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Old 07-12-2007, 17:37   #1
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Captian Sailing Wage

I'm in the process of working towards my 6 pack, what can I expect as far as wage if I were to work for a charter company?


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Old 07-12-2007, 17:51   #2
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You're in luck; there's a whole thread about it already.

delivery fee


Nevermind, didn't see the charter thing. But it's still a good read for someone getting into the business.

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Old 07-12-2007, 21:44   #3

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Don't expect to get rich, or even middle class with a 6-pac. In the San Francisco bay area, a VERY expensive place to live, if you can get $20/hr as an employee working for someone else you're doing pretty good.

There are exceptions... but not a lot.
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Old 07-12-2007, 21:57   #4
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I can't point at anything difinitive but it looks like at the Cruise Ship" end of the spectrum it's upwards of US$120k. Ferry Boat captains look like 80-100k. The charter world is a broad spectrum. I bet there are owner / captains doing fishing charters making less than $40k a year.

I think this is an industry where you have to put in lot's of hours at miserable pay while building experience. It's a labor of love for the first 10-15 years in my opinion.

To compare against comercial aviation, an airilne pilot today may invest +$20k in training in order to qualify to fly a turbo prop or co-pilot in a bizjet for 18-20k a year. Once the hours are built up, he/she might win a copilot seat in a regional jet making 25-30k. Eventually, if the airline doesn't go belly up, get absorbed or experience a huge layoff, an airline pilot could win a pilot's seat based on seniority making upwards of $150k.

While boating isn't that structured, I bet paying your dues is about the same.
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Old 07-12-2007, 22:06   #5
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I don't mind paying the dues, Im only 28 so I think I have a little time. Im not really in it for the money, but its nice to know that I can make a living. I'm really just in it for the lifestyle. Theres something to be said about working outside on the ocean.
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Old 08-12-2007, 22:11   #6
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I know a couple guys who teach sailing and do day charters and they don't get paid squat. I did not get paid squat doing the same thing while in college over 20 years ago. I will be nice and not mention the business. Get a better license than a 6-pack and look for merchant jobs hauling things and not hauling people out for fun and you will do much better for yourself. No, it is not as glamorous as being on a yacht, but the pay is better. There are all kinds of jobs out there for qualified merchant mariners right now. You will have to work your way up the hawse pipe as an Ordinary deckhand, but it's a start. It's really a profession where the level of your license means quite a bit. (Please, hold the comments about holding a license meaning nothing ) does matter as far as the types of jobs you can be hired for. The greater the license, the greater the responsibility and the greater the paycheck.

In terms of size, the merchant marine dwarfs the yacht industry.

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Old 09-12-2007, 00:42   #7

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I also was going to suggest the idea of just working as a deckhand. Why?

Nobody will hire you as a paid (paid enough to eat) captain with a freshly minted 6 pack. Deckhand is where you start and you need to pay your dues working your way up the chain.

Deckhands probably make more than an inexperienced captain would anway:

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Old 09-12-2007, 06:10   #8
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It's hard to make much money with a six pack boat, let alone just the license on someone elses boat. As an example, if you have a Masters license and can run a more than 6 passenger inspected boat, and you become a dive instructor, and you spend time learning the area as a boat slave and divemaster for a while, then in the Fl. keys you might be able to find a job captaining a large dive boat for $100-150 a day.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:33   #9
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ssullivan, those wages you provided don't look bad at all. As I said before I would prefer to charter people around the islands but I would consider other options to gain the experience I need first.

You've said working on someone elses charter boat wouldn't provide the same kind of pay check - what about those who own and operate their own charter boat privately. Is that worth doing - would they make a good wage. Anyone with experience?


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