All that is gold does not glitter

Mere mortals could be shocked when hearing what amount of money some of the richest people spend privately. For instance, if there is a need for a specific dish, it is not a problem to use a ship’s helicopter or seaplane just to transport a crew member to buy some vine tomatoes from a nearby Pacific atoll. This is just a trifle in the outrageous life of billionaires.

Sounds like a dream

Last year showed a high demand in orders of new superyachts, longer than 24 metres. It is related with the increase of billionaires too. This leads to the expansion of the superyacht industry – there were more than 500 vessels built worldwide in 2017. The majority of these yachts stand in need of at least 100 staff members. Thus, human resources and employment in the industry nowadays exceed 37 000 people. In addition, even universities see the possibility to contribute and take advantage – some of them offer degree-level training. Even though, the rise of interest is related with the demand, the quality also becomes an important factor and gives competitive advantage.

Can turn into a nightmare

All that is gold does not glitter. Many extra hours, stress, pressure, accidents, injuries and even deaths are the part of the industry too. Countless superyachts are floating on the water without being enrolled in any country. It helps avoid paying tax. Meanwhile, this situation leads to poorer labour conditions – because the legal protections are different than on the land.

When things go wrong it is quite complicated for crew and their families to know what law and rights apply. Superyachts are running in international waters. Moreover, management companies are taking care of their day-to-day operation. Lastly, vessels usually are registered via offshore companies in other countries even if they are not placed there.

In short, living on board is wonderful for owners and guests, but crew members might find it challenging in many aspects.

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