Superyachts helping the economy? How does a $70 million yacht help anyone besides the people who are enjoying its luxury? It may even seem challenging to come up with some answers if you’ve never worked on one or had the joy of listening to stories of someone who did. But rest assured, whether it’s building a yacht from the ground up, or having a deck hand polishing the rails on a daily basis, this moving island helps our economy in more ways than one.
Yacht Crew Jobs
Superyachts are owned by one per cent of the worlds richest, which means it caters to them and all of their five-star needs. Whether that’s a stewardess serving up a cocktail on the aft deck, the chef planning, prepping and cooking for eight guests, three times daily, deckhands pulling out the jet skis and cleaning the hull or the captain and first mate navigating it safely into port, the crew of these vessels are just the tip of the employment iceberg that superyachts help maintain.
While the number of the crew depends on the size of the yacht, each crewmember has a specific and important job to ensure the needs of all guests or owners are over exceeded. Crew salaries depend on the ranking, and like other professions, you can move up your status by obtaining tickets or attending courses to further yourself and your education in the industry. While a yacht’s crew could range between 3 and 30, there are thousands of yachts around the world all in need of high service working professionals. Someone’s gotta do it, right?
Yachting Industry Growth
Although the yachting crew may be the most obvious, they are certainly not the end to the employment chain. While the crew lives on board and attends to the guests needs, they don’t have time to catch the shellfish, invent the varnish or grow the teak. The yacht industry is steadily growing and relies on a lot of other businesses, companies and employers for services or items when they travel from port to port and country to country. You could look even farther back when a yacht is in the building stage and include the architects, boat manufacturers, mechanics and electricians needed for production. On a more daily basis you can look at as provisioners, carpenters, farmers, dock workers, interior designers, florists, vineyards, retailers, marine companies. The list goes is endless. The yachting industry touches a lot of surrounding areas and all of these companies benefit from their purchases, which are typically on the larger end of the scale.
Tourism – Yacht Cruises, Vacations & Charters
Traveling. That is the purpose of yacht excursions, right? Along with yachts come spending money from the crew and the guests onboard. Think about your last vacation. Did you sit inside your hotel all day long or did you walk around town, eat out, shop and explore? This is exactly what the guests do. Their dollars spent ashore are substantial in helping the tourism industry, no matter what port they step foot in.
When you factor in the industrial costs and dockage, refitting or repairs, fuel, food, liquor, and services, it adds up. According to Tourism Auckland, a record 57 superyachts cruised into New Zealand last season, each of them said to have contributed over $1 million to the local economy. That’s a good chunk of money you don’t want to miss out on if you can help it.
Take a step back and think of the infrastructure this seaside destination had to build in order for the yachts to arrive in the first place. The length of their dockage, the amenities and even the hospitality encourages tourism growth in cities that may have otherwise been overlooked because they’re now accessible ports to superyachts and the money that comes with them. The crew also spends a significant amount ashore. When you work on a yacht, surrounded by the wealthy, you start to take on parts of their lifestyle. Let’s be honest, the crew’s first night out after a charter could keep all the nearest pubs afloat.
It would be impossible to like all of the reasons superyachts help the economy. However, here are a few that deserve honorable mention. Boat Shows are hosted at yacht ‘hot spots’ throughout the year bring hundred of boats, thousands of crew and recognition to the yachting industry as a whole, as well as the businesses they support. Last, disaster clean-ups – just recently M/Y Dragonfly got sent to Vanuatu [http://www.superyachts.com/news/superyacht-dragonfly-deployed-to-vanuatu-to-aid-cyclone-crisis-3722.htm] to help with transport and the clean up of Cyclone Pam, showing that although they do help economically, they also have many other good qualities.