By Lucy Chabot Reed
Fort Lauderdale-based yacht management company Reardon Yacht Consulting has launched a pilot program to offer crew placement for a flat rate of $1,000, excluding captains.
The move comes after being inspired to “think inside the box” and offer a service the company already provides to its managed fleet industrywide.
“As a management company, I have to vet crew as a matter of course, so we’re doing the work out of necessity for our clients,” company founder Michael Reardon said. “Why not do it for others and get paid to do that?”
Reardon Yacht Consulting has 12 yachts under management, and much of the crew recruiting, vetting and placement falls to Reardon team member Elizabeth Page, who is now in charge of the one-price project.
“I love being able to make that good placement, fitting the piece of the puzzle,” Page said. “Kids coming into the industry need to find a good home, not just a paycheck. And I firmly believe there’s a boat for everybody. Even if I’m not a fan [of the individual], there’s still a place for every crew member.”
Her advice to crew is to stick with it and to understand that the first few years in the industry can be hard, filled with long hours and less-than-dreamy jobs.
“A lot of kids are hopping around, trying to find a good boat, but no one [hiring] is interested in that; it looks terrible on a resume,” she said. “Follow your heart, but understand that you may have to work seven days a week when you are first starting out. We’ve all done those yucky jobs.”
Typically, a placement agency will charge a vessel one month’s salary for crew it places. And for more entry-level jobs, that can add up for yachts when crew move around quickly, causing both the captain and owner to get frustrated with the process.
“We are equally frustrated with the generally poor results of the crew placement process,” said Reardon, a former captain and veteran project manager and yacht manager. “We believe we have a process that can produce a better placement, so we’re introducing it to the industry.”
Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.