The Cost of Crew Rotation for the SuperYacht

How much will it cost the Owner?

On average, the financial cost of implementing a rotational schedule for your crew aboard your superyacht will increase crew rates by approximately 10%. While this is without doubt a cost to consider and one that may prove prohibitive to yachts with lesser budgets to work with, the alternative costs of not implementing a rotational schedule can often be both financially and productively more expensive.

Firstly, there are the financial costs to take into consideration. If implementing a rotational schedule for all members of your crew, both internal crew (captain, engineers, deckhands) and external crew (stewards, chefs, pursers) will increase your salary costs by 10%, can you expect an increase in productivity by 10% or more? The short answer is yes. In fact, the longer a rotational schedule is in place, the more benefits can be had in the form of productivity, experience and specialization by the members of your crew.

Take for example a chief engineer who begins working on your ship. This engineer may not have experience on your particular vessel, but they are generally knowledgeable and very capable. By implementing a rotational schedule for this engineer and subsequently giving them a period of leave between outings, they are well rested and operating at closer to peak performance for a higher percentage of their time aboard your ship. In addition to that, they are far less likely to experience burnout from being at sea for extended periods of time, and thus are much more prone to staying in your employ. This assures that this particular engineer, along with their experience and expertise, stay with your vessel. As time passes and they become more knowledgeable of your particular vessel, they become even more valuable as an intrinsic member of your crew. This is an investment in the form of both pay and experience and you can expect a return on this investment in the form of knowledge, expertise and competency.

Over the course of years, investing this pay and experience in your crew is necessary to maintain the most functional and knowledgeable crew you have access to. Financially, in the long term, the question is really if you can afford to not implement a rotational schedule for your crew. The job market (being exactly that: a market) will offer the most experienced and knowledgeable crew members more of a choice when it comes to their contracted vessel. You must retain these valuable crew members for as long as possible. And the longer they are retained, the more valuable they become.

The benefits of retaining these crew members as their value (read: experience, knowledge and expertise) increase go well beyond 10%. We must keep in mind how expensive a major issue aboard a ship at sea can be. Avoiding just one major issue over the course of several years can save you hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, not to mention the functionality of the ship itself, or even your life or the life of your crew. These last items, as we all know, go beyond any price tag.