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You can stay, but you get no pay!
Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:27 AM
I think it is appauling how crew are treated, especially on the smaller boats. Lets face it though, stews and deckies are 10 a penny so if  you want to get ahead you need good qualifications and that comes with a hefty price tag, how are crew meant to further their carers if they don't get paid? I agree that if you aren't getting paid its a form of slavery, food and board is one thing but how much work is expected of you before your ass is kicked off the boat? A friend of mine who runs a small boat, has had his salary cut by 50% after 5 years of loyalty, and he has to pay for his food from his own pocket! He gets a small percentage of charter profits but thats it, needless to say he is currently looking for a new job.
Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:17 AM

I don't know which oilfield you were working in but respect has never been shown supply boat crews in the GOM.

It is a different life but your time off has to make up for all the B.S. and , I have to disagree with you, lack of respect for anything to do with crew. Nature of the beast.

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:18 AM
If the stories are true, and crew are being taken advantage of because the economy is suffering then all I can say is, "What goes around comes around". The economy will not be in the situation it is forever. Everyone needs to remember that, especially the yacht owners who are guilty. 

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:39 AM

A very interesting question and I for one appreciate all the opinions. There is no clear answer, however, you have made one thing perfectly clear to me. Should the money ever run out and hard times befall me. Under absolutely no circumstance will a crew member ever be offered the ability to stay on for even a single solitary day. I appreciate the insight as to how such a gesture of consideration would be received.

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:13 AM

" Should the money ever run out and hard times befall me. Under absolutely no circumstance will a crew member ever be offered the ability to stay on for even a single solitary day "

Well captain, you need further education. When the money runs out for my crew and the program implodes, as captain, the only respect that I can offer my crew is free room and board.  I will never let my frustration with the owners fiances cloud my mind and further punish my loyal crew. They can take the offer if they choose or they can move on to better things. 
   Many of the people on here complaining have limited experience, they grew up in a time of plenty with fat salaries and endless demand and are now trying reconcile the money they burnt on paper tickets.  Which fool reading this forum actually believes that we perform a necessary professional job ?  We are in a unregulated toy operation industry. It has always been and it always will be.
   Be wise, no union can force an owner to continue to use his toy. As a  BN previously pointed out, be frugal and  always have PLAN B because if you aspire to  put in the sea time and survive long enough on the water to retire, you will need to fall back on PLAN B many times.  Get to work and stop moaning

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 8:37 AM
Everyone seems to forget that over 2 million people in the UK are now unemployed, 750,000 job cuts in January.  Companies are telling workers they are out of work in one day. 
I am so tired of the crew attitude that just because the owner has money to afford a yacht, the crew are "ENTITLED" to everything from toilet roll to toothpaste.  I have been in the industry long enough to see that beginning crew (deckies/stews) earn more now than I did for my first command.  Yes for the most part we work hard, but over all we earn excellent wages.  We do not pay for rent, food, clothing, utilities and some even taxes.  We work in some wonderful locations (usually warm weather), and live in usually very nice quarters.  Try doing that ashore!  
Owners are feeling the pinch of the economy more than anyone knows.  They may put up a front so as not to show the outside world how hard they are hit.  This does not mean crew should be unaffected by the down turn.
 It used to be that crew worked on yachts because of a love for the life.. now, it seems just a quick way to make a lot of money fast and go on to a "real life" ashore.  No one is forced into this industry.  It is a consciencous choice.  With it comes the reality that we WORK for people.   It requires us to travel and work longer hours at times.  Most owners only use the boat for a few weeks per year.  Those that charter, we forget about the gratuities that are recieved, in addition to wages and other benefits.  I think its high time crew wake up.  The owner's pockets are not an endless money fountain to just keep taking from.  As stated earlier, working for room and board is a form of pay and shows some consideration for crew.  Owners could easily lay up the boat and let everyone go and hire a caretaker for a lot less.  For all the owner bashing out there, let us remember the number one reason owners leave yachting is due to crew.  

