No-drama Dating Guide

22 February 2011 By Lucie Ferrer

As we know, finding love on the high seas can seem like a pipe dream, but it doeshappen. Often the policy on boats is “don’t screw the crew,” but sometimes youcan’t help it. Let's face facts, we all have needs and, whether it’s purely a bunk upor something more significant, it can be difficult not toact on your urges, irrespective of the rules. So, now you’ve told the captainand crew and you’re involved with a fellow crewmember, but how you interactwith your partner and your crewmates can not only make or break yourrelationship, but also your position on board.

Whether you’re single or have a partner elsewhere, it’s notfun to be around lovey dovey couples when you’ve no one and nowhere else to go. Couples onboard must understand that while they fancy themselves the cutest couple on thequay, not everyone will agree with them. Keeping PDA to a minimum, at least when in the crew mess, will make your crewmates feel more comfortable.

Those not-so lovey dovey couples cause their own set ofproblems. Even the most respectful couples can’t help bringing some tension towork when they’ve had a row. At worst, other crewmembers get drawn into the lover’s tiff. This can divide the boat into “his” vs. “hers” teams, creating atoxic living atmosphere. At the end of the day, no one really knows what goes onwithin the confines of a couple’s relationship, nor should they. It’s prettyunreasonable to expect anyone else to get involved – especially when everyonehas to live in such close proximity.

Once the fighting is over, couples will do well to remember that no one (unless in apathetically advanced state of loneliness or weirdness) wants to listento make-up sex through the cabin wall. Expecting your crewmates to invest in some noise-canceling headphones is unreasonable. Keep it down, please.

Flirting can be a great source of entertainment in what, at times, canbe a pretty dull existence. Sneaking around with your main squeeze,while trying not to get caught out, can be loads of naughty fun. But remember, it’snot your boat. Keeping secrets on yachts is nigh impossible and with the latesttechnology on the scene, it could be the owner who sees footage of your lover’srendezvous in the bilges. Couples must be careful of where they bunk up. It’sbest, if you’re able, to get off the boat on the weekends and get a hotel roomto take care of business. If this isn’t possible, at least leave the cautionarysock on the door knob.

Obviously, there are strong arguments for keeping boatscouple free, but on the other hand, how likely are crew to meet anyone notinvolved in yachting, especially given the circumstances with which they live and work.Humans have needs other than food and shelter – affection and sense ofbelonging are important in fulfilling a person’s emotional needs in order to behappy. Many long-term couples meet whilst working on boats, broke all therules, came out of the closet about their relationship and wound up very happy.But in order to keep everything smooth sailing, it’s best to consider the restof the crew when dealing with your relationship…after all, you’re dating wherethey live.