Sportfishing Yachts: A Look at Crew Life On Board

Jun 6, 2024 by Rachel Rowney

How does life on board sportfishing yachts differ for crew? In collaboration with YATCO, we spoke to several brokers with sportfish yachts for sale to discover what yachting life looks like on board these types of vessels.

Sportfishing yachts, also known as sportfish yachts, don’t just stand out in the yachting world for their distinctive profile. These vessels are tailor-made for avid anglers — a true testament to their love of fishing — and as a result, often make for a much different crew experience than other large superyachts or sailing vessels.

Combining robust construction with exceptional performance and extensive range, sportfish yachts offer an extraordinary angling experience for owners and their guests. While sportfishing yachts prioritize fishing amenities, they also offer comfortable accommodations for any extended trips — these may include sleeping quarters, a galley, dining areas, and bathrooms. However, the interior layout and amenities may be more modest compared to larger luxury yachts.

These nuances of a sportfish yacht mean that the crew roles look a little different than “normal” superyachts. On a larger superyacht or sailing vessel, the crew is responsible for providing a wide range of guest services, but with a smaller crew, fewer guests, and specialized responsibilities on a sportfishing yacht, how does life differ?

Utilizing YATCO’s extensive database, we’ve highlighted some of the largest sportfishing yachts currently for sale and spoke to their listing brokers to understand  each vessel’s unique qualities for its crew, in addition to offering insights into life on board.  


1995 Broward 87 feet (26.67 meters)

For sale by Roy Sea, IYC:

LADY JANE is a one-owner, Don Blount custom-designed sportfishing yacht built by Broward Marine. This yacht raises fish and has four motor yacht-sized staterooms, as well as separate crew quarters for luxury cruising. Separate crew quarters are rare for a sportfishing yacht of her size. The right crew on board LADY JANE need special skills. They need to know how to fish, make sushi and sashimi, cook gourmet fish meals for guests, and clean up at night,” Sea said.


2018 Merritt Boat Works 86 feet (26.21 meters)

For sale by Greg Graham, United Yacht Sales:

“Crew life on board a sportfishing yacht is fast paced, particularly when the owner is on board and wants to fish or is involved in a tournament. There is no preset path to becoming a captain of a successful sportfishing yacht — it’s all about experience and time on the water. There’s no training program except the lessons passed down from captain to crew over time.

Living on a sportfishing yacht is frankly a lot nicer than being the crew on a luxury yacht. The living quarters on a sportfishing yacht for captain and crew are typically arranged on the same level as the owners and other guests. On a luxury yacht, you’re cramped below deck in small quarters next to the engine room. There’s no separate crew entrance on a sportfish. You’re as much of a part of the family as the other guests on board,” Graham said.


2012 Yachting Developments NZ 90 feet (27.43 meters)

For sale by Alastair Shove, Carrswood Yachts:

SATU is, in essence, a 90-foot superyacht sportfishing yacht. She has offshore cruising capabilities, and the yacht has a more ‘luxury’ feel to her. SATU is very comfortable for the owner and the guests, but also for the yacht’s crew of two. The crew have a dedicated bunk cabin, which they share. However, the current captain uses one of the three guest cabins as the owner rarely brings guests on board. In this case the yacht provides a lot of comfort and privacy for the crew of two.

SATU has clean lines and she’s contemporarily styled, so maintaining this yacht is a little easier than some. She is a unique custom sportfishing yacht, which offers superb luxury and comfort,” Shove said.

Crew working on a sportfishing yacht play a vital role in ensuring the success of every fishing expedition, as well as the overall satisfaction of the owner and guests on board. From skilled deckhands managing fishing equipment to experienced captains navigating the seas for the best catch, each crewmember contributes to the seamless operation and enjoyment of the yacht.

As the brokers of M/Y LADY JANE, M/Y OWL’S NEST and M/Y SATU illustrate, the crew of a sportfishing yacht may experience life slightly differently than their counterparts on other superyachts or sailing vessels. Beyond their technical expertise, these crewmembers remain a key part of creating memorable experiences for owner trips.

Powered by YATCO’s extensive database of yachts for sale, this selection of sportfishing yachts are currently available on the market demonstrate the many possibilities for crew out there, as well as insights into what’s required of crew and owner-crew relationships.

Visit to discover more from the industry’s trusted marketplace of yachts for sale and charter.