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:51 AM

Well! Who's got their knickers in a twist? If you think yachting is "just a shit industry", why don't you quit then, and go off and choose another vocation that'll suit you a parking warden or something?

Sure, there are owners out there who can be extremely difficult, I doubt anyone will disagree with that, but they generally have good cause to dismiss someone. At the end of the day, simply doing your job is not enough as a Captain. You obviously failed to foster feelings of trust, clear communication, accurate accounting and again TRUST between you and your owner.

  I admire you for being the good samaratan, and it sounds as though this girl you had working for you got a rough deal. But even you admitted, that "there wasn't enough work to justify her being there".....and yet you convinced the owners that there was, because you felt sorry for her? Who paid her salary? You or the owners? Exactly..... Isn't that stealing? Even though her circumstances sounded very unfortunate, if you wanted to help her out, give her the keys to your flat, because inviting her to stay on someone else's yacht without the prior permission of the owners is, again, you deceiving your employer. At the end of the day, even she bailed-out on you "like she didn't even know your name"...........why could that have been?

One could be forgiven for assuming that she interpreted your gallantry as lechery, and did not welcome your advances, or maybe not. Maybe she's just that kind of girl, who gets involved with guys who beat her and go to jail, and use people (like your good self), and then disappear. Either way, bad judgement on your part.

Doing the right thing by people is always a good approach, but remember, talking out of class about how "very unhappy you are with the whole program", isn't doing right by the guy that pays your salary. You betrayed yourself.

Qualified Yacht Captains' get paid for their sound judgement, and their completely trustworthy management of a very valuable asset. Sounds to me like you came up short on both counts, so you deserved to get "thrown away like trash".

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:40 PM
Joined: 25/02/2009
Posts: 4

Why do people assume that crew don't pay rent/don't have mortgages????  What is with that???

I have 2 mortgages and rent to pay as after 6 years, I have NO interest on living on the boat I work on.  None of the crew do.  We all have homes off the boat.  And that is why we get on so well. That's the whole point of be able to save whilst using the money to your advantage.  Oh, yes.  And the love of the sea.  LOL.  I think that must be a Captain thing.  The interior crew only get to see the sea from the laundry window or when the look out of the pantry window.....but I wouldn't change it for the world, this industry still rocks every other!

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 4:28 PM

Hate to tell you this, but I'm not in yachting for the money, I have never owned a car or house. I  am a captain so that I may see and experience all the special things that people who work ashore and drive SUV's will never see.   I have been at it over 30 years, mega miles and the world still seems so dam big that I'm afraid Ill never live long enough to see it all.
   Please do not confuse shore captains with seaman like me, when discussing how to best look after your loyal crew when the money goes short..   Id advise crew to be very careful about taking on landside responsibilties if they are intent on working the  sea . 

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:22 PM
IBNA      and solve all of lifes little problems !
Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:28 PM

I am an honorary IBNA Member, and proud!  SORC times...Should we print more shirts? It would be great! Bring back the IBNA Ball!

The new "yachtfabulous" got too spoil,these uncertain times should even things a bit. "We all serve somebody..."

Let me know if anybody wants shirts.

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:48 PM
Yeah if you got the logos please email me:, I'll get Ts and organize the ball. The last true BN party I went to was he Mariette bash on the IYCA in 1999. the vodka luge and lord Sod grinding a new channel at 4am with a grinder with no guard. Not that I ever used one
Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 6:56 PM

We are many...we are persistent, like cockroaches we scurry into the seawall then flood forth to terrorize paper captains, steal their girlfriends,take there jobs ,then offer to buy their cars and apartments at 10cent on the euro.   BN's rising......... in us they trust........

Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:47 PM
What is a BN ?
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 3:38 AM
And, as a recruitment person, I have merchant navy fleet guys and gals, with top unlimited tickets looking to come in to yachting at considerably lower wages, for instance, OOW 3000E, chefs £3000, Chief mates E35-40 unfortunately, if an owner, bought new business's that are now at lower value than they paid for them, so, are now in debt above the value of their assets, and have to LOOSE the non earning crew (who do not earn the owner anything, whilst he has to lay off 9000 staff, who did contribute to his income)
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 4:10 AM
Joined: 16/01/2009
Posts: 1

Wow. Alot of folks tend to have alot of opinions on here. We know that we dont have to tell someone how much time in we have to know that we are able seamen and seawomen who have bills to pay. Just as much as the owners do. So i feel that the crew we are talking about got a raw deal. We are treated very poorly by these wealthy folks who made there money on the backs of hard working people like us. Captain and Crew alike. So why do they treat us like trash? Not sure. My current boss owner is a very wealthly man who doesnt care about the people who work for him. I do personel things for him all the time because i am a good person and am lowal to him to the end and still he treats me like trash. He says hes my friend yada yada yada. Dont need friends like him. But i love the water and every thing that go's on around it and im not a drinker or a druger just love the water. So i put up with him and his girls and all his very wealthly friends.


Cause i love the water.

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 5:19 AM
Anonymous wrote:

" Should the money ever run out and hard times befall me. Under absolutely no circumstance will a crew member ever be offered the ability to stay on for even a single solitary day "

Well captain, you need further education. When the money runs out for my crew and the program implodes, as captain, the only respect that I can offer my crew is free room and board.  I will never let my frustration with the owners fiances cloud my mind and further punish my loyal crew. They can take the offer if they choose or they can move on to better things. 
   Many of the people on here complaining have limited experience, they grew up in a time of plenty with fat salaries and endless demand and are now trying reconcile the money they burnt on paper tickets. 

All too true in what you say, but my first loyalty is to the owner and the boat. I would have agreed with you 100% until reading the volumes of ungrateful little parasites piping in on this topic. Tell me sir, just how in the world could I ever convince an owner to allow them to stay on rent free, knowing that there are so many malcontents, and sue happy predators who have infected the ranks in just a few years? We are fortunate. We have an owner who sees a budget as a general guideline and holds none to it. He pays well enough that we are sworn to lie for fear of wrath from other owners, and treats each and everyone of us as family. I simply could not in good conscious do that  to the man knowing that there is a chance that one or more are of the same caliber that I read of here.

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 8:35 AM

I have never in my 30years of work on the water sailed with a crew that would even think of  mindlessly sueing me or the owner. When the program dies and  my guys are staying close on the yacht, they are taking advantage of free room and board and taking advantage of my connections on the waterfront as a benifit for good service. . They wont have to stay long because I work hard to contact any captain that I know and  offer them  the service of my first class BN's. This is the way life works.   If a owner ever tried to interfere with this natural process I would need to find a new owner.

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 3:56 PM

I was told by my captain that the reason for my lousy pay was directly linked to the fact that the owner KNEW he could get away with it.  The reasoning behind the pay: the economic times are hard and I’ll find someone to work for this salary.  I understand that ultimately it IS my decision to stay in this job and so I don't expect, nor want, any sympathy or scolding referring to 'my complaining'.   I merely want to point out that the owners of these yachts--mine in particular for example--have made quite a lot of money in there day, hence the yacht, and know how to keep there money.  In hard times, they know how to work a situation.  In my case I AM being taken advantage of.  It's the simple truth.  And as I said, I am putting up with it.  The economic times hurt me as well, more in fact, and I’m not going to risk getting rid of this job just now for the POSSIBILITY of another one.  So, i have to put up with the abuse and put in the 18 hour days.  I am making the most out of the cards I've been dealt; it's just a shame my owner doesn't have the ethics to deal a fare hand.  It is my decision, but it doesn't make the circumstances right.  I do believe some owners are capitalizing on these hard times to exploit crew.  As crew we have to either put up with it, or risk the job market--to each their own on this decision.

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 4:18 PM
First class attitude fellow crewmember.....welcome to our world.   May all you future projects be better.   IBNA 
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 9:27 PM

Grow up, take off the rose colored glasses and smell the coffee. Times are tough and all of us are FLUFF. First thing to go in a world of unbalanced budgets. I have told numerous crew who were looking for work to offer to captains and owners to work a few days for room and board or at least room on board. It is much better than paying rent when unemployed. At least you are still "working in the industry, maybe learning something. At least you can say your are working on a boat. At least the crew was offered a place to live and food, not just the door.

