It’s not been the usual yacht recruitment season that’s for sure, but some signs of movement are detected and slowly, tentatively, things are looking to be on the up.

Nicola Morgan, Director of recruitment firm Wilsonhalligan, has answered your questions about whether what remains of the season will go ahead, and what type of global yacht industry may emerge post Covid-19.

Q: Will a 2020 summer season in northern Europe happen?

This is still very uncertain – sadly, we are hearing that many yacht owners are holding-off on all plans for the summer but equally, we also have clients who are continuing to recruit, which suggests that they may be expecting at least some sort of season.  No doubt, it won’t be the usual Med yachting season, but I’m hopeful that things can start later and run later into Autumn.

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Q: What is the current state of the job market?

Many of our positions were put on hold when the Covid-19 pandemic became serious in Europe. I think there was initial shock to what was happening, and most of our positions were cancelled very quickly. However, as time has gone on, we now have clients going through the recruitment process, it’s just that most cannot give a definite start date or want to quarantine crew prior to them joining the boat. It’s not like any other pre-season we have experienced in recruitment, but there is definitely some movement going on.

Q: What are the biggest obstacles faced by crew?

Travel is a huge obstacle – even if we have jobs available, depending on where candidates are, it may be very difficult or impossible for them to travel. It is also having a big impact to those on rotation: in many cases crew changeovers have been stopped, meaning crew are staying on board longer than they should be (according to their rotation pattern). Unfortunately, we are also dealing with crew who have been made redundant or seeing a reduction in salary, which has a big impact on crewmembers who have mortgages, families, and other financial commitments.

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Q: Are Owners and Captains having to make difficult decisions?

Sadly, as with many other industries and businesses, Owners and Captains are having to look at any cost savings, which can result in crew being made redundant or having to take a reduction in their salary.  There are also lots of logistical issues and decisions having to be made – this time of year, many yachts will usually be heading back from the Caribbean/United States to the Med, but with many ports in Europe closed this is resulting in yachts having to look at other places, like the UK.

Q: How will this pandemic affect the future of the yachting industry and crew recruitment?

I am hopeful that this won’t have a long lasting effect on the industry, even if it does feel very uncertain at the moment. I think many people (including myself) will feel that this situation has certainly put a lot of things into perspective and I wonder if yachts (and businesses) will put contingency plans into place so they can better deal with similar situations in the future.

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If you’re looking for a new position, you’ll find wilsonhalligan’s current listings on our jobs board.  For further advice, resources, and to submit your CV for consideration, visit

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