My job is like the TV show Below Deck, but without the reality tv produced calling the shots. I have sailed to many different places, over thousands of miles, and I wouldn't trade this job for anything!

Only one rule; Please do not ask me any specifics about the owners of the boats I have been on. I can give generalities, but this is out of respect for their privacy.

Comments: 635 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

Sozin91364 karma

Two questions:

1) How accurate is the 10% per year operating cost rule? People like to throw that number around a lot when you ask how much it costs to run a super yacht. But on something like Dilbar which cost around $600m to build, it doesn't seem right that it would cost $60m per year to run. I would think like $15-$20m tops.

2) Many yachts are starting to add personal submarines from the likes of Triton and U-boat Worxs, etc. Is there a restriction on when and where those subs can operate or can you pretty much drop them in the water anywhere?

Amster_damnit_2347 karma

The 10% is a pretty good estimate. It really doesn’t matter if the boat sits or is super busy. Obviously this is just a guideline, and the owner can spend whatever he/she wants.

In the case of Dilbar, I don’t think the 60m is that far off. Remember you have two of every senior crew position, a boat that size would rotate crew. And you get paid twelve months regardless of if your onboard or not.

I honestly can’t speak for submarine regulations

WhoriaEstafan275 karma

Do crew really get chosen by looks?

I have a friend who ended up on a boat purely because she’s blonde and they wanted an all blonde crew. (She had zero experience but is very gorgeous.)

Amster_damnit_23360 karma

Absolutely. Unfortunately, the industry is incredibly superficial. Unlike any other industry (to my knowledge) we have to have our headshot on our resume.

uncertain_expert222 karma

Most of these yachts appear to contain a lot of ‘toys’ for the owners and guests to use - Jetskis, scuba gear etc. Are you permitted to use such equipment during off-time? Is their recreational equipment provided just for crew use? Do you have sufficient personal storage space on board for a bike, fishing, scuba gear of your own?

Amster_damnit_23330 karma

Again it really depends on the boat when it comes to storage. Bigger boats have a little more room for the crew.

We are generally allowed to use the toys, as we are the ones that maintain them anyway. That makes days off a lot of fun.

BropolloCreed153 karma

Are their any ports or places that surprised you? Places the non-yacht-owning public wouldn't expect to be as nice (or, alternatley, terrible) as advertised/expected?

Amster_damnit_23343 karma

Halifax, Nova Scotia is a beautiful city. It is incredibly clean and has a really nice waterfront community.

insert-username12139 karma

Do you get tips, if so what was your largest?

Amster_damnit_23281 karma

My largest tip was 5K for a seven-day charter.

penny_eater7 karma

was that to you personally? i watched below deck only 1 or 2 times and it seemed like they literally always talked about the "Crew tip" that everyone had to earn (by making the guest enjoy themselves of course) and then split equally. Is that common or do you get tipped directly for your effort?

Amster_damnit_235 karma

It’s never cool when the tips aren’t even. The guests will sometime want to tip the crew they see the most, which fucks the engineers and the laundry girl and the housekeepers.

We all bust ass at our respective roles, tips are best split evenly.

jolly2691123 karma

As an aspiring yacht captain myself, what advice would you give me? Currently I work on a public tour boat as its 1st mate, and close to getting my 100 ton near coastal masters.

Amster_damnit_23240 karma

Honestly, stop working on the tour boat. Yachts are a very different type of work. I had a hard time adapting when I came to this side. Come to the yachts sooner

Dr_Doctor_Doc106 karma

Any adventures running the ship from one port to another without the owners to pick them up somewhere?

Ever pretend you’re an owner of the ship or act like a guest?

Amster_damnit_23161 karma

Sure! when we are underway without the boss, it is considered to be delivery mode. Deliveries are a lot of fun, and you get to see some pretty sweet things.

Sometimes the crew will stay in the guest cabins or eat at the main salon table, but we tend to stay in the crew area the majority of the time.

insert-username12104 karma

How much do you get paid, and when the owner is not onboard, what do you do?

RelativeSpeed113 karma

$1000/ft (length of boat in ft) is typical.

Edit: In another comment OP said the yacht is 153ft, so that’s $153k a year. Keep in mind that the cost of living is really low, so OP is keeping a lot of that.

Ferelar218 karma

Yes, but he has to pay tax to Poseidon, wiping out a significant amount of his profit.

Amster_damnit_23175 karma

This is true

Amster_damnit_2399 karma

1000 per foot is a standard for Captains when they start with a new family. The rest of the crew is not getting that kind of money

insert-username1229 karma

How does taxation work? Do you get taxed by the country, where the ship is registered?

Amster_damnit_2373 karma

you get taxed by your country of residence

exikon17 karma

Which I assume is the Netherlands based on your name?

Amster_damnit_2328 karma

No, I'm American actually

thegreatgazoo89 karma

Do you patrol the boat with a harpoon?

Amster_damnit_23115 karma

Of course

Dr_Doctor_Doc80 karma

Third question: What are some of the hidden perks of the job? (Apart from travel, sun, and sea?)

