What Do Yacht Crew Do Off Season?
Looking to start a career as part of a yacht crew but want to know what do yacht crew do off season?
It’s an exciting opportunity. Onboard ‘superyachts’ and other vessels, you’ll get to see the world, experience the thrills of the sea, and meet plenty of guests from all walks of life.
Except, there’s one question we always get asked: what do yacht crew do off-season? Read on to find out!
When is the Yachting ‘On Season’?
The ‘on season’ for yacht crew usually begins around the same time as the peak cruising and charter seasons. That varies from location to location.
In the Mediterranean, the high season covers the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is warm and tourists flock to the region.
In the Caribbean, meanwhile, the high season is the winter months, from November to April, when the weather is cooler. It also helps to avoid the hurricanes! You won’t find much activity from mid-April to July.
During the peak season, yachts find themselves booked up with charters – keeping the crew busy maintaining the vessel, assisting guests, and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
But what happens when this is over?
After the hullabaloo of the ‘on season,’ yacht crew suddenly have so much free time, right? The job is over, after all.
Well, not quite. For yachts based in the Caribbean, the months of May, June, and July are key times for repairs, refits, and rebuilds, keeping the yacht crew busy with plenty to do. Not everyone stays on board the vessel for yard periods or scheduled maintenance, but it’s common to help during this period, getting ready for the next season.
In the Med, the off-season is longer and more consistent than elsewhere. Some yachts head across the Atlantic for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (around the end of October) and then cruise the Caribbean waters during the region’s ‘on season.’ Others, however, schedule yard periods, maintenance , and major projects.
Of course, it’s not all repairs and renovations. For many ‘yachties,’ the off-season is a time to look for other work – or to take a much-needed rest on land. Here are some common activities:
Take A Holiday
It’s not unusual for yacht crew to spend six months or more primarily at sea. After such a prolonged time on the water, many yearn to shed their ‘sea legs’ and go on land. That could be heading to a nearby town or out into the countryside for a dose of greenery.
Given that most yachts moor in some of the world’s most idyllic locations – think the French Riviera, the Bahamas, or the Greek Islands – there’s always something to see or do. Plus, because yacht seasons tend to coincide with regular holiday seasons, accommodation and other expenses are often cheaper. So, go book yourself an Airbnb!
Expand Your Skills
Yachting isn’t a hobby; it’s a career. The ‘off-season’ is the perfect time to expand your skill set and hit the books. Complete courses that will upskill you come the summer months – that could be about engine repair, hospitality, wing surfing, powerboat handling, navigation and seamanship, and much more.
Spending your rest time building your skills may seem like hard work after time at sea, but the long-term benefits are worth it!
Of course, you could simply pursue a hobby. Getting diving qualifications or other adventure-related skills can be both fun and career-expanding.
Get Another Job
Some yacht crew can be looking at a several-month-stretch without any work (or income). Unless you’re a master saver, you’ll need to find alternative employment. Popular options include:
- Pursue freelance work, such as freelance photography, writing, or any other skills you possess. Dive instructors, for instance, may contract themselves out to dive schools.
- Hospitality & tourism are common alternative jobs and easier to secure than other options. For example, working as wait staff or as part of a hotel.
- If a crew member has culinary skills, working as a private chef or in catering services is not uncommon.
- Teaching or coaching students in areas such as sailing, diving, or fitness.
- Take a seasonal job in a ski resort or other tourist destinations.
Both ‘on season’ and 'off-season'; the life of yacht crew provides immense opportunities and flexibility. Viking Crew is an industry expert in supporting maritime careers with advice, training, and other opportunities.
Find your perfect job today!