A Year in Review, 2010

Dec 22nd 10
Staff Report

As the New Year is just hours away, we thought we would bring back some of the most memorable moments on Dockwalk.com in 2010.

Most Read Blog
The Greenie's Guide to Getting Fired (March 13, 2010)

“So you’ve secured your first job in yachting – well done! Don’t worry if it all seems a bit intense though, there are still plenty of opportunities for a quick return to the carefree life of dock walking, crew house accommodation & living on crackers….”

Lucie shares her Dos and Don’ts for newbie crewmembers.

Most Commented-on Blog

The Exception to the Rule of Professional Conduct on Board a Charter Yacht

(April 29, 2010)

“During my time onboard we went through three engineers, three stewardesses, two deckhands, two generator tensioner wheels, three generator impellers, one main engine coolant pump, three tow lines, one dock line, two ruptures on inflatable tenders, a black water pump, a grey water pump, a custom mirror in a stateroom, four a/c units, an oven, three waverunner batteries and one relay switch, a garbage compactor, a swim ladder, a tender throttle control, etc… and the list goes on.”

Gary marvels at the unprofessionalism he’s seen in the few months he’s been crew – it’s given him new appreciation for yacht management.

Most Read Hot Topic
The Legality of Avoiding Taxes (March 18, 2010)

“As a yachtie, you may be a ‘tax nomad’ but whatever you do, don’t assume this means that you won’t be tracked down. Professional advice and account maintenance will help you stay legal.”

Get the full story on the legality of not paying taxes, no matter who you are, where you’re from and where you’re going.

Most Commented-on Hot Topic
Weapons on Board: Worth the Risk? (January 12, 2010)

“Today’s yachts are globetrotting during the dawn of a new age of piracy. When Somali pirates can obtain weapons easier than shoes, guests and crew need protection. But is brandishing weapons and arming crew really the answer?”

From who is allowed to and knows how use a weapon to insurance and legal issues to lethal vs. non-lethal verities, there is much to be considered when thinking of bringing a weapon on board.

Most Commented-on Forum
Rumors about Customs and Border Protection in Fort Lauderdale (November 3, 2010)

Rampant rumors about Customs and Border Protection deporting crew from the docks of Fort Lauderdale sparked a debate about foreign crew working in the U.S. and all that goes along with it.

Most Read Forum
Another Tender Accident (February 26, 2010)

Six members of the M/Y Man of Steel crew were airlifted to a Nassau hospital when the vessel’s tender ran up on rocks. The crew had left Staniel Cay Yacht Club to return to the vessel at 12:30 a.m. on February 15, 2010.



2010 Top Headlines:

Collision in St. Barths - Daylight Anchor Watch (January 4, 2010)

British Gov't Refuses to Pay Pirates (January 12, 2010)

Murder in Antigua near Pigeon Beach (January 21, 2010)

Yacht Fire in Miami (January 20, 2010)

Yacht delivers supplies to Haitian orphanage (February 28, 2010)

Sailboat Catches Fire at STP Shipyard in Palma, Mallorca (February 2, 2010)

Missing Crewmember (February 3, 2010)

Cruise Lines Boycott Antigua due to Crime (February 5, 2010)

Tax ruling may affect UK yacht crew (February 17, 2010)

Former Ady Gil (ex- Earthrace) captain taken captive (February 24, 2010)

Another Tender Accident (February 26, 2010)

Superyacht Stands Off Pirates (March 2, 2010)

Monstrous waves claim two lives in the Med (March 4, 2010)

Merrill-Stevens Facility Opens as Spencer Boat Co. (March 16, 2010)

What the PYA Is Doing about the MLC (March 23, 2010)

Crew Placements Are Increasing (March 31, 2010)

ILO Heads to France (April 6, 2010)

Captain and Mate Arrested for Grounding on Reef (April 14, 2010)

Too many pro racers? (April 22, 2010)

Catastrophic Oil Spill Threatens Gulf of Mexico Coast (April 30, 2010)

Crazy Cannes Weather (May 5, 2010)

Maritime School Fire (May 11, 2010)

Captain Dies in Plane Crash (May 18, 2010)

Motor Yacht Force Blue Seized (May 21, 2010)

Guarded Optimism for the Yachting Industry in Florida (May 28, 2010)

Deckhand Dies in Fall (June 10, 2010)

Teen Sailor Found (June 10, 2010)

Death in Italian floating drydock (June 15, 2010)

Yacht Fire at Rybovich (June 27, 2010)

Crew to the Rescue in Alaska (July 8, 2010)

Oil Spill Leads to Suicide (July 10, 2010)

Verdict Favors Arrested Yacht (July 21, 2010)

Captain and Owner cleared of wrongdoing (July 27, 2010)

The Passenger Yacht Code (July 29, 2010)

Fatal Accident while Launching Personal Water Craft (July 30, 2010)

Whale Death Sparks Investigation (August 2, 2010)

