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Crew Policy re who pays for alcohol
Tom Moloney
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 12:34 AM
Joined: 09/08/2011
Posts: 1


I would like to understand what the general policy is for who pays for alcohol that the crew consumes on a private vessel when owners are on board or are way form the vessel. Please give your opinion and reasoning behind the opinion. Thanks.
love2travel
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 2:57 AM
Joined: 10/09/2011
Posts: 1


On this private yacht the crew pays for all their alcohol. The owner does not want us to drink on the yacht, so all drinking is done off the yacht. The crew is not allowed to drink 6 hours before any scheduled shift. The crew find this reasonable as drinking is recreational and working with really hung over crew is no fun. Been there. And those types that show up to work with a few drinks in them are dangerous to work with.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 7:16 AM
Fortunately the boat I work on only employs professional mature adults, the boat supplies beer and wine the crew are allowed to drink when guests are on board and after work but not when at sea. No one takes advantage of this or has a drinking problem as we are adults who care more about our careers then getting drunk...which we still do a good job off when off the boat..
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 8:22 AM
I see the moral high ground has been swiftly claimed as usual. Quick answer is that it depends from boat to boat, there doesn't seem to be a rule or a pattern.
junior
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 8:34 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Most boats operate with a crew food and supplies budget. If the chef uses a chunk of this budget to buy crew alcohol then the chef has less money available to buy food and supplies. Soon non drinkers are suffering reduced quality food or breaking teeth on day old bread so that the drinkers can drink. Its best for everyone if crew buy alcohol separately with their own onboard beer war chest and keep this troublesome detail out of the chefs budget. Other money drains are soft drinks...chefs hate wasting money on cans of sugar water that comprise their food budget.
ratpack
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 8:23 PM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 98


Most boats I have worked on have a no alcohol policy while guests are around and also while at sea - and I have to say I agree with that, we are there to look after guests whatever the eventuality. I have however never had to buy my own alcohol ( but i don't drink much). Either way, I would consider the boat buying you a drink as a bonus rather than a pre-requisite of your employment.
Henning
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:52 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


It depends really on the occasion and situation. If we're talking the booze for the nightly p-ss up, that's on the crew. If we're talking a night out after a charter or long passage, or a drink or two with your dinner on a delivery, that's on the boat.

Burgerman
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:07 PM
Joined: 12/08/2008
Posts: 3


[Comment edited by moderator] Except for the extremely occaissional drink to celebrate a crossing or busy summer, crew should never touch the owners alcohol. FYI , I allow beer and wine onboard if personally purchased and allow on boat only with guests. Never off board with guests and always after shift is finished. Do you expect the owner to buy your underwear too??
John Doe
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:33 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 60


just my socks
junior
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:03 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


No, Its not a stupid question. Not all captains are puritanical , not all owners are possessive of their alcohol. During the season this boat is fully stocked..always a cold beer in the cooler, if you feel like a beer or a glass of wine or a rum and lime at the end of the day or at lunch or whenever its appropriate...be my guest and the boss would be happy to pay. When the season ends...the boss goes home, the yacht goes into winter maintenance mode , the situation becomes more difficult. Crew food and crew supplies are coming out of the boat budget. Soon crew are having mates stop by after work for a cold one, cases of beer grow legs and end up at the beach BBQ or crew overindulge. Best to avoid this complication, have your cold beer at the pub , buy booze yourself and avoid any drinking onboard offseason..
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:37 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Important to remember the vessel is 'home' to the majority of crew, excepting those who have real homes to go at the end of the day/week.

Crew have sacrificed enough privacy/free time/independence to live and work full time aboard yachts; taking away the booze is the last straw.

Paranoid, puritanical captains notwithstanding, the best drink is always at home.

