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The Captain's Wife
Posted: Saturday, March 13, 2010 11:27 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1059

Anonymous wrote:
It is a little disappointing that the woman in this situation is getting all the blame. If the male captain is showing favoritism towards his wife that is causing problems aboard, then shouldn't we be pointing the finger at him too?...  To me, it all comes down to good management or bad management... and ultimately, the responsibility lies with the captain.

You are absolutely correct, problem is there are a lot of weak captains out there along with a bunch of p-ed off manipulative women.

Posted: Saturday, April 3, 2010 5:12 PM
Joined: 19/02/2009
Posts: 11

One negative experience is enough. For us it was captain/newbie organic bimbo stew girlfriend as the food budget went to support their organic lifestyle (for those of you who don't know organic meats veggies and other products are anywhere from 40 - 60- 100 percent more expensive). Owner finally canned their organic asses, the last straw being the 20$ a pound organic salmon they ate VS the 9 $ a lb Publix salmon they served the owner and his guest for lunch. I believe they currently reside in aisle 5 at the MB whole foods. (hey BB if you are reading this I guess the owner DID care what you were doing)

Posted: Monday, July 5, 2010 10:17 PM
Never ever ever work for a captain and wife team, especially on a smaller boat where there are less crew. The wife will inevitably be the chef and you as crew will be taking all your orders from the chef who is actually now your boss. You will also only be eating what the captain wants so if your captain is chinese youll only be eating chinese or if your captain is mexican youll only be eating mexican.
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:14 AM
oh yeah....been there done that!!! we were in the yard for 5 months.....the Captains wife/purser!!! came to the boat twice and stayed in the accomodation provided off the boat for about 2 weeks total.  she spent the entire time at their house (about 2 hr drive away).....with a crew car!!! (and probably a crew food budget too)! (and gas allowance)!!!
salty spanner
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 1:00 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14

The Captain's wife doesn't even have to be a crew member to effect the rest of the crew. I was the mate/engineer on my last yacht. The Captain had a new wife ashore in a US state that was not near the yacht's home port. Once the Captain realised I was a hard-worker & he knew I could look after everything, he was gone the minute we tied the boat-up, every time. She was always calling him demanding that he come home for weeks at a time. I got screwed on time-off, became bitter, got run-down & overworked & he offered no support/resources for me to do my job. He would turn his phone off for days when he was away. My current yacht has a similar problem, Captains wife is ashore, recently had a baby (I was very happy for them) but she's a total control-freak & is dictating where, what, how long etc when we get precious down-time. He is completely whipped by her & needs to face the fact that his life has changed & maybe a super busy yacht is no longer the best thing for them. (I have not worked as hard as I have, & spent what I have spent on courses & tickets to have the Captains wife meddling in the yachts affairs - would she do it if he worked in an office for the bank?) I have other prior experience with Capt/wife teams & none of them were good - I blame the Captains more than the wives, they never stand-up to their wives.
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 3:10 PM

I'm a captains wife...... And I know that there are numerous horror stories out there with crazy controlling wives trying to run the boat. I'm a chef so it's a little different to begin with, since the position requires intense dedication, concentration, and there isn't a whole lot of time to be delving into other agendas.

Stereotyping all Captains wives is offensive to me. I try my hardest to be a team player, to be as kind as I can. But you'll never please everyone. There are always people that pass through your life that you are not going to have perfect harmony with. And yes, that makes for being a scapegoat for their unhappiness at times. I have also worked with a lot of wonderful Chief Stewardess that I have made lifelong friends with.

Stress, long hours, confinement, all of this effect our moods, working relationships, etc. But at the end of the day it's all about having respect for one another and having the forgiveness to move on from tricky situations without holding onto anger.

I have my goals that I'm working towards, and after 10 years in the industry, I want to move on before I turn into one of those old Cranky "Captains Wives" LOL!

Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:06 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

Captain's wife/girlfriend situation on any vessel is rarely any good and commonly very unpopular with the crew.

She always seems to profess a new found 'authority and command' over the deck and engine departments where she has no experience and absolutely no business interfering. Most are living in delusions of grandeur thinking they are really running the show. This is the direct result of a weak captain who allows this behaviour from his partner. 



Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 8:07 PM
I got done by a Captain's wife. I was F/O on 54M and and she used to be a deckhand on a 35M. She said something to me once that made me snap. Once I realized who i was talking to it was too late, DONE, Kaput. She didn't even work on board, just lived there.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 4:19 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

One particular captain I knew many years ago would take his girlfriend onboard for the longer voyages, but insisted she would not get any pay regardless if she worked or not. His point; if she is not paid, she has no say whatsoever in the operation of the vessel. It was a success. 
Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 5:23 PM
Captain and wife is bossI and bossII don't try to get between them, keep your communication very open towards them if the both give you orders. That's all, I worked for several captain/chef or captain chief stew couple's. Never had any of the horror story's as described above. It's the one dilemma: couples or singles, getting laid at work is great, getting fired together is less cool. Which is inevitable for a hired couple from who one of them performs below expected standard.
Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 2:50 AM
Joined: 15/10/2008
Posts: 3

It just dosn't work....


