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Time Wasters and plague of the industry
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 12:06 AM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 22

For all the talk about wanting jobs, I remain amazed at the demands applicants make before even knowing the job description. We still seek a suitable crew member and have sent packing those who make morning appointments and call in the afternoon to see if they can still come for an interview, or those who turn up in t shirt and sandels, as with those who start by asking for airfares to job interviews for junior positions. People this industry is about service and image FIRST and not about a quick high wage for no skills and perks, perks, perks. Get professional or get out and stop wasting our time.
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 1:54 PM

I just interviewed a stewardess.  We sat at the saloon table, she chewed bubble gum, answered her telephone, sent a quick text message then asked for 3200 euros a month.  90 percent of these people are untouchables.

Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 4:21 PM
i presume you did not hire that stewardess? cause thats all you need to do, then tell the crew agents (if you use one)
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 4:44 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 3

I agree with what you say about these wasters and turning up with bubble gum stuck to their chin and a bikini between there wet cheeks and ask for a SALARY like a MOBILE NUMBER. If a yacht is looking for crew I think they should pay for the airticket if its necessary.

These people are having an effect because people like me that is genuinely searching for a job is passed by cause of this issue. 

Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 4:45 PM
 For a stewardess  I still use the old fashioned way, put the word out on the dock , other captains and crew ,that I need someone and send them my way.   Takes a week or two, meet some strange ones,  always works  out in the end.   Why pay an agent when I can just go to the pub and hire the same person ?  
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 4:50 PM
Air tickets ????   last year I  flew one in for an interview, she took the job on the boat next door  !  I politely asked whats going on and she says...I came to your interview,  what more do you want ......
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 8:45 PM
Joined: 21/08/2008
Posts: 30

It goes both ways. Enough with the captains who schedule an interview and for every one minute of time they spend conducting the interview they spend 3 on their cell phone, down in the engine room etc. etc. It's hard to interview well when the captain acts like he can't be bothered. I hate it when I set aside an hour for an interview and spend 40 minutes of that hour in the galley or crew mess, by myself, staring at my own resume. I'm not excusing crew who show up chewing gum, but if you're just killing time, why not?
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 9:44 PM
Having come from a commercial back ground and now having spent more than 5 excellent years on 'white boats' I look at photos in the yachting media, such as Dockwalk, Triton, Crew Report etc..., of interior crew proudly displaying epaulette shirts with 4 or 3 stripes. Does this mean that they are the same pay grade and rank as a Master Mariner or Chief Mate? In my view, the interior, or Food and Beverage and hotel services,  which basically means chamber maid/ waitress or cook should not be the same rank as a master seaman. As far as I can tell, the skills set involved would not be beyond most assisant bar/coffee shop managers and the only reason they have been able to sustain such high wages for, lets face it, fairly un-skilled work, albeit long hours, is because usually, their boss/lover/captain sets their wage and the money ends up in his communal POT!

Posted: Sunday, February 8, 2009 1:10 AM
Wow. You say you have spent five years working on the white boats? I wonder. In many cases, except on the very largest yachts, that chef cooking a souffle in the galley has as much sea time as the first mate, sometimes more. The stewardess turning down the bed in the master cabin might also be watch leader. Back in my day, cross training wasn't an option it was a necessity and no one was shocked to see a captain helping to change bed linens. Times have changed with the really big yachts out there but there are still plenty that carry a relatively small number of crew that requires cross training. Top interior crew earn every penny of their wages. The stewies have more direct contact with owners and charter guests than anyone else. They have to know their stuff and do it all with a smile even when they have been up till two pouring champagne in Monte Carlo and must get up by seven to serve the French toast. AS for the chefs, well if you don't understand the type of effort required of them then I suggest you don't pay much attention at all. Have some wages been inflated? Yes. An entry level stew or deckhand with little more than an STCW in their hand should not be expecting 3,000 Euro a month. But then again do you think someone should do a few months work and get paid 20 million for it? Or should a CEO get million dollar bonuses/stock options when the company goes belly up?
Posted: Sunday, February 8, 2009 1:45 AM

One captain's comment here - I'll try not to rant....I could tell you all some stories regarding how people show up for interviews...from mate's to stews to chefs to deckhands. It never ceases to amaze me! Many captain's have the same stories. The interview for me starts when I see them walk up to the boat. Are they on time, how are they dressed, etc?  These are usually a good indicator of a person's work ethic, personal pride, commitment, etc.

