How to Join a Yacht Delivery as Crew: Building Sea Miles and Gaining Experience

Are you a sailing enthusiast with dreams of exploring the open seas, building sea miles, and gaining invaluable experience? Joining a yacht delivery crew might just be the perfect opportunity for you! There are plenty of yacht delivery companies around the world such as Halcyon and PYD based in the UK. However, there are also online platforms such as Crewseekers that link crews and boats. Either of these options can offer exciting prospects for aspiring sailors to embark on thrilling voyages across various destinations. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the steps to join a yacht delivery, highlight the benefits of participating in deliveries, and discuss why obtaining the RYA Day Skipper qualification is an excellent starting point for this adventurous journey!

I. Understanding Yacht Deliveries:

Yacht delivery involves transporting sailboats or yachts from one location to another, whether it’s across oceans or between coastal regions. This process often requires the expertise of experienced crew members to ensure a smooth and safe voyage. Some yacht deliveries are completed by professional companies that provide a service for the owner, others can be with a yacht owner who needs help to move their vessel from A to B. There really are many variations and different setups that you can find. However, finding them at all can be a bit of a minefield and there are many companies that specialise in connecting boat owners with skilled crew members.

II. The Path to Joining a Yacht Delivery Crew:

  1. Acquiring Relevant Experience: Most yacht delivery companies look for crew members with prior sailing experience. If you’re new to sailing, gaining experience through local sailing clubs, regattas, and recreational sailing can be a stepping stone.
  2. Certifications and Qualifications: While not all deliveries require formal qualifications, having certifications like the RYA Day Skipper can significantly enhance your chances of getting selected. This qualification covers essential theoretical knowledge, including navigation, meteorology, and safety at sea.
  3. Networking and Referrals: Join sailing forums, attend sailing events, and network with experienced sailors to increase your visibility within the sailing community. Referrals from experienced crew members can also open doors to exciting delivery opportunities.
  4. Registering with online platforms: Websites like Crewseekers serve as valuable platforms to connect aspiring crew members with yacht delivery opportunities. Create a compelling profile showcasing your skills and experience, and actively browse and apply for relevant delivery positions.
Take the helm!

III. Pros and Cons of Using a Yacht Delivery Company vs. Joining a Private Delivery:

When it comes to joining a yacht delivery as crew, aspiring sailors have two main options: enlisting the services of a yacht delivery company or finding opportunities through platforms like Crewseekers. Each approach comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll explore below:

Using a Yacht Delivery Company:


  1. Professionalism and Expertise: Yacht delivery companies have extensive experience in organizing and executing safe and efficient deliveries. They employ skilled and qualified professionals, ensuring that the crew members are well-prepared for the journey.
  2. Vetted Crew Members: Delivery companies carefully vet their crew members, checking their qualifications, certifications, and experience. This reduces the risk of inexperienced or unqualified crew and so you will be able to learn and rely on others as you gain experience.
  3. Insurance and Liability: Reputable delivery companies typically carry insurance coverage, which provides additional protection for the vessel owner and the crew during the delivery. This minimizes financial risks in case of unforeseen incidents.
  4. Support and Logistics: Yacht delivery companies handle the logistical aspects of the voyage, including route planning, provisioning, and required permits. This allows the crew to focus on their roles during the delivery.
  5. Networking and Opportunities: Some delivery companies have strong industry connections, leading to more extensive opportunities for the crew members to participate in a variety of deliveries, both short and long-distance.
  6. Expenses: Many delivery companies really look after their crew (as you would hope!) and will cover travel expenses. Depending on experience of the crew and whether you are crew, mate or skipper, you may get paid or a small stipend.
  7. Safety: Yacht delivery companies and skippers will inspect the yacht and insure all safety features are operational for the delivery. These companies will have processes and requirements to adhere to, to ensure the success of the delivery and safety of the crew.


