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I will never work for commerical captains.
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 8:25 PM
Joined: 13/10/2010
Posts: 1

I am chief officer and had 4 really good years with a great crew and Captain and Owner on this 65m travelling worldwide and I just quit. It is so annoying.. The Yachtie Captain has been on the vessel long before me and was a great Captain, he has retired to land, and , was replaced by a Commerical Class 1 Captain. This guy has never worked on a Yacht. He isn't on board for a week and a bunch of 'memos' are posted to 'CREW' in the crewmess. First was food budget to be cut down to 6euros/person/day, no soft drinks, no bottled water, chef was told to cut back on fruit and cheeses/fresh milk/fresh bread, no desserts. The second was crew to pay for their own toiletries "We need to stop the waste and run this vessel to a higher standard" !!?. Third. working hours to be increased from 8 to 6, 6 days a week, no time off at all when owners on board. (Sometimes 4 months at a time). Fourth and this is the more access to internet and any calls from the vessel to be paid for by crew. "The crew seem to be constantly on the internet with the resultant poor preformance of their duties. Off duty time should be spent retired to cabins resting"!!? and of course, dry boat, no booze permitted at all....I do apologise to the crew, I went and approached the Captain and explained this is not the best way or is at all necessary to treat yacht crew, different standards to the commerical industry...he said"If I want your opinion I will ask for it and I should follow orders without question"...I lost it and gave him a mouthful of what I though of his orders and that was the reason for my immediate departure...he actually said he was going to call the police and lay criminal charges... Crew agencies/management companies. please, please no commerical captains without yacht experience...
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:12 AM
The way this Captain treated the crew was appalling and no one should expect to work under those conditions. However you cannot generalise and assume that all commercial captains are like this. I have worked for both commercial captains and yacht captains on a number of yachts in the past and from my experience commercial captains are far less strict than those captains who have come solely from a yachting background. One example is the fact that, being from a commercial background, their eye for detail on deck was not nearly as stringent as the "Yachty" captains (not necessarily a good thing), but life for the deck crew was certainly easier under the commercial captains. They were also more inclined to give the crew more time off, quite the opposite it seems, of the captain you mention. Please don't paint everyone with the same brush.
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:24 PM
In my experience, when captains start trying to penny pinch the crew provisioning budget it is not because they are trying to save the owner money, it is because they are stealing the unused portion, this problem is compunded when the captain's partner is the cook or stew. Regarding commercial captains, I can only speak from my own experience which has been generally positive. They are generally speaking much less insecure than their Class IV brethren who so often seem to be on a mission to prove to everyone how great they are, they are much more used to a structured work schedule and less likely to ask for extra hours of work for usually silly little storms in tea cups. And finally, they are generally less inclined to micro manage the mate and his deck maintneance routines usually, as someone else stated, because this is not their strong suit, but it doesnt need to be if they have a good mate and bosun.

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:55 AM
My experience tells me that I would/could never work for a "yacht only" captain/captainess again. I have seen so much unprofessional, non maritime behaviour and antics from these 500/3000 both USCG and (especially) MCA garden varieties. Seems like the homeopathic license scheme that these mariners graduate from does not prepare them for the rigors of the sea, much less appreciate the leadership and seamanship that such an office require. If an ex commercial captain is penny pinching, it is probably the result of lavish and foolhardy spending of his/her predecessor and that the owner/management wants to turn it around! One crazy ex commercial does not constitute evidence, it is only anecdotal. [removed by moderator], cleary someone who is unaware of the hierarchy which exist on a ship, has a problem with written instructions, is unaware that ILO regs state max 77h work week, not 8-6X6 as he wants (the captain was giving you a break, [removed by moderator]!), that alcohol is a big no-no when at sea and 8 hours before duty, and that toiletry is a personal responsibilty (regard it as a bonus that was discontinued). You seem to unaware of the conditions which 98pct of the maritime world work under. As for the cheese, I think you're confusing yor ex captain with another. Good day!
Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 9:09 PM
Joined: 12/08/2009
Posts: 4

