The Below Deck crew members have the unique opportunity to earn income from both their actual jobs on the yacht and from being filmed for the Bravo reality show. However, there have been instances where the network has offered low salaries to the TV personalities, leading to negotiations and discussions about raises.
The Below Deck franchise, which premiered in 2013, provides viewers with an inside look at how the wealthy vacation on luxury yachts. Each season features familiar faces and introduces new crew members. While sailing the high seas may sound idyllic, the crew faces challenges such as demanding charter guests. Fans are curious about the salaries of different crew positions, from deckhands to chief stews.
On a yacht like My Seanna, which is an 185-foot vessel accommodating 12 charter guests and 12 crew members, the salaries can be quite substantial. Second and third junior stews, who handle laundry and table scaping, earn around $5,000 per month. A chief stew, responsible for the interior of the yacht, can make up to $6,000 per month. The chef, who plays a crucial role in satisfying the guests’ hunger, typically earns $7,000 to $10,000 per month, depending on their training and experience.
Deckhands usually earn $4,500 per month, while the bosun makes $5,000. It might be expected that the deck crew would earn more due to the physical demands and potential danger of their work. However, Bravo has not disclosed the salaries of the captains, such as Lee Rosbach, Sandy Yawn, and Glenn Shephard. Estimates suggest that experienced captains like Captain Lee could earn between $150,000 and $210,000 per year.
While the exact amount is unknown, some viewers speculate that Bravo pays each crew member a few thousand dollars per episode. Although this is significantly less than what Real Housewives stars earn, which can reach up to one million dollars per season, it is still a decent amount for yachties wanting to save their earnings.
Aside from their salaries, crew members also receive tips after each charter. Fans particularly enjoy seeing the tip meetings on the show. Crew members have earned anywhere from $18,000 to $25,000 in tips per charter on previous seasons of Below Deck. Depending on how the tip is divided among the crew, this can mean an additional $1,500 or more per person. Over a six-week charter season, this can add up to at least an extra $15,000 in their annual income.
Working on a superyacht comes with additional perks. Crew members enjoy a tax-free income, the opportunity to live and work abroad, travel to exotic locations, and avoid monthly bills for utilities. The yacht typically provides transportation for work-related purposes, food and drink, uniforms, and other living expenses. In addition, crew members receive generous vacation allowances and bonuses equivalent to at least 10% of the charter fee.
Considering the high salaries, tips, and perks, working on a superyacht can be a lucrative and appealing career option for those interested in the yachting industry.