  1. Limited Flexibility: Delivery companies may have fixed schedules and itineraries, leaving crew members with fewer options to choose specific deliveries that match their preferences or availability.
  2. Less Personal Connection: Working through a company may result in a less personal experience, as the crew members may not have the same level of interaction and connection with the vessel owner as they would through direct arrangements.

Using an Online Crew Platform:


  1. Flexible Arrangements: Platforms can offer more flexibility for crew members to choose the deliveries that best suit their preferences, schedules, and desired experience levels. You can also have direct contact with the owner and can make plans to suit you both.
  2. Wider Variety of Deliveries: Platforms present a diverse selection of delivery opportunities, including short coastal trips, ocean crossings, and various destinations worldwide. They can also involve long-term opportunities such as round-world trips or the opportunity to find extended cruising boats and partners.


  1. Varying Crew Experience: Unlike yacht delivery companies that carefully vet their crew, joining private boats may have crew members and skippers with varying levels of experience, potentially leading to discrepancies in skills and knowledge.
  2. Risk Assessment: Crew members may not have access to the same level of risk assessment and insurance coverage as they would through a delivery company, you would most likely need to secure your own travel and sailing insurance through companies such as Topsail, which increases your costs.
  3. Logistical Challenges: Coordinating logistics and planning for the delivery falls largely on the crew and the vessel owner, which may require more effort and time compared to relying on a professional company’s support.
  4. Costs: Depending on the opportunity vessels owners may cover travel expenses, provide a stipend or payment. However, most opportunities will require crews to pay for their own expenses and may also ave to contribute to food and cruising expenses whilst on board.

Whether you choose to use a yacht delivery company or a platform depends on your priorities, budget, and level of experience. A delivery company offers professionalism, expertise, and security but these positions are more competitive and it can be harder to secure a position. On the other hand, finding opportunities directly through online platforms can provide greater flexibility, and wider opportunities, but may involve more logistical responsibilities and costs. Consider your needs and preferences to make the best choice for your yacht delivery adventure.

Enjoy the best sunsets in the world!

III. Benefits of Joining a Yacht Delivery Crew:

  1. Building Sea Miles: Yacht deliveries offer extensive sea time, allowing you to log valuable sea miles. Increased sea miles contribute to meeting eligibility criteria for advanced sailing certifications, such as RYA Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster.
  2. Gaining Real-World Experience: Participating in deliveries exposes you to diverse sailing conditions and challenges, providing practical experience that goes beyond theoretical knowledge.
  3. Expanding Nautical Skills: Delivery crew members often take on various responsibilities, including navigation, watch keeping, and vessel maintenance. These experiences hone your skills and make you a well-rounded sailor.
  4. Exploring New Destinations: Yacht deliveries take you to exotic and picturesque locations, making it an adventurous and rewarding way to travel and explore different coastlines.
  5. Networking Opportunities: Working with seasoned sailors and professionals in the industry opens doors to valuable networking opportunities that can lead to further sailing ventures.

IV. The Role of RYA Day Skipper Theory:

The RYA Day Skipper theory qualification is an essential starting point for aspiring yacht delivery crew members. It equips you with fundamental theoretical knowledge, navigation skills, and an understanding of essential safety procedures. Companies and yacht owners alike will want to know that any prospective crew member has a certain level of competence and the RYA Day Skipper is a great place to start. It’s the perfect qualification to allow you to get your foot in the door and be able to start building up your experience and sea miles.

Joining a yacht delivery crew is a thrilling opportunity to gain sea miles, enhance your sailing expertise, and explore breathtaking destinations. Companies like PYD and Halcyon offer a pathway to embark on exciting sailing ventures. Remember, having the RYA Day Skipper qualification can significantly enhance your prospects in getting on a delivery.

So, ready to set sail and explore the world as part of a yacht delivery crew? Start your journey today by obtaining the RYA Day Skipper theory qualification with Ardent Training. Equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the sailing world. Visit the RYA website to find other accredited training centres near you, and soon you’ll be on your way to joining prestigious yacht deliveries and making your mark in the maritime industry.

Bon voyage!

Visit incredible places, whilst being paid as delivery crew!

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