This is undisputed and not just my opinion. I am a lead-by-example, hands-on, working captain that tries to set the highest standards for myself, my crew, and the boat. It has nothing to do with the owner and I don't do it for them. It's about being a professional and doing it for that reason.

I have certainly made my share of mistakes over time and I'm sure there are crew out there that might not speak favorably about me. In all honesty, it's their issue.  I'm sober, I don't hit on female crew, I speak respectfully to people, My uniform is always squarred away, I'm on deck first thing in the morning and up until the job is done. I've always thought crew would appreciate and respect this.  In my opinion, that's not the case most of the time.

For all the smack I here crew say about "this captain this, that captain that", I've always thought crew would appreciate working "with" a captain such as I.  By and large, I feel what I've received is no loyalty and a general lack of respect. For me, I believe it's a "people-to-people" issue, not a "captain-to-crew" issue. This relates to the way people show up and conduct an interview as well.

To Tiffany's post're right, interviewing is a two-way street and I'd be the first to say there are some jerk, ego-driven captains out there. As above, this is also a "people issue". It's about respect!

If you had an interview set up with me, this is what your experience would be like...I would have been prepared and most likely looking for you walking up to the boat and meet you at the gangway. I would introduce myself, shake hands, give you a quick boat tour...then I'd offer you something to drink before we sat down to talk. Our discussion would cover the position I'm hiring for, my expectations of you as a "crew member" (not a stew), and what you could expect from me (such as stated above). To be fair, at times, I have had to interview while several projects were going on which have interrupted the interview. I apologize and excuse myself to handle the issue, then return. 

I've come to accept, it will always be an "us versus them" mentality between captains and crew.

Posted: Sunday, February 8, 2009 7:47 AM
Its always a drama finding crew.  Plenty of time wasters.  .    Many crew have a very defined roll...engines broken, fix it. Im a guy, I can spot a good engineer fast.  For me, on a private yacht, the position of stewardess is the most difficult to fill.      The Stewardess is the crew memeber who  personally interacts with the owner and guests, becomes a member of their family.   Some are good and  behave like executive Secretaries, some are poorly spoken, poorly educated, disorganized...last year I had one that was argumentative with the guests.  I still remeber being downbelow last year, guests are in the cockpit gabbing away, one of them gets the great idea of breaking out a cold bottle of white wine, asks the stewardess for a bottle and she relpies.....its in the refrigerator next to the tomatos !!! Very difficult for me to judge how they will behave once on station.   Gives me nightmares  thinking about it.
Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2009 7:22 AM
This comment is directed at the frequent innuendo I hear about the justification of Salaries. careful here, that Chef in the Galley may only have done their STCW last year but could well have spent the last several years in one of the hardest, most stressful jobs there is, as a head Chef in a top restaurant, and that after 4 years apprenticeship and 6 years of hard grind to get there, He or she has a diploma in food hygiene etc etc, and the engineer that just got into yachting, after his apprenticeship he continued specialist studies into Hydraulics, diesel electric drives, and has 5 years on the shop floor, So Mr Mate, you got your CoC ticket after 2 years on Deck and 15 weeks at Warsash.
Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2009 6:53 PM
There really are some "muppets" in this industry. Its such a shame for the ones of us that are professional, passionate and strive to have a great team attitude and a job well done.
The captain who has been on "white boats" for five years.... YOU obviously are the type of guy whos boat is not really at  REAL ""white boat" standard! . Either your "Cook" and "chamber maid" must be the standard you run your "white boat"  just a cook and a cleaner..
If you actually had good standards you would see that all crew earn their money. Most "real" chefs also have a formal training,  A lot of Chief Stewardesses on real boats... large ones have a universtity degree in management, business or hospitality services. We are not some fish head rice cookers you find on Commercial vessels. Maybe thats what makes you happy, youshould go back there we have enough as$%^holes in this industry.
Chewing gum at interviews... This whole "grotty yachtie" thing is SO insulting to the rest of us that WANT to be in this industry. I suppose it is people like that, that make the rest of us more desirable.

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:02 PM
Hmmm I am screwed, my boat is dark blue!!!!!
Posted: Saturday, February 21, 2009 4:38 PM


Yes I'm bitter, but hey, who's ranting?

I've read a post by someone who claims to be an upstanding cpt and all. Hope that's true and good on you.  

The cpt's post reminds me of another cpt who has basically said the same to me in a multitude of [tyrades] emails that had more to do with threats against me via slandering my name all over the place if I attempted to say anything about the boat or  get the rest of my wages.  Yeah, very professional. This seems to happen quite a bit among us crew.  

