'Below Deck': What Is a Crew House and What Does It Cost?

Yachties seen on Below Deck have talked about bouncing from boat to boat with several admitting they don’t have a “home base.”

Instead, some crew members stay at a “crew house” when they are in between gigs. Crew houses are a great way to save money on accommodations but are also a vital resource for yachties looking to score that next job. “Crew housing is always a good place to meet other crew and hear about new jobs and day work,” according to Expert Vagabond blogger. The blogger named a few crew houses in Ft. Lauderdale Florida but also suggested checking out “crew specific” hostels for networking and accommodations.

What is a ‘crew house’ like?

According to Mary’s Crew Houses in Ft. Lauderdale, crew houses essentially provide a crash pad for crew while they look for work. Ft. Lauderdale is a major yachting hub, which attracts yachties throughout the world. Instead of plunking down thousands of dollars for rent, which could mean signing a contract for multiple months, yachties can stay at a crew house without the same contractual restrictions.

Mary’s Crew Houses offers two small homes, located close to the Ft. Lauderdale Yacht Club, yacht schools, and harbors. Homes are equipped with amenities like WiFi, exercise equipment, and even a pool. Mary’s will pick up crew if needed when they arrive in town.

Crew house owner, Mary Gaudette told The Triton in 2009 about how her crew house has become a resource for captains looking for crew members. “We strive to maintain a high-quality facility where captains feel free to contact us at any time when they are looking for day workers and/or crew, knowing that we will send good quality people who will work hard for them,” she said. 

But Gaudette added, knowing that yachties love to party, that her crew houses should not be confused for a party house.

“We try to hold the reputation of a ‘working crew house,’ with serious-minded young men and women here,” she remarked. “Not that we don’t have a lot of fun, with get-togethers and cookouts, etc. But, we refuse to become known as a ‘party’ house or a ‘flop’ house.”

How much does a crew house cost?

Staying at a crew house will save frugal-minded yachties cash, but they aren’t free.

“You can expect to pay between €25 to €50 per night or €160 to €250 per week in the Mediterranean countries,” according to Fresh Yacht. “In Ft Lauderdale, Florida, you’ll pay between $200 to $350 per week for a single person. While lower-cost crew houses may be attractive to your pocketbook, it might pay off, in the long run, to stay in a more expensive location. Not only will this provide better amenities and a more comfortable place to stay, captains often stop by the better crew houses looking for dayworkers.”

“People interested can call or e-mail us for a reservation,” Gaudette told The Triton. “Once someone is in a bed, we do not put them out for another reservation.  They can stay for as long as they need to.  The phone is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or if not answered immediately, we promptly return the call. We have a website that anyone can look to for more information.”

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