Good Luck to all, it's tough out there. Herb Magney

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 9:41 PM
A generation ago the polite term for that was "indentured servant" before that it was "serfs" and before that is was "Christians". But in those days when they'd had enough of you they sent you to the Lions (not the rugby). IBNA
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 10:53 PM
 Perched like tweety birds on the  BN rail  they teach young ones that  when it gets light and you sail into a hole there are  only two options.  Hunker down on the low side and make the best of it until the breeze comes on ...or  get off the boat and spend the next season  warming a bar stool, aground on the Mahogany Reef, sipping beer,  chumming with fun tickets, spitting venom and feeling sorry for yourself.   Go low side 
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 11:28 PM
Nah man, your low side theory works with the fair and virtuous God Eos but not with some smart scum bag shnaefing loads of Charlie and banging 18 year old eastern European hookers. Times have changed.
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 11:39 PM
Times never change.  Ive moved minibus loads of  ladies and  hoovered the saloon table many times.  Go to the low side and the breeze will fill...........
Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 11:49 PM
What did you hoover it with? Just messing, not accusing you! Change must come through the barrel of a gun - Chairman Mao
Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009 2:19 AM

STCW Standards for Taking, Complaining and Wanting. That is why it was introduced and become mandatory. I too have an IBNA T shirt in storage somewhere. If you choose to work in the private yachting industry then you need to understand, respect and honour what it means, implies and offers. If you want your life to be totally taken care of by someone else then there are plenty of smart grey boats out there for you. If you are not capable, don't know how or don't want to fight for and protect your perceived rights then there are plenty of rusty, dirty multi colored boats out there for you. But please, all those with their STCW, show respect for the rest of us who have got it figured and stay away from private yachts. 

Capt. Gardner

Posted: Saturday, February 28, 2009 12:30 PM
You are correct...last time I ran into a Sealift Command crew I met a pair of BN's from RI.   
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 5:50 PM

This is just crazy!  I have been on my current boat since May 2008...I have a great job but thats all I contract, no benefits...but that's ok.  The boss wrote us crew a letter stating "No Bonus, No raises"...says he has to cut back.


Then, when we have a temp position open up for a day or so, the boss asked to whittle the wage down by $50 claiming to want to save in these tough times...truth is, that $50 was being taken out of the hands of a young mother who worked with us!! I really don't get it!..

These rich people are taking money out of the hands of honest, hard working, will bend over backwards and do anything for you crew...all the while claiming to cut back but purchasing $6000 handbags, throwing lavish parties, and flying in their private jet to LA. 


Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 11:32 PM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155

 I love all this pissing and moaning from "anonymous" crew. A lot of us worked in the industry before STCW and all the other regs. Most were competent, some were not. I've seen this biz go from where a 100' was big and experience was what mattered. I was a card carrying member of the IBNA (thanks Norma!) but now it's the iBSa and all you anonymous posters (posers?) can figure that out - maybe.
 Get over it! If the shoe fits wear it...if not get some new shoes or another size.
That pic is of me and you are all [profanity deleted by moderator] (to quote my international friends) to post the way you do. Afraid your reputation will be hurt? Any responses can come directly to me @ or show some crust and post under your ID. Yes, that's a challenge.
PS-No spell check used.
CJ Freeman

Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 7:41 AM
Dirtball is in main or newport running moneypenny the swan 601 has a girl called mary and a dirtball junior called rocko all good with him last i heard great man. best pre delivery speech i ever heard from a highly respected skipper...
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:23 AM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