Amster_damnit_23170 karma

One of the biggest benefit other than the three that you listed is financial. Because of the cost of living is so low we can put money away well. I have paid off my student loans, and a good friend of mine paid for her Master's degree.

islandsimian77 karma

How realistic are the tips that are shown on "Below Deck"? Do you always get it in cash?

Amster_damnit_23111 karma

Very realistic, but three days is not common. most charters are seven days or more.

gerbdergerb75 karma

How does a clients financial status effect how you are treated ? As in a lottery winner vs a self made person or a billionaire vs millionaire . I’m guessing that a person of regular financial means isn’t renting a super yacht yet if they are guests do they act worse or better than a person of high financial status ?

Amster_damnit_23151 karma

I don't really see a difference in how much money people have, but a significant difference that you can tell is how long they have had the money. There is a significant difference in people that have grown up with their fortunes (old money) or the ones that are self-made.

ksobby57 karma

Mind elaborating on the differences a bit?

deciim78 karma

From resort experience and general celebrity experience on my end as a production assistant, I find older money tends to be less forgiving towards service industry types because they've never had to experience serving, or generally living from paycheck to paycheck, so they can be messier and tend to make you do a lot more without really thinking of their politness as an issue, so it's always more of a demand. Whereas I found people who are self-made understand those struggles and hurdles, so they always tend to say please and thank you, they clean up a lot better after themselves when they make messes, they also tip better. Old money I've found tends to try to find as many discounts as they can and cut as many costs as they can too.

Amster_damnit_23187 karma

See we see the exact opposite. Old money they are raised with help employees and help around at all times, and for the most part, they are raised to treat the staff with respect.

BlueWingedTiger68 karma

Scariest moment at sea?

Amster_damnit_23118 karma

Nothing too bad, small boats and heavy seas, stuff like that. I've been very lucky.

pittypitty59 karma

Have to ask but every movie depicts super yachts always hosting crazy parties, orgys, and a host of drugs in international waters. So yeah, pretty much everything went down.

What is fuel prices like for the yacht? MPG?

Amster_damnit_2360 karma

The Parties depend on the owners.

Fuel price depends on the port, the cruise is roughly 100 gallons an hour.

PmMeAmazonCodesPlz54 karma

How is the sex, and who is the sex with?

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey24 karma

One could only assume working this job makes you very popular with the ladies, as long as you're looking for boat diggers

jfresh2128 karma

I ain't sayin she a boat digger

Amster_damnit_23239 karma

But she aint messing with no sail rigger

Rockified53 karma

Favorite tea?

Amster_damnit_2398 karma

The tea is big with the foreign crew, especially the English and the South Africans. It's not really my taste, I'm more an Iced Tea or coffee guy.

MarshalThornton144 karma

What if I told you that Iced Tea is cold tea?

Amster_damnit_23250 karma

you need to spend more time in the south

hoplias45 karma

How did you get this job? Any specific experience required?

Amster_damnit_2384 karma

Yes, you have to start at the bottom of the totem pole and work your way up, gaining sea time and licenses along the way

realjd26 karma

What is the bottom of the totem pole for your industry?

Amster_damnit_2368 karma

Interior - Laundry Stew

Engine Room - Wiper

Deck - Deckhand

Galley - Crew Chef

Jaelanne44 karma

Do these boats hire nurses, and where could I apply? :) (I've long wanted to be a ship nurse for DCL)

Amster_damnit_2378 karma

Bigger yachts do, the jobs won't be too common, but if you google private yacht crew agents. and they might be able to give you more information.

ScaredOfTheMan32 karma

How big is your superyacht? What sort of speeds does your satellite internet get when you are at sea?

Amster_damnit_2354 karma

Currently, my boat is 153ft, and speed through the satellite is normally between 5 and 10 Mbps, but when we are inshore we can put Cellular SIM cards into our system and get around 25Mbps.

ScaredOfTheMan22 karma

Thank you! That's a big girl! Is the internet crazy expensive?

Amster_damnit_2354 karma

Yes, wildly expensive

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey17 karma

How expensive exactly if I might ask? I've always wanted to know how youtube 1080p quality unlimitted satellite internet costs as I want to travel the earth someday

Amster_damnit_2368 karma

Most boats will pay between 5-7k per month for internet

AyDoubleYouDee31 karma

I'm a 2nd onboard general cargo, are you on a permanent contract or is it 3 on 3 off?

Do you have a masters or chief COC?

Amster_damnit_2350 karma

I have a masters, but with limited tonnage . Still collecting sea time for my unlimited. We don’t all have rotation, my current boat it is a permanent contract, with leave similar to land jobs.

AyDoubleYouDee13 karma

Oh right i dont think i could do a permanent contract. Have you been on yachts all your career or did you change from somewhere else?

Amster_damnit_2322 karma

I was on the commercial side the first five years before coming to the white hulls.

Lokmann25 karma

What is the largest yacht you've worked on?

