Career Advice

What’s the Best Advice You’ve Received?

17 September 2021 By Aileen Mack
Yacht underway at sunset

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Associate Editor Aileen Mack joined Dockwalk in July 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If she’s not at a concert or coffee shop, she is lost in a book, movie or a YouTube rabbit hole. Email Aileen at

Although reading and doing your research can be incredibly important before making the decision to join the industry, advice from current or even former crew (whether with a few years or decades of experience) is an invaluable asset to ensure you have a more complete picture of it. Dockwalk Editor Lauren has been interviewing crewmembers live on our Instagram @dockwalk about their yachting experiences and the best piece of advice they’ve been given. Here’s what they shared:

“The first bit of advice I got was pack light when coming to a boat. My first season, the captain and purser on the yacht were like, ‘We are going to ban you from shopping’ because I got my first salary and all I did was go out there and shop for like ten new wardrobes. And I hadn’t packed light to start so I had nowhere to store all my clothes… And save some of your money. I would say if I could go back into those nine years, I would have been more vigilant about my spending and saving more.”

Chief Stewardess Bugsy Drake

“Know and explore what your personal boundaries are because like any work environment — yachting’s a little bit different and quite intense — without knowing what your personal boundaries are, it’s a lot harder to figure out when you’re being pushed. Learn what you will and will not accept, what you will or will not sacrifice. That will serve you a lot.”

Chief Officer Jenny Matthews

“Someone told me, ‘Listen, we’re all replaceable. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. We are all replaceable so remember that.’ And that stuck with me because it’s true. And one more thing that really worked for me is who I worked for on Gallant Lady…he was introducing me to somebody, and he said ‘This is Pete Bronkie, an associate that works with me.’ — Not for me; with me. I’ve never let that go and [whenever] I introduce somebody that works with me, they always work with me. We work together. That’s probably the biggest one right there.”

Capt. Pete Bronkie

“I remember someone telling me that the industry would be really hard if I wasn’t able to let go of control. The time I woke up would be dictated, what jobs I did that day would be dictated, my life would be dictated by other people and if I struggled against that, then I was going to struggle in the industry. So I remember that being really helpful early on.” 

Chef Emma Ross

This article originally ran in the August 2021 issue of Dockwalk.

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