How Much Does It Cost For A Boat Crew? | LakeWizard

If you are planning to buy a boat, you may be asking yourself, how much does it cost for a boat crew? This post has the answers.

Do you need to hire a boat crew? How much will you spend on the boat crew? Is hiring boat crew expensive?

The amount you will spend for a boat crew will depend on the number of people you decide to bring on board. On average, you will spend approximately $100,000 for a captain, $100,000 for an engineer, $40,000 for a deckhand, and $70,000 for a chef annually. This translates to around $350,000 annually.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the crew required to run and man a boat. We will also inform you on how much you are likely to spend hiring a boat crew. So, if you are looking to buy a boat and you are wondering how much it will cost to hire a boat crew, then you’ve come to the right place.

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Regardless of your boating experience or expertise, you simply can’t handle everything by yourself. You will need people to help you handle some of the tasks necessary to keep the boat running.

For a smaller boat, you may not necessarily need to hire a crew, as your friends or family can help you take off things when you are out on the water. But, if you are planning to purchase a big cruising boat, then you will definitely need to hire a boat crew.

And this begs the question, how much does it cost to hire a boat crew? Well, this will depend on various things. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the crew requirements of a boat as well as how much it would cost to hire a boat crew.

Crew Requirements for a Boat

The crew requirements of your boat will depend on its size. But ideally, any boat past 75 feet will require a crew. The crew will include a captain, steward, deckhand, first mate, second mate, chef and engineer. Let’s take a closer look at the role of each of these crew members.


If you are an experienced boater, then you can safely and confidently run a 75-foot to 100-foot boater without a captain. On the other hand, if you are a beginner or a novice, then you will definitely need to hire a captain. Also, if you are not confident in your navigation abilities, then it will be highly advisable to hire an experienced boat captain to help in manning and running the boat.

So, what’s the role of a captain in a boat? The captain will be the individual in charge of all the operations on the boat. Also, this individual will be in charge of everyone onboard the boat. Therefore, besides driving and keeping the boat on course, the captain will also be ensuring that every crew member is doing their job safely and efficiently.

The captain will also be in charge of other miscellaneous activities such as hiring and firing, administration as well as accounts, just to name a few. So, when you are hiring a captain, you need to ensure you get a well-rounded individual, who can comfortably attend to all the required duties.

Steward or Stewardess

A boat steward or stewardess is tasked with maintaining the interior of the boat. This individual should ensure that the boat remains spotless at all times. At the same time, they also have to provide outstanding service to the boat owner as well as guests that may come on board.

Some of the jobs that the steward or stewardess will be handling in the boat include interior cleaning and maintenance, interior accounting, interior inventory, liaising with galley for meal services, planning and organizing guest activities, assisting with fenders and lines on deck as well as assisting the captain with the boat’s paperwork.


Also called a seafarer, a deckhand plays a key role in the overall operation and maintenance of a boat. Some of the responsibilities of the deckhand will include things like moving heavy objects around the boat, cleaning and greasing machinery, and assisting during emergencies,

A deckhand will also be tasked with performing various maintenance duties in the boat such as sweeping, mopping and painting, midstream fuel transfers, preparing cabins for passengers and crew as well as serving food and beverages to passengers. A deckhand is essential when it comes to running a large boat.

First Mate

A first mate is the individual second in command aboard the ship. Such an individual may take command of the boat in case the captain becomes incapacitated for whatever reason.

The first mate is tasked with various key activities like performing navigational responsibilities, directing the crew deck, and operating various boat systems. Other duties of a first mate include steering and de-watering the boat, maintaining the deck log, ensuring the smooth loading and unloading of cargo, as well as overseeing boat maintenance. As you can see, this is quite an important role in a boat. And, it’s important to hire someone with years of experience in sailing and cruising.

Second Mate

The second mate is the third in command aboard the boat. This individual mainly serves as the safety officer in the boat. Also, they may be tasked with acting as a fishing guide and shoe excursions.

The primary duties of a second mate include operating the boat during assigned watches, monitoring communication equipment, as well as maintaining communication logs and records as required.

Other duties of a second mate include coordinating with the captain and first mate during emergency operations as well as, overseeing loading and unloading of cargo, as well as performing lookout watches while out in the water.


If you intend to be bringing several guests aboard your ship, then you should also consider hiring a chef. This individual will be taking care of all the catering onboard, leaving you with ample time to focus on entertaining your guests or soaking in the surroundings.


You should also consider hiring an engineer, especially if you will be going on longer voyages. The engineer will be taking care of the engine, as well as the electrical and mechanical systems on your boat. Also, the engineer will be in keeping things running smoothly as well as repairing any damaged component or system.

It’s worth pointing out that you don’t necessarily have to hire all these people to take your boat out to sea. But, it’s highly recommended to have an experienced captain and an engineer on your boat, if it’s longer than 100-foot or you are going for a long expedition.

Cost to Hire Boat Crew

So, how much does it cost for a boat crew? Well, the amount you will spend will depend on the number of crew members that you decide to bring on board. Here are some of the average costs to hire boat crew.

  • Captain: Approximately $1,000 per foot of the boat. So, if your boat is 100 feet long, then it will cost you around $100,000 annually to have a captain on board.
  • Deckhand: Approximately $30,000 to $50,000 per year
  • Engineer: Approximately $90,000 to $130,000 annually
  • Chef: Around $70,000 per year

Wrapping It Up

We hope we’ve answered your question regarding how much it will cost you to hire a boat crew. The most important thing is to ensure that every crew member that you bring on board has the qualifications, certifications and experience to fit their roles.