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The Owner Was A Cheapskate!
Posted: Friday, February 6, 2009 10:10 PM

Dear Crew Confessor, I am a freelance chef. Recently I did a ten day trip with the owners on their yacht, repeat clients of mine over the past few years everything has always gone really well. I have always been meticulous with my receipts, I keep them in an envelope and note the place and amounts in a special notepad I always keep with me. The latest trip for these clients went well, but the owners wife is a bit of a strange bird. Doesn't want to admit what the real cost of things are etc... The owner himself is a little on the cheap side too, he wouldn't hire me a day or two in advance of their arrival so that I could have the boat provisioned and ready to go when they got here. No, I had to do all the schlepping and shopping while they sat at the dock watching. The owner even told me not to "buy to much at once, better to make more trips with less stuff" so as to keep the owner's wife in the dark I guess.

So, I had three receipts from Publix this trip instead of the usual one. The night before the end of the trip I was tabulating all of my receipts and it was just not adding up. Not adding up to the tune of about $450. I realized I had somehow lost one of my Publix receipts. I explained to the Captain and he told me to forget, no receipt, no money, or I owe them. They subtracted the $450 from my pay. I phoned the manager at Publix. I was able to pin down the hour and date that I had checked out and even the most likely lane I had used. During the time we had been gone the register tapes had all been sent to their warehouse in Northern Florida somewhere, but the manager said he would try to find it for me. Wouldn't you know, they did! I rang the Captain and told him, he sounded wishy washy, said he had just sent off his accounting to the bosses office and it was TOO LATE! He gave me the address of the owner and I Fed Exed my stuff to him (made copies), with a nice letter apologizing for my carelessness and a polite request for reimbursement.

Wouldn't you know, the multi-millionaire can't be bothered to send me a check. What should I do? To make things worse I have heard through the grapevine that now they are using another chef for their trips. WTF?!!

Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2009 8:35 PM
Joined: 21/08/2008
Posts: 30

That is unbelievable. I bet you could threaten to take the captain to small claims court...that might get him to cut you a check! Outrageous. What you should definitely do is get the word out about that boat. If what you are saying is true, you should post it on Dockwalk and Triton so no one else will take a job on that boat. We have to watch out for one another and I bet more stuff like this is going to happen now that people are so freaked-out about their money. I feel really bad for you and hope you get your money.


Posted: Sunday, February 8, 2009 4:36 AM

Sounds fishy to me.  As captain, I pretty much know what each trip costs before we even leave the dock.   If your total account was in line with  what was spent on the typical trip  I would certainly pay you ,even though you lost a receipt.  Come to think of it, my gang of knuckleheads always seems to be missing some. I'm looking at a receipt pile right now with at least 4 hand written scribbles on post it notes, bakery, etc.  Its par for the course.  Sounds like the captains a Chav' .  Next time you see him...let the air out of his tires or have the local boys give him a once over....

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:06 PM

The captain (note the small c) obviously is just a bus driver with no balls.  Losing receipts happens and is too often used as an excuse.  I doubt if you'll get anything back but threaten the boat with a maritime liens and eventually an action in rem.  At least it'll be fun to watch the prick squirm.  Keep all correspondence and find yourself a legal advisor.  I'm owed loads of money by rich cheap skates and I just arrest their boats (4 at the moment).  The yelling and screaming from brokers/managers of "You'll never work for us again, that's it you're blacklisted!" gets a brief reply - I don't work for people who don't pay.  Name and shame is the game, no one wants their boat or reputation questioned.

And if they've got a replacement what have you to lose?

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:16 AM
Joined: 09/01/2009
Posts: 4

Alternatively and here I gree with post prior to mine above, fix the bastard socialy as a gutless wetback.  No one wants to work for one of those.


There was a time when a Captain led with a fair and hard hand.  Now they get told what to do by accountants.  This industry sucks.


I own a site called which I'm setting up now for when I qualify as a lawyer later this year to name and shame those that do not pay and www.ibna,info for those that feel they are hard done by and need legaladvise.  Any case won on the latter will be published as a data base on the former and we'll offer legal advice for all the complaints that I read on this forum.  Sure I'll be blacklisted but I don't care, I work in the infomation business and I love exposes hypocrits.

