On the Job

15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date Your Captain

10 February 2023 By Rubi McGrory
An illustration showing two people in love separated by glass.

Rubi McGrory has 25 years in yacht galleys and more than 150,000 miles at sea. Aside from culinary creations, she does art, design,  illustration, and curates custom tablescapes. Follow Rubi’s culinary shenanigans on Instagram @big.cookie.energy. www.rubistudios.com 

When considering the onboard dating pool, keep in mind that boat relationships can land you in some pretty rough water (hello, breakup when you live and work together). Heading to the bridge may appear to be your best option, but starting at the top comes with some downsides.

1. Your first dates will most likely take place in the crew mess, with you in your sexiest khakis and the captain in their finest boat polo.

2. You’ll be the one to make the bed before sneaking out in the morning.

3. Sooner or later the scintillating illicitness of your secret relationship will wear off and you’ll find yourself doing the captain’s accounting.

4. Every time you think you have a quiet stolen moment alone, somebody calls the captain on the radio, pops into the bridge for a chat, or has an urgent question. You had no idea your guests and coworkers ask so many stupid questions.

Sooner or later you’ll find yourself doing the captain’s accounting

5. When you’re hanging out with the crew during their regular bitch-fest about the captain, you’ll have to go along with it and pretend that said captain turns your stomach instead of turning your insides all warm and gooey.

6. On the flip side, if you think hanging out with your fellow crewmembers and listening to them bitch about the captain is annoying, try sitting around with the captain’s mates listening to the whole lot complain about crew.

7. Or worse yet, the boat chat. There is so much boat talk. People become boat captains because they love boats. They are boat nerds — as such, they will geek out on boats at every opportunity. They will talk about boats and engines and horsepower and navigation. You will have to perfect a look of intense interest that actually masks utter, dire boredom.

8. When the rest of the crew figure out you and the captain are an item (and they’ll have figured it out ages before you think they have), they’re going to be pretty weird around you — mostly because they’ll become acutely aware of all the captain smack talk they spouted in front of you and wonder how much of it you reported.

The only yachting creature more reviled than the captain’s wife is the angry captain’s wife

9. It’s amazing how small even the biggest yachts become when you need a little space from that partner you live, work, and possibly even share a cabin with.

10. The captain’s wife.  Don’t think she won’t find out about you. The only yachting creature more reviled than the captain’s wife is the angry captain’s wife.

11. That quick stop at the marine supply store on the way to an afternoon at the beach (because they’ve got too much going on to take a whole day off) turns into another stop at a hardware store, and then just one more at an auto parts place. By the time you get to the beach club, it will be time for sunset.

Try going out to dinner without the phone ringing...

12. Try going out to dinner just once without the phone ringing for a call he absolutely, positively has to take. To talk about boats.

13. Moving into the captain’s cabin is going to be tough on them. They’re used to having the space all to themselves — all of the good storage spots and hidey holes are already taken.

14. Your vacation and holiday time together is at the mercy of everyone else’s schedule: the boss, the yard, the crew, and most especially Mother Nature. Pro-tip: don’t plan a holiday during hurricane season.

15. The captain’s wife. Except this one is you. You got your happily ever after and married your captain. But you’re going to be the cool one, not like all the others.


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