‘Below Deck’: What’s the Biggest Difference Between a Luxury Motoryacht Versus Sailing Yacht Vacation?

As Below Deck viewers gear up for the franchise’s newest installment, Below Deck Sailing Yacht, the crew explains the difference between a motor yacht versus a sailing yacht vacation.

Luxus-4-Mast-Segelyacht "Star Flyer"
Luxus-4-Mast-Segelyacht “Star Flyer”, Andamanen-See, Thailand, Asien, Schiff, Segelschiff, Reise, BB, DIG; P.-Nr. | Peter Bischoff/Getty Images

Below Deck chief stew Kate Chastain chatted with the crew of Parsifal III. The luxury sailing yacht has all the same amenities and grandeur as any motor yacht seen on the series, but with a few significant differences. The Below Deck Sailing Yacht trailer already hints at how a voyage aboard a large sailing yacht differs from a motor yacht experience. Cameras capture the vessel leaning on an angle as a crew member (or passenger) literally slides across the deck.

Also, the deck crew may need to scale one of the massive sails if there is an issue or if the sail requires maintenance. Although Below Deck Sailing Yacht promises the same drama and intrigue with both guests and crew, how will this series be different?

It’s about the journey and not the destination

The trailer shows the crew launching the sails as Captain Glenn Shephard alerts his team that the upcoming sail will be “more exciting than the previous sailing we’ve been doing.” Then the sailing yacht tips as the water angrily clashes with the vessel and kitchen utensils slide across the galley kitchen. A guest is seen gripping onto a table and “This is crazy!” is heard in the background.

The only time crew or guests are seeing in motion on Below Deck or Below Deck Mediterranean is if the yacht momentarily hits rough seas. But when it comes to sailing, being in motion is the goal. Shephard explains how a sailing yacht is different. “On a sail yacht, the journey is the destination,” he explains. “Whereas on a motor yacht you go from ‘A’ to ‘B’. Get all the jetskis out.” Chastain points out it is about the journey and not the destination.

Chief engineer Byron Hissey says most sailors have a serious passion for the job. “All the crew that work on sailboats do it for the love of sailing,” he points out.

The vibe is also different too

The trailer shows the crew mainly working in t-shirts and crew polo shirts. Whereas Below Deck and Below Deck Med have the crew in their white and black uniforms, proudly donning epaulettes. Shephard agrees that the vibe is different on sailboats. “It’s also a little less formal,” he remarks.

“It’s not about the pretense about the polish of the silverware, [but instead] it’s about the formality of the lines and the sails,” Chastain observes. Chastain adds, “It’s a different kind of elegance.” In the trailer, Shephard offers his view of sailing. “Sailing on a superyacht brings back the whole romance of the sea. We have all the luxury of a motor yacht.”

Cameras show chef Adam Glick serving one of his famous five-star dishes to one of the guests. But at the same time stew, Madison Stalker exclaims, “Holy ship we’re sailing!”

Chef Adam says sailing is an entirely different experience

Glick gives a preview of what it’s like to cook on a luxury sailing yacht too. “The second those sails go up, the whole boat catches wind, and then …” Glick makes a smashing sound, gesturing the boat turning on its side. That means Glick’s neatly appointed kitchen basically explodes as pans and utensils are tossed across the room.

He shared how cheffing on the sailing yacht was different. “Everything has to be locked down,” he shared. “My trashcans, knives. Tomatoes will just roll right off the countertop. This is not a stabilized vessel.”

Glick also has to be ready for bad weather too. “There’s nothing else to do but drink and eat,” he shares.