The Perfect Crew

12 January 2009 By Victoria Allman

The Perfect Crew is out there. I know it is. I’ve worked with them before….

It was Day 19 of a three-week charter. We’d been working 16-hour days for longer than I could remember. I was just finishing the morning’s baking when Laura walked in.

“Did you get any sleep last night?” She laid a supportive hand on my shoulder. She was our Mother Figure.

I shook my head and carried a tray of blueberry muffins downstairs to the crew. Mark, our Adventurer, studied a chart of the island. “Let’s do a beach picnic this afternoon,” he suggested, pointing at the chart. “I can set the kayaks up to explore this creek.”

“Ugh.” Jill clunked her head down on the table. “All that work!”

“It’ll be great!” enthused Chris, our Optimist, who loved the idea. “We can barbecue and play volleyball.”

“I’ve already packed the drinks cooler,” said Kate, our Doer, who had been up before any of the rest of us were fully awake.

“Maybe we can convince the guests it’s an adventure and they should camp there overnight.” Joker Neil always brought a smile to our faces.

“Okay, we’ll leave at one with the equipment. We’ll take both tenders and everyone but Laura and Jeff.” Leader Dan constructed the plan. “Mark, you unload and return for the guests; the rest of us will set up the beach.”

Together, we would get through this charter.

“It’s all about creating a good mix of personalities,” a captain once told me. “You can’t have a boat full of partiers or nothing will ever get done. But one full of serious workaholics would be boring.”

But what’s the right mix? Shy and timid may not be the best traits but neither is brash and overbearing. So, which personalities work on a boat and which don’t? And more important, which one are you?

The Joker: A funny person is a good thing to have onboard when times are stressful. They lighten the mood and inject laughter into situations. The ability to entertain the crew as well as the guests is a big asset.

The Doer: Yachting is hard work. No one ever told us this would be easy. So, a willingness to put it in gear to get the work done is always well received.

The Mother Figure: When working in close quarters with others, it’s good to have one person who looks out for everyone. This is a warm, nurturing personality who is genuinely interested in the wellbeing of the people around them.

The Adventurer: This seems like a perfect fit on a boat. The Adventurer is eager to go new places and try new things. They find activities in each port to keep others interested.

The Optimist: With long days ahead and no end in sight, it’s always good to have at least one crewmember who looks on the bright side and can bolster the crew’s spirits.

The Leader: Natural-born leaders like the challenges inherent in yachting and working outside the box. They are motivated and driven, wanting to take charge and see the work completed.

It seems obvious that no one wants to hire a neurotic, emotionally unstable crewmember who goes through periods of depression, but finding the right mix of outgoing, positive qualities is a balancing act. Most captains can tell you it isn’t easy, but when you find the right mix, it makes for the Perfect Crew.

Want to find out what type of personality you possess? Check out