 


Captain Brian
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:39 PM
Joined: 11/09/2009
Posts: 12


Admit it or not, the biggest problem our industry has, by a long shot, is alcohol abuse. Maybe I'm getting less tolerant as I grow older, but I'm absolutely over having children onboard who can't wait til 5 so they can dive straight into a bottle. I won't have them working with me---I don't care how experienced or talented. I'm lucky enough at the moment to have a good crew of grown-ups who can handle a beer at the end of the day and leave it at that. I have no problem with buying a case here and there so that there's a cold one in the fridge, but I won't spend the bosses money on wine and booze. You know, I've always loved St. Martin, but I've gotten to the point where I dread going there for any down time because in the past the crew seemed to lose their damn minds in an endless contest to see who could get the most hammered. Part of that I'm sure is due to the fact that our jobs constantly take us to places where the entire economy is based on tourism and partying. Show me a veteran crew member with no money after years of yachting and I'll show you an out-of-control alcoholic.
predator
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:30 PM
Joined: 09/09/2010
Posts: 3


With regard to alcohol on board. There is no set precedent every yacht has a differn't policy if any policies at all. A glass of wine with dinner and not a bottle is acceptable any more and your taking the michael. Some owners, like those who I have had the greatest pleasure to work for were very happy for you to sit down and be pumped full of a certain Sardinian lemon vodka so there was no recourse if we sat in the crew mess and had a party with the alcohol purchased out of the galleys purse.
captpage
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:31 PM
Joined: 19/10/2008
Posts: 35


Great answers!!! If your French crew?, they have wine all day long and German beer, but being I am American the USCG has some different rules so try looking them up. Drinking on board your vessel as crew can create many proplems so ask some of the older members and get some different inputs...nice to have sober crew, if by chance a fire starts or the vessel gets a leak...do pirates fit in there anywhere. Who is awake if someone falls over board. Yes we have all been there and everyone has to learn - no Angel here, but surviving my youth was a miracle...so have fun, make it to 50+, and see what you have to say to your crew as they drink you under the table. It is just a circle - do the best you can!!!!!
John Doe
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:47 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 60


It is a stupid question and typical. There is no general policy, there is policy, and you follow your boats policy, it is there for a reason. Never mind what other people are doing. Nothing worse than new crew talking to the boat beside you to find out how they run, how muck do you get paid, how much time off.
Fishermanrelaxed
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 12:32 AM
Joined: 30/06/2010
Posts: 7


The industry has changed so much from the days of the dock party in the yard after a long week.At Bradfords there would be 20 boat crews bringing a dish and we would have a party on the dock.No owners.very well behaved.The old days of the Enterprise party's at the old piers 66.Now we always pay are own.a beer once in awhile.booze always pay your own.They are your employer.Your getting free room,eats,clothes and seeing the world on somebody else s dime.Why abuse it ? Take advantage of it? Blake

Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 1:07 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


The previous three posts seem rather incoherant and to be slurring thier words; especially Mr 'laid back fisherman' Your comments indicate you think we all should be paying/charged for food, accomodation and clothing!

Perhaps you think the crew should also pay for dockage, fuel, etc? 


CaptErik
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 1:24 AM
Joined: 09/09/2008
Posts: 62


What I don't understand about these questions, are, how did you get into this business? Did you just enter it as captain, or have you actually worked in it for awhile, or are you new crew, starting on a boat or even better, an owner seeking information. Questions like this are answered or learned as you progress through the ranks. Unfortunately, it seems people skip the steps of learning and then find themselves missing the info they would have learned along the way. So work a bit in the industry and learn, and if you can not learn what you need this way, please get a job on land.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 1:33 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


CapEric, calm down and have a drink....

Job on land? bartender I presume?


