How Much Do Yachties Make On ‘Below Deck?’

Private yacht
Working on a yacht has advantages.| Marcus B Official via Instagram

If you follow Bravo’s Below Deck you know the crew takes a ton of abuse and puts in hard work for the tip. In addition to the crew’s salary, collective tips can be as high as $30,000. In one season alone, the crew earned $168,000–just from tips, according to Bravo.

When you see that kind of cabbage bring thrown around, it makes dressing up like a drag queen, throwing the world’s worst foam party and kowtowing to insane food requests somewhat palatable.  But in addition to the all-important tip, what do yachties regularly make? According to Crewfinders, an industry-based resource, base pay depends on boat size. For instance, a first officer on a 70′ to 100′ vessel might make anywhere from $48,000 to $60,000 a year. Whereas the same position on a 190′ boat would command a salary of $80,000 or more.

Generally, all crew members should be licensed in areas of firefighting, first aid and CPR and personal safety, according to YPI Crew. However, each position requires different training, licensing and receives a different salary. So what does Captain Lee, Captain Sandy, Hannah, Ben or Eddie possibly be making in their positions? Read on.


Yacht captains can make well over $200,000 annually according to Crewfinders. According to Worldwide Boat, yachts on the show ranged from being 150′ (Ionian Princess)  to 177′ (Talisman Maiton). Based on those sizes Captain Lee, Captain Mark or Captain Sandy could have made anywhere from $120,000 to $180,000 a year on the low end. Possibly up to $210,00 a year.

Becoming a superyacht captain is no easy feat. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in maritime transportation, yacht captains should also have deckhand experience, according to Captains must also take the Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) exam and clear a security and background check.


Below Deck yacht chefs stole many viewers’ hearts and taste buds–even when they were cooking with onions when they shouldn’t (Adam). Most yacht chefs should have some maritime training, including STCW 95 Basic Safety Training, according to Maritime Professional Training. They should also graduate from a recognized culinary school and have luxury restaurant experience. For instance, Ben Robinson worked under Italian master chefs in Florence, Italy and had an apprenticeship at three-Michelin Star restaurant in England. Yacht chefs make anywhere from $70,000 to $100,000, Crewfinder reports.


Below Deck‘s bosuns have shown leadership, but a few also did plenty of kanoodling with other crew members too (Eddie and Conrad). Bosun salaries range from $48,000  to $52,000 on one of the “smaller” show vessels to almost $60,000 on the larger ones, according to Crewfinder. In addition to experience as a deckhand, a bosun should have a general overall understanding of deck duties and experience driving guest tenders, according to Super Yacht UK.

Chief Stewardess

The chief stewardess (or chief stew)  is in charge of the interior portion of the vessel and staff. The position pays anywhere from $62,00 to $75,000 for the smaller boat to $65,00 to $80,000 for larger yachts, according to Crewfinders. Chief stewardesses must have bartending, silver service, cigar service, and wine presentation and service, according to Work on a Yacht. Additionally, chief stews must have STCW BST certification. And it is recommended to also have ENG1 Seafarer Medical Certificate or its equivalent. Some chief stews take courses to become certified as a yacht’s Medical Person-in-Charge.


The second and third stewardess positions support the chief stewardess. Salaries range from $50,000 up to $70,000 depending upon yacht size, according to Crewfinders. Like the chief stew position, stews are required to have STCW BST certification, according to Work on a Yacht. Also, bartending, table service and having silver service experience is important.


Deckhands help launch and dock the yacht. But also tend to be the go-to employees for dressing up in silly costumes or participating in guests’ challenges on Below Deck. They typically make anywhere from $40,000 to $55,000 a year, according to Crewfinders.

In addition to boating experience, deckhands should have scuba experience, know how to perform maintenance on a yacht, which includes small repairs and cleaning. Deckhands may help guests with luggage, drive the tender and get those “all important” toys in the water every single time. Many vessels require maritime training, including STCW 95 Basic Safety Training, according to Maritime Professional Training.

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