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What are other yachts doing now?

Tim Clarke
May 13, 2020

Quay Crew carried out a survey to find out what is really going on in the industry right now...

The survey was completed by 88 Captains in total between 8/04 and 11/04 across a variety of different sized yachts to provide some insight into what is happening regarding crew employment. The statistics are attached in graph form.

A few points to make regarding the survey:

  • Not all the % add up to 100%. This is for a variety of reasons regarding how the survey was filled in as some answers were skipped by some respondents
  • As Captains called me to discuss the survey, the survey evolved and questions were added to it. So not all 88 Captains got the opportunity to answer every question
  • In the interest of simplifying the results the % figures have been rounded up or down accordingly eg 93.22% is 93%. 

The graphs are easy to read but the bullet points below offer some clarity on the main points and some additional insight that might not be obvious. Several Captains also called me who didn’t feel comfortable filling in the survey but passed over their opinions and thoughts. They don't make it into the statistics. 

Insights

  • Additional locations included NZ, Mexico x 2, Bahamas, Malta, Costa Rica, Indian Ocean, UAE, Singapore
  • Only 9.2% of yachts have actually let people go on a permanent basis
  • However 26.2% of yachts have reduced crew by allowing crew to travel home, take leave (paid and unpaid), going to skeleton crew etc. Worth noting some of these yachts have had reduced numbers forced on them due to travel restrictions
  • 6.9% (6) yachts currently have guests on. 2 of these are guest on whilst in port, the others are travelling.
  • There is a slight trend towards a higher % of charter yachts than private reducing salaries, leave, letting more crew go. But not by much at all.
  • Results are almost exactly the same regardless of the size of a yacht. No trends with this at all.
  • 74% of yachts are managed
  • 58% of yachts are fully private with the remaining 42% doing some charter.
  • 12% of yachts consider themselves purely charter with minimal owner use
  • There is no correlation between a yacht being managed and a reduction in crew / salaries etc as some Captains believed was the case.
  • Some yachts have stopped crew taking leave currently. Others are enforcing leave to be taken now whilst things are ‘slow’.
  • A few owners are taking this situation as an opportunity to redress what they feel are excessive salaries in certain positions.
  • Several Captains contacted me to reiterate how supportive their boss had been, both financially and by being flexible to ensure the crew are safe and happy. 

Comments by Captains (these are exact quotes from various Captains when given the opportunity to comment)

Leave / Salary

  • Crew ashore on unpaid leave once accrued leave used up
  • We have sent crew on leave, and they have signed agreements that they will move to unpaid leave if the situation regarding the virus means they cannot return to the yacht.
  • Why are we reducing crew numbers as an industry, are all our owners seriously doing that badly or is this being pushed from elsewhere?
  • Forecast use of the yacht includes owners and charter as soon as current restrictions ease. Crew are valued - we'd rather stick with a successful team than search for crew at short notice in a couple of months time
  • Yacht is committed to keep crew fully employed at full salary rates
  • Unpaid leave for four out of 12 crew
  • We have reduced number of crew on on board. Some are on unpaid leave, new hires put on hold
  • Crew stuck on leave running out of leave days stay on Null days. Being paid with small reduction
  • Non-rotational crew stuck ashore will not accrue leave after their leave runs out. Full pay and other terms. 
  • Unpaid leave as they have completed their leave and are unable to return
  • Once holidays are used then go to -30 days of leave move to zero pay on rotation. Junior crew once holiday used onto zero pay
  • If you elect to leave we are not able to promise you can return. Once your holiday time has expired we may need to terminate the contract. If you elect to leave we are not able to promise you can return. Once your holiday time has expired we may need to terminate the contract.

Rotation

  • Uncertain at the moment, plan to propose paying out on board rotations to compensate additional time, capping off board rotations deficits at zero days owed.
  • Crew that are on their off rotation have had salaries cut by 50%. Crew that are off the vessel are taking leave as medical so accrued leave does not get affected and no remember go into negative .
  • All rotating crew are staying in isolation in their homes and we are waiting until things change before bringing anyone back to the yacht.
  • Uncertain at the moment, plan to propose paying out on board rotations to compensate additional time, capping off board rotations deficits at zero days owed.
  • Have all Rotation positions onboard during the refit
  • Some rotation crew stuck on board and others stuck at home, will even out owed days over rest of the year 
  • Crew on leave whose leave has ran out are on 1/2 salary 
  • zero pay ashore after -30 days 
  • 3:1 have moved to 5:1

Hopefully this is of some interest to readers and helps with decision making.

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