We were all green once and that’s worth remembering every once in a while

I spoke to a candidate this week who got me thinking. I was about to write her off because she had turned down a great charter yacht but I changed my mind after I had spoken to her and decided to write this blog with the shoe firmly on the foot of the newbie yachtie! Before I get into that, please don’t mistake this blog for an attack on yachts and our clients. That definitely isn’t the case. We know only too well what a colossal pain some crew (green and otherwise) can be during the recruitment process.

To set the scene, the candidate in question had an interview with a lovely yacht (50 ish m, so a great opportunity to learn from others etc) but decided it wasn’t for her, for a couple of reasons, but the main one being she didn’t get a warm feeling from the Chief Stew. She explained to me very articulately that joining the industry for her, wasn’t just about ‘seeing the world’ or the money but a chance to further her career and for her, it had to be the right choice not the first option handed to her. On reflection, she is completely right…. You wouldn’t accept a job in the ‘real world’ if you thought your immediate boss was awful, sleazy, rude… the list goes on…. You would simply apply for new roles at a different company. It’s no different for yachties at any level but even more so for green crew.

For new yachties, this is the first step, for a lot, in to the unknown. Not only are you embarking on a new career but you’re expected to work, live and socialise with these crew, a huge ask for even the most ‘normal’ person! How many of us can honestly say that, in our former land based roles we would liked to have worked, lived AND socialised with some of our colleagues…. (Quay Crew office excluded, they are all fabulous haha)

With this in mind I think its completely understandable for new crew to make sure they are getting the warm and fuzzies from their future Chief Stew/Captain/Senior crew member. So….. As the crew member interviewing these candidates, what can you do to help?

On the flip side of the above, there are many green crew that are entitled, deluded and have very unrealistic expectations! We deal with them on a daily basis too and always try to educate them about the realities of the industry and what to expect in their first job.

To wrap this up…. We were all green once and that’s worth remembering every once in a while. Being kind, courteous and helpful only costs time!

We look forward to hearing peoples thoughts.

If you’re green reading this, we have a few yachts looking for excellent newbies across both deck and interior so please register and get in touch!

Do unicorn (purser roles) exist?

For many, becoming a Purser is the dream, your own office, no guest contact and a 9-5 working day..... this may be the dream but it’s by no means realistic! I can’t count the amount of Stews I speak to that having completed the purser course believe they are going to get a Purser role. 

 

Please note, this is absolutely not a criticism of the Purser course, from what research I have done, candidates I have spoken to etc it seems like a very worthwhile course to do, depending on your situation and position in yachting. But it isn’t for everyone. I see far too many CVs of junior crew who have heard about purser roles and fancy rotation and a massive salary. If you are coming from an accounting background or something managerial / heavy administration then fair enough, look to become a purser sooner rather than later. But for the vast majority you need to serve your time rising the ranks in the interior to at least 2nd Stew, but ideally Chief, BEFORE you attempt to become a purser. Personality wise you need to be extremely organised, thorough, switched on, stay calm under pressure, be able to deal with Captains and owners whilst wearing lots of different work hats. A lot of crew aren’t good enough to do this role to the standard required so think carefully before you go down this route.

 

So how do you get that first unicorn purser role? This question is akin to how long is a piece of stringThere is a percentage of luck involved, right time, right place scenario but certainly there are things you can do to help yourself. 

 

As with any role, longevity is key!! Purser roles are few and far between so your CV really needs to stand out especially if this is your first purser position. Better yourself! There are courses you can do online that will certainly show a captain you are dedicated to your career. Accounting and Excel are givens. There is a well known management company that includes an Excel test in their interview process, if you don’t pass you’re out. Brutal but with a bit of practice, avoidable. Numbers and accounts don’t come naturally to everyone either so the more you can do to demonstrate you understand this, the better you stand at being employed. Be realistic! Are you likely to get a Purser role on rotation as your first Pursers gig? Probably not… (that said we are currently looking for a first time Purser on a 2:2 rotation, but that’s not the point!)Chances are your first step into an admin role may be a dual role, Stew/Admin or a yacht secretary position, both are fantastic opportunities to start learning the skill set you require when you move into a full time position of Purser nature.

 

The following was written for us by a friend who is now a full time Purser. She is now also a client and has been one of my candidates in the past too. She spent 6 years as an Account Manager and Sales Executive on land before entering yachting. She then spent 3 years working her way up the ranks to Senior Stew on an 80m, covering all aspects of the interior, before completing her Purser course.