I have worked for far too many captain- wife/commodore 'teams'.


It just dosn't work.... especially on couples boats.


Any other couples seem to work well....  just not capt/wifes.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 6:51 PM
Joined: 03/12/2010
Posts: 1

Try this one out. Engineer/Chief stew team. It was very apparent upon taking a relief captain job on a Private boat that I was not the one in charge. the chief stew had the ear of the owner and ran the crew of 10 into the ground. Trying to step in, mediate and run a proffesional crew was not happening. She ran off two of the crew claiming to the owner that they were drinking while working forcing immediate termination. These two young men were some of the nicest - go to church in port young men. The next thing I know the owner is ordering them off at the next port. Meanwhile the Engineer who was good at his job, was ousted by the crew and made for a very toxic environment. Morale of the story. Having one poisonous crew is bad, mixing in relationships only makes for a compounded problem for everyone aboard.
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 10:26 PM
Hey Katie

I am a captains wive !!!   But only at home
While sailing, we are both working, I am cook-A/B  and as long as you can seperate it...
We worked on yachts, tugs( only male crew)   and I am just one of the guys !!!!
I wouldn;t want it any other way !!!!
And yes,  I am a woman!!!  from head 'till toes  both also just a girl who is doing her job.


Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2011 9:32 PM
I just walked off a boat after a month of Captain and his Mrs. For the first time in my adult life I have witnessed what I can only imagine as being the exact mentality of Nazis and their concentration camps. My God, never met any human beings like them before in my life. Totally f***** in the head, cruel, boring and dangerously arrogant. Brain mush.

I just hope they don't breed.

Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2011 11:27 PM
i dont think they are bred, they are manufactured somewhere and then dispersed into the yachting world, i have encountered these misanthrope   types before and run for it. As my old captain used to say,'they are all called lines except for 3; the man rope, the bell rope and the misanth rope'.

eddj venzi
Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:36 PM
Joined: 14/02/2011
Posts: 2

Captain wife should stay home, and should be a law say no job for captain relative.I think the law could be a suggestio for cayman island rules....Owner of yacht wake up.....many crew loose job cause needs of relation ship,and captain dosent liked but he can keep the monster on board 24 7 ....Yacht industry need to change..... Ps message for captain wife .... you got everything and more ...be quiet stay in your cabin take care about your man and that it....go home often and for long period . Ciao
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 9:53 PM
Joined: 14/11/2010
Posts: 2

i worked on s/y drumbeg and the captains wife was the admiral!!! i was 5th mate in 6 months go figer!!
Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012 5:34 AM
Nepotism in its worst form... get a job on your own merrits...
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 9:29 PM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 100

What about if the captain has a husband ?
Oscar Perez
Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 12:07 AM
Joined: 10/10/2011
Posts: 7

This the worse case scenario sorry about the few good crew wife but the majority of the cases are bad i work in 4 boat under this conditions. One was very pathetic the Captain from New Zeland the wife American he hire her as Chef without any professional qualification at all pay her standard high level salary and couldn't make even pizza a lot of problem after a while she became the boss and not even the Captain was saying no to her was very sad Ej Cap say "we are going to Cannes" wife say "no we better go to Nice" next we are in Nice, My wife was a Chief stew and after the first failure Charter and 50$ tip we saw the reality and after 2 months we left It got pretty bad Between them to the point than she make out a missing 12€ on a bill and for the Captain was the perfect excuse to yell at my wife and before I did something to regret we left. The second was good Cheer Mark, Lorraine the 3rd and 4rth sore of go together my wife work as a chief stew again on one boat and after some time the Captain got his long time partner on board as a stew and what a mess this lady won't stop complaining about it, she was lazy and not a hard worker and this was a very busy charter boat, about the same time the captain hire the first mate girlfriend a washout model than never work hard on her life so that is 2 stew out of 4, the work was pretty bad for my wife and the other stew, she make her case and end it up out of work. because the Captain dint acepted as a performance issue but as personality issue, so the moral is nothing is going to change so you better get another job.
great laker
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 5:52 PM
Joined: 14/02/2013
Posts: 2

been through capt/wife, capt/girlfriend, and mate/girlfriend. NEVER AGAIN. said that after 2nd team, did the 3rd (against my better judgement) Capt/wife teams are great when running a crew of 2!
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 5:13 PM
Joined: 28/02/2015
Posts: 1

Captain's wife / Gf  on same vessel 

Never a great place to be

Most are Prima Donnas  and when you have a problem with one you have with both  ( pillow talk )

skippers wife/gf  tend to go on a power trip  they Rank themselves up there with the skipper

bottom line stay away




Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 8:43 PM

I am close to have been doing this for 10 years already (gulp!) never have had a good experience with working with Captain wife/husband couples (yes it works both ways)  i have tried to work with sevceral, when i get along with one , the other one tends not to like me and then the other crew will complain if they have issues too... what a head ache! 

