The Perfect Match

14 November 2008 By Janine Ketterer

Lately, there’s been a big industry push for crew longevity. Everywhere you turn, you hear, “Find a vessel you like and stay put.” Longevity will boost your resume and make it easier to find work when you do eventually decide to leave (after at least a year).

But how do you find the perfect yacht for you? When you wake up in the morning on this vessel, you can’t wait to start the day, the crewmembers all get along and you would stay on board forever, if given the chance – it’s okay to dream, right?

Taking a new job is a leap of faith; there’s no way to know exactly what you’re in for. But there are questions you can ask a captain during an interview to give you better insight into the position. These questions can help you make that all-important decision: is this yacht right for me?

1. Why is the position vacant and what is the turnover rate for that position? “Establishing history of the last people to fill this role may help you understand what the employer is ‘not’ looking for and, depending upon the response you receive, may help you understand how the employer has modified their procedures to avoid past problems,” says Rupert Connor of Luxury Yacht Group.

2. What are the job details; what is expected of me? You need to know what you are getting yourself into prior to taking the job and although the answer might not be the most interesting, it’s one of the most important. Ian Pelham of The Crew Network explains, “Ask appropriate follow-up and probing questions. When most of us interview for any new job we are so focused on the excitement of something new, that we gloss over the parts we don’t want to hear, or don’t expect to hear.”

3. How long have other crewmembers been on board; how long has the captain been with the vessel? If the turnover rate for other crewmembers is high, there might be something wrong with the boat or the captain himself. Be sure to ask specifics and go into detail – this will make your decision easier in the end.

4. How long have the owners been with the yacht, what is the long-term plan for it? Ask if the yacht’s for sale, says Angela Wilson of Elite Crew. You don’t want to join a boat you love, only for it to be sold and you out of a job. Ami Ira of Crew Unlimited says asking about the owner and their relationship with crew will also give you an idea of your long-term potential with the yacht.

5. Who will I be sharing a cabin with and what is the crew dynamic like? “Don't be shy to ask about fun stuff...just do it towards the end of the interview. You will live on board and the rest of the crew will become part of your extended family so having some shared interests will help promote longevity,” says Connor. After all, the yacht will become your new home, hopefully for a prolonged amount of time, and it’s important that you are comfortable there.

Thank you to Rupert Connor of Luxury Yacht Group, Ami Ira of Crew Unlimited, Angela Wilson of Elite Crew and Ian Pelham of The Crew Network for their contributions to this article.