As a yachtie, you’ve probably heard some of these yacht life misconceptions, if not all, and you’ve probably got a few more of your own to add.
The assumption we have downtime whilst on charter
When guests go off for lunch or dinner and wholeheartedly tell you to enjoy your downtime while they’re off. Thank you so much. I Absolutely will, all 13 seconds of it once I’ve finished checking cabins, dust vacuuming and wiping down the entire boat, packing away the cocktail ingredients and hors d’oeuvre platters and plates from their pre-dinner snacks, restocking the fridges, cleaning and refilling the sunscreen baskets, prepping the cold towels and welcome drinks, changing into my night uniform and of course inhaling my own ice-cold dinner. Yup, I might just go put my feet up right now…
Applying for jobs through a crew agent and being told you don’t have enough experience or longevity, only to track down a friend of a friend, who knows a guy on the boat, firing your resume off to them, and walking onto the boat the next week. Take that gatekeeper…
The uniform problem
In the same vein, rocking some girl curves, having an amazing in-person interview with an agent and getting down to the uniform size question, and having her awkwardly shift in her chair and ask if you’re an “ahem, ah, are you a 2 skort and small shirt?” Yeah, sure, let’s go with that… Earth to crew agents, most boats are looking for someone who will come on, work hard, and do their job, not for a potential bang buddy for their bosun. Thanks for the confidence boost though.
Stepping off a 55m charter boat after 3 years as chief stew and expressing to your agent that you would like to find a similar role with a travelling itinerary. Only to receive a really exciting personalised email from the same agent saying she’s found the perfect position for you. Thank you for your email, but at this time I am not interested in a sole stew position on a 25m, sitting year-round in the Bahamas and no, I’m not fluent in Russian.
Leaving a boat after a month doesn’t mean you are a boat hopper or aren’t committed to your career in the industry. Sometimes you just get a bad boat, or a captain who thinks it’s fine to be drunk while at anchor with guests on board, or an owner who propositions you with $5000 for a happy ending to his massage, or a crew member who never quite grew out of their high school bullying ways. These things matter too, not just having a solid year of experience on one boat. These are the things we mean when we tell a crew agent or potential employer that “it wasn’t the right fit”. Also, how can you tell me not to jump between boats, when I type your name into my email it brings up all 4 of your email addresses from all the different agents you have worked for, this year…
The joy of changeovers
Saying goodbye to the owner after a 10-day trip and agreeing that you are going to get some rest during the 24-hour turnover before you pick up the next charter. Yes, I’m going directly to bed, no not my bed, the beds in the 6 cabins I have to have turned up by the end of the day so that I can provision and clean the rest of the boat tomorrow…
No, I don’t work on a cruise ship
Then to my friends and family, I don’t work on a cruise ship. Also, I have been working around 14 hours a day for the past three months without a day off, so yes, I do think this counts as a “real” job… But thanks for asking.
If you have any yacht life misconceptions to share with us, let us know over on our socials!
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