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:19 AM
The owners should pay for everything....no question
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:50 AM
Where are you people coming from ? I'm an owner who loves to "wine & dine" my crew, but that does not mean that they have the right to help themselves to my wines & alcohol ! When they are with me and I invite them to join me, I have no problem with what they consume. However, this does not give them the right to just help themselves when I'm not on board.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:33 AM

As far as I’m concerned, the owner of the vessel is responsible for paying for alcohol. Just like food, clothing and anything else I need.  Yachting requires us to work twice if not triple the hours of non marine jobs.  The least they could do is provide some booze.  Of course,  with moderation of intake.  Think about it, you don’t choice what you wear, what you eat, and when you go to bed, so I’ll be dammed if they can tell me I have to pay for a drink. 


johnschwerdt
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:37 AM
Joined: 06/09/2011
Posts: 1


read about the The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 or the Jones Act. 
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 7:26 AM
I find it hard to believe this question needs to be asked. Are you actually a captain, or yet, someone in authority? Are you one of those people who went from green deckie to captain of a 40 meter in 18 months? Get a grip, or find another career.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 8:26 AM
My owner does not drink. He asked me to keep the alcohol down to a minimum. With that in mind I try to keep any bills from reflectng such charges so in the end that means someone has to pay for the beer and wine. Well we all know that a dry boat is difficult to keep crew on. Everyone wants to play sometimes. I like to make sure everyone is happy but not getting too pissed up all the time. It's a delicate balance. So in the end, you use the extra money that always seems to flow into someones pocket for the funding of beer and wine. Come on captain's! Cough it up. A happy crew in the end will keep everyone smiling.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 1:28 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Non drinking owners/captains have a curious habit of insisting that others do not drink also.

I do not smoke cigarettes, but I do not insist upon others likewise.

It seems the majority of complaints are about the minority of crew members who consume/abuse excess of alcohol.

If this is the case, and where vessel safety or job performance is compromised, sack them !

This will serve as a warning to others.  


Dingofish
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 2:56 PM
Joined: 21/06/2008
Posts: 2


Wow, some very strident opinions on this one which in effect is a leisure item.

On my boat there is a certain amount of beer/ wine bought on the monthly galley budget. If it is consumed in one gulp then there is no more until next month. There is no way it should be an open item for the boats account. There are some people who dont drink or dont need it to relax so why shoud a chunk of the food budget go out on alcohol? Some people smoke, there is no way that would be paid for by the boat. Its all about moderation reallly, which escapes a lot of crew on these type of boats. It tends to be a sign of maturity if someone knows how to accept moderation in their workplace on benefits. If you worked on an offshore oil rig you would not be allowed to drink. Some merchant ships have a bar onboard for after hours consummption, but you have to pay for what you drink albeit at duty-free prices.

Some captains run their boats like it is their own little fiefdom & dont allow any latitude, others its open slather. To me there are pros & cons for both ways of doing it but at the end of the day every crew member has to show their own responsibility & initiative towards everything involved in working on one of these boats. They accept this when they decide to work in this industry, if they dont then they need to be motivated enough to change their situation instead of barking that everyone else should change it for them to how they want it. I get so tired of hearing people whinge in this game about how its not good enough for them. I reckon that before anyone is allowed to work on a yacht they shoud have to do a mandatory 3 months on a commercial fishing trawler or such to see how good they have it here.

If someone had an accident onboard or drove a tender on the rocks when they were "on the rocks" then people would point the finger at the captain saying he didnt "look after the welfare of his crew". How is it that captains get the blame if some crew member shows total lack of responsibility. I cannot stop someone going down the pub to get trashed in their leisure time no matter how much they say they arn't. If I did then I would be accused of witholding peoples basic human rights of freedom. Thats why moderation is the key & only certain types of people have the capacity & responsibilty (& self-respect in some cases) to show it. Moral high ground? I dont think so....

The original question is valid because this person has seen something unseen in just about any industry I can think off so needed to clarify it. He/She may also have heard the ubiquitos pub banter from other crew about what they get, what they should get & what so & so gets.

Anybody thats been there knows that keeping yacht crew happy all the time is a very taxing chore.

