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Yacht captain: What I do and how much I make

Video transcript

my name is Chris McKinley I'm 30 years old I work as a yacht captain and I make 72,000 per year so for this boat I worked for one family and my job encompasses a lot of different things but the main thing is to move it around to different places in the world where they want to be and go sailing I spent seven years in the Caribbean sailing through the Virgin Islands Saint Martin st. Barts all the way down to Grenada through Cuba I've also sailed extensively through the Bahamas this past winter we sailed from Martha's Vineyard through the Panama Canal up the west coast of Mexico and arrived in California that was a seven-month trip most people think my job is only sailing that encompasses maybe 5% of it the biggest part of the job is researching new locations making sure it's a safe place for the boat finding a safe place for the boat to be and then also finding interesting fun places to go with the owner and his guests so why not maintaining the boat I need to look at all aspects of it so whether it's changing the oil checking to make sure the engines and generator are running properly and efficiently looking towards the refrigeration systems to make sure the coolant levels are proper air-conditioning units all the rigging making sure the rigging is all set properly the you know all the anchor gear dinghy make sure the varnish looks good the boat is clean make sure the beds are made properly also a big thing is provisioning this is difficult in different parts of the world because you know you can't always get the food that you're used to so you just have to make do with what you can and whether you're getting it at local markets or fake grocery stores or having special items flown in can be a challenge so when I first got into the industry I knew that usually captain's make $1,000 per foot per year so this boat 64 feet so on average you'd make sixty four thousand per year so when I first started in the industry I decided to ask for less than the industry average because I was about ten years younger than most people in my position and then over three years I asked for a raise every year and so that 72,000 per year just over the industry average and I'm kind of maxed out at that point so in order to make more money in this industry I would have to leave this job for a job on a bigger boat which and that's not something I want to do I really enjoy this boat I like the owner and I don't want to leave this job the skills that are needed for this job of course you have to know how to sail and how to maneuver about properly but the really big skill sets are good decision-making responsibility project management because there's so many different aspects of the boat budgeting is a really big aspect to it because of all the different places we travel you're always comparing the cost of marinas when you're at the shipyard you're always trying to figure out who can do the work the best for the cheapest price and when you're hiring crew you can hire expensive people or less expensive people and you're just trying to bring it all together into a yearly budget trustworthiness is a huge factor someone is giving me their boat and credit cards and budget and they're not they don't have much oversight at all they trust me to make all the right decisions to get the boat there safely to hire the right people and make proper decisions with their boat with what their big expensive asset additionally you have to be able to make good decisions very quickly for different reasons the owner can often change his mind about where he wants to be or what he wants to do that day and you have to have a plan B or Plan C or just be able to come up with something on the fly also things break constantly and you have to be able to evolve with that if you can't fix it then you need to figure out a way around it additionally if the weather changes you need to be able to adapt to that as well so you're constantly needing to make strong decisions that ensures everyone's safety and very quickly what I love about this job is being on a boat sailing traveling all over the place getting to experience all different cultures and being able to work in the new communities that I'm traveling with I'm always hiring local people to help with the boat so you get to know them on a different level than just traveling somewhere as a tourist the things that there's very few things that I don't like about this job the biggest being not creating my own schedule and not being able to take time off when I want to and adhering to someone else's schedule and that's the hardest thing another thing that's difficult about this job is being away from friends and family for an extended period of time it's not my choice where I live I'm sent somewhere and often that's not where my friends and family live
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