The Best Sailing Jobs
By Eric Hammer
Sailing jobs come in all shapes and sizes. For example, some
sailing jobs involve working and actually paying a small amount
of money for the privilege of doing it. While this may sound
a little Mark Twain like, it's not. In essence, boats cost a
lot of money to run and keep in good order. Never mind the cost
of the crew salaries, if salaries are paid.
Sometimes, in order to save money, a boat owner will offer
to allow people to work on his or her boat in exchange for simply
sharing the basic costs of sailing. This will typically entail
a few dollars per day (as little as $20 per day and as much as
$100 per day, depending on what kind of boat you work on). The
idea is that you are like a partner in the boat's ownership,
you get to enjoy the sea along with everyone else and simply
work the way you might if you actually owned the boat.
Other times, you can get jobs where you work for free crewing
a small ship (typically, by taking care of the delivery of a
ship) and then your "pay" is the chance to go and enjoy
sailing. Some places will even pay for your airfare to go home.
The final kind of sailing jobs involve actually getting paid
as crew on things like a luxury yacht. The catch of course is
that you need some experience in order to land these kinds of
jobs. You will also typically be signed on for long term contracts
rather than working for just a few days or weeks. However, if
you can find jobs like this, the pay can be pretty good.
How Much Can You Make?
As noted, many sailing jobs don't involve getting paid at
all. However, for those who do work as paid crew on a boat, the
money can be decent. Professional captains for example on luxury
yachts typically earn their salary based on the number of feet
a boat runs and can earn as much as $1,000 per year per foot
(so for a 250 foot yacht, not at all uncommon - even quite small
by many standards, one might earn as much as $250,000 per year).
According to Salary Expert however, a more realistic number for
a professional boat captain would be in the range of $100,000
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember that no one wants to hire you if you don't look like
someone they can trust. You need to present yourself as a professional
when looking for work and not show up looking like, well - a
Be sure to check out the people you'll be sailing with. Make
sure they are people you feel comfortable with because you will
be out on the high seas for an extended period of time with them.
Once you're out there, in the middle of nowhere, there really
will be nowhere to go so you need to know you can trust these
Also, remember that storms and other problems can be hazardous.
Be prepared to get soaked when your ship is sailing through a
Qualifications / Requirements
Even if you know nothing about sailing, it's often possible
to get work as a sailor by offering to work for free or offering
to help pay the costs of running the boat. Just keep an eye on
costs. Some people will try to take advantage and charge you
way more than it costs to run the boat, thus turning a nice profit
for themselves. While there is nothing wrong with this per se,
given that they tend to lie about what's going on, these people
should be avoided.
While some jobs are available on the Internet, the best sailing
jobs can still be found by going where the boats are. Fort Lauderdale,
Rhode Island and the Bahamas are all popular places for private
ships to dock. Often, they are looking to take on crew and this
is your chance. If you have no experience or very little experience,
plan to work on short hauls where you either pay a nominal amount
to share the cost of running the boat or where you work for free
in exchange for crewing the delivery of a boat. Just drop by
the docks and start talking to people. The jobs are generally
easy to find, especially if you have experience, though as we
said, even those who have never sailed can often land some kind
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about sailing
a Boat - This is a listing of actual jobs currently available
to work on a boat.
Net Forums - A great place to ask all your questions about
getting sailing jobs.