The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) partnered with MHG Insurance Brokers to survey seafarers who work on superyachts to investigate welfare issues specific to the sector.
The survey was designed to:
- highlight areas of welfare needs among seafarers on superyachts
- see what is working well under current conditions to meet their welfare needs, and what needs improvement
- explore how existing seafarers’ welfare structures may meet these needs and where there is scope for new provision
A survey of superyacht crew was conducted in 2018 to investigate welfare issues specific to the sector, backed up by in-depth interviews and diary studies.
Based on responses from 402 crew responding to the 50-question survey, the report finds:
- 82% had experienced low crew morale ‘sometimes’, ‘often’ or ‘always’
- 77% of women, and 55% of men, had experienced problems with on-board leadership ‘sometimes’, ‘often’ or ‘always’
- 67% ‘usually’ or ‘always’ felt rested in port
- 79% were on permanent contracts
- 51% were satisfied with their leave entitlement
- 57% of women and 39% of men suffered from social isolation or loneliness ‘sometimes’, ‘often’ or ‘always’ while working on board.
Yachting offers wonderful opportunities and this side was revealed in the report in quotes including: ‘Yachting delivers beautiful adventures to remote parts of the world…at a fraction of a cost that any other occupation can offer.’ It is also a hard life physically: ‘…you work bloody long hours without a day off in weeks during charters.’ The report covers the very good side of working on superyachts, without shying away from areas where improvements can be made: ‘I know a lot of yachts look after their crew but a lot don’t.’
The recommendations of the report include the following:
- Raising awareness of what support for wellbeing is out there for seafarers, and widening distribution of welfare materials and information to include yacht crew
- Improving recruits’ knowledge of what to expect on board before they go to sea
- Improved support for seafarers who are coming out of the superyacht sector
- An increase in the availability of rotational posts, which would make a concession to family life
- Enabling more time for rest and relaxation