Why should Yacht Crew invest in property?
One of the biggest reasons is, because they can.
Having worked on yachts for three years myself, I am acutely aware of the benefits of yachting. Most crew you ask will not talk about how much they earn, or how much they receive in tips, because it's private. But the fact of the matter is, if you look at the crew salary surveys conducted by Dockwalk Magazine it is clear that this industry is a profitable one. Add tips on top of this, potentially no tax or living expenses and you have the perfect storm for being able to save and invest.
Property is a great investment for yacht crew, especially considering working on yachts often provides crew with zero pension. They can invest a relatively small amount of money, and by using their high salary to obtain a mortgage, they can buy property that is not only likely to significantly go up in value, but also provides an immediate second income stream from rent.
It is easy to sniff at £200 extra a month when you might be earning ten or twenty times that, but it is important to remember that that £200 from rent will still be coming into your bank account whether you're backpacking in Patagonia, or back home trying to start a new business. If you keep saving and investing to buy more and more properties, that income can soon grow and become a large passive income you can enjoy forever, without having to work for it.
So why aren't more crew creating portfolios whilst they're on board? In my opinion this comes down to two things.
Firstly, crew have a tendency to over indulge. I am not for one second suggesting that crew should save every penny they earn to buy investment properties. When I was onboard I enjoyed every experience I possibly could, whether it was road trips across Montenegro, climbing breaks in Spain or mad weekends out in Miami. However, I did save on the side, allowing me to start a property portfolio, which has now grown substantially. Like everything in life there is a balance; you can have an amazing night out without buying a €1500 euro bottle of Vodka, or have a great shopping trip without buying a €700 pair of designer sunglasses. These things are fun at the time, but if they stop you saving and therefore reaching your goals, then you might regret them in the future.
The second reason is time. For anyone who doesn't know, working on a yacht involves a little more than floating around the Riviera taking the odd dip in the sea. On my last season our crew worked for 4 months straight, minimum 12 hour days with 2 days off. Not an environment where you can expect people to be carving out time to learn about property investment. When crew do get time off, the last thing they want to be doing is life admin, getting home to see family and travelling the world are much higher on the list of priorities.
These reasons are why I set up Anchor Property. Having studied and worked in property before spending 3 years in the industry myself, I fully understand the barriers crew face when looking to invest. Anchor Property was born out of mine and my crewmates yachting and property investment journeys, and a strong desire to help crew to take full advantage of their situations.
In summary, I believe that crew can get themselves to a place where they can continue to enjoy the many benefits of a yachting career, well after they have stepped off the passerelle for the last time, by using property investment to their advantage.