I always wanted to get into the industry and become a purser. After 3 yrs I did my purser course and really struggled to get a job. Most purser roles want someone with 5+ yrs experience so it was hard but eventually I got there.

 

Being a purser IS NOT just accounts. I am the lifeline from the boss to the captain and rest of the crew. Some days I work 12 hours, other days can be 18. My last boss trip of the summer was 82 days straight. I look after all the crew logistics, cash accounts, credit accounts, run the interior, oversee chef and chief stew provisions, manage budgets, handle crew conflicts, keep on top of all crew certifications, PA to the captain, PA to the boss. I’m lucky enough to have a very close relationship with my owner so even when he’s not onboard, he will still message me. Some nights I have been dragged out of bed or shower to go up and see him because he only wants to deal with me and it’s urgent.

 

I’m required to put together presentations to management when asking for extensions on budgets, EOM accounts that can be very tedious. All uniforms (the pressure to get it right) and being a world travelling yacht, always having to plan guest trips, reservations, transfers, dealing with private jet pilots about arriving and departing. And all the while you have to get it RIGHT!

 

One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome was trying to get a role. It’s seriously NOT easy. If you think you can just do your course, get 2:2 and be paid 8k a month, you seriously need to reconsider. If you’re not absolutely CERTAIN you want to be a purser, don’t do the course. If you are, do it, but be prepared to look for a role for quite some time and you MUST do the work. You can’t pick and choose what you want to do. You have A LOT of responsibility on your shoulders. Sometimes I don’t get it right, but people expect you to every time.

 

Hiring and firing is also another big part of the job and can be soooo frustrating. It’s probably the one part of my job I don’t like.

So as you can see in a nut shell, a Purser role is perhaps more extensive than many consider, it is also a tough role to get into! With every role in yachting, it’s important to walk before you can run. Absorb everything you can along the way and ensure you are fully prepared and ready to take on the role when it comes up. A huge part of the yachts running smoothly will come down to YOU so it is a large responsibility. Screw up on expiry dates on certificates and all of a sudden the yacht is operating illegally and there are insurance, flag and other serious implications. Plus, let’s not forget it is your head on the chopping block if you get it wrong……

Crew Salaries: How cheap is too cheap?

There has been much speculation and input from crew recently on salaries across all departments but certainly in particular with green crew, so I thought I would stick my 2 pennies in for good measure.

As an agency, we try and guide our clients with salaries/leave/rotation etc, some are open to this and others are completely restricted to the guidelines they have been dealt by management and/or owner.

So, how much money should green crew go for?

In general, starting salaries are 2500 EURO for green crew/1 seasons experience.

Occasionally we may have a yacht through the door that is offering 2200-2500 EURO but with an excellent package and very low crew turnover.

However, it’s important to look at the entire package though as salary is just a small part of it.

How much holiday do you get?

Is there a flight allowance?

Do you get a 13thmonth?

Is there a decent training package?

What is the itinerary?

How often is the yacht used?

Crew longevity on board? How long have the Senior crew been there?

The list goes on and on, but all of these things should be taken into account when considering accepting a role, not just your salary.

Please NOTE that I am not suggesting reeling all these questions off during a first interview either but generally if a yacht is going to offer you a role they will have informed you of most of the above, allowing you to make a considered decision!

It’s not just low salaries you should be wary of either, if a yacht is paying crazy high salaries, ask yourself why! Don’t get me wrong, there are a few unicorn yachts out there that have excellent packages but if an offer sounds too good to be true, it may well be.

From an agency point of view, longevity is key! Taking a position that is right for you should win over taking a position that is paying an extra 200 EURO a month. Your first couple of years in yachting should be a fantastic learning curve and should build your skills for the rest of your career. If you can stay on your first yacht for a minimum of a year you will not only endear your self to crew agents but 12 months will give you a great insight into a whole year cycle of a yacht; pre-season, boss on, closing the yacht, crossings etc.

Day Work

Day work has also come into the lime light for underpaying crew too. Unfortunately, day work rates have stayed much the same for the past few years being about 100-120 EURO a day. Some yachts offer lunch, some don’t (sometimes it’s not feasible to have an extra 10 crew in the crew mess etc). Just because a yacht doesn’t offer you lunch, it doesn’t mean they are exploiting you, there is a bigger picture that perhaps you aren’t privy to.

