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Arrogant Captains,
Wet chamois
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:07 AM
Joined: 04/08/2010
Posts: 2


Fair enough you are the big cheese and the master of the vessel, but why do some captains behave worse than the worst guests onboard and ashore, you see them in bars striding confidently thinking they are untouchable, I am not generalising at all, as I work for a great down to earth captain, but as I grow professionally in this industry and get to meet captains, I find a lot of them to be complete tools with no manners. This came to my mind when I saw the latest dockwalk cover picture, look closely, the whole crew look like dirt (no offence to any of you) whilst the old man stands there proud in his No 1's showing off his horse and minions.. I do not know the details so i am not going to comment any further but that's the impression i get. Are manners and common courtesy amongst rational thinking professionals a thing of the past? From day one, we are taught to be low key and polite, does a fourth stripe on your shoulder give you the right to behave like a complete bogan ?
Henning
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:18 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Wet chamois wrote:
Fair enough you are the big cheese and the master of the vessel, but why do some captains behave worse than the worst guests onboard and ashore, you see them in bars striding confidently thinking they are untouchable, I am not generalising at all, as I work for a great down to earth captain, but as I grow professionally in this industry and get to meet captains, I find a lot of them to be complete tools with no manners. This came to my mind when I saw the latest dockwalk cover picture, look closely, the whole crew look like dirt (no offence to any of you) whilst the old man stands there proud in his No 1's showing off his horse and minions.. I do not know the details so i am not going to comment any further but that's the impression i get. Are manners and common courtesy amongst rational thinking professionals a thing of the past? From day one, we are taught to be low key and polite, does a fourth stripe on your shoulder give you the right to behave like a complete bogan ?




You find them in all walks of life, those who want 'power'. Cops are even a higher percentage of idiots with ego issues. They didn't want the job because they're good at it and have fun doing it, they want it because it gives them the opportunity to boss people around. An interesting corollary is these guys are also the worst boat handlers and navigators providing the most comedy at the dock, not to mention keeping repair yards open as they run over rocks, reefs, and jetties world wide. Just don't work for them and don't take example from them. There's nothing there for you to learn typically.

gio
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:00 PM
Joined: 07/01/2012
Posts: 13


hundred people hundred minds!
Captain Greg
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 11:37 AM
Joined: 16/01/2011
Posts: 11


It's good that you see how not to be. One day you will be a yacht Master and have the attention, cash and control that corrupts many people. You can learn as much from bad behavior and performance as you can from the best Masters. The tricks to decide what traits you will copy and what ones you will reject.
Brian
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:44 PM
Joined: 14/11/2009
Posts: 1


Hi Wet Chamois, As a professional Yacht Captain this behaviour you mention also gets my goat, then again so does the behaviour of crew who within a few weeks of finding their first yachting job suddenly become know it alls and party animals. Being a Bogan isn't only reserved for "those captains" there's a fair few of them out there alongside you. You might even be one, just saying.......... I see them around too!
hullothere
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:22 AM
Joined: 16/06/2008
Posts: 6


Arrogance is not a Command flaw. It is a personality trait. It has nothing to do with Command. I have seen many arrogant people from all walks of life, and all sides within our mini world of yachting. Just be real careful to what you think may be arrogance. Somebody in a Command position, whether they are a Captain, or in charge of their division be it an Engineer, Mate, or Stew, got there from listening, learning, trying and occasionally failing. They use their experience to guide those below them. On their boat, it is always, "The Command's way, or get off!!" If a Captain is sure of them self, holds to great standard and expects it from everyone around him, that is a positive attribute. If they also have a diverse background and years of experience to back their play, then all of these things lead to a fabulous Command. It is your job as a burgeoning crew member in this industry, to come forth, be a dynamic member of a team, use and build integrity and values as quickly as you learn your duties on a yacht Then when it is time to move on, to do so gracefully. When you interview for a posting, it is your tasking to INTERVIEW the command as well. You should have a clear knowledge of who you are working for. I have actually found far more arrogant deckhands and second stews in this industry than that of Captains or Chief Stews. These newbies make assumptions of what they are worth. They interview well, then 6 weeks into the job, Know it all, spend far too much time on their phone or facebook, instead of on the job, and are already looking at greener grass, or how to bend the standing orders of the yacht. They hang out in groups talking trash in the bars at night, and seem to draw dividing lines between the charter types, private types, small crews, and large. When a new yacht comes into a strange port or dock, I rarely see one of these hands swinging by to aid that boat to the dock by grabbing lines, calling distances, or giving advise on where to find the needed items in town. Senior staff are nine outa ten times, the ones that show up at 2am, when they hear a thruster outside of their porthole, to get up, go outside, and assist the newcomer. I remember a night many years ago in ST. Barts, where we had blown a hydraulic pump seal, without the part available. I walked up the quay, and the arrogance and attitude of the junior staff on the docks was highly prevalent, and only when I finally got to a yacht where there were some shoulder boards with stripes on them, did I get some assistance. The "Bummer dude" attitude that I received from the junior staff on those decks was arrogance. The 2 Captains, and three Engineers that came back with me to give me assistance and advise was not. There are fabulous people in this industry if you decide to surround yourself with them. If you hang out with the whiners, then that is what you shall become. And believe me, we also have enough of them in yachting too.
junior
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 9:21 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Its money that causes captains to morph into goons. A captain is just a mid level manager who would be invisible in real life. With wedges of the owners cash captains heads inflate to enormous proportions.
Stewardessbible
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 9:43 AM
Joined: 10/11/2011
Posts: 33


