Just what do yacht crew do in their free time these days? The question arises as I have recently noticed a number of entrepreneurial crew members who appear to be running small enterprises from ‘corporate headquarters’ that actually appear to be their cabins. I have seen several websites managed from on board yachts, a few stock photograph sites, a number of small yacht management companies, a couple of professional blogs and of course many investment portfolios, all run during the limited time off granted to a busy crewmember or from the corner of the crew mess table.
Some are clearly investing for the future when slippers and pyjamas inevitably take the place of electric trousers and dancing shoes but some are setting up an income for a much earlier departure from the “Big White Yacht Club”.
Yachting is, for many, a career with a shelf life. There comes a time in the lives of many, when one’s own agenda becomes as or even more important than the owner’s. When going the extra mile is more like running a marathon and when tips become the sole motivation and not the icing on the cake. Whether it is for those who do not aspire to become senior crew members or for those who simply prefer to see their future as captains of industry, developing and actually implementing a small business idea prior to making the step ashore permanently, is clearly possible these days, perhaps more so than ever before. It is just one of the many benefits of the sort of modern communications many yachties enjoy whilst working on board today’s yachts. What would we do without the internet?
Yacht crew are, generally; multi skilled, people friendly, relatively house trained, and service expert. Couple this with a decent business plan and a bit of ‘tech savvy’ and there is quite clearly the recipe for a successful business. Let’s face it, there is nothing more annoying than trying to spend an owner’s money with a supplier or sub-contractor who regards the basic concepts of service and efficiency as outdated principles that belong in the sort of fast food restaurant that uses pictures on the menu. Perhaps this is a motivating factor that inspires yachties to try business for themselves.
Whatever the motivation, there seem to be more and more yacht crew making the very best use of their time and the resources they have around them to make an honest dollar on the side. Good luck to them all.
Even after moving onto dry land, it seems that an ever increasing number of ex crew members are staying within the industry they know and starting businesses offering goods and services to both crew and yacht owners alike. Who better to provide solutions to the diverse needs of yachts these days?
I was once told by a yacht owner that you can only make a living from 9 until 5. “Fortunes” he added, “Are made from 5 until well after 9.” So if you are on the verge of making your first fortune and contemplating which yacht to buy, just try and remember to look after your crew.