There does appear to be crew offering their services for free though just to get a foot in the door. Whilst I can sympathise that you are desperate for some experience, there is no reason for multi-million pound yachts to be using crew and not paying them!

Remember that being happy is so important to being successful in life, chasing the dollar won’t guarantee you an incredible life on board but finding an amazing crew, good owners and a sense of job satisfaction will.

 

 

For more information on Crew salaries or starting out in the industry, feel free to contact a member of the team today. Click here. 

CV advice for new yachties…. Or anyone that needs a gentle reminder!

CV layout/presentation is a much-discussed topic that will have you running in a dozen different directions if you listened to every bit of advice dished out by every crew agent you spoke to. That said there are some clear no no’s to avoid and also some fairly obvious YES’s (but many have fallen victim to not doing these!)

This isn’t rocket science but judging by a fair few of your CVs that we see, you would think writing a good CV was akin to writing a dissertation in Physics!

Let’s be honest, January and February are not busy times for Yachts recruiting ‘green’ crew. We have had well over 250 green yachties register with us since the New Year and had a grand total of 7 jobs that will consider crew with no experience - Which is actually higher than the last 2 months of 2018 of which we had 0 jobs for candidates with no experience. Maths isn’t my strong point but even I know that the odds are not in your favour for landing that dream role. This is why I’m writing this blog, because it’s so important that your CV ‘sells’ you to your true potential and makes you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

So how do you project all of your worldly experience into 2 pages and make it stand out?

Make your CV clear and concise!

The layout of your CV in my opinion is the most important part. That rule that an interviewer will have made up their mind within the first few minutes of an interview is even more relevant for your CV; a simple YES or NO will probably be made in seconds.

Don’t use text boxes! These more often than not get altered, so by the time I am looking at it on my lap top, it’s a mess! I don’t have time to be editing CVs to make them legible to a client either!

Also make sure your CV is in a Word document, PDF’s can be difficult to receive as an agent because we would want to be able to edit them with ease.

A well-spaced out, logical lay out is much better and at a glance I should be able to see the following with ease:

Name | DOB | Nationality | Visa details | Location | Availability

Yachting experience (most recent first)

Yacht name | Size of vessel | Position onboard | Dates (accurate Month & year)

Interests – please only genuine ones! I once had a Stew called out on her love of piano and singing and she got asked to perform on a grand piano in the Main Salon during her interview. Fortunately, it was true, but it would have been hideously embarrassing had it not been. 

Reference details

 

Your photo

Where do we start with this one…

Now a selfie is not appropriate, neither is a picture of you on a night out or with your shirt off! (Genuinely found one of those this week… he was a chef in case you’re wondering)

The background is less important too. Find a plain wall at home, put on a plain t shirt/shirt/polo and get your friend/parent/next door neighbour to take a smiley picture of you! If you’re female: CV photo’s look better if the candidate has their hair up, wears natural make up with no ‘pout’. If you’re male, make sure you are cleanly shaved with smart hair. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t gifted with being hugely photogenic however a smiley disposition will go a long way to having a prospective employer read your CV.

Details, details, details!

Yachting is all about DETAIL!! Please get your CV proof read by any one that will spare you 5 minutes to do so.

Make sure your phone number is correct, your email address is perfect, and you have spell checked every word! Especially keep an eye out for any words you may have typed in capital letters.

We had a candidate recently tell us all about her morning shift at the hotel she worked in… only she omitted the letter ‘f’ in the word ‘shift’… We laughed (a lot) in the office but on a more serious note, it certainly wasn’t the impression she was hoping to have on us and I expect she was also mortified!

There is plenty of room for new crew in this industry and we welcome you with open arms but PLEASE don’t make silly mistakes!

 

Good luck to everyone joining 2019! We’re looking forward to working with some of you in the coming Summer season.

 

Keeping Busy in the Winter

After a long, hard Summer the temptation to take the Winter off for some R&R is very tempting and sometimes an absolute must to recharge your batteries before the next season. That said… it seems a shame to waste what could be a great opportunity to upskill and improve your CV whilst you are enjoying time off!

Why is it important to update your cv with new skills?

 

So with that in mind, I have compiled the following list of a few ideas and places to go to...
Floristry –

A super handy skill to have on board! Many yachts rely on a florist to come on board and deliver/design all the flowers. Over time, this stacks up to huge amounts of money being spent. Often with the right training you can maintain your flowers on board with minor tweaking and a bit of know how