London to auckland by jet ski (August 2, 2010)

14 year old left for solo trip around the world (August 22, 2010)

Deckie manages the ultimate "promotion" (August 20, 2010)

Experienced small-boat captain killed at Jupiter Inlet (September 15, 2010)

Tragedy hits the Monaco Yacht Show (September 27, 2010)

Yacht involved in prostitution scandal (September 30, 2010)

The Battle in Palm Beach Continues (October 10, 2010)

Bosun killed in tender accident (October 28, 2010)

Classic yacht Maha catches fire (October 30, 2010)

Rumors about Customs and Border Protection in Fort Lauderdale (November 3, 2010)

NOAA: 2010 Hurricane Season One of Busiest on Record (November 29, 2010)

The world’s largest superyacht sets sail (December 9, 2010)

Shark Attacks in the Red Sea (December 13, 2010)

Motor Yacht Sinks in Thailand (December 14, 2010)



Favorite Quotes of 2010

January 2010

Some time ago I watched in horror as a reasonable sized vessel tried to moor stern-to in Nassau on one of the outer docks of the Hurricane Hole marina. The boat was berthing ‘down tide’ and the tide was moving at, perhaps, half a knot. The boat barged and scraped its way into the dock causing, rather fortunately, only a few thousand dollars worth of paint repair work but leaving fingers mostly intact. In fact, the largest dent was done to the captain’s ego. Sitting in the bar a week later and discussing the incident, the captain and crew all had suggestions and solutions that may have prevented the problem: Less delay in the throttle system, more powerful bow thruster, different props, different steering gear, etc. etc. When someone suggested that they should simply have waited for the tide to turn or arrived earlier, they totally discounted the notion. Instead citing other priorities as “…far more important to consider than getting into the dock with a favorable tide.” Excerpt from “Lessons Passed” blog by Mike French (January 26)

February 2010

What is the one best snippet of advice that you’ve ever been given or that you would pass on? “Nice Advice” forum (February 24, 2010)

If the boat is doing what you want, don’t screw with it. – JT

Save 10 percent of your salary no matter what. Invest in real estate, accumulate assets, pay cash for your toys. – Dean

Never ever leave a good job because you’re bored or in need of a holiday. – Dean

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. – Captain Brian

Watch what others do that is successful for them and do the same. – Captain Brian

Always act as if your future captain is standing right behind you...he just might be. – Anonymous

If ever you feel like there is tension in the air between you and someone else, ask them calmly if there is a problem. Then listen to them without judging. – Anonymous

In close quarters, “Never approach anything faster than the speed you are prepared to hit them.” – Flyboytang

It is better to ask a stupid question than to fix a stupid mistake. – Marty

Cut, bleed and heal in the same day. – Anonymous

Remember the boss is still a human being, no matter how much money s/he has! – Girlondeck

March 2010
Maybe for some of you this has been a job more than a passion for too long and you forgot that both sides have more in common than differences. Personally, i love being on the water and enjoy both sailing and powering: I run a motoryacht, own a 53' Hatteras as my personal boat and dont' miss an chance to sail (Hobie 16). In fact, on Saturday we bought a 12' Westphal Catboat (very similar to a Beetle) which is now our new tender, fitting neatly on the Hatt boat deck.
Hard to believe that "professionals" would show that much disrespect for the "other side" and would be too narrow minded to see behind the clichés of the obnoxious polluting stinkpotter or the cheap sailors. Posted by Pascal in the “Power vs. Sail” forum (March 9, 2010)

April 2010

I am South African and have changed the way I say certain words (water, here, chance, etc.) just so that I don’t have to repeat myself four times before anyone understands me. I’m somewhat on the fence on this one. While I don’t think the nature of the issue is serious enough to justify enforcement, Janie van die plaas and others with a decent twang would make their lives a lot easier if they “adjusted” their accents enough to get by…. Posted by Henry, commenting to Mate’s blog “Do You Have to Fake it to Make it?” about devising an international yachtie accent (April 7, 2010)

May 2010

Everybody out there is experiencing the same frustration that you are feeling at the moment. I have been trying to get a position for three months now. Look at my qualifications and wonder why I am not complaining. The simple matter is one of supply and demand. We are competing on a level playing field. People with sound contacts and good work experience in the industry are naturally going to be ahead of us in the queue. Our chance will come. And then it is up to us to perform and create a good reputation. I honestly think that it is worth persevering. We will come out at the other end much stronger and living our dreams as competent members of the yachting fraternity. The world owes us nothing. Accept it. Let’s move on and keep applying. Our jobs will come up. I understand that you are just trying to express your feelings in an honest way, which is just a way of getting your plea out to a broader audience, but let’s not have South African’s stereotyped as whingers. Good luck, James. Go out positively each day and know that all nationalities are facing the same challenge. Posted by Jeff Owen, commenting to “Safa Finally in France on a 90-day visa. Is there a possibility of me getting a job on a yacht with limited time?” blog by James Maddock (May 16, 2010)

