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Chef Peter's Blog


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     Hello to all the crew members in the world!  Especially those who have to wait to get into port to use the internet to contact loved ones, stay in touch with sick relatives, or just regain your sanity when returning to land.  And a special hello to those of you who have internet on board, but are not allowed to use it, or not allowed to use the boat phone to call home on holidays and such.   These basic necessities sometimes go overlooked and are strictly enforced by boat managers, captains and owners alike.  My advice, before getting on a boat make a wish list of the simple basic things that you could live with and or without.  These should be incorporated into the questions you ask about the boat.  "Oh..but I am worried I will not get hired", fear will defeat you then if you feel this way.  Remember something, you are spending YOUR time, YOUR life on board, you are sacrificing YOUR family and friends for long terms out at sea.  Now the argument comes, "Oh, if you cant deal with it dont choose life at sea."  That is sooooo 1991....fogettabout it!!!  Having a vessels lead characters delegate excellent surroundings will also promote indestructable bonds in the crew and boost morale through the decks. Now...I do respect all the views, however, would like to promote positivity and happiness on board.  Remember that not every boat is right for you and you are not right for every boat.  The marriage must be a symbiotic one.  Do not go against your gut, always trust your intuition, dont let fear or greed get in the way of happiness.  Now...lets get to the perks that you may have on board. Examples- do you have enough space, do you fit on your berth, do you have satellite TV, DVD player or Ipod player in your quarters, do you have a well kept crew area (boy do I have stories on that one ;)  ), Do you get flights home or turkeys at Thanksgiving, do you get holiday bonuses, accumulated time off, or crew car(s), is everyone treated equally, does your captain sit watches ( :)  ), do you have an 360X Box with all the latest games, do you have sporting equipment for the crew, do you have bicycles for the crew, I could go on forever, but what we are lookiing for here, what you already have on board that you relish and what you want that you desire.  Chef Peter Z and the World want to know whats happening on your boat. 

A bit more natural light in these dark crew quarters would be nice. More Portholes Please!
Posted by: Scott at 29/11/2011 23:12

Let's see I started with an att card with the ability to talk home family friends via pay phones. Reading books was very much a use of free time. Books consisted of novels, reading for upcoming licenses or upgrades. Reading owners manuals. Some boats had A TV. But while traveling particularly foreign ports movies( video cassettes or later dvd's) were the norm. health insurance benefits were a bit rare amongst the smaller boats of the time. Remember 100' s were the mega yacht. Flights home were the norm once or twice a year. We got paid well but not as much as it is expected today with additional perks. However I remember it was a lot more fun less stress. Crew earning their way to captain status was harder and usually more experience was required. Most captains had more hands on experience. Today it is much different. Much more paperwork style schooling and a fast track to larger licensing without true experience realationship to time served also .it seems crew have less hands on experience under a good true seaman who could teach them well. Not very seasoned seamen. Today It seems it is more often about the the dollar versus the adventure.
Posted by: J.w at 30/11/2011 02:55

Oh my, the times they are a changing !!
Posted by: John Doe at 30/11/2011 03:47

To chef Peter:not all yachties are from a thanksgiving celebrating nation, so can we leave the turkey out of the equation, please. I'm sure there are far more important matters that one could come up with that is important to crew. Like for instance not having to share a cabin. Some personal space however small it is, would be on the top of my list.

I've been in this game for the past 15 years and it really strikes me how much, younger generation crew members ask for nowadays. Of course there is the fact that "if you don't ask you don't get". But it seems to go hand in hand with great expectations...and what do they (these crew members) have to offer in return, on top of what is expected from them....working hard, during long hours, away from home. Name at least one thing that these crew members have to offer their owner/captain/boat that the older generations don't offer. Give someone 1 finger and before you know it they will take your entire hand. How about just being thankful and happy for what you get given...remember it is free...not like when you are land based and you have to pay for everything yourself.
Posted by: NH at 30/11/2011 17:32

'Back in the old days...' classic cliches been churned out it here, the majority of western world industries strive to evolve overtime to become more efficient, so things change for the better or sometimes worse, yachting is no different of course, simply because some are older and have worked longer in the industry,and although 'in my day stories' can be enlightening..., they serve no other purpose but to offer some sort of entitlement to the 'in my day it wasn't as easy..''s 2011, it is the way it is, embrace and adapt it, and be glad it's gotten easier, rather than telling tall tales of the hard times of yachting.
Posted by: Anonymous at 30/11/2011 19:31