I am a commercial Captain, finish my Nautical back in 1982, and then made the change in december 1995, so is sort of half and half by now. Currently Captaining a 72 (236 feet) mtr yacht, although I stated with a 19 mtrs (65 feet)

This guy is one of kind!, I mean, normal Captains, either full yachties or full commerical dont behave like that and for sure he wants to demonstrate the owner how good he is cutting expenses by half or more!, In my case I do give all toiletries since I started, about 15 EU per day per crew budget for food onboard and so on which is "normal", so yes, definitly this guy is not at all "normal" and well, being a commercial Captain doesnt mean you can be a Yacht Captain, which also brings me to the other topic, Chief Mate or OOW full commercial MCA etc has to start form deckhand?, dont think so but he can't be Ch. Officer or 2nd Officer on big yachts simply because he does not know all the special prodcuts used in maintenance, he will know all regulations, ISM ISPS, but to be on a superior level that the bosun or deckhands, you have to know and demonstrate them that you know what you are talking about or why you use this product instead of that one, and the only way to learn is to do it yourself, how?, being a deckhand or bosun at least for a season

Cap. Salvador Villerias

Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 9:14 PM
To someone here: My experience tells me you are just another merchant monkey new to this game waving big fancy tickets around. I bet you really put all your experience to the test when youre moored in cala di volpe all summer. You seem to be unaware that 98% of this industry will happily give you free toiletries, cheese and are generally quite happy to take good care of theyre crew. Fruit for the love of god!!! we are humans too. I cant stand this merch types that come in telling us that we are all idiots and dont know that last thing about our job.. Fair enough you might be a navigational machine, but i bet theres been many angry guests after charters under your command, you cant drive a tender and don't know what a doodlebug is! you like many others that come into this industry claming to be the best dont know the last thing about yachts and yachting. Jokers
Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 10:03 PM
"merchant commercial side of sailing involves carrying industrial products and merchandise , has nothing to do with social entertainment unless they are visiting a strip joint , so don't expect the merchant commercial guys to understand why it;s important to eat well , rest well and be sociable with guests , they deal with cargo , oil and waste , not with mrs a who wears diamonds and prefers polite and subtle conversation in an educated and civilized manner /enviroment. , then there is yachting , in a private sense or commercial , the context of the word commercial here pertains to a yacht that has been chartered for use by paying guests , not cargo or waste , more social friendly polite , elite types , you have marinas not rat infested docks you have good food because standards are high and most yachts feed the crew whatever the guests are eating and its not pasta and rice everyday.If the boss is happy to feed and take care of the crews toiletries why not? , in those commercail oil bins yes the boss is a company that wont let you eat lobster for dinner , on the yachts the boss likes to see a well fed smiling deckie not a grease ball thats frowning at all times and has no idea when hell see the inside of the next strip joint , ... my point is , these are two very different worlds and just because a fellow has a commercial license thay should not just waltz in and think they know how to be sociable and bring there rotten ship standards aboard a megayacht. i have worked commercial and now on yachts and i see clearly that the license is valid for size , navigation and authority but it is NOT valid for standards , social status on board or ethics in regards to how a captain treats crew , guests and manages the vessel in general , there ought to be a rigorous course they should be put through for them to adjust and polish there shoddy and depressingly low social/ standards .
Posted: Saturday, January 22, 2011 12:07 AM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 1

Trying to use the same brush on the wide range of expertise required in the maritiime industry is a futile effort. Further, saying that it is imposible that one person with specific skills can not adapt (or fail) to a new environment is also shortsighted. Even within the commerical industry, there is a vast range of skills required which are unique to that aspect of shipping. I have seen some who have migrated nicely, and others who have utterly failed to make the transition. Hey, if the maritime industry were an easy profession, anyone could do it.....
Posted: Saturday, January 22, 2011 6:03 AM