I won't post Anonymous cause I am new and looking for work. I have ten years in the Maritime Industry, from US Coast Guard to Sealift Command, to the Workboats. Loved all the jobs, and some of the bosses. Regardless of what happened, I still stuck it out, and stayed on the water. I will end up being a paper captain because of the year I was born in, I have no choice, but I have put my time in, and started from the bottom washing dishes, and then had to start over again cause the new part of the Industry does not recognize the last part I did for some reason or another and now have to chisel non-skid. I will continue to stick it out for the reason that I love the water and know nothing else, but at the same time need to pay my mortgage. I have a girl, and want a family, and they need to eat also. If I am offered to stay on board in lieu of pay, but are given the oppurtunity to seek out the next paying job, fair enough, I can do that. I have always put some money aside, and when the time comes can use that safety net to fall back on, and usually find something in a month or so. This time I am getting more paper, but that paper will say that I am smart enough to be trained to do the job. I have met guys who turned in their time owning a ski boat and recieved a 25GT license, but, they will get figured out when someone hires them and they don't know port from starboard. Hopefully someone will take a chance on me when the rest of the crowd goes sand peep, and sees that I have the skills to be valuable to them. When I get my chance that is the person I want to hire, those ones who stick it out, and then reward them when I can, cause they will be the ones who are always there.
Fair Seas


Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2009 11:41 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

IBNA, you are very correct, so you're fired. Pack your stuff and go.
Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2009 12:12 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

I guess I'm just a BN Schooner Rat from too far back. Back in the 80s...Pay??? WTF was that? We sailed, we got room and board, and we got tips. We maintained 100 year old wood boats and sailed them hard beating Santa Cruz 70s in races when the wind blew Schooner style. We'd be hauling up more sail while they were reefing. We could rock up in any port anywhere, find a big wood boat and move aboard. Last time I took a contract running tugs in SF, I walked the docks in Sausalito, found an old Herreshoff that had some rot going on in the deckhouse and told the owner that I'd cut it out and put in Dutchmen in trade for a place to stay. We made a deal and in the next 90 days I did what I said during a bit of my time off, I had a great cabin in a classic old wood boat and I made a good friend. If you think this is a shitty industry, I suggest you get a job where saying "Would you like to Super Size that?" is a mandatory part of your job, hundreds of times a day. Damn, room and board for about what, 30 hours a month work? It doesn't take much to keep a stacked boat clean and tidy. Figure rent at $800 a month and food another $200, so $1000/30 = $33.33 an hour plus you still have time to have a real job. What other industry allows that? Sounds like a bunch of spoiled whiners on this board.
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 4:14 PM
I share the pain of all those who have had SH*T owners fire them at a drop of the hat.

I worked almost 10years in the industry 5 years for one guy, putting time and energy into finding new ways to make is holidays better & cheaper every year. It was a great laugh, until in play boy attiude changed and the offical girlfriend squashed the dream. The last summer I had crew fired by the owner and replaced without my concent, I had orders from the owner to my crew or by his staff to tell me what to do. I never spoke to the guy for 6month during the winter and then the last day of his holiday he refused to talk to me again instead said thank you and his accountant will contact me with directions for the boat tomorrow. He called his accountant, his accountant called my girlfriend to tell me that i had a great summer everything was fine but I have a new captain tomorrow. WHAT EVER I SAID these spinless so called business people have double standards look at how they treat their employees on their yachts to their employees for the rest of the work. The industry is in a sad state where owners believe that we are paid slaves, I came to this industry with the love of the ocean and only leachers know how to such that life from you.

But who would I be if i left now? Thankfully I put that period of time he didn't speak to me to good use and I hope to take a side step from the direct contact with owners to go sailing for fun again.

Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 6:04 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

I have nearly quit yachting a few times. This time last year I had just been fired from my job by text message from the yacht manager's assistant, 6 time zones away, who I had never even met or spoken to. I guess it shows how gutless the owner, the manager and the property manager were (I heard the yacht sank several months later during a hurricane, karma is a bitch). My next job after that was with an alcoholic drug crazed couple. I resigned after a few months. Since then I have had the best year ever and am really glad I did'nt quit and seem to be less cynical and happier each day! So to the last poster, stick it out and stay true to yourself as you will get what you deserve.

Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 1:50 AM
Joined: 01/02/2012
Posts: 1

Amen brother!
 Average 4 out of 5