John Doe_1
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2015 8:17 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 74

Never had a positive experience here either. They want to work together , go run a small boat with the just the two of you. Don't drag us all into it. Terrible. I've even worked on a boat where the Captains wife didn't even hold a position on board and she ran the show. Poorly too. Horrible person. Cause she made out like she was everyone's friend and that he was the bad one. Couldn't even own it.  Glad it's over and never again. Having said that. I'll probably hire my wife as cheif stew of pursor. Lol.

Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2015 10:28 PM

Ok, I admit I might be in the wrong place here as most of my background is in the commercial sector, but I did work on charter yachts when I first started out ( never lived aboard one as permanent crew) but I HAVE had the experience in dealing with the captain's girl on a commercial vessel....and it was horrible. It wasn't even his wife, it was his mistress, the wife was at home. This woman was on such an ego/power trip she even tried to tell the engineer's what to do!! She did whatever she wanted and was constantly picking on the AB's and especially the other women on the vessel (me). Have you seen the lord of the rings? It is like some people cannot handle "the power". On the flip side of that coin, I have been in that position before, but I did my work just like everybody else and did not let it get to my head. BUT, he also made it clear in the very beginning that we still had to be professional about things. I don't know if I can credit myself or him for things going smoothly and not making the rest if the crew uncomfortable/unhappy, maybe a combination of the two. I can tell you this: NO one respected that other captain that was onboard, and everyone said he was "whipped". The people in the office couldn't figure out why no one wanted to be on that boat. 

Posted: Monday, September 14, 2015 1:59 PM

I have done both sides in this argument. I have worked for Captains with wives, and have worked as a Captain with a wife. Isn't it funny that its not actually the couples complaining about the crew on here, always only the crew complaining about couples..? May be its because we have been in the business years, just get on with the job, put in the extraordinary hours and then we take the money at the end of the month..! We don't need to tell people what we think of them. We don't need to tell people what is wrong with them. We don't need to tell people where to go. And definitely we not need to tell other crew how to do it, without actually knowing how to do it ourselves. 

Most crew have no idea what the pressures are like as a couple onboard. I see couples (not just captains and wives) desperately trying to make it work over 95% of the time. You have no idea how hard we, or that they, have worked to get a couples position on a yacht or commercial ship and constantly see stupid, juvenile, out of control, misinformed, arrogant, naive and inexperienced crew try to take us down to their level, on a day by day basis. My wife has also been seriously verbally and in one case physically abused by both female and female crew because she dared to have words with them about something, as they don't think its the "way it should be done" that they think have a better idea in their one season on a yacht, as to how it should happen, because thats the way it was done on the their last.... boat, hotel, bar, disco, holiday camp, flotilla sailing boat, trip boat, ski chalet, B&B, takeaway..etc etc etc....  

The abuse she has had to put up with over the years from some called "professional" crew has actually turned my stomach sometimes and forced me into reluctant action. I have seen crew that are literally a disgrace to yachting and that have screamed at me in a fury on the bridge, usually under the influence of something (I hope..!) that I should be fired, because I dare to question their behaviour or their conduct towards my wife or other crew onboard. Once I had a complaint because my wife had actually interrupted a stewardess to ask her how she could make a bed one handed (whilst skype-ing her boyfriend) but by all account she had got up early at 7:45 (Guests at breakfast) and had worked so hard till 8:30 that she thought she could slow down to call and make a date for later that night. So that warranted a complaint to the Captain..!! 

I have heard everything in the 30 years I have been a Captain, both on yachts and commercial ships, starting with "God made me do it" to the absolute best.... which was from a drunk deckhand at 1015in the morning who had failed to tun up for work on time who said that the "owner wanted him to be Captain and that I should go and pack my bags instead". And yes, I did check with the owner and he had never heard of his name, and no the  owner did not sadly wave goodbye to him later that morning as he left with his bags..! 

Frankly if you do not like any persons feelings, conduct or behaviour towards you onboard, then we would much rather you save your sanity and leave, than to make an issue out of it. But seriously if you are being threatened or abused onboard and have had enough of it, then you should do as my wife did and leave the vessel immediately. You have absolutely no excuse to stay onboard (Come on... the money..?... Get real..!!) 

But really for all the moaners and whingers in yachting....... If you think are better than all the other crew onboard then please go....go and see the other 100 yachts that will give you a job tomorrow (Yes, I have been told that as well..!) and leave my crew, my wife and me alone..!! Cheers. 


 Average 3.5 out of 5