Times have certainly changed in the past decade or so and many blogs, forums and articles are now addressing the issue of "what crew want". This is a perfect example of the Y generations "me" mindset - very narcissistic. These questions are certainly not posed by the veteran crew or captains. It is amazing how much discussion there is concerning the problems with the "me" oriented generation that management in all walks of international business and industries are having. I am not making this up - research it!!!!
The point that has been lost in the "what I want" discussion is this: In yachting, We are first and foremost in the luxury service industry and our mindset should not be on "me". We have it GREAT in comparison to many other people in other walks of life. The attitude of being grateful for being able to work on luxury yachts seems to have gone by the wayside. This emphasis on ones self and the wanting of ever increasing demands for job perks was unheard of when I started out. I have been in this indusrty for 30 years and I still feel grateful to be working in a job that I love which includes free room and board and travel to boot. I read on a forum recenlty that a deckhand was complaining that the yacht owner did not provide a rowing machine or stair master for the crew. What happened to putting on a pair of sneakers and jogging or lifting hand held weights or doing aerobic exercises ondeck or ashore?
Our younger "Y" generation has become acustomed to more unnecessary conveniences and many are proving themselves to be demanding and spoiled. No wonder there is so much discussion among the most qualified veteran captains as to the increasing problems they are having managing crew and finding good quality crew. Their biggest headache is with the crew. So take it from a veteran captain and stop complaining. You have it great. If you can't go online everyday to go on Facebook or to chat to friends constantly - SO WHAT!!! Be more involved in experiencing the destination where you are and making the best of it - be creative and stop thinking that things revolve around you - THEY DON'T. You are lucky and privileged to have a job on a yacht and once you recognize this and change your "ME" attitude around to appreciating what you have only then will you be a desirable candidate for the most descriminating owners and captains.
Posted by: Captain at 30/11/2011 20:29

Thank you so much Peter. This is a crucial topic.
With all respect captain, the 'me' mentality, unfortunately, is rather not "SO WHAT" as stated. If one is not in a healthy state or environment, and 'me' is not taken care of, then 'me' can't look after 'them' with the service of excellence which we strive for.
Very much agree captain that constant facebook and standing around when you could help- this is not a good look. Hard and fast work- this is a good look. But one needs to have personal time. We should treat ourselves with the best in order to give the best. All this self-torture and 'sshh, be grateful" is just making people bitter. Healthy food, exercise and space. Thank you.
Posted by: anonymous at 30/11/2011 21:05

LMAO Really I am reading all this and LMAO. Where in any other job do you work for 15 hours or longer for weeks on end and feel lucky? Missing family outings most of my life is the tip of the iceberg that gets us "old timers" going. Pay your dues, work hard, be loyal, be fair and be allowed to be a human being with time off well served. This isn't white slavery or a walkabout. This is a dedication to an artform.Yachting is a time honored profession for alot of great people who treat it as such.
The comment about the turkey amazes me as well. This is an important holiday in American where most of these YACHT jobs are. Have some respect for the country you visit to get these types of jobs in the first place. That would make us all happy. These jobs are hard enough without the disregard for your hosting country holidays Coming here looking for work, finding it then disrespecting the same country that gave the anybody not born here an opportunity you didn't find in your own back yard is just plain wrong. P.S. Be thankful you work in this industry now and not pre 1991... LMAO
Posted by: Mary Murphy at 01/12/2011 04:35

It's all good and well, however, A clocking system would be very beneficial for us yachties that work hours and hours over time a day, getting overtime paid would be very nice, just a thought.
Posted by: Frana at 01/12/2011 12:20

Really, a clocking system. How about while we are at it we charge you room and board. Then deduct taxes and flights. Then charge you for your medical coverage and pay you a minimum hourly wage ?? While we are at it, sell you phone cards and limit internet usage to 1 hour every 2 days. We could ban all smart mobile devices during working hours and charge for alcohol and personal products. If you want snacks, supply your own and if you are really nice we won't make you pay for the uniforms you destroy and steal. Or you could go work at McDonalds.
Posted by: John Doe at 01/12/2011 19:24

This blog is rockin today!!!!
Tell us about what you are getting and what you are not getting too.
Posted by: Chef Peter Ziegelmeier at 02/12/2011 19:16

Internet...I want it, need it and won't work on a boat with out asking what the crew policy about it is. Most of the captains I know spend all day in front of their computers where they can send personal emails at their leisure, not true of your deckie or stew. But for some reason when crew want to use the Internet we're debased as being selfish Gen Y'ers who want to spend all day on Facebook. Grow up Stodgies and Old Guard, this is 2011 and everyone wants to be able to use the Internet, we're not being greedy.
Posted by: Vicky at 03/12/2011 00:57

Well Vicky, I hope you get your internet but would you postpone your fix long enough to go cover a fellow crew member while they sit hungry as the food disappears and goes cold waiting for someone to let them eat as you check your Facebook ?
Posted by: John Doe at 08/12/2011 03:59

"LMAO" you Mary Murphy. Most of these yacht (unneccesary in capitals) jobs are not all in the U.S, there's another place called the mediterranean, google it, among many others. Also capitalism, literacy, education, etc do exist in other places, so opportunities are available across the world, so although your national pride is a great quality, I find your claims of disregarding and disrespecting the united states over the subject of a turkey absolutely comical and the stereotypical America centric attitude quite unique in an industry generally consisting of more cultured individuals.
Posted by: Andy o at 10/12/2011 09:08

Wow! I just visited this site to read up on the industry and find out what to expect. I haven't started my career in yachting yet. In fact I am due to do my STCW95 in feb. I find it shocking yet brilliant that any sort of demands could be made in such an advantages position! I mean, I don't think I would have the cheek to ask for perks such as exercise equipment, xboxes etc......yet the thought of not being able to contact loved ones bothers me, so internet access would be more of a nessesity to keep my sanity I think. Reading these comments has been very informative. I can see why the 'old timers' react the way they do. I think the younger generation sometimes forget how lucky they really are (no offense intended!). I havent even got a job yet, and I would be greatful to take a job with no perks just to earn the wage that you get :)
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