The Bow Is the Pointy End – 8 Tips for New Crew

Jan 8th 09
By Lisa Hoogerwerf Knapp

So you’re brand-spanking-new to the megayacht industry and just landed your first job on a yacht. The rest of the crew are seasoned professionals; how do you start off on the right foot? Whether it’s a freelance gig or a full-time position, here are eight tips that can help to smooth your transition aboard.
  1. Make a commitment to the job in advance. If you have your STCW and/or Silver Service, you’ll be taken much more seriously. That often means doing the training on your own dime before you even apply for a job.

  2. Show up early or don’t bother to come at all. “That’s well before 8 o’clock,” advises Capt. Tommy Gurr, who hates when his duties are interrupted by late-arriving crew.

  3. Look and act like a professional. “Leave your bicycle somewhere else,” Gurr says. “I know a lot of people ride their bike to the yard or marina, and that’s okay. But don’t ride up to the boat on your bike.”

  4. Learn where everything is aboard. As quickly as possible, learn the lines and how to tie off the boat; the routine for fueling; the location of the EPIRB, life jackets and inflatable rafts. This goes for both deck and interior crew. Safety is your first job.

  5. Know the chain of command. “You need to respect the politics on the boat,” says Capt. Kevin Knapp, who started as a mate. “Know what your job is and do it. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”

  6. Learn how to behave around owners and guests. If you’re deck crew, “Stay out of sight and be out of mind,” says Knapp. “Be on deck and on duty, then disappear.” New stewardesses should follow the lead of stews with tenure. Be polite and ready to serve without feeling the need to be drinking buddies with the guests.

  7. Use the right equipment the first time. Learn what you should be doing before doing it, in order to avoid a costly mistake. “Use brushes that won’t scratch the paint and grab the hose out of the locker without scratching the house,” says Capt. Scott Frischhertz. “Think of what you would use on a fine automobile. People can relate to the finish on a car, even if they haven’t been on a boat before. I had a stew that used a scrub pad to clean the windows and scratched every one of them.”

  8. Ask for a buddy to help train you. “You learn the merits of people by working alongside them,” says Capt. Doug Hoogs. "I have worked with the deckhands, side by side, and showed them every aspect of washing the boat. They've done the same thing with the interior crew, being the first “guest” of each stewardess and chef, providing positive feedback and constructive criticism."
Even when you start at the bottom, if you take your job seriously, you eventually can climb the ladder to the top.

Any tips for new crew? War stories to share from your first day on the job? Let us know below by posting a comment below.



If you enjoyed this Hot Topic you may also be interested in these:

Top 10 Things Never to Say to a Captain (Hot Topic by Matt Gomez)
Seven Habits of Highly Successful Crew (Hot Topic by Kelly Sanford)
Newbie Rules: Get Thee to a Groomer (Blog by Rubi McGrory)
Newbie Rules: Life in the Crew Mess (Blog by Rubi McGrory)
Should I Invest in Training? (Forum Discussion)

Other Hot Topics by Lisa Hoogerwerf Knapp:

Sex and the Superyacht
Sex and the Superyacht II: The Cover-Up
Sex and the Superyacht III: When Guests Think You're on the Menu
Sex and the Superyacht IV: Sexual Harassment
7 Tips for Switching Ships






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3 Comments
  • RENTAL----renting out my 1/1 suite to reliable yacht crew. $250 a week all included + wireless. Off 17th Street ft lauderdale---e-mail me kelovely@hotmail.com
    Posted by Kelovely 14/04/2009 06:43:53

  • Moreover, the Federal Government now offers employers $20 per month for every employee who bikes to work as part of the Bicycle Commuter Act that Congress passed last fall.
    Posted by Jenn_2 14/01/2009 10:36:03

  • It is insulting to bicycle riders to insinuate that we should hide the fact that we pedal to work and therefore we are "unprofessional." Ecologically, we are doing the environment a big favor by cycling to work. I estimate half the yachties I know don't even own a car. I haven't owned one since 2004 and get around just fine. That was a pretty asinine comment by Captain Tommy Gurr. Not impressed.
    Posted by Jenn_2 14/01/2009 10:23:16

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