“I started [in yachting] because I fell in [love] with [the] south of France!! So just stumbled my way through it,” she tweeted. “That’s why I created @oceaninttraina – because it’s really hard to know where to start! And it’s good pay. Chief stew is around €5000 per month with no expenses! So no rent or bills!”
Ferrier later clarified that the salary matched what a chief stew would make on a 40-meter yacht. “A 6 week season is a Below Deck season and Below Deck is filmed which is another job altogether! A standard chief stew on a 40m is €5000 per month,” she shared. In dollars, €5000 per month shakes out to more than $6,000. Work year-round and a chief stew could make more than $70,000 a year.
Living without expenses adds more value to a yachtie’s salary
Living rent-free, plus having your food covered, allows many yachties to save a considerable amount of money. A chief stew told Refinery 29 in 2019 that she was able to save the majority of her salary, banking about $4,500 a month. “I don’t have to pay taxes as I don’t reside in my home country, or anywhere for more than six months at a time,” she added.
In 2019, Rhylee Gerber told Showbiz Cheat Sheet boat owners will also pay for nearly anything the crew wants or needs. “If I wanted $60 face cream, it would be paid for,” she laughed. She also said the cash she made in yachting allowed her to meet her wanderlust thirst. She spent a few months traveling the country in a van she retrofitted into a home.
“Of course I’m very frugal and live a pretty minimalist lifestyle,” she said. “But I was able to stretch the two months I worked on My Seanna on Below Deck [Season 6], plus about 60 days working in Alaska.”
Colin Macy-O’Toole from Below Deck Mediterranean said if he’d known how much money he could earn, he would have jumped into yachting right out of college.
“I’d probably start right out of college at age 22 and then put in about five years of work on yachts,” he told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “Depending on where you live, you could even save enough money to buy a house.”
João Franco reveals one big drawback of the job
João Franco from Below Deck Med told Showbiz Cheat Sheet the money is amazing in yachting. But actually saving it can be a challenge. “Yachties are also known to grow accustomed to this type of money,” he said. Spending hard-earned tip money during crew nights out is very easy to do.
“In between charters or after a long charter season, some yachties will spend a couple of thousand euro in over a weekend,” he added. But he said the travel and expense-free life is something that offers unique opportunities for the crew.
“On private yachts, there is definitely more free time to enjoy different coastlines and countries,” he described. “On the bigger boats, mainly charter, we’d sometimes be lucky to set foot on land in a port we’re docked in before we head to the next destination. If we are fortunate enough to get a few days in between charters we would be able to go and venture out.”