Crew Advice

Ask Captain Kelly: How Inclusive is the Yachting Industry?

30 June 2023 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 tackles the idea of inclusivity within the industry.

Q: How inclusive is the industry? I am gay and am very interested in joining the yachting industry, but I worry about being accepted. What advice would you offer someone in my position?

A: Welcome aboard! That’s what I would say! It’s 2023 and I think this is one area that this industry is progressing in. Yes, you may run into some a$$h@le$ from boat to boat, but in my experience, fewer and fewer people care about your sexual orientation. We (captains and managers) are concerned with finding good, hardworking, drama-free crew more than anything these days.  

If you show up and work hard, that is really all that matters at the end of the day. I literally just asked all my crewmembers — a mix of men and women of different races and age ranges from 23 to 50 — what they thought, and they all looked at me like I was crazy for asking. Every one of them said, “Who cares?” and the oldest of the crew said, “Is that really even a concern anymore?”

So there you have it!

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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Ask Captain Kelly: How Should I Deal with Being a Young HOD?
Ask Captain Kelly: How Should I Deal with a Captain Drinking on Charter?
Ask Captain Kelly: Being a Woman on Deck
Ask Captain Kelly: How Do I Handle Witnessing Racism?
Ask Captain Kelly: How Do I Best Get Started in the Industry?
Ask Captain Kelly: How Should I Deal With Guests That Cross the Line?
Ask Captain Kelly: How Should I Deal with Conflict in the Crew?
Ask Captain Kelly: Advice for Handling Crew Dating
Capt. Kelly Gordon: From Chemistry Professor to Superyacht Captain


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