Amster_damnit_2346 karma


GarcondePisse25 karma

Do you ever watch Below Deck and think it's completely ridiculous? or are there times you can relate? Thank you

Amster_damnit_2334 karma

The short answer is yes to both of your questions.

jeffkeyz21 karma

Ever sail in the BVI (or Tortola specifically?) I used to live there circa mid-1990s.

Amster_damnit_2343 karma

I was just there two days ago! the BVI's are incredible!

AbsolutZer0_v219 karma

What's the LEAST expensive yacht you have run? Which port is your LEAST favorite, and why?

Amster_damnit_2341 karma

I ran a small chase boat that was worth about 750k.

I think my least favorite place was Papagayo, Costa Rica. very secluded and super expensive for crew

Playisomemusik19 karma

How big is your fuel tanks?

Amster_damnit_2342 karma

Depends on the boat, the largest boat I worked on held 45,000 US gallons

Joocemann18 karma

If you could retire and afford to live on a 65 foot yacht with a partner (spouse or friend) and travel often, would you? Would you rather live on land?

Amster_damnit_2352 karma

No, but I definitely want to travel as much as I can for as long as I can. I someday want to have my home base in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

eriikbeerg17 karma

Favorite toy on board? And what would be the dream toy to have on board?

Amster_damnit_2342 karma

Dream Toy is definitely a Sub, my favorite toy that we had was called an Iguana Boat. it is an amphibious tender that can drive up on land.

CausticCorner16 karma

There are many yacht types on the market with widely varying specs and costs. How do owners decide what yacht to buy or commission?

Amster_damnit_2333 karma

Its based on taste really, and cost. There are many factors too. How much crew you want, where you want to cruise, where you want to go...

graptemys8 karma

Have you been to Charleston, SC? When the superyachts dock here, it usually gets a good social media buzz as to who is in town.

Amster_damnit_236 karma

I love Charleston. I did my testing for my licensing there at the coast guard station

trambolino7 karma

Every time I walk past a Superyacht, they are playing Mambo No. 5. Why do people on yachts have such terrible taste in music?

Amster_damnit_2310 karma

No idea. I guess everyone’s taste differ, eh?

pizzamano7 karma

Have you ever sailed on-board a Princess Yacht? I know they are a little on the small side in the grand scheme of things but I'm interested to hear if you have. I currently work as an engineer in the factory. Same goes for any Side-Power stabilizers or thrusters? That was my previous place of work.

Amster_damnit_2318 karma

I have worked on a princess in the past, and to be honest, I wasn't impressed. The engine room is not very well organized, the helm was not set up for long passages, and the lack of a keel make her track like shit and skate while maneuvering.

just my opinion

Errol_Gibbings_III6 karma

How much illegal shit have you seen? I know trafficked girls are popular on these yachts for example. Have you seen anything that made you question your morals/ethics?

Amster_damnit_2334 karma

I have seen illegal shit, but when that happens we will end the trip and head back to the dock. There is a mentality that we will let anything go, but I have personally paid over 20,000 dollars in licensing and certification to have some dudes drug fueled night take away my livelihood.

What a lot of people don’t seem to grasp is that it is not the owner that gets in trouble for drugs and illegal shit, the captain and Crew does, and we lose our licenses.

giraffecommittee6 karma

Assuming you watch below deck, has any crew member done something that shocked you because they did/didn’t get fired for it?

Amster_damnit_239 karma

I don’t watch the show closely enough, but I did see where the kid fell overboard while setting up the tow. That was mind blowing to those of us that did that for real

iamblankenstein5 karma

is it feasible (or even possible) to get into this sort of work without a ton of experience? if so, is age a factor?

Amster_damnit_237 karma

Yes, Age is unfortunately a factor but if you have something to bring to the table like a background in carpentry or medical experience or something of the like and then you’ll be much more valuable.

leek545 karma

What makes a superyacht? Is it over a certain size or certain amenities?

Amster_damnit_236 karma

Super I think is over 100 feet

TacCom5 karma

How many meals do you cook a day? Does the sous-chief take on his share of work or is he just a dishwasher?

Amster_damnit_235 karma

I make my breakfast, then the chef provides lunch and dinner

Trans_am19783 karma

So the owners of these boats? What are the specifics of them? Like, whats some really good private information you can give?

Amster_damnit_235 karma

Most of them seem to really enjoy boats.

Winter_Lee3 karma

What brand is the chair that you are sitting on?

Amster_damnit_2310 karma

Stidd. They make really nice helm seats.

Edit: Not currently Underway, just sitting in the bridge

TheJonThomas3 karma

What's your personal favorite port to visit?

Amster_damnit_235 karma

Compass key in the Bahamas

squid50s0 karma

Can you please provide proof?

Amster_damnit_2325 karma

My proof contains my full name and home address, along with my mariner number and other personal details. I have verified it with the mod team confidentially.

Tronkfool0 karma

How good is your Arabic?

Amster_damnit_231 karma

Not great, may I ask why?

[deleted]-29 karma


Amster_damnit_2321 karma

Come on, don’t ruin the fun here