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Crewing a Megayacht

The crew on large luxury yachts—yachts at least 100 feet in length—include a captain, engineer, chef, chambermaids, stewards—even nannies and butlers. Charter fees start at $40,000 a week. Even if you aren't qualified for a senior position, there is always a need for kitchen hands, stewards, deckhands, and a whole host of other crew.

The crew receives a monthly salary comparable with that on the mainland and share tips (10 to 15 percent of the charter fee). If it is a privately owned yacht and not on charter, the salary can be excellent, though there will probably be fewer tips. As your meals and accommodations are provided, you can save a lot of money very quickly. One steward bought two houses in the U.K. and a house in France in her first eight months of work.

There are two ways to find jobs on these boats: either personally networking with the crews on shore or approaching a professional crew placement agency.

If you want to try the personal approach, you will need to go where the yachts are: In the Caribbean go to the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Grenada, and Antigua; in Europe, Antibes in the south of France, Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain, and Piraeus, the port for Athens.

Most crewing agencies are listed in up-market yachting magazines. Here are some of the largest: www.crewfinders.com, www.oceancrewmember.com, www.yachtcrewregister.com, www.dovaston.com, www.insull.com, www.cnconnect.com.

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