and bonus activity, the 20+ page report also compares Captain and Chief Officer experience, ticket level, longevity onboard and comparisons to our 2020 and 2022 survey findings.
Some top-level statistics are:
- Every yacht bracket has seen a salary rise since 2020 and 2022.
- Full rotation is also increasing and becoming more prevalent on sub-50m yachts, with an 11% decline overall in Captains with less than 59 days leave.
- Two-fifths of Captains receive an annual pay rise, although this is not part of their contract.
- 38% receive a 13th-month bonus, but random and unpredictable bonuses are more commonplace.
- 70% of Captains have Master 3000.
- Exactly half of the Captains who responded have more than 10 years’ experience in the role and 32% were Chief Officers for 3 to 5 years prior.
- A third have been Captains on their current yacht for more than 3 years.
- Flight allowance improves with yacht size, with 49% of Captains receiving Business Class flights as part of their package.
- The average age at which respondents first became Captain is 32.5 years old.
The full report contains a comprehensive analysis of salaries and leave in each yacht size bracket and also compares full time with rotational roles, as well as explores any correlation between experience and type of ticket.
Simon Ladbrooke, Captain Consultant at Quay Crew, commented:
“In our most detailed salary report to date, we have gained an insight into the real-time compensation Captains receive, broken down by yacht size and with several other comparables too.
“A key takeaway this year is that, despite a slight decline in salaries between 2020 and 2022, the average monthly pay is now higher across all size brackets, representing a median 6.75% increase.
“Time for time rotation has also grown in popularity on all sized yachts, with the exception of <39m yachts which are all full-time at the moment.
“By gathering Chief Officer experience as well as longevity on their current yacht, we can surmise that onboard promotion is on the rise. The average age that someone becomes Captain is now older and the number of years of experience as Chief Officer is higher, suggesting the transition is also taking longer.
“This is undoubtedly down to there being more competition amongst candidates and it being more difficult to make that initial step up.
“Yet, almost three-quarters say it took them less than 6 months to get their first Captain role. This could be, along with the extensive CO experience demonstrated in this survey, largely down to onboard promotion.
Having said that, we were very surprised at this statistic as it doesn’t match at all with our experience. Often, Chief Officers are looking for several years before they finally get their opportunity. It’s something we definitely want to explore further in another survey.”
All HOD salary surveys are available on our client portal, which you can request access to here.