The ‘Below Deck’ Crew Dishes on Whether You Make More Money on a Private Versus Charter Yacht

When it comes to making the most money in yachting, charter work seems to be the best way to go. A number of crew members from Below Deck gathered in the Watch What Happens Live Clubhouse for a 100th episode celebration.

Below Deck 100th Episode Celebration
Below Deck 100th Episode Celebration |Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

They revealed that although working on a private yacht may not be as exhausting as a charter you don’t see the same tip money. Host Andy Cohen asked Captain Lee Rosbach about the average number of charters most yachties do in a year. The crew shared that it can depend on the vessel, but Rosbach says on average, up to 15. “On a really, really busy boat, we’ll do an excess of 18 or 20,” Rosbach shared during the Below Deck After Show.

Cohen then wanted to know which crew members have worked on both charter and private yachts. The majority of the crew raised their hands that, in addition to charters as seen on Below Deck, they’ve worked on a private yacht.

Most prefer to work charters for the money

When it came down to which they would prefer, most leaned toward charters mainly because of the cash. “They stay on the boat, they never leave,” chief stew Kate Chastain said about private yachting. “They don’t tip, they just live there!” But in the background stew Amy Johnson said she prefers a private yachting experience.

Bosun Kelley Johnson explains why charters are preferable. “During the charter, it’s better money,” he says. “So you work harder on a charter, it’s better money, you get better tips.” The crew chatters about their experiences. Chastain adds, “They never leave!” But Amy Johnson insists private yacht owners will leave. “If you’ve got good people,” she says. “You exceed expectations easy because you know exactly what they want. Private all day long.”

Bosun Nico Scholly says it depends on what kind of lifestyle you prefer too. “It depends where you are in life,” he says. “If you are trying to be young, party and be a yachtie and make some money, let’s go. But if you’re older, not older, but you’re more stablized … it’s all about the cash.”

What is considered to be a good tip?

Deckhand Trevor Walker says you get a flat rate pay on a private yacht whereas charters you can add in the tip money. “But still you get a family, like what Amy says.”

Bosun João Franco from Below Deck Mediterranean told Showbiz Cheat Sheet he’s heard of crew members making nearly $45,000 in tip money alone. “On charter boats, tips can be as much as €4,000 per person, per week and in some cases even more,” he said. “We’ve heard of crew members that rack up €40,000 in a summer season each, just on tips!” 

Recently, Chastain told morning show host Elvis Duran she banked close to $20,000 from three charters.  “I really don’t keep track because I’m so busy,” Chastain said. “I’m like, ‘That sounds good, let’s keep going!’ But, in December of 2013, I made $19,000.”