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Another Cheapskate Owner....
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 2:33 AM
Joined: 25/01/2009
Posts: 4

It all started out the same way most of my freelance jobs do- coming across a voicemail left for me- i called the guy back & seems he wanted me for the month of december for a delivery from san diego to cabo san lucas... pick up the owners family in mexico, and cruise around for the holidays. now, i work full time on a well respected and well known PRIVATE sailing yacht in new england/st barths which happened to be undergoing a bilge refit at the time, so i had the time to do this "charter"... in fact because of my resume and experience as both a cat 3 pro and a chef, i would be wanted on deck as well as in the galley... literally begged me to let him fly me out there. i asked if the owner would be on board for the delivery... SURPRISE! it WAS the owner who called me personally to hire me.... not the captain. in fact, the captain had JUST gotten his ticket and had never worked on another boat aside from public head boats and charter boats... basically a whipping boy up until he somehow landed this gig on a 68' swan. extremely skeptical, i took the position. i arrived in san diego ready to do my thing. Surprise again! the owner wanted to go provisioning WITH me. (HUH?) he had no idea what he was doing and didn't really grasp the realistic quantities of food that was needed... 1 milk for 7 people for 5 days at sea?? ... just an example. once underway, i worked a typical 16 hour day... in addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and a million other unreasonable requests, i was stewing as well. the delivery was hellacious. it was basically another charter. the owner, FOUR of his friends, (some of them non sailors) the captain, and myself. that's a seven person delivery crew on a 68' boat. crowded much? when the non sailors weren't busy expecting me to bend over backwards for them, they were expecting me to fix their clogged heads, broken showers and wash their clothes. the captain didn't know how to be a captain, either. in some instances he was washing dishes and scrubbing the galley floor... AFTER i had already cleaned the whole thing. he was constantly going behind me doing my job and then TELLing me about it. chemistry was WAY off, and i felt like he was competing with me and throwing me under the bus whenever it would benefit him.. after we arrive in mexico, delivery "crew" was leaving and 9 more people were arriving making it a total of 11 people sailing around on a 68' boat. the owners family and their friend's family... i get a call december 18th that a disease that my mother has had taken a turn for the worst and she was being taken off of nutrition & hydration & nature would soon be taking its course... probably within the week. shocked and devestated, i told the captain & owner that i would be flying back to the east coast as soon as possible... they were completely pissed off with me. the owner wanted me to stay! afterall, his "well earned" family holiday would be terrible without a chef! i did one last provisioning before i left... with him AND the captain. (again, am i in the twilight zone?) and when it came time to settle up, you wouldn't believe it.... he told me that we had discussed $130. a DAY!!! total lie. i would have never worked 16 hour days doing the work of 2 people had i known that! i have no problem sharing that because i feel like that figure is THAT absurd. i vomited in my mouth when he said that. i told him what i was making nearly twice that on my permanant program and explained that i only work 5 hour days... (and weekends off) as a CHEF and nothing else... (because we have a mate and a stew as well) i feel completely taken advantage of. nobody had any idea what they were doing, and it was a complete circus. i suppose if owners can't afford a mate, and a stew, they can't "really" afford a chef either... lesson learned. feel free to chime in about how dumb i am. just had to vent. thanks.
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 5:47 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

    What this Dockwalk site  needs is less piss and moan and more great sea stories about running before hurricanes, punching thru the ice,  hiding out from the poroc-poroc, crossing long lost shipmates in the fog, outsmarting corrupt South American customs officials, throwing potatoes ,   stranding inside atolls on a falling tide,  400 mile sailing days,  rounding the weather mark and hoisting the spinnaker upside down,  breaking anchor chains in the Bora, earthquakes at sea, Stromboli erupting during a thunderstorm on a black night,  are those seagulls standing or sitting ? .........this is why we sail boats.

  Life is beautiful.  Stop the piss and moan, its depressing,  you will pollute the minds of the young ones.

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 9:00 AM

WHOA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Croatian cooks created the longest (530 meters) sausage in the world in eastern Croatia's town of Vinkovci.   That's more that 5 wraps around the average megayacht..... or over 100 meters of sausage per deckhand .....times two meters per day per deckhand..... deckie food for a whole cruise !!!!!!  Yeah !!!