June 2010

… I’ve logged on today because I love this industry and I love my job. I took a charter guest’s 10-year-old son on his first snorkel today and I swear it was the greatest thing in the world to see how exciting the things we take for granted can be when seen with fresh eyes. I can’t remember the last time I was so thrilled to see a parrot fish or watch a school of Sergeant Majors eating easy cheese. Not only that, when we got back to the boat, I was crazy hungry and our chef had made the best lobster salad I have ever tasted! Life is good. If I didn’t work on yacht, I probably never would have experienced a day like today. This industry is good to us. You take the bad with the good, and in this business the good is GREAT! Posted by TiffanyS in the “I love my job” forum (June 24, 2010)

July 2010

…The [freelance] chef can bring vitality and freshness to a stale crew who may have had to put up with a grumpy prick who does what he/she likes as they feel irreplaceable! Freelance chefs are more dedicated and know which side their bread is buttered every time they start on 18-hour days of charter or owner-operated vessel…

…The yachting industry would sh*# themselves if we weren’t around to provide a professional backup for when captains decide, “Chef, pack your bags.”
And you know you’re on a winner when he/she asks if you might be interested in a full-time position, plus you have made new friends. Freelance chef – best job in the world! Posted by Brent (July 23, 2010)

August 2010

I have been in the industry for 4.5 years and have seen my fair share of yachts. While there are some owners and guests who have not been the nicest people in the world, MOST of the time I feel it is my duty to honor my professional obligation as a crewmember and let it be what it may. No they weren't nice to me, but I'm not going to go cry about it. HOWEVER, there are times when the behaviour of the owner or guest is beyond atrocious and a public outing of these a-holes is absolutely warranted. I have worked for a couple like this (for one weekend only, and never had to sign a confidentiality agreement) and if I were ever given the opportunity or the reason (such as he were running for public office) you bet your bottom dollar I would be throwing him under the bus every opportunity I got. When their behaviour excessively crosses the line, then all bets are off. Why do I have to show them loyalty when all they showed me was rude, disgusting, and sometimes illegal behaviour? Of course, if it ever did come to this then I would be sure to try and remain anonymous in case it ever did come back to haunt me. Posted by Harley in the “Where do your loyalties lie?” forum (August 13, 2010)

September 2010

Is there a legitimate need to grease the palms of every Tom, Pedro and Jaclyn in the new millennium? Captains hand out cash tips to random people and are very generous with the boat credit cards whenever they do “boat business.” From where I sit the difference between a kick back and a gratuity is perspective. I see no difference between a captain being given a white envelope and a dock master receiving one? I think it’s pretty funny how captains network themselves with other peoples’ money and all other crew are under the microscope whenever they spend a cent of boat money. Posted by Anonymous in the “Gratuities via credit card and petty cash” forum (Sept 1, 2010)

October 2010

There are some boats that are damaged in their work ethic by drinkers and smokers; there are plenty that are not. This is a management issue. I happen to be a non-drinker but smoker so I can see over both sides of the fence and if one of my crew feels the way you do, it is important to me as captain. My suggestion is that you find a yacht where adult work and play is allowed and organized. Posted by Capt. Phil in the “Non-smoker non-drinker means more work” forum (Oct. 27, 2010)

November 2010

Dockwalking is not over, dockwalking and dayworking are probably the finest ways of getting crew. If yachting is to adapt the socialist labour laws, it will not benefit anyone but deadweight crew. Yachting is based on the free market, you cannot get ahead unless you are better (that being better at networking or working whatever)…
My point being to the one person still reading is that yachting is a global industry and we profit from the lack of regulations, tax and etc. If crew have to comply with tax and labour laws wherever we go, believe me, our jobs will disappear.
Hopefully, the very unfortunate situation occurring in Florida at the moment will pass and, at best, will only move boats away from Florida and to places more open for our industry. I must stress this, yachting is not an U.S. industry…
Finally, this is the beauty of yachting, if you're not getting a job, it doesn't make you a bad person, you're just unlucky or unsuitable. If you believe for a second that by preaching U.S. laws about foreign nationals gaining unlawful employment will remove the competition and get you ahead, NO it will only slow the process. Believe me you are only a season or two away from pumping gas or cutting steel. Posted by Danny, commenting to the Deportation blog by David Torr (November 24, 2010)

December 2010

I think this gets down to a total package thing. You can't just be beautiful but certainly the looks can help you if you got game. Your lack of skills will be exposed sooner or later. I think likability also comes into play. If your very attractive on the outside but appear to be lacking in the personality dept., that doesn't work real well either. You’re working in close quarters, you can't be too cool or aloof. Likeability, it may be more important than the looks. Posted by CaptCouch in the “Is there such a thing as “too pretty” for yachting?” forum (December 10, 2010)

 





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