On the Job

Capt. Luke Hammond Weighs In on the Best Part of Yachting

19 April 2023 By Capt. Lord Luke Hammond
World map covered in passport stamps
Credit: Дмитрий Ларичев/iStock
Capt. Lord Luke Hammond

Capt. Lord Luke Hammond is the captain on board the 45-meter Feadship Bella. He is also the founder of Refrr, a new yacht crew recruitment platform. Refrr aims to solve the problem of connecting people with the right jobs. Sign up to be one of the founding members at www.Refrr.io.

Sometimes a truly life-changing event can help you create a wider perspective on life. While these moments tend to happen around negative context, what I hear most often is that working and traveling abroad while you are younger can and does have the same effect — it changes who you are and how you perceive yourself and the world.

We need more of this global perspective — the more you have, the better your chances of making some great decisions that can affect your life for years to come.

These changes level you up from who you were to a version of yourself you might not have considered — if you have spent some time around people in yachting, they will have stories of how much it changed their lives. What changed their perspective is primarily based around a couple of things: travel, living with international crew, and the experiences that very few people will ever have.

The biggest bonus to yachting, in my opinion, is the ability to travel. From the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, from Asia to the Pacific Islands, yachts can be found sailing all over the world, so crewmembers get to go to some of the world’s most stunning and exotic locations and get paid for their time.

Imagine having the opportunity to see locations that the rest of the world may have only dreamed about going to, and to experience them in a way that most visitors would never consider? While Instagram and shows like Below Deck might dramatize life on board, crewmembers frequently get the chance to learn more about the world by immersion into local cultures, sampling new delicacies, and interacting with people from all walks of life.

Working as crew also offers the potential to learn vital skills applicable to many different aspects of life. Working as a chef on a yacht, for instance, can aid in the development of culinary abilities that can be employed in a variety of contexts, including restaurants and private residences. The hospitality skills you learn while working as a steward/ess can be extremely useful in the hotel and restaurant industries. A career in the marine business may be possible after gaining navigational, seamanship, and boat-handling abilities through deckhand work, all the way through to small business operations and ownership.

If you ask anyone as they get older, there is always a list of “I wish I’d done ….”, but I’ve never heard anyone who’s come out of yachting wishing they’d not traveled.

Living and working in close proximity with people from other cultures can impart important lessons in tolerance, empathy, and communication. With the long work hours, crewmembers frequently form close connections and a sense of camaraderie. You bond over the craziest moments, but it’s these bonds that let you establish a network of contacts (supremely important in yachting). As you move up in your career, wherever that may be, this network can be a huge asset.

Straight out of school or college, you are full of energy and excitement, with a world of opportunity at your fingertips. What I noticed is that we tend to follow a job or form of employment that pays the bills but doesn’t always nourish your curious or adventurous side.

Yachting teaches you a level of independence and self-reliance you might not experience in many places. From frequent overtime and always being on call, this is a life of change, which can be demanding. Yet it can also be a chance to strengthen your resilience and your capacity for situational adaptation. For anyone trying to lay a solid basis for their future and possibly just beginning in their jobs, this can be extremely helpful.

Gain experiences, look for opportunities, but most importantly, create a level of perspective that challenges you to better understand who you want to become.

If you don’t believe me, ask any seasoned yachtie and they will agree with me on this one aspect. Nearly every wealthy individual I’ve met during my tenure had wished they had found yachting when they were younger.

It’s an experience that will ultimately change your outlook on life.

For more related content:
The Yacht Catches Fire: How Would You React? Capt. Luke Hammond Weighs In
Breaking the Chain of Command: Capt. Luke Hammond Weighs In
How Important is Longevity in Yachting? Capt. Luke Hammond Weighs In


More from Dockwalk