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 2:30 PM
Joined: 25/01/2009
Posts: 4

*except* the nature of this very thread is prone to sailors (i use that term very loosely as this is mostly a megayacht site) "pissing and moaning"... there are plenty of other forums to read on here that don't deal with the downside of the industry.  why did you click on the link on here if you didn't want to deal with all the winging?  

i work full time on a celebrated classic & have lots of wonderful amazing stories of regattas, deliveries, award ceremony shenanegins etc... etc.  but of course with a captain like mine, how could you not?  sadly this is the real world and it's not all pizza and ice cream every day....  it's important to share the good with the bad because its something you learn from- and telling "the young" people, and the greenies to expect the worst is more realistic than not in most cases.

  i think (only from my personal accounts) actual sailors have come to demand and expect more of a quality of life (for lack of a better term)...  we don't take well to being spoken down to.  it is an honor for the owner to have us sailing their boat- and not the other way around.  we're all business and no fluff.   charter is a four letter word.   we arrive at the crew condo, and when we don't find the proper soap we requested, the lackey is sent back to the market.  i suppose it makes better sense for me to take such spoiled & frivolous complaints to the sailing anarchy forum however  i can see that for some time you've been campaigning to turn this forum into a "sea stories" forum...  but that still doesn't make it one... so if that's what you want why don't you head on over to instead.  i think it will better suit your needs.  there is nothing wrong with the crew confessing thread.  i think its great.  you don't have to read it.... there are lots of forums on here that i don't bother going into because they don't pertain to me. 

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 4:24 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

The most important skill for "professional" sailors is the ability to understand and respond to many different yachting scenarios. Sometimes your surrounded by pro's, with the owners  along for the ride. Sometimes you are surrounded by amateurs and you must do your best with the people you have..  
     I see that you took it upon yourself to stand 16 hour watchs ?   I sail with amateurs for 200 days a year and many many thousands of miles. I'm not forced into long watchs.  I work hard to get all crew onboard involved. Keep them on edge, sharp and pass on my 30 years and 500,000 miles of experience. This is why they pay us. Even amateurs can keep a sharp lookout and report all sighting. Even amateurs can hold 235 degrees or make the tell tales dance.
  It is your job to make people  feel involved and happy...the only reason they are on the boat is to learn and experience.  Even the simplest task like provisioning the boat is a learning experience for many people. It is your job as a pro to gently pass on these skills.
   You have no right to step from your small world, in which the owner is privileged to pay you each month, into the amateurs world. These innocent amateurs probably have no experiance with the superyacht crowd and had no idea how important you were.
   Perhaps with more experience you will learn this, but in the meantime it does you no good and puts out bad vibes when you publicly ridicule yachtsman that do not fit into your limited world.
   As a pro you do your job with a good attitude and move on.  The young captain was a whipping boy ??? Oh My,  Does this make you feel even more professional ?

  As I understand crew confessor,  its a handy forum run by a professional yachty who kindly passes  on the etiquette  required to professionally crew yachts, not a forum to bad mouth others.

Mary Allison Thomas
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:01 PM
Joined: 17/02/2009
Posts: 1

Thank you for venting!!! Its nice to know that Im not the only one who has been in your situation!
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:48 PM
Oh my! It seems this post is in direct violation of the new guidlines. Did it get grandfathered in? This post is not positive which is now requirement.

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:44 PM

I have been in the industry full time for over 15 years and my how things have changed.  I can understand why your pissed off but what were you expecting on a 68 footer?  I am so sick of crew who think they are so good demanding mega day worker rates and the hours, well thats the industry why else do we get paid better then most, tax free, get food and accomodation plus all the other perks (ie return airfares, bonuses, crew cars etc) and get to go where most people only dream of!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh well this credit crunch will sift out the better crew that are prepared to work for their money then those who expect to sit there twiddleing their thumbs (ie those who expect to work 9-5, have weekends, public holidays etc off and get paid mega for it).   

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 7:14 PM
Joined: 25/01/2009
Posts: 4

a 68' boat is by no means a boat that should have a frugal budget... we're talking hinckleys, swans, little harbor- etc.  and certain classics.   i have only been in the industry for five years, and of course i was not counting on Ti undergoing a refit this winter... so it was either ride out the draught (and the terrible economy) which i could have easily done because i was by no means desperate for $$... or do some freelance work to keep busy... a delivery here & there, key west race week, farr 40 events etc.   no big deal.

this particular owner hired me himself, which i find a bit odd...  begged me to come on the trip because "i was most qualified and nobody else would do"... i'm quoting him... i'm not trying to sound vain.  i'm not.  and he would do his best to accomodate my needs.   however once i flew out to the west coast, i found the captain literally attempting to engage in a pissing contest with me over everything.  it was absurd.  this was not day work.  i don't know why anyone would assume that it was.  i am a chef.  and no, i was not standing 15 hour watches.  who does that?  working 15 hour days means that i was cooking, cleaning, & serving constantly.

