Sarnia Crew Handbook

As crew employment has increased in complexity, so has the volume of queries we receive from owners, managers, captains and crew alike. It is imperative that the correct employment agreements are put in place from the outset, accompanied by appropriate procedures, guidelines and technical support. The recent focus on EU social security obligations further enhances the requirement to ensure the correct expertise is at hand to administer the crew arrangements, whether that be full crew management or crew employment and payroll. Sarnia is ideally positioned to provide both these services and has been doing so for many years.

Over the past three years, we have been collating crew employment-related questions raised by clients and crew as well as discussing the various aspects with the numerous stakeholders including flag, surveyors, auditors, captains, managers, owners and agents. The output from this is the formulation of a crew handbook for both private and commercial yachts which sits alongside our latest employment agreements.

The Sarnia crew handbook not only answers the common questions but also provides several tables and template forms for use by captains and crew in our fleet. Some of the key areas of the handbook include:

Employment Terms

            Covers all the various areas including types of employment, duties, performance & conduct, complaints, wages, residency & nationality technicalities

Leave and Travel

            Includes shore leave, annual leave, unpaid leave, sick leave, compassionate leave, pregnancy and travel

Living and Working Conditions

            Items such as accommodation and recreational facilities, working ashore, working on other vessels, hours of work and rest

Crew Documentation and Training

            Visas, safe manning, flag state endorsements, discharge books, training courses

Other Workers On-Board

            Day workers, occasional workers, contractors


            Travel guarantee letter, safety & familiarisation checklist, certificate of discharge, dayworker engagement letter, occasional worker declaration and complaint procedure

The handbook was launched at our recent captains’ briefing in Antibes, and the feedback we have received has already far exceeded our expectations. The role of the captain as well as that of other senior crew is more akin to running a small business with time being a precious commodity. Having the right expertise on hand helps senior crew and captains to focus on the requirements of the owner or charterer rather than the administration of the crew.

To discuss the handbook and any other crew related matters, then please do get in touch: 01481 754850 or [email protected].

To discuss the handbook and any other crew related matters then please do get in touch.

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