Having a "big ticket" exclude most mariners from the yachting world, because they do not know how varnish? Having a "big ticket" exclude most mariners from the yachting world because they do not know how mend their "vulgar" behaviour? Having a "big ticket" exclude most mariners from the yachting world, because they do not know what the latest Scotch-Brite product is called (or was it the V1, the scooter or the insect which was referred to)? Pray, tell, what can "little tickets" bring to the table! What can a "little ticket" bring to the outside maritime world? Good manners? A yachtie look? Consumption of fine foods? Tender driving without loosing sunglasses? Think about it, "big tickets" enter yachting, seeing the perspective from the outside and the inside the industry while "little tickets" are regurgitating myths about the outside world, while their gaze is firmly directed at their own belly buttons. It is cultural inbreeding and sadly prevailing among yachtie only personnel!

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011 12:23 AM
the person that wrote the immediate above post , i think you are one of the commercial goons we are discussing.obviously all you have is a big ticket to cover you little social skills.YES part of yachting is knowing how to do dishes , (silverware) you are the guy that will scratch it up with a scouring pad and say , yeah its clean! , then proceed to use the wrong product on the hull and strip or scratch the new paint , then , drag a heavy item across the deck instead of asking for help to lift it. we have delt with you on deck big ticket , you have no clue on how to be personable and so you can't comprehend or fathom what yachting is. Regardless i'll try and give you a picture , ... yachting is not just the ticket , if people were hired just because they have the license it would be awful, ... i hire most times based on the" right fit" and im not talking underwear! im talking manners , personality , impression and character... along with some credentials for insurance. There are many crew out there that are great mariners and do not have you "big ticket" Most jobs i have landed were usually based on my personality and sociable nature , not my license i beat guys with big licenses just with my personality so yes ...big ticket is SMALL potatoes when it comes to yachting , you need to be well rounded (not your belly) to fit in yachting , you cant handle it then go back to the piece of steel that requires a big tick and no social skills and we will see who has the bigger smile at the end of it
Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011 1:16 AM
Joined: 12/07/2010
Posts: 57

With the size of the vessels being built today there is a major change in the need for the heavyweight ticket-holder. By definition a 65m yacht is a commercial vessel. I agree this experience of yours must have sucked, but, you are stroking with a very large brush , one you may ingest should you carry that opinion very long. You see chances are your next job may very well be for a "commercial guy" , how do you know , you gonna ask in the interview, "captain what jobs have you had?". I don't think so. Most importantly you are way outa line with your conclusions and outburst to a superior officer. I would have done the same as he. I have never had the expectation of my employer funding my communications to my personal life. The standard of living for yacht crew is way out of hand if this is now the case. You make a deal when you sign on for what 5k a month plus food and maybe sometimes health maintenance insurance, but now you want beers and time off and soda and desert, whats left free porn channels , then you'll never leave the cabin. between duties. Your not a yacht guest your a servant to the owner and his guests, If you don't like that maybe you should consider working commercial for a stint or to to get a taste of the real life. Hint it kinda tastes like diesel and piss with an under-layer of tobacco. Tender driving and doodlebugs are insignificant when it comes to legally protecting a $50 million asset in international waters. You will never know until you sit in his seat the demands he faces. Oh yeah and the captain is never the generator of budget reductions it is always the boss, your misdirection of the "blame " shows your naivety.
Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011 7:17 AM
"... i hire most times based on the" right fit" and im not talking underwear! im talking manners , personality , impression and character... along with some credentials for insurance" = "regurgitating myths about the outside world, while their gaze is firmly directed at their own belly buttons. It is cultural inbreeding and sadly prevailing among yachtie only personnel!" QED