Watch this space.



Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009 1:34 PM
You are so right... The only thing I HATE   more than Cheapskate Owners, Spineless Captains and those Damn Useless Management Companies, IS Lawyers!!!  Especially  "Careless Crew" Chasers, trolling yachting websites and oozing artificial sympathy!!! Ya Gotta Love It.....
Crew Confessor
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:53 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

Dear Short Changed Chef,

No matter how careful one is, accidents can happen, receipts can be lost. You made a mistake, you lost a little piece of paper. Should this cost you $450? No. Even if Publix hadn't found the receipt the captain should have stood up for you and insisted the owner take your word for it. Captains who don't stand up for their crew belong ashore -- permanently.

I suggest that in the future you  keep a "running" accounting so if a receipt should go missing you'll know sooner. I doubt that the captain or owner would want the chef to know that they will rip off their chef while he/she is still preparing their meals. The loss of a receipt after a cash transaction presents a good argument for using credit cards, whenever possible. If you lose a CC receipt, there is a record. While it may not be possible or advisable to give out boat credit cards to freelance personnel, temp cards can be set up with many banks that are essentially a temporary debit card. Alternatively, if the boat insists on using cash and if the chef has the means, the charges can be made on his/her own credit card, retaining the cash equal to what you have spent, being careful not to spend over the amount you have been given to spend, and being equally careful to reimburse yourself right away!  This methodology may even gain you some frequent flyer miles or cash back awards!

 Please do not give up on collecting the money that is owed to you now. Getting a lawyer officially involved may cost you more than $450, but probably all you need is a good old fashioned sternly worded letter, inferring the immediate involvement of your attorney should this matter not be attended to immediately. Send it return receipt (they'll have to sign for it, proving they receiving it) requested to the owner and cc the captain, include copies of your paperwork. In your letter indicate that if this matter is not attended to within seven business days your attorney will proceed accordingly with standard procedures well known to yacht and ship owners the world over, i.e. a lien. That should do it.

Tell us how it goes. Oh, and kudos to Publix for making such an effort to find that receipt. I have visions of some poor soul in a big warehouse searching through boxes and boxes of receipt rolls, cursing yacht chefs under his or her breath! They certainly went above and beyond here. One more thing, we are all human, we all make mistakes. Over the years I have known captains who have lost literally thousands of dollars worth of receipts. They weren't thieves. They weren't forced to pay for it out of their own pockets either.

Your Crew Confessor

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:32 PM
To the bloke who posted in red, I'm ex-crew.  Any advice given is free.
Posted: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:14 PM

Protest. There's nothing more Amercan than a public demonstration...even more than fire arms. Make yourself a sign, make sure its true, be sure you are on public property and the owner will be at the docks that day...then begin the walk. Also, be sure to pre-call the police, they'll appreciate the tip AND when the owner calls the police to complain, they'll just say, "Yeah, we know. They called in earlier." and it's doubfull they will even show up.

I've done this several times with clients and vendors that cheated me and its amazing at how fast they are willing to pay.

Also: Be sure to NEVER enter private property during the protest, since they can call the police and have you arrested for tresspasing. Don't put a stick on your sign since it can be used as a weapon. Don't be angry since you want the good will of the passers by. Don't block trafic, either car or foot. and if you can, have someone across the street to video tape the entire affair so if the ownder goes crazy and hits you, you have tons of evidence in court. If the police do show up and insist that you get a permit to protest, ask them to ask the owner if he REALLY wants you to come back later, with a permit, more people, larger signs, etc. Oh, and be sure to mention the ACLU with the police, this will assure that they will leave you alone if any zealous police do give you a problem.

Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 1:29 AM


Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 7:30 AM
Whoa !!!!!!!...that yacht crew is spitting fire !!!!!!!!! Chill going to burn the house down.   And your correct about the yachting many goofy troglodytes inhabit yachts.  From El Supremo the yachts owner with the deep pockets and short arms to Captain Leadbottom and his halfwit crew of  toy operators, .
   To survive this titanic Old Man of the Sea  struggle you must educate yourself about this bank balance shredding, barnacle encrusted waterfront scene and move carefully .  If yachting were easy you would see many people making it.  I observe that  about 25 percent do the time.  Complete the full   25 year sentence and here comes the your hard earned gold medal, personalized bar stool, special tattoo and they say...don't tread on me.
Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:30 PM

Inform the captain and owner of your intentions to post the yacht name, captains name and owners name. Dishonest and immoral captains and owners love to hide under the cloak of darkness and secrecey. Also, dont be so sure the captain has not received this money and is embezzling from the owner and has the $450 in his pocket!

Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:20 PM
Sorry, as a yacht captain for over 15 years, no receipt, you pay.  If is was YOUR money would you loose the receipt for reimbursement? I doubt it.  If you are professional, then you will place a high priority on the receipt.  If I do not have them for the owner, I pay. 
Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:28 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

No receipt no pay ? Gee.... Sounds like your program is slow and domestic or you need to chill.
    When the yacht is on full cry, we move out.  My girls have one hour  between 7.30 and 8.30am each morning  to recon a new town , frantically search for whatever produce or services are available, pay in an unfamiliar currency using a foreign language,  before  returning to the boat  with a fresh smile to prepare breakfast.....they are hauling ass.
   I expect mistakes and lost receipts.  When their end of the week accounting is submitted, I expect them to be short. I APPROVE OF IT.  The owner approves of it.   If their receipts come out perfect, to the penny , they are fiddling the accounts and training to become a yacht skipper.

Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:46 PM
Additional posts in this forum have been deleted by the forum moderator.



Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 6:40 PM
Shame on that cheap owner. I would have gotten off the boat and returned all the food. I'm sure Publix would have helped out. Now that you cannot take the to small claims court. Sounds like the captain is up to no good and should be reveled. Being a freelance Chef I would want to know who he/she was before he screwed me or another Chef over.
Good Luck,
Chef Morgan

Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009 6:50 PM
I have been a chef on Large yachts for the past 5 years. Accounting is very very important. I do agree a little bit that the ethics are wrong from the owner and Captain. As a previous Captain posted, No receipt YOU PAY. I agree. I have had this before, and you only do it once maybe twice then you ensure you are extremely organised and never forget your receipts.. All my captains have been fine with hand written receipts from markets etc, but $450.00! that would be a hard one, even with the best budgets.
Yachting is not a holiday, WE all get paid good money to be responsible, losing a $450.00 receipt.. Hardly that.
I bet the Chef will not do it again- lesson learnt.

Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2009 3:50 AM

Finally!!!!  A REAL entry.....Get that frickin Debbie out of this conversation....She is a stew for gods sake!!  And apparently a very bitter one at that.      Go away Debbie........... And I agree with Capt Frank ....Take your battles elsewhere. Just from your letters it's obvious that you have issues....and that's BEFORE your other captain got involved.     Grow up and get a life.


And as for the original question I have to side with the chef....accidents happen and sometimes receipts are lost....if it happens on a regular basis then I guess it's time to question. Especially from a repeat freelance chef.

You gotta love these never know what will happen.....Peace All ( even debbie...hell knows she needs it) 

Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2009 4:53 AM
I agree as a yacht chef, multi tasking purchasing food, hiring taxi's trying to figure out where the best place is to purchase the outragous needs of the crew and owners all while dealing with foreign languages and money you do end up losing a reciept or two along the way. I have lost a few in my days.... I was trusted in the amounts and wrote a reciept out of my accounting reciept book and signed off on it.  I was paid for them from my captain.  We are human.. we make mistakes.  But we should be trusted to do a job.  A captain needs to have trust in his crew in order for this all to work.  If the freelance chef had done many gigs for the owners and captain that should be there.  It's sad that the captain has no balls and no backbone.  I come from the management side of cooking where i ran 400 room 4/5 star hotel kitchens.  I hate it when I hear of something like this happening in an industry that has such cowboys at the rains/helms.  As for Captain Humpty Russ, Debbie and Michelle, please don't take away from the original topic... how old are you all.... calling each other names.  come on now.  grow up please, or take your talks somewhere we don't have to read the smut... i call that private.  Please do Post the boat and the captain.  no one needs to work for someone that has that little respect for there crew... freelance or not!  cheers everyone.... lol

Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2009 4:58 PM

AMEN for above post!!!! Get Out Debbie!!!