Grant Maughan- Skipper: motor yacht "Turmoil"


junior
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:43 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Yup...the world you describe is pretty much the world Ive always seen. And the question is legitimate,. The original poster may very well be a, chef, new to boats, stocking up for the next 30 day cruise. If you are the new chef ...then...dont forget the beer !!!!! How much ? Who knows, moderation is the rule, less is best...so make it a few cases of beer and a case of wine, then see how it goes. If the crew get grumpy, threatening to feed you to the sharks...add extra rations next month.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 8:53 PM
So far I've noticed that the alcohol policy depends on the capt/management/owner, and every one is different.  Across the board, I've never worked on a yacht where alcohol was allowed during guest trips, or deliveries, and this seems to be very logical and fair to me.  One captain I worked for used to go out on a Friday afternoon and buy a case of beer for the crew to share at the end of the week as a thank you.  This was only when there were no guests.  On another boat, the managers mandated that the crew were allowed 2 beers per person per day...this seemed to be a real pain in the butt for the captain as it seems like a lot of the long-time crew were unable to control themselves and felt entitled...and they would be angry when the weekly allotment of beer ran out!  The happiest I have ever seen crew is on a boat where the boat/capt didn't provide alcohol, but there was a bit of shelf space in the crew fridge for people to store their beer/wine.  As a whole, the crew didn't abuse this privilege.  We were happy to get off the boat and have a drink- and showing up to work hung over was frowned upon.  I totally get this and respected the captain for having a policy like that.

My theory always was that we get paid well and all basic needs are provided.  If you want a drink, spend a couple bucks and get one for yourself!!!  Sure, have fun, but why drink all your hard earnings down the drain?


Dingofish
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:10 PM
Joined: 21/06/2008
Posts: 2


I still have to shake my head at the amount of crew in this industry that live by the drinking mantra of "One is to many but a hundred's not enough". Maybe I am becoming an old dog but I look on with disappointment at crew that sleep through their days off with a filthy hang-over & consider it to be a badge of honour. Such a waste & something they will only learn when they get older & maturer. To me a mature crew member knows when to slow it down at the pub or make it the last one if they know they have to work the next day. (not have 6 shots to end the night by the way...) If you have a "normal" job (ie: land-based & go home every night) & you turned up everyday to your job hung-over & under-performing then it is also frowned on. Some crew seem to take offence that a Skipper would be unhappy with a hung-over person & trying to take away their privilege of freedom. Thats very narrow minded in my opinion, any place of employment takes a dour view of its employees turning up practically under the influence or so incapacitated that they endanger themselves & others on-site. Some mine sites in Australia make the workers do a breathe test coming through the gate so they dont kill some other unfortunate person by their incapacitation. There's a time & place for eveything, I dont think i have to spell it out anymore here.... Grant Maughan. Skipper- motor yacht "Turmoil"
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 3:08 PM
Number one CREW should not be Drinking with owners on board you are putting your Captains license at risk.You are at work and are responsible or maybe not therefore you should not have a job!Number Two if you want to live that lifestyle work at a BAR.
ratpack
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:58 AM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 98


Disbelief ! - Some of the answers here (all anon) stating that they EXPECT the owner to pay for their booze - are you crazy ? The owners pays you a damn good salary, the likes of which you will probably never see in any other industry, he buys your food - certainly in my case, I eat much better food on a boat than I do at home, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, clothes to wear while you work, probably shoes too. On top of that, you get paid leave, flights paid for, medical, a crew apartment if the boat is uninhabitable, probably the use of a crew car when in dock, trips to some far flung destinations - the list is endless. Do you really think the owner owes you a beer too ? What you need to do is leave the boat and head back to shore for a while - it will be a very rude awakening. Suddenly you will be doing laundry, cooking, going shopping and buying your own beer not to mention all the other land based nonsense you will have to deal with. Good luck to you I say - I hope we never have to work on the same boat
Russel
Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 12:49 AM
Joined: 04/09/2011
Posts: 1


No one ever got ahead in life by not buying the beer.  I don’t know about you but in a bar Id get a bit frustrated in buying the round and no one else shouting one in return. Maybe its time for the crew to do the shouting   


Rusty Wrench
Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 1:20 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Russel: please go back to the bar and shout as loud as you like.