before i came on the boat, i made the owner aware of my current rate, (actually i'm on salary, but it basically breaks down to somewhere around 25 an hour give or take)  and he spoke to my current captain about stealing me for the trip to confirm my rates and availability.  when it came time for me to fly back, the owner told me that he and i had discussed $130.  a day... which we had NOT- making it a total bait & switch.  basically, i feel that was a sharp slap in the face and a complete waste of my time.  i felt really taken advantage of.  i think a few people had missed the point of the post.   what i was hoping to get as a response were stories of similar circumstances, or at least someone to tell me that people on the west coast think that $130. is going rate... and was not afterall a huge insult...  because here in New England, it is indeed unacceptable... to a point where almost laughable. 

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 7:48 PM
I know many captains on the west coast that do deliveries from San Diego to Cabo for $150/ day, so I would not be too insulted by $130 for a chef job!

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:14 PM
Joined: 25/01/2009
Posts: 4

wow. now, i'm not talking about myself anymore- but i know more than a handfull of captains who wouldn't even think to sign on as delivery crew for less than 200 a day... i mean, everyone here has certain degrees of their ticket... i don't find that to be unusual. whether it be a 100 ton or even a yachtmaster... and most captains aren't running boats, either..... (even in RI there are more captains than there are boats believe it or not) and are working as mates or engineers regardless... but someone who is running a boat shouldn't be getting paid a daily rate if they're wanting to be taken seriously.
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:31 PM

I have great sympathy for your situation.  To avoid  future employment misunderstandings, Id  recommend that you include your thoughts  in a cover letter  and attach it to your resume when you apply for a job.. 

  1. i think actual sailors have come to demand and expect more of a quality of life ...  we don't take well to being spoken down to.  it is an honor for the owner to have us sailing their boat- and not the other way around.  we're all business and no fluff.   charter is a four letter word.   we arrive at the crew condo, and when we don't find the proper soap we requested, the lackey is sent back to the market. 

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:13 PM


Some people may not have a lot of good stories to mention.  This industry has it's up and downs...and for a lot of folks, there are those moments where people are taken for granted in more ways than one. It's good that she mentioned her situation as it teaches me and others be more aware of what goes on...and that we're not alone when deal with this kind of "stuff". 

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:51 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

The problem is, you didnt learn anything.  Young sailors read dockwalk for intelligence. On her trip from California to  Mexico no information was passed.   What was California  like, are the people nice ? Many boats ? Whats the job scene looking like ?  What was the wind strength and direction on the delivery ? was the sky clear ? big waves ? How about Mexico ?  any good stuff ?  All you young people got was piss and moan from some arrogant 25 year old yachty.
 I read about  American discrimination on yachts....perhaps now I start to understand.  No Fantasy, money driven, bad attitude .... why would I want to have one on my boats  ? 

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:05 AM
I have great sympathy for your situation.  To avoid  future employment misunderstandings, Id  recommend that you include your thoughts  in a cover letter  and attach it to your resume when you apply for a job..  i think actual sailors have come to demand and expect more of a quality of life ...  we don't take well to being spoken down to.  it is an honor for the owner to have us sailing their boat- and not the other way around.  we're all business and no fluff.   charter is a four letter word.   we arrive at the crew condo, and when we don't find the proper soap we requested, the lackey is sent back to the market.

i've got a job.  and its so the truth though no matter how you look at it.  i'm not saying there's a right or a wrong way, but arrogance is a major factor in this industry... just stating that it exists is by no means condoning it.  everyone wants to be a rock star and those who say they don't are lying.  most sailors have come from being tiny arrogant nippers- dinghy sailors racing at club and inter club level and on their college teams finally getting some validation...  working their a**es off for twenty years before anything good comes along.   have you not noticed or is this new news?  it's not like i'm some stew with absolutely no experience hired off the dock expecting some sort of fantasy life.  no sir.  some people work overtime their whole lives to get TO an esteemed job, and others have to work overtime to KEEP the one they have.  kind of like the ant and the grasshopper.  and i keep learning every day... and i don't intend to stop.  i realize that i am young and i'd be stupid not to capitalize on a time i can still claim ignorance.   i didn't mean to come off as a winger... i am not.  i AM a hard worker, and i have a reputation with many reputable programs as such.  when i DO work hard and everything goes perfectly perfect, i do not expect to be disrespected by someone who was desperate for me to take the job. 