Its the nature of the business unfortunately. In my 12 years on board, I have honestly had the pleasure of working with 2 real Captains and wonderful gentlemen. Perhaps "the power that be" could throw in a human resource management course, with all of the other courses that they must do.
salty spanner
Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012 12:07 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


One of the reasons I eventually left the superyacht industry for the commercial marine fleet, was the Captains. If ever there was a niche position/industry that is abused and in desperate need of proper management training, the superyacht Captain is it. Too many of 'em couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery and remain in their positions because the crew under them run around like lunatics doing all the leg work and long hours to keep the show going. BUT....(and I cannot believe I am going to type this) I really agree with almost all of what "hullo there" posted. A confident leader will have a firm turn of phrase and a short tolerance for bullshit. But if you listen and try to learn from them you will find a gold mine of wisdom imparted for nothing more than the simple request that you, the junior member of the team, shut-up and listen. An arrogant leader who will not listen to anyone, or indeed mentor his/her charges, is hiding the fact that they have found themselves in the deep end of the pool and cannot handle their responsibilities. I have said it so many times over and over, why do Captains have to pass so many exams and courses and orals and yet the most important part of their job, people management, is not a compulsory and significant part of the certification process??
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:52 AM
Most of the yacht captains are only "boat drivers", in my opinion is the worst performing position in the industry due their lack of leadership and people skills. My conclusions after a decade in the industry: 1) Crew longevity, in all the positions not just a few heads of department, is the main indicator that a good captain is on board. The crew doesn't leave good captains easily. 2) Approximately 1 out of 50 is extraordinary, 1 out of 20 is tolerable, with the rest is hard or impossible to work. 3) In all the positions and of course captains included : Arrogance = lack of skills. 4) Experience improves captain even if they are bad: I would never work for a captain with less than 10 years of experience and only in yachts. Good luck!
Henning
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:46 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Anonymous wrote:
Most of the yacht captains are only "boat drivers", in my opinion is the worst performing position in the industry due their lack of leadership and people skills. My conclusions after a decade in the industry: 1) Crew longevity, in all the positions not just a few heads of department, is the main indicator that a good captain is on board. The crew doesn't leave good captains easily. 2) Approximately 1 out of 50 is extraordinary, 1 out of 20 is tolerable, with the rest is hard or impossible to work. 3) In all the positions and of course captains included : Arrogance = lack of skills. 4) Experience improves captain even if they are bad: I would never work for a captain with less than 10 years of experience and only in yachts. Good luck!


In my 2+decades experience agrees with your assessment. Also looking at 'junior crew' longevity is a very good call. That means they are receiving proper training and treatment under a good command. That's one of the things I always tell people to check out on interviews, junior crew over 3 years onboard and you're in for a good experience. Also crew that follows captains through various boats is a good sign.

What it is also usually a sign of is a good owner. The captain sets the tone of the ship, but the owner sets the tone of the program. Good owners tend to get good captains (eventually) who put together good crews. Owners really are 3/4s of the problem in this industry, especially the ones who micro manage. Very few of them have the humility that the sea accords, they believe that they are powerful enough that they can challenge the laws of nature in what they request in the designs of their yachts, and the engineers are prideful enough and the yards greedy enough to build what the client requests often to poor result. Most yachts have a horrid ride to weather due to the fat hulls we use to create gargantuan volumes of space to service 6-12 guests. In order to have all that volume and open floor space, you have to set it on a hull that when sea states pick up it starts throwing people across those spaces bruising and breaking their bones as they slam into marble counter edges.

The state of the industry is where it is due to shear arrogance.

Henning
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:51 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Henning wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Most of the yacht captains are only "boat drivers", in my opinion is the worst performing position in the industry due their lack of leadership and people skills. My conclusions after a decade in the industry: 1) Crew longevity, in all the positions not just a few heads of department, is the main indicator that a good captain is on board. The crew doesn't leave good captains easily. 2) Approximately 1 out of 50 is extraordinary, 1 out of 20 is tolerable, with the rest is hard or impossible to work. 3) In all the positions and of course captains included : Arrogance = lack of skills. 4) Experience improves captain even if they are bad: I would never work for a captain with less than 10 years of experience and only in yachts. Good luck!


My 2+decades experience agrees with your assessment. Also looking at 'junior crew' longevity is a very good call. That means they are receiving proper training and treatment under a good command. That's one of the things I always tell people to check out on interviews, junior crew over 3 years onboard and you're in for a good experience. Also crew that follows captains through various boats is a good sign.

What it is also usually a sign of is a good owner. The captain sets the tone of the ship, but the owner sets the tone of the program. Good owners tend to get good captains (eventually) who put together good crews. Owners really are 3/4s of the problem in this industry, especially the ones who micro manage. Very few of them have the humility that the sea accords, they believe that they are powerful enough that they can challenge the laws of nature in what they request in the designs of their yachts, and the engineers are prideful enough and the yards greedy enough to build what the client requests often to poor result. Most yachts have a horrid ride to weather due to the fat hulls we use to create gargantuan volumes of space to service 6-12 guests. In order to have all that volume and open floor space, you have to set it on a hull that when sea states pick up it starts throwing people across those spaces bruising and breaking their bones as they slam into marble counter edges.

The state of the industry is where it is due to shear arrogance from the top on down. You can always tell the boats 'run on arrogance', you'll see an arrogant bunch of bogan kids pissing it up making noise at the bar in their crew t-shirt. That's why doing a pub crawl while it may land you a job will rarely land you a good one. The jobs that get filled in bars are typically the not so nice jobs that you hear everyone complain about. You don't usually find the crew of the better boats at the piss-ups, and when you do, they typically don't have any positions open since the last deckhand and stew had a kid and moved onto the owners estate to work there.


 
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