Nautilus International the first truly trans-boundary union for superyacht crew


The yachting industry has often been viewed as an industry boasting luxurious accommodation and leisurely lifestyles. But this does not always extend to the crew, and many yacht sector employees are now looking to join a professional organisation to support them and protect their interests.

Nautilus International is the first truly trans-boundary union for maritime professionals, has significantly increased its membership in the large yacht sector over the past few years and in line with this Nautilus has found itself representing members worldwide in relation to accidents at work, legal representation, unpaid wages, repatriation, suspended certificates and securing compensation.

The union looks after Captains, Officers and Crew and all benefits and services remain the same irrespective of nationality or place of residence.

With more than 150 years’ experience representing seafarers, and offices in:

  • London
  • Rotterdam
  • Antibes
  • Switzerland
  • Singapore

It is the trade union and professional organisation for some 23,000 masters, officers, cadets and other shipping industry personnel working at sea, on rivers and ashore.

Members are employed in a variety of roles within the maritime industry, from seafaring roles including shipmasters, officers, cadets, and ratings working on all classes of Merchant Navy vessels (including superyachts), and in the off shore oil and gas industry, to inland navigation workers, vessel traffic services operators, harbourmasters and shore-based staff in the maritime sector.

The unions pledge to members — ‘Wherever you are, so are we’ — is particularly relevant for large yacht crew in a sector which is facing first-time regulations under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) which took effect 20 August 2013.


For many years, Nautilus has been extending its services by opening up dialogue with crews, agencies, employers, owners and regulatory authorities across the large yacht sector. As a result the union has signed partnership agreements with some of the largest crewing agents within the sector, including Dovaston in Palma.

Expert Advice

Because members work across the globe, they can expect worldwide support:

  • Free legal services for professional and domestic matters
  • Worldwide network of specialist lawyers to assist members
  • Free financial protection, worth up to £115,000, against the loss of income if your certificate of competency is cancelled, suspended or downgraded following a formal inquiry.
  • Expert advice on professional, welfare and work-related problems, such as contracts, redundancy, bullying and harassment, non-payment of wages, and pensions
  • Offices in convenient locations including Antibes, London and Rotterdam

Working on MLC compliance

The union has a long history of working in partnership with owners, employers and members worldwide for – with a proven record of improving crew terms and conditions and protecting members against summary dismissal and loss of certification.

The Union has already been very successful in settling crew claims surrounding unpaid wages, notice pay and repatriation costs in particular.

Service Record Book

All members are entitled to a free copy of the Nautilus service record book (SRB) which has been produced to assist in the recording and calculation of qualifying sea service for the purpose of certification.

Nautilus International works closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and other regulatory authorities in Europe and around the world, and this SRB is one of only two that the MCA recognises worldwide as evidence of acceptable service.

Once your yacht service is verified in our office in Antibes, then the MCA accepts the Nautilus SRB as sufficient proof of onboard and sea service and no further supporting documentation is required.

Professional and technical support

The union provides opportunities for members to attend regular specialist meetings such as the Professional and Technical Forum, the Women’s Forum, and the Youth Forum , as well as access to training seminars relevant to the yachting sector such as the 2011 and 2012 MLC conferences in Antibes.

Members can also expect regular visits and contact from Nautilus officials and staff, and support for those who wish to become lay representatives.

Industry news

Membership entitles you to regular yacht sector newsletters, and a free subscription to the award-winning monthly newspaper, the Nautilus Telegraph, which features a special section on large yacht news.

Financial Help

The Nautilus Slater Fund is a registered charity administered by the Union. The Slater Fund provides awards worth up to £17,500 for Yacht crew members or ratings who are looking to become fully certificated officers in light of new and improved training requirements for the sector.