You are missing the point of the original post.


Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011 5:28 AM
I agree with the fact, we have all spent money on saftey procedures and the "best interests of our clients". That being said, if you want to drink, do it on your off time, limited, no hangover situation type thing. I believe crew should never consume alchohol on the job. We are there to accomodate our guests onboard, not ourselves. Therefore, if you are approached with "Let's Cheers", grab a gingerale my friends. Drunk crew, drunk passengers is an absolute recipe for disaster, Let the guests get as silly as they want, our job is to make sure they're safe doing it!!!! Word Up!!!
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011 5:42 AM
Thank you Captain, I've been in charge of the helm many times when my own "Cappy" had his own free will of rum de dummdumm. Thank God I know how to sail a frigin S/V, and got us off a shoal he grounded us on. From there he stayed drunkosis, and I ended up sailing us back to port. But I agree, crew really need to consider the fact, safety is priority, guests spend a lot of money to ensure their safety & enjoyment while onboard to the best of our ability. A cocktail after shift...fine, do it in crew quarters, limit consumption, and by all means never accept a drink while on duty. And if they're even going to have a drink after that, have a designated crew member to take your position in case of emergency and make that known to the Captain or 1st Mate.....Just a suggestion.
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2011 6:17 AM
Ok, Tom Moloney, here's how it should be.... My concern is, you're asking a very good question. The other concern is why? Personally, I would never hire someone that would ask the question in the 1st place. In fact, I would be concerned of your motives and ability. The truth of the matter is, as crew, we are not there for our own "hook up party", and if it is a concern to you, perhaps you should seek employment with another career my friend. Perhaps apply to a bar or something. The ocean is no place to be concerned about who pays the bill for your alcohol consumption. Word Up!!!
Henning
Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 8:12 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Anonymous wrote:
The happiest I have ever seen crew is on a boat where the boat/capt didn't provide alcohol, but there was a bit of shelf space in the crew fridge for people to store their beer/wine.  As a whole, the crew didn't abuse this privilege.  We were happy to get off the boat and have a drink- and showing up to work hung over was frowned upon.  I totally get this and respected the captain for having a policy like that.

My theory always was that we get paid well and all basic needs are provided.  If you want a drink, spend a couple bucks and get one for yourself!!!  Sure, have fun, but why drink all your hard earnings down the drain?

Your theory is sound with me. I have not seen "underpaid" crew on these boats. If you want to stay within the limits of what the boat provides you, you're fine. If you want more, you can buy it yourself and keep it onboard as your personal stash, I'm fine with that. If there is an alcohol related altercation or habitual sloppy drunks, the issue will be dealt with by getting rid of the people who can't control themselves, not the booze. "Booze" really isn't a problem. It's people who don't have the self discipline to control their booze intake nor the realization of what an a-- they really are when drunk that is the problem. Luckily in this industry it's always easy to replace them until you get a good crew assembled who can party in moderation, get the job done professionally and have a good time of it all.

Henning
Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 8:18 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Anonymous wrote:
Ok, Tom Moloney, here's how it should be.... My concern is, you're asking a very good question. The other concern is why? Personally, I would never hire someone that would ask the question in the 1st place. In fact, I would be concerned of your motives and ability. The truth of the matter is, as crew, we are not there for our own "hook up party", and if it is a concern to you, perhaps you should seek employment with another career my friend. Perhaps apply to a bar or something. The ocean is no place to be concerned about who pays the bill for your alcohol consumption. Word Up!!!


??? Why not? If I'm hiring someone, especially someone I'm going to put on provisioning the boat, I would fully expect them to ask the boats policy on crew booze.

 
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