Crew Advice

Ask Captain Kelly: Advice for Handling Crew Dating

17 August 2022 By Staff Report

Have a tricky onboard situation you’d like an outsider’s perspective on? Have a burning career question? We can help!

Welcome to Dockwalk’s Ask Captain Kelly advice column, where we post your questions and get insight from a current captain, Capt. Kelly J. Gordon. Capt. Kelly currently works aboard M/Y Freddy but grew up in a small town in Indiana. Her path into yachting began in Beaufort, North Carolina, where she now claims as home base. She’s a former chemistry professor and loves to teach — while she takes pride in her ability as a motor yacht captain, she has a soft spot for young adults, especially those that come with questions.

This week‘s question deals with a situation most crew are likely familiar with — dating amongst the crew.

Q: I am finding myself attracted to the new deckhand. My friends are telling me to approach him and see what happens, but I am concerned about the repercussions that might come from dating within the crew, at least on my vessel. We’re a pretty small crew. What would you advise? Is crew dating ever a good idea?

A: This is always a tough one. As a captain, I understand wanting to limit dating amongst crew because of possible “drama” that may ensue. But let’s be real here — we are humans and humans desire companionship and most of us want to create a partnership in which we can share our lives with that special someone. This is especially the case when we are away from home. I would ask your captain if they have any policies against dating within the crew. Ultimately, you need to respect their opinion. If you do get the blessing of the captain, then I would still proceed with caution. As a captain, I have seen many successful onboard relationships and many unsuccessful. But, if you were to try it, just remain professional about it. If it works out, great! If not, do your best to continue on knowing that he wasn’t meant for you and that is absolutely okay!

If you want to get her advice, please email and you could see your questions and her answers featured here. All personal information will remain anonymous.


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