How to become the Captain on a Yacht

Have you ever wanted to live out your dreams of sailing the seas on luxury yachts? Being the captain of a yacht might be the best way of being in charge, living on and handling one of these prestigious vessels. You cannot become captain in just one day and it requires time and devotion. Are you passionate enough for the challenge?


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Requirements: If you want to become the captain of a ship/yacht, you will have to work your way up the ranks. Every captain starts by being a ship mate on deck, following the captain’s orders while also helping your fellow crew mates in their jobs. Once you have a few years of experience as a mate you can work towards getting the right licenses and qualifications to steer and command a yacht. To steer any kind of ship you will need a boating license and be familiar with all the safety codes at sea. Always remember that being the captain of a yacht is different than a common boat or ship for transportation of passengers or freight. The people on yachts expect excellent service and as a captain you need to keep a polished image and personality to match the yacht in your control.

Skills: Adaptable nature, problem-solver, navigation, ship engineering/mechanics knowledge, responsible, managing, communicative, computer knowledge, financial planning and more.


1 You manage everyone
As the captain you are responsible for everyone and giving orders. Remember to be reasonable and not use your power for your own advantage. As a captain, you are also part of the team and you are supposed to be a leader (and not just a mean dictator). Especially at sea it is very important to be friendly with your crew to keep a relaxed, yet professional, atmosphere and harmony between your crewmates.

2 You are closest with the yacht owners and guests
As the captain of the crew you automatically get to be in close contact with the owners of the yacht and charter guests. This also means that you have the most possibilities of building business connections within the yachting industry. However, keep in mind that you should be the first one to attend to the guests needs, and you will be the most responsible for serving the clients. A captain is the main contact person of the yacht and also needs to know every feature and squarefoot of the vessel.

3 No risks
It is the duty of the captain to steer and navigate the yacht safely and risk-free. You should make rational decisions and not be dangerously adventurous. Everyone onboard with you is expecting your professionalism and safety at all times. Avoid dangerous maneuvers and be meticulous about your calculations and intuition.


4 Maintenance
You have engineers to help you with keeping up and repairing the boat. Nevertheless, you are part of the team to maintain the yacht at a flawless standard. You also control the refits and necessary repairs that need to be executed. As mentioned previously, you should know every corner of the yacht and keep track of what needs to be done very precisely.

5 Yacht size matters
Depending on the size of the yacht you are managing, your duties vary as well. Small vessels require more practical work from the captain, whereas larger ones are more administrative in nature for the captain (including finances, planning, etc.).

– Thank you for reading! –

Would you be up for the challenge? Let us know what you think or if we missed anything in the comments 🙂

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