By the way, aren't the owners more of an issue in this industry than bubble gum chewing stews?  Certainly there are owners who are good reflections of bad or shady crew.   Gee, lemme think of a good example [besides the "rant" previously mentiond] ...American yachtowners flying non US flags and allowing the hiring of illegal aliens while in US ports right under ICE's nose. Some even demand their cpts to hire nonAmericans only to save money on taxes or time on dealing with tax docs.



Posted: Monday, March 30, 2009 6:18 PM
Captain 'white boat'......

Then you really have no idea what is involved in the job duties of a Chief Stewardess of a 70m charter yacht and are clearly not doing your job as a manager.
It shows extreme ignorance of crew roles and infers that you would be one of the many shocking managers of people that unfortunately this industry has produced.
Assistant of a Cafe?  Time to grow up and accept that the interior crew are the ones that the Owners and Guests are most interested in and often become closest to.  This seems to bother you...

I respect and am loyal to my Captain - I hold him in the highest regard - as he does the same with me as his Chief Stewardess.  I have had no lover/Captain/Owner give me a 'leg up'.  I have grafted and am proud of what I have achieved in 10 years.  This is not a 'hobby' for me or a passing phase - this is my career as yours is yours.

I sound a hell of a lot more professional than you could ever be and thank God I have a Captain who does not think that due to the fact the boat is not an office on land, that he can act like God and try to quash anyone who dares to think that a domestic role onboard is something to be proud of. 

I am female.  I do not wish to drive a boat, nor fix it's leaky pipes.  I have no interest in such things.  I am assuming you have no interest in Guest Services....where would each position be without the other, I wonder?
Should I be punished and dissed for wishing to make the time onboard for our Guests a memorable and enjoyable experience?  Should I not be proud of the many 'thank yous' I have received from previous Guests? 

Should I - dare I - mention the countless Owners who have told me confidentially that the Captain is as replacable as the deck hand.  'He just drives it.  Management manage it.'  Anyone who is so inclined can pass a driving test........

This is such a fantastic industry with creative and dynamic people available.....but then someone like you comes along and tries to wreck it for all who strive to be professionals.  Why is that?  What is missing from your life?

The reason for high salaries for professional interior crew is that we are just as dedicated to the cause as the professionals - I shall leave you out of that bracket for now - have also studied our niche (apologies for it not involving changing oil filters and gaskets) and excel in our specific fields.  Why should we not be proud of our role in this industry?  Why should we not wear epauletes when we have qualifications in OUR field?
If the salaries were lower, the educated masses would not even consider it as a career.....

Perhaps we should leave all Captains like yourselves to manage all of the Guest Services onboard......the industry would be dead in the water within 2 years.

I assume that if the above makes me a 'cafe assistant', that makes you akin to a bus driver.

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 12:09 AM
I am a chief engineer on with 10+ years experience on 70+ meter charter and private yachts. I totally agree that the interior staff are worth every cent that they are payed. The interior staff are the front line of any properly run yacht and they are what the owners and charter guests see the most, and if they are not professional then the whole crew suffers as a whole. I have seen a whole crew fired, Captain included for one Stew insulting the owners friend on a trip, 17 plus crew.  Some of the Chef's I have had the pleasure in working with are absolute masters of their trade and can create incredible dishes for our demanding owners and guests, and are worthy of the high wages they are paid, I bet you never complain when their gourmet dinner they have cooked for you arrives in the crew's mess?

In my years on the sea the most trouble I have had is with Captains that have been in the industry for 5 minutes, landed a big job then, act like god, then the purser arrives as the Captains wife or girlfriend and it all goes to shit after that. Don't get me wrong there are many, many amazing Captains that are out there, and I have had the great pleasure in working for some of the best, but some Captains today need to look at them self first before blaming their crew for any wrong doing. I regards to hiring crew, any department head with any sort of yachting experience can tell within  minutes of interviewing a potential new crew member if the will fit in. The rest of them like the bubble gum chewers, will end up on the yachts where they belong.

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 1:56 AM
Joined: 04/03/2009
Posts: 12

Dear Captain,

Could the problem be what you are asking for. Why don't you try to increase the min. age of your new hire by 7 years from the old stew. Look at some married teams if positions are available. Look at all nations including Americans.An American Captain with a small 100 ton Master license spent 720 days underway and at least for me 72,000 miles being the only Captain/Engineer person on the boat before I got my license. You might find he will make an excellent first officer on a larger boat. Given some time he could get the MCA licenses needed. Someone that has real world experience and time on the water.