But ANYWAY Cheffy.......As a captain myself I have worked for my share of cheap muti-millionare owners that just dont give a rats ass about anyone but themselves. What happened to you can be filed under " that really sucks" ,,,,,,Bottom line, in my eyes, is that in the past I have been charged for missing receipts AND ones thet were not "approved" beforehand ( crew toiletries, office supplies, ect.ect.). I have found that no matter how mad I got and how much I wanted revenge the fact is I cant afford to go after a millionare with an army of lawyers. I just took the hit got the hell away from that job and moved on with knowledge to use in the future. I know it sucks and makes you feel used........ AND, as for your captain....he should have paid you personally out of his highly paid pocket because he knew it was the right thing to do and THEN get reimbursed from the owner himself.....That's the right way to do it especially if you are freelance. I'm truly sorry you had to go through that whole ordeal but unfortunately you might have to take the hit unless you have a good lawyer in the family......


BTW  Does the name of this yacht start with a "C"     Sounds like an owner I worked for ran,ran away. 

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 2:49 AM
This post has been deleted by the forum moderator

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 2:49 PM
The captain/ owner is a dirtbag!!  The reason to demand receipts is to keep everyone as honest as possible not to punish the crew.  If they are quick to dock crew for lost receipts, they should be as quick to return the cash when requirements are met.
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 3:11 PM
I think you people seem to forget that the issue is no longer about a 'lost' reciept...some poor bloke at Publix sifted through and 'FOUND' the reciept. That is proof of the transaction....does the Captain and owner think the chef is in cahoots with Publix falsely creating bills to make money!?!?! I've worked for many boats where the accounting had already been submitted for the month, and one of my girls has brought me a reciept after the fact. You simply post it to next months deductions. I think the owner's simply not wanting to fess up to his wife about the actual costs of owning and operating and boat, and the savings of another $450 made him the apple of his wife's eye. Or this particular Captain is pocketing some....compose a professional letter to both the owner, his wife, and the Captain threatening further action (of the legal sort) if you don't get reimbursed. Copy the bill and ensure it's attached to your letter on the same page. Good luck.
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 3:55 PM
As crew myself, of course my immediate reaction is to side with the crew member. But, some things raise questions with me...Most Captains and owners will do a lot to keep a chef that they like. Has there been an issue in the past that you have not posted here? Have you lost receipts before? Do you over provision? Buy toys for your kids/dog? We have all worked for cheap people. But, I have also see many chefs provision their own house on the owners dollar. If a cheap owner is happy ( well fed ) they will make sure you are around. They did not pay you appropriately and hired a new chef. Something feels left out of the conversation here??? With that have the receipt, you should have the money!!!!!!!
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:02 AM

Anyone should realize that this chef has been defrauded pure and simple. It never ceases to amaze me how some rich owners [not to mention shady cpts] out there who can be so cheap and so deceitful.  It goes to show how crew are degraded by some owners and cpts out there as simply being unworthy or "disposable".

It's one thing to be defrauded out of money by anyone...and of course it can be very frustrating to try to resolve. But to be slandered by some yucky crew members in this industry while they ALSO steal your money is pathetic. This has already happened to me three times by three cpts who seem to still be working and getting paid big bucks. Someone told me that I hate this industry and that I should leave it. I don't hate this industry, I feel sorry for it.

