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Going rate for a Captain on a one year contract?

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by Pelagic Dreams, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    When we purchase our new 65' Trawler we would want a full time Captain for at least a year to run the boat. The goal is to learn the ways of the sea, the critical systems, and be able to some day crew the boat as a husband and wife team. As an owner, I can fix or repair just about anything. We are talking about spending at least 6 months plus a year at sea; island hopping, entended stays, no agenda cruising as a plan. We both dive, love to work, and don't mind any challenge.
    What is the expected wage in today's dollars for that type of arrangement? Our boat would have crew quaters and nothing other than the title of "Captain" would be required. Cleaning, polishing, all maintainence would be our job with direction of the captain.
  2. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    $50 - $60,000 would be in the ballpark.
  3. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    $1,000.00 per foot per yer = $65,000.00.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'm curious about what that means to you. It surprises me how many people think that a captain is a captain is a captain. You could have a "6-packer" (U.S.) that has no experience other than running a 26 foot boat around his local bay, but you'll really want a lot more than that. As a general rule look for someone whow has had his license and worked in the industry at least 5 years (preferably more than 10). You want someone with experience on the size vessel you're planning to buy and who has experience cruising.
    Any captain worth his salt will be shoulder to shoulder with you on this. Don't be surprised if, by the end of a year, you're calling him "friend".
    The numbers Capt. Bill11 quoted are in the ballpark, but it will vary depending on actual need. Will you cruise a day here and a week there? In which case you might hire by the day plus maybe or maybe not manage the boat, and the rate will vary with your location. Or will you be cruising extensively and want someone who lives on board full-time? Give a lot of thought to what you'll really need and expect. You don't want to hire an MBA to dig a ditch, and you don't want a ditch digger to run your corporation if you get my drift.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Not even close. They want to spend "6 months plus, a year at sea", that is not the same usage as a typical owner. That type of cruising on a trawler typically means very long hours and lots of overnight voyages. They also stated they want a Captain to teach them how to operate the vessel on their own. I would say $65-75k for someone that is very experienced, but you should be able to find someone capable for $65k.
  6. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    "We are talking about spending at least 6 months plus a year at sea; island hopping, entended stays, no agenda cruising as a plan."

    They're version of ""at sea" doesn't sound like the same as yours. Island hopping sounds more like day trips to me. But if you are right that would change things a bit.

    So $60,000 is "not even close" to $65,000? :rolleyes:
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Not to a lot of people.......almost 10% in pay definately will make a lot of people say yes or no...........If you expect $40 an hour for a job, what would you think of $36 an hour........ or $36k a year and are offered $32k a year...... $1,000 per foot has been the standard for a decade now, inflation has gone up. I've turned down several full time jobs at $1200 per foot......or even more......
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    So, Pelagic Dreams, as you can see there are many variables. The more specific you can be about your needs and desires, the better you can nail it down. Starting with your definition of "nothing other than the title of "Captain" would be required". The way I read the OP, it says they'd like to cruise 6 months of the year. It didn't say they'd be cruising 6 months of that first year with the captain nor whether their plan for that year would be to stay in motion or just short hops of a few days here and there. It also didn't say the caliber of captain, nor where they'd be looking for one, or even if they require him to be licensed. There are a lot of people who would be happy to make $50K or less to work with these folks for a year (going home to their own beds most nights). There are also lots of guys who hold the title "captain" (and even have a license) and don't know didly and do even less. There are also "captains" who wouldn't touch this gig for less than $100K because they might be expected to live in a cramped "crew quarters" dungeon like I've seen on more than a few 65 footers, and be at their beck and call 24/7. You may include things like all or some meals, insurance or a car. I've worked with several people in this boat range and made nothing near $50K, because I was able to work with others at the same time. That year (which often turned into 2 or 4 or 6) was spent day cruising, with one or two extended cruises for from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. I worked per day and on some recieved monthly compensation to manage their boat.
    What I don't want to hear in an interview is: "Our boat would have crew quaters and nothing other than the title of "Captain" would be required. Cleaning, polishing, all maintainence would be our job with direction of the captain." That could mean anything or everything. Try to be more specific. I realize that's difficult at this stage, but it's sort of like applying for a job. If what you indicate turns out to be smoke and mirrors nobody will be happy; not you and not the "captain".
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The original question was about Getting an idea of the typical pay, nothing more. Details aren't that important beyond that.

