Follow up to the Superyacht Forum - Results of the survey on crew hiring practices

At the recent Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam, representatives of the PYA joined other industry professionals to lead a discussion looking at whether there is evidence to support the hiring of youth over experience on yachts.

The panel was comprised of

  • Andrew Schofield, PYA
  • Adrian Croft, PYA
  • Lawrence Lewis, YPI Crew
  • Francs Jansen, JMS Yachting
  • Michael Kurtz, Pantaenius


The audience of around 50 individuals was a mix of yacht operating crew (mostly senior officers), yacht placement, yacht management and training providers.

Differences in classification of ‘age’

The opening panel discussion started by exploring how a number of nations and government have different ways of classifying age, especially in relation to middle or late adulthood. Basic terminology in describing late adulthood varies between cultures, for example the use of ‘old people’, ‘seniors’, or ‘senior citizens.’ A number of developed-world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of 'elderly' or older person, whilst in Africa the world Health Organization (WHO) has set 50 as the beginning of old age. Most developed Western countries set the age of 60 to 65 for retirement as this is the age that their citizens become eligible for senior social programs such as pensions. Other countries and societies consider the onset of old age as anywhere from the mid-40s to the 70s.

The definition of old age will continue to change especially as life expectancy in developed countries has risen to beyond 80 years old.

Industry survey on hiring practices in the luxury yacht sector

Ahead of the session, a survey on ‘Yacht crew hiring practices in the Luxury Yacht Sector’ was prepared by the PYA (Captain Adrian Croft and Captain Rod Hatch) and sent out to its members, and also via Superyachtcaptains and OnboardOnline to gather first-hand information on hiring experiences in yachting. In just a short time period, 250 responses had been collected, which formed the basis of the GSF presentation and data analysis. This was clearly a topic that had a high level of interest considering the very short time frame survey was open ahead of the panel discussion.

Following the debate, this was circulated again, and now after nearly 600 responses, we are able to share the results with you.

Thank you to all those who took the time to respond and also to PYA Council members Captain Adrian Croft and Captain Rod Hatch who authored the survey and compiled the data.

Thank you also to MYBA whose generous sponsorship enabled the PYA team to attend the Superyacht Forum and participate in this debate.