and i've got a ton of awesome stories to share.  funny ones.  storms off of hatteras.. jettisoned provisions making better way than we were to key largo... 20 lbs worth of cooking tenderloins FLYING out of an oven... winning regattas only because of dropping anchor on a j22..  watching boats become awash and sink instantly at the start... watching sumurun smash through amorita.  topless deliveries... solo deliveries from halifax to boston...  and this just happened to be ONE of my inquiries.  nobody asked me about the weather (it rained!), wind direction (rumoured to be entirely downwind but we were at a close reach with 8kts apparent much of the way, and jib clew broke on the delivery sails... guess what?  surprise! they were the racing and cruising sails, too)   

gah... ::throws hands up:: i surrender.  i find that when talking about all thinks nautical, people get very defensive and nitpicky... conversations almost always become irrelevant and nonsensical because everyone must play devils advocate, not agree with anyone, been there.  done that.  have the most ocean miles behind them, most years spent in the industry,  and be "most" right... oldest boys club there is lol.  i find that in the shipyard, no one argues with anyone... but for some reason the internet forums and bars are the biggest battle ground there is.  silly, really.  

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:10 PM
YES! good point well made and for the following post, How did they clean the sausage off the paint after they unwrapped the vessel??
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:57 PM
you are a ROCK STAR good on you with your nippers and soap story.  I do agree that the owner should be greatful for all that we do for them, but at the end of the day we are lucky to experience this life style and not to have to pay for it out of our own pocket, so really its an honour for us too, and to get a great owner, well thats just a bonus.   Its a pitty that there are so may people who forget this!!!!
Posted: Friday, February 20, 2009 4:38 AM
Joined: 20/02/2009
Posts: 1

good for youtaking pride in your work but entitlement is not a way to

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2009 6:17 PM

I can understand your point of view to an extent.  Seems like you're a young guy dealing with some big egos around you.  Please keep in mind that NOT everyone wants to be some sort of rockstar.  I'm amazed that some folks have that kind of "rock star" attitude while I'm thinking, "Gee, this guy isn't even legally allowed to show up here to get work." 

I think most people just want to work and do their part, save a little bit of money, travel, meet folks while having some fun in the sun during their down time, whenever they can get it.  I think people's positive experiences are the real luxury in this industry.

 I'm sure you understand that there are more complex issues than "rock star superiority complex" issues. 

Try (just close your eyes and try ) to wonder what it would be like if you had the experience of having your pay taken from you by some shady captain who actually tried to point the finger at the owner while pocketing part of your wages for himself? I'm sure some of you can attest to your own similar experiences. Please do share your stories. The owner may not even be aware of what the cpt is "doing" to your money.

Imagine this as well. Imagine being stuck with another shady captain and crew [some of them anyway] for ten days only to then have your share of the tips taken from you...even after a charter guest wanted or expected you to have it.  Then imagine having the nerve to attempt to get the rest of your pay *only* to have this shady captain including some broker who you never met--SLAM you with some very serious allegations, i.e. of going through someone's property when you'd never even think to do such. Hmm, lemme think...[juggling the thought] what's worse? Being outed a few hundred bucks or being outed as if you are some kind of thief or crook with, eh, mediocre service skills? 

Toss up?

Have you  ever had a crew member solicit you upon or after being hired? Maybe some of you guys wouldn't mind the last question. And do you young guys out there know what's it's like to be judged based upon your age, image, or nationality?   Do you care? Probably not.  But please bare in mind [I'm saying this as congenially as I can] some of you are pretty fortunate that *all* you have to worry about is hair gel, getting up at 7, and making sure the varnish doesn't get tainted after a bad dust storm.  Try not to take things for granted as much as you may have before, and try to be a little more diplomatic towards the stews on the yacht you work on, after all, she or they may be going through more issues [unwarranted] than yourself when it comes to job requirements.






Posted: Monday, February 23, 2009 1:05 AM

[post deleted by moderator]

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:37 AM
Joined: 26/07/2008
Posts: 2

 when it came time to settle up, you wouldn't believe it.... he told me that we had discussed $130. a DAY!!! total lie. i would have never worked 16 hour days doing the work of 2 people had i known that!

As A owner, I do some of the hiring, not just the Captain. We always have the pay set before a employee starts. Maybe We take a chance on a poor worker or get lucky with a good one. You sound like you work hard and you would be a good employee. You should have set your pay before accepting the job??


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