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011 3:11 PM
To the original poster, Ex Chief Officer on yacht for four years. Guessing you were next in command but got passed over for some reason ?? Not qualified, insurance company don't like you, not enough command experince. The Owner selected this Captain, and he may be the wrong choice. Thats the owner to decide, not you. The crew as a whole had the opportunity to impress this new Captain with a solid work ethic and professionalism. Instead what he saw was a bunch of well fed crew on facebook and youtube. Maybe that's the reason the new Captain did not respect your opinion. Dry ship is fine and normal, cut back on crew costs normal. No time off when Owners onboard, normal.Internet access and phone is a priviledge not a right. New Captain often means cleaning house, you were first. The fact that he comes from a commercial background is irrelevant, a lot of the very best Yacht operations are run by Captains from the commercial sector. There is a reason for that. Good news is , you are now available to broaden your experience with a commercial operation, and work a good rotation if you are lucky. You would then bring more back to yachting in a very short time than you left with.
Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 12:20 AM
oh.. you smell that?...yeah... smells like grease to me and oil , crude oil in fact along with L N G or L P G stuff , i'll make you guys a deal , im a yachtie , love love my chamois and preppy outfits after a super meal thats five star , in fact i've put on a few ponds since joining yachts , i'll stay in yachting and keep buying new uniforms every year , you guessed it , it's a size up every time! , you stay with your tankers and bulk carriers and stay away from us preppy yachties ... oh.. my mid day cappuccino is getting cold and my vanilla ice cream is melting as i type , what do you know , we are in st barths at the dock , the boss called a few days ago and said he was coming in for two weeks of cruising , so our chef and chief stew recieved emails detailing what the boss and his guests want to eat and drink for that period and a large shopping was made , really good stuff hey... then on the morning of the supposed arrival the phone rang and the captain received the news that the boss and his guests have cancelled the trip due to his business commitments , he instructed us to go ahead and have a good time and not let anything go to waste , he also apologized for the no show... this happens often by the way so my systems is getting used to digesting lobster and caviar hence my increasing pants size even after running up the hills when i knock off at three pm , did i mention we all nap too between 12 and two? there is no urgency , the yacht is in top shape at all times and we live easy , so go away and stay away.. life is good on my end (we all also just got a pay rise!) and we DO work hard to keep thing in tip top working order , so long mariner , enjoy your budget cuts on the tankers...
Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 4:29 AM
@Sniffer: Crude oil and LNG/LPG on the same carrier? Does such a vessel exist? Isn't it very dangerous, not to mention the economic viability of such a design? You're sure what you're talking about? You were offering a deal. Difficult to see really, what the deal is about, since you are already a sloth yachtie and offer nothing. What's in it for the rest of us? That you will be weened off preppy suits and chamois? Nice description btw, of your rigors at sea, none which require any special training, ticket nor a yachtie disposition, any higher mammal could do that! And perhaps you should rethink your view of the merchant world. Tankers and LNG carrier crews do not constitute the majority of maritime personnel, rather a tiny, tiny fraction. Or perhaps I was being too optimistic, I actually presumed that you are able to think, overshooting somewhat.
Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 8:43 PM
Totally disagree with this. Commercial guys know there stuff. Where I'm at they not only came up doing tugs, and work boats, but most of them usually have a lot of commercial fishing industry experience. They lead by example and allow others to become self starters rather than micro manage. They know what they're doing from top to bottom and know how to run a boat. From a deckhand perspective, they are the best to learn from. Their top priority, which it always should be, is the safety and well being of the boat. The are not consumed by the tedious nuances that usually consume life on a yacht.
Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 5:11 PM

People can't be generalised! Either you are human or arrogant annimal! Doesn't matter you are "Big" licenced or "Small"


Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 2:56 AM
I started on these big dirty tankers you seem to put down, i then have worked on big cruise ships and now i work on yachts. So i believe i'm qualified to give my opinion on this.

You may not like the 'big ticket' guys but they're here and they're going nowhere. I also envision that they're going to form a major part of yachting in a few years as the size of yachts grow. I have too tasted fine food (we had a michelin star chefs restaurant onboard), i have dealt with difficult guests and i have been on the front line so to speak. When i sent out inquiries to crewing agents i nearly had my hand ripped off. I was offered jobs within hours.