    Personally i think it s not just about the money but finding the boat/owner/program combo which matches. I d rather make less but do a lot if cruising vs spending most of the time at the dock and doing a few cocktail cruises a month. Just like i prefer a boat which also does charters while many captains may not

    On the other hand some guys will prefer staying close to home and sleep at home every night

    To each is own...
  10. Pelagic Dreams

    Pelagic Dreams Senior Member

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    You guys are right, I need to be more specific. What I don't want is someone to think we want to hire "staff" Other than the running of the boat, the captain would not have to serve drinks or such.
    To a second point, when we say Island hopping...we are talking about working our way down the Bahama's to the windward islands throughout the Caribb. We might port for days, or weeks, we are talking about extended cruising, yes, some overnight runs @ 10 knots.
    You are right, the Captain would have to have expierience at this tonnage, and these waters. For the most part, we want to learn the running of the boat inside and out....all non specialized matainence, oil, filters, strainers, AC units, inverters, gen-set maint. etc.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    From what you are saying, you are going to need a very seasoned captain, one that knows "all non specialized matainence, oil, filters, strainers, AC units, inverters, gen-set maint. etc" so that he can teach it to you. Also you're going to need a knowledgable Captain to do night passages and such. The trick is finding a Captain that is looking for that type of program. When looking, I would state something along the lines of "we are self-sufficient and the Captain is not expected to serve the owners drinks, food, etc etc." and we will assist with the day to day operations and maintanence of the vessel. I would guess $65k a year would suffice for a Captain, maybe more/maybe less. Find your Captain first, then see what he would like to make. Someone who is into your routine, and vessel, and one that fits in with you and your wife. Remember, if you're spending 6 months together on a 65' you had better be able to be very very good friends.

    Keep in mind, Captains come in all sorts. I know some very very good Captains, that don't know how to properly fix or maintain anything. I also know other Captains that can fix and maintain but can't navigate properly, etc. And some are good at all of the above, but very poor boat handlers in tight quarters. And then of course, you have some that are very good all-around.
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    And then you have captains who can't anchor the **** boat! Two of those clowns driving 80 footers almost dragged into me yesterday :)
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    But we are not that many...:p
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It sounds like a relaxed boat that will move and a grand adventure. (There's not enough money in the world for me to work on a dock queen). I think you'll be able to find a young, skilled captain who'll do it for 50K to 60K. I know my personal dream is to do the entire Great Loop before I retire and will cut one heck of a deal for the right situation.
  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Just the two of us...? :D
  16. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    We paid 130K per year for a Captain and Wife crew team, similar use / requirements to yours. This was a decent amount of cruising, a good amount of hands on training with myself and the particular boat (Grand Banks 59) from him (captain) to me and she worked as a 'cross functional' deck hand, cook, stew, etc.
  17. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Pelagic Dreams check your PM box.
  18. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Captain cost

    I really should not reply to this.....50-60 k is a great deal for an experienced Captain in "this economy"..if you compare to an experience tradesman who serves 2500 hrs plus school time every year and see how many out of work due to being used to 45 and 50 dollars per hour it gives one a different perspective of "value".
    One has to reduce their expectations for income based on facts not wishes, your value as an employee is what an economy can afford.

    for an experienced Captain, that job is a paid vacation...if the boat and owner are no good..quit...
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Never worked as a captain I see. It is never a vacation, and most of us have way more than 2500 hours of sea time which is a whole lot harder than any school time (and we have school time as well). We're often called on to work 24/7 and have the responsibility for multi-million dollar toys and people's lives. That sir is a bit more than a tradesman.
    P.S. My rates are going up this year to compensate for the oil inflation and because there are fewer boats to work. So expect to pay more this year, not less, for everything done on your boat from captains to boat washers. You'll probably be able to find a captain crash around for cheap money though I'm sure if you don't mind your boat getting destroyed.
  20. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Paid vacation? Where do I sign up? :D :rolleyes:

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