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Racism and yachts
Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 10:06 PM
Joined: 04/09/2013
Posts: 15


I am trying to switch to the yachting industry from the cruise industry.  I am switching positions which means I will need someone to give me a break. But,I have a few friends already in the industry who have mentioned a few other obstacles.  They have said that some foreign flagged vessels don't like to hire Americans, but is it true that some yachts may not hire blacks as well? 

Just an honest girl asking some honest questions.  Will this hinder my switch to yachts?

Honest and serious answers, please.

Thanks again!

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 3:28 AM

I have only been in this industry for a year, but already I've observed so much. While some yachts may be strict on nationality and race, others are more relaxed.  Regardless of how a yacht views you, if they don't like you based on color or looks, then go to the next yacht over and try a position there. There IS ALWAYS an opportunity out there for you, just have to work hard at finding it. Now as far as yachts not wanting to hire Americans, I can only add what I've heard as "hear say"; I've been told Americans are too much a liability, and for insurance reasons, most FF yachts won't hire us. That being said, I'm sure there is a FF yacht or even US flagged yacht out there that are more relaxed.

Best of luck!

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:30 AM
Joined: 28/04/2011
Posts: 56

American nationals on foreign flagged yachts can be an issue, I have sailed on at least one yacht who would not employ US Citizens because the insurance prohibited it and to add US Citizens would affect the premiums significantly. Nothing personal against Americans, but the decision was made.

Yachts discriminate between nationality, because the can do, and will give people working alongside each other of different nationalities differing salaries (supply and demand...)

As far as your skin colour is concerned, I doubt that would hinder you in any way, perhaps like anywhere you could come across the exceptional Captain who was racist, but on the most part if you have the ability, skills and qualities that the employer desires, they will employ you.

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:46 AM
Joined: 04/09/2013
Posts: 15

thanx, guys.  The fact that some ff yachts don't hire Amecans is a bit worrying as my British Partner and I will be seeking a couples position next year... :/
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 10:05 AM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 100

Captains would much rather hire a grafter than a layabout, regardless of skin colour, for the vast majority of vessels out there, this will be the case so rest easy on this one.


Americans on non US flagged vessels will limit your choices somewhat but there are still plenty of boats that will employ you.  Your real problem lies with finding a non US flagged vessel looking for a couple.  Those two restrictions will narrow the field considerably.

I dont consider this racism, just practicality - it may help your cause to view it the same way before you brand us all racists.

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 11:05 PM
Joined: 04/09/2013
Posts: 15

I am sorry if I offended you.  I did not mean to imply that all yachties are racist.  I have heard from some people and read on some sites that this might be an issue. I just wanted to hear about other people's experiences.  Again, I am sorry...
Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 7:24 AM


Please don't apologize to anyone for asking your question!  Unfortunately, I have found that there is a lot of racism within this industry.  My experience?  The first yacht I worked on the captain insisted on flying a Confederate flag solely for the reason of expressing his hatred, not for any other "historical" reason (not that it's historically accurate anyway, but you get my drift!).  In addition to that overt expression, it was a daily occurrence to overhear he and the owners conversations full of racist rants.  Other than that, in my experience on other yachts it's usually the crew sitting around at mealtimes making disgusting racist comments not having any consideration for others feelings.  And if I or someone else calls them out on this behavior, we are told to "deal with it"  or, even worse, "people have a right to be racist"!!  Amazing.

If I were you, maybe reconsider your reason for leaving the cruise industry.  At least there are consequences and fines if a person acts like an idiot.  Also, on cruise ships they are more likely to have actual maritime experience.  Best of luck in whatever you choose. 

Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013 3:19 AM
Joined: 28/04/2011
Posts: 56

I've been in yachting since 2008 after leaving the cruise industry and haven't witnessed any of the racism that 'anonymous' has seen. I have been on the larger yachts (smallest 80m+ largest 150m+) with many different crews without any sign of racist behaviour. Perhaps I've had my eyes closed,  but generally I've found the guys I've worked with to be professional and worldly.
Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 8:49 AM

Hi there

Been a Captain since 2001 and have only seen one black crew, working as chief engineer on a 50/60 meters.

That said, you'll find a position as long as you do what the owner/cap/chief stew ask you to do.

I hold a French passport and even though i am white i also suffer from preconceived ideas from my fellow Anglosaxons colleagues, most common one  being that we are rude and do not speak English.

You'll be fine.

 Average 5 out of 5