I see no reason why they're needs to be a difference. If you have yacht only what? I have a commercial ticket and will not give that up as i like to have options. Yachting is a short term goal for me but i feel more confident in my ability than an engineer who has worked solely on yachts. Why? because my training was more closely regulated than the yacht licenses.

The captain in question in the original post seems like he's been brought on to do a job. A cost saving job. I've seen it all over. I worked for the single biggest shipping company in the world. Even they cut costs while bragging about their billion dollar profits that year.

Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 4:13 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

Ayyy.... Even good commercial companies don't treat their sailors that bad. As Clarence Squires, our operations manager at Crowley used to say, "The cheapest way to keep good crew is to feed them good food." Some people are smart, some people are stupid, avoid the stupid ones. It just goes back to what I said in another thread, the issue is why they became captains and what they are good at. His forte is cost cutting, that's how he impresses his boss. He doesn't know any other way to do it so he chisels it off the crew, that's how he justifies his position. "High Standards" to him start in the Stewards/Pursers department.

Captain Andy
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:13 PM
Joined: 17/09/2008
Posts: 93

Is the yacht Red Ensign Group? Did you have the terms of your crew agreement or terms of employment breached? If so get hold of a GOOD maritime lawyer and try for constructive dismissal before it is too late!! I will email more advice to you if you email me at Good luck!
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:10 AM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 36

Maybe, it is about time the MCA updated the yachting qualification syllabus, introduced a practical assessment ethos for the yacht engineering tickets and licenced yacht Captains up to 20000GT. What is going on at the moment seems to make peoples lives difficult with owners always having to draft in crew from the Royal/Military and Merchant Navy and the resultant culture clash as highlighted by this thread.
Posted: Saturday, August 4, 2012 4:49 PM
Joined: 04/08/2012
Posts: 2

I'm considering going to work on a barge tug in the gulf, but I'm not sure if i can stand the confinment for 3 weeks at a time. Is there ever any time you can get off the boat when your not on watch. Anytime for female company?
Posted: Saturday, August 4, 2012 7:04 PM
everybody loves a tug, female company is up to you.

Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 3:27 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

This has nothing to do with a commercial back ground, this is a personal defect in his personality.
Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 3:42 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

Jerry, I'm running on an ATB tanker rig at the moment for OSG on 21/21 hitches. Getting off is a bit iffy, but yeah, when alongside discharging making a run to town to get out when off watch is doable, thing is you are in facilities where you have to make it to the gate to get picked up, and that may be some distance. Typically someone at the facility will give you a ride, but you can't count on it and you may be breathalyzed at the security shack on the way back to the boat with a max of .04. The watches are 6 on 6 off 7 days a week so your ability to party during your hitch is non existent.
Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 7:01 PM
Joined: 04/08/2012
Posts: 2

Henning, I'm also getting conflicting info about tv on the boats. In the companies description of life on the boat says they have tv and satillite. But I also hear only a few have satillite.
Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 12:51 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

"Henning, I'm also getting conflicting info about tv on the boats. In the companies description of life on the boat says they have tv and satillite. But I also hear only a few have satillite." At OSG, we have DTV in every cabin, I haven't run for Crowley in a long time so I don't know there. If Clarence Squires was still the ops manager for the fleet I would say yes, however he retired a few years back. BTW, Crowely is SIU and OMS is AMO, personally I like AMO better since they have Star Center and the rest of their facilities in Dania Beach FL and SIU has their not nearly so good facilities in Piney Point. Great training/education benefits from AMO, you can take all the classes you want with room an board included for free between hitches. The rest of the companies in the Gulf are non union so you don't get those kind of bennies. Delta Tig & Tow is a Edison Choest company and they are a bit of a strange lot, quite likely only have satellite TV in the crew mess, but I'm not sure. With some of the smaller companies it's hit and miss. When sat TV first came out, basically the crews would just chip in, on service boats the 'company man' would usually spring for service. Email me at and tell me what company and I can possibly get you some better intel.
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