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 1:42 PM

As a yacht chef for 15 years, I agree with the you lose it, you pay for it, yes i have travelled all over the world to different countries with different currency, but its part and parcel with the job.  Put the reciept in the envelope/zip lock.  Yes i admit I have been short on the odd time.   I would speak with the Capt and depending on the amount missing ie $20 - $100 he would right it off anything over out of my pocket.  If the reciept was found and entered into the next months accounts, i would be re- embursed.  Why should the Capt be out of pocket for my mistakes.  Its a lesson to be learnt and an expensive one at that, but at least my Capt was honest enough to give me the money back once the reciept was produced and had to balls to let the owner know that money was owed. 

This capt sounds like hes got no balls and has ripped you off, you should approch the owner directly and find out what the story is, as you never know the capt may be helping himself to more of the owners money by means of hard working crew.  I know a capt who gets the crews tips and doesnt always pass them on to the well deserving crew!!!! 

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:51 PM
Once again......Debbie, I find it odd that you have so many bad things happen to you. Maybe it's time to reaccess your attitude towards the world out there....and if you feel sorry for the industry then try and improve it.....not be a part of the problem. You still are complaining about the same thing, over and over. Either do something about it or move on to another subject.       Go ahead nick and delete this........Just tired of reading the same ol %#$& from one individual. There are OTHER crew out there that need sincere, non-skewed advice. Not just reading one womans problems over and over and over and over.........
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 5:44 PM

People sometimes get stuck with bad gigs repeatedly. That's nothing entirely new or crazy to mention.  

It seems to me that there are those in this industry who hire or contract out certain crew for certain yachts from the get go...while using what they see as "cream" of the crop for more exclusive yachts or bigger yachts. What am I chop liver I sometimes think? If these agents have been or could be stews on nice yachts, why has been so challenging to find a decent gig [consistently enough anyway]. 

 I look at some folks in this biz, who look/carry themselves in a certain way, including those who engage in elicit stuff and act up and YET they [still] work on some of the nicest, well paying yachts...with the nicest owners. When I'm around good crew and owners, I flourish.  There are some crew who complain about the hours I wonder why, why do these horrid experiences on these happen so much to someone like me?

Depending on the crew or recruiting agent, a good attitude and skill may not be that important as other so called qualities.  i think that's one of more annoying reasons why we deal with such a high turn around. you think? anyone agree? disagree?

maybe this should be in another thread. sorry moderator


Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 6:27 PM

Cpt Hump,  Barbara-- you two are especially fortunate to have jobs in this biz. But for what company and yacht?  Exactly, fits you two quite nicely. Bugs and all.  And shame on you for being mouthy at the main charter guest. I hope he does file a suit against your so-called reputable company.

People sometimes get stuck with bad gigs repeatedly. That's nothing entirely new or "crazy" to mention.  It seems to me that there are those in this industry who hire or contract out certain crew for certain yachts from the get go...while using what they see as "cream" of the crop for more exclusive yachts or bigger yachts.  "What am I chop liver??" I sometimes wonder.  Some of these girls are not so hot or smart, and yet they get these great gigs because they're from Australia or Capetown? [cue Samantha from Sex and the City] Ya-gott-a- be kiddin' me!

I look at some of these folks in this biz, who look/carry themselves in a certain way, including those who engage/INDULGE in elicit stuff and act up and yet they work on some of the nicest, well paying yachts...with the nicest owners.  Ah, what a dream. If people have to be caught up in a bunch of drama, retaliation, poor reputation, slander and wage disputes, shouldn't people like that go through that first before someone like me. I say, hell yeah they do!

When I've been around good crew and owners, I've flourished. This is not the Ms. Congeniality Industry or a popularity contest.  We are all expected to provide quality service, right?  Why not treat others [i.e  crew] as you would want to be treated? Or say, your candidates. Why not focus on your task and not what the new gal  thinks of you or what you think of her?  Try to work smarter, right?

Depending on the crew or recruiting agent, a good attitude and skills may just not be that important as other so called qualities.  I think that's one more good reason why this industry has dealt a high turn around.  But hey, crew are disposable. That's why agencies have that trusty o'l- thirty day guarantee now a days. Ya think?

Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:51 AM

I think someone has a little too much time on their hands, mmmm stews and their computers!!!!!


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