How To Sail The World (And Get Paid!)

Travelling the world by sailboat is hands down the most eco-friendly, economical and downright adventurous way to go about it. If you know anyone who works in yachting they most likely work on super yachts. Quite frankly, the super yachting industry is highly saturated and is a lot tougher than it looks, but there is another option when it comes to getting paid to travel the world by yacht and it comes in the form of working in private yachting!

Unlike the super yachting industry, private yachts will often take on crew that don’t necessarily have all the fancy qualifications, uniforms and bells and whistles. Private yachts are often smaller with the crew consisting of a handful of people and although the pay is usually less, you are most likely going to have more freedom and feel like part of a family during your time aboard.

Daily swims off the back of the yacht!

Daily swims off the back of the yacht!

I have worked in private yachting on and off for the past few years and I have had some of the most amazing life experiences while living and working at sea. I have crossed two oceans, have over 12,000 nautical miles under the belt and am here to share a few tips for those looking at venturing into the exciting world of getting paid to sail around the world!

I have worked in private yachting on and off for the past few years and I have had some of the most amazing life experiences while living and working at sea. I have crossed two oceans, have over 12,000 nautical miles under the belt and am here to share a few tips for those looking at venturing into the exciting world of getting paid to sail around the world!

Sailing gives you access to remote locations. Here I am infront of Devil’s Island off the coast of French Guyana

Sailing gives you access to remote locations. Here I am infront of Devil’s Island off the coast of French Guyana

Embrace Your Unique Skills

Almost anyone can sail a yacht, especially a small one, and captains are often happy to employ crew members that are eager to learn. There are loads of jobs on private yachts that do not have the word ‘sailor’ in the description (although no matter your job description you will most likely help out with the sailing too). I personally worked as a homeschooling tutor for a teenage boy on a small family yacht for a while and it was one of my best sailing trips. Some of the many roles to fill on private yachts include:

·      Chef

·      Mechanic

·      Water sports instructor

·      Au Pair

·      Videographer/ photographer

It is a good idea to think about what skills you can bring to the table. If you are multi-talented that is all the better as private yachts usually have very small crews and jacks of all trades are welcomed!

On the look-out for whales, dolphins and pirates! Actually though.

On the look-out for whales, dolphins and pirates! Actually though.

Do a Few ‘Free’ Sails to Find Your Sea Legs

There are many opportunities offered by captains in which you work as crew in return for earning some sea miles as well as a free lift to wherever the yacht is headed. I guarantee you it’s more fun than a flight! These volunteer positions are great for figuring out if sailing is for you (it definitely isn’t for everyone), to determine whether or not you get seasick and to build up your experience. It is much easier to land a paid position when you’ve already done an ocean crossing or two!

Watching dolphins play off the coast of Brazil

Watching dolphins play off the coast of Brazil

Walk the Docks and Hang Out at the Marina

The private yachting community is tight knit and everybody seems to know everybody. Some of my best sailing gigs I have gotten through word of mouth or by somebody who knows somebody who needs a crew member just like me. By hanging out in sailing circles, you are bound to meet someone or someone who knows someone who is looking for crew. You can also offer to do day work which usually includes cleaning yachts to get a foot in the door. As many communities move online, a good idea would to also check out the private yachting communities and set up a crew profile on sites like www.cruiserforum.com.