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:03 AM
CREW, CREW -Any type of gum at an interview is a BIG negative in ANY job interview (get real people) as is any other thing that may distract the attention from you, the hopeful employee. Also any decent Captain worth his salt should understand the service industry as well as his/her Steward or Stewardess, the Captains job has as much to do with service as navigation. Captains should understand what is involved in all departments of the Yacht. A person does not have to want to do a job to understand what it involves. But, if you do understand each job you will invariably do a much better job on board as a member of that crew. Working on a Yacht normally means living on it as well, so you would be well advised to understand each others job requirements and take the time to learn what types of stress each person of the crew goes through. You are all lucky to have the internet and such places as this to read and voice your opinions about the industry. In my days as Captain the best you got was a beer in a local and some drunk comments on the fly. Today's yacht owners have changed as the yachts have grown the crew have and some of the wages, it is a shame that judging by some of the comments posted on Dockwalk the mentality of some crew has not changed. The yachting industry is just that, an industry and the owners of the factories (yachts) expect the product. Service and enjoyment from owning the best money can buy. Produce the best service and you will see the fruits of the labor. An un-talked about secret is the secret of a crew that understands each other and each others position. It is a team that sticks up for each other and steps up to a task with a smile and willingness even if it is not in your job description. 

Posted: Friday, May 1, 2009 11:22 AM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 22

In due respect to the Stew who made the comment that her owner has said Captains are just drivers, Management companies manage, ALL crew are replaceable, and in reply to your quote that Captains do not understand the implications of your job" you have shown a disappointing appreciation of theirs. Many of the Captains in the larger yachts do use "management companies for shore based necessities, many of them still administrate the accounts, on board training, safety protocols, budget projections and maintenance of said, crew admin and supervision, survey protocols, etc etc, then on the direct side passage planning, owner/guest liasion, and carrying the legal, and moral responsibility for the vessel and actions of every one of the crew on board......
Posted: Friday, May 1, 2009 10:06 PM
A captain is only as good as his crew, A chief stewardess is only as good as the engineer (who keeps all the interior dept's equipment running) the chef is only as good as the service crew (read interior), the serving crew are only as good as the chef who cooks the food they serve, the deck crew are only as good as the budget (read products/ tenders/ toys) on and on it goes, ALL crew depend on each other to deliver, and rely on every other crew member. It is a TEAM thing, those who understand it are GREAT contributers, and will help form and maintain a GREAT team, those who do not, bitch about, and blame everyone else.
Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:35 PM
CD Hezel,

How can someone like yourself  have missed my point so totally and absolutely?  This is disturbing.

I made it very clear that I was talking about 'some' Captains.  Not all.  I am perfectly aware of what role the Captain plays onboard.  A Captain who knows his job.  And that of his dedicated Crew.

Outside management is for the mundane areas of the job - I know this.  My role onboard is to manage the interior from the four Stewardesses below me to the most basic of tasks such as ensuring my accounts are done correctly.

I manage the interior.  I did not say that I managed the entire vessel.  I cannot help the fact that Owners have told me that the Captain is replaceable.  And if I could I would forward you an email from my employer to tell me that I am in fact irreplaceable.  I was involved with the boat from before finish and work very closely with my emloyer.  So much so that when I wish to be land based in not too long a time my employer would like to employ me in a land based capacity in a management role.  I'm sure that will annoy you no end, but so be it.  I have worked dilligently and honestly to be able to reap the rewards.

You do not need to list the jobs of a Captain.  If after 8 years I haven't grasped that my very good Captain is a very busy man indeed, then there is a problem.

So once more for the deaf.......'some' Captains, not all, are akin to a bus driver.  Especially if they are ignorant enough to infer that I am akin to a cafe manager.  Is that clear enough now?  I really have no interest in a slew of arguments - but I will defend my position and that of the excellent Captains that do exist.

Best wishes for the season.

Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:06 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

The level of anonymity here is quite telling of the level of internal fortitude in the industry. As for a chief stew, she/he is much more than a chambermaid/toilet scrubber. A good one relieves me of the accounting duties of all the interior and delivers me a report at whatever level the owner requires which I append to all the rest of my paper work. They manage the entire interior and interior crew and when I walk through, I am pleased with what I see as is the owner &/or guests. They insulate me from the guests at time where I need to pay full attention to the vessel, and they are responsible for seeing to the safety and welfare of the passengers on board as well as any crew not on the station bill during emergencies. They know all the tricks to getting stains out of every kind of $750 sq/m fabric. A good chief stew is worth their weight in gold. Granted, not every chief stew meets these standards, but there are a good number who do. Chefs....damn, I'd never want their job. On a busy boat they have the toughest job with the worst schedules. They are always in sleep deficit. I've sent chefs to bed and cleaned the galley before...just damn, their hours are tough. As for the deckies, they have to do a good bit of work to keep the boat looking outside like the stews do inside, and a good Mate, as a good Chief Stew can relieve a good bit of my paperwork burden and my prevoyage preparations which is how Mates learn to be Masters. If I have a good Engineer, as well, I'm sitting phat because I know everything will run smoothly and when things break, they'll be fixed. I have had the good fortune of running with many excellent crews over the years and I make sure they are taken care of. I do my best to make their lives easy, and they do their best to make my life easy. It's my job to make sure that everything gets done properly and in a safe manner, and therefor I have to know every job on the boat, because in the end, I am responsible for the outcome of everyones actions. It's my job to set the tone for the crew to follow, and that is, we are going to be safe, we are going to enjoy ourselves and we're going to get our job done. There are plenty of professionals in the industry that I don't have to waste my time with entry level people who won't put forth the effort to be where they need to be to enter the industry. If I'm hiring a Chief... whatever, stew, mate, engineer... with a 15 year track record and I know, or have good references from people I know and respect, then yeah, I'll fly them in, heck, if it's halfway around the world, I'll fly them business class. If you're looking for your first job, be where you need to be. As for the morning appointment and afternoon call, forget it, don't bother coming. If you have a 9:00am appointment and you're in traffic, whatever, call by 8:55 and tell me you're going to be late. No excuses. As far as gum chewing and inappropriate dress amongst youngsters, well, I may overlook that depending on their attitude. Our society in general hasn't done well with the last couple of generations in the teaching of etiquette. If they have a good personality are bright and are eager, I'll educate them on mannerisms and personal expectations as well as professional duties. But, if you need this level of education, completely green to boats you're realistic salary expectation should be between $100-$125 a day for a live aboard position on a large busy boat. If it's not busy, look at $2500 a month being a gift. BTW, the main thing I look for at an interview is a person who smiles by default. Oh yeah, don't show up with booze stink oozing out of your skin. Every member of a crew is vital, especially in this industry where we run short handed most of the time. Crew relationships are like any relationships in that it takes a full effort on everyones part for every to enjoy it, and it only takes one person to cause disharmony among the entire boat. Personally, I'd rather pay more for someone less qualified with a smile and good attitude than hire someone imminently qualified who's sulky and demanding. At the end of the day, it's quality of life that counts. I can train someone to do the job I need done, I can't train a person out of an attitude that makes a whole boat miserable. I read so many negative postings by crew just complaining. No one is offering any solutions, just complaints. No wonder y'all post "anonymously", if I was you I'd be embarrassed to have people know I chose to live my life as a miserable wretch as well.
Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 8:14 PM
Joined: 07/07/2009
Posts: 6

To Henning,

I knew Captain's like you existed outside of my boat.  Thank heavens for that.  Your attitude is the reason why you will retain good and loyal crew.  You have regained my faith in the industry and Captains as a whole after reading some of the initial posts.  How dissapointed did I feel with the Chief Stewardess bashing.

Many thanks for your positive comments - on behalf of all the long term Chief Stewardesses who DO support their Captains and take the role seriously (even when people like those above exist), thank you!

Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 9:28 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

KMiler, thanks. I keep good crew because I respect good crew. Everyone on the boat counts, and everyone on the boat is necessary for the operation to go smoothly and safely. If you do your best at your job, I'm the nicest guy on earth. If you're lazy or careless, you'll be wanting to get off quickly, because I can also be the biggest bastard on earth as well. I don't tolerate actions which endanger others and I don't need the liability of people who endanger themselves. I also don't need people who force others to cover for their laziness and the disharmony it creates amongst the rest of the crew. After a year on an oilfield boat, I had a great crew put together and the office called and was going to transfer me to another boat. I packed my stuff and went up to the office to get a ride to the heliport to head out and they told me "Go on back to your boat..." "Ok, why?" "Because your crew called and said if you were leaving, they were all quitting." I took that as the ultimate compliment from a crew. It's not all that tough, it's just about respect, the respect you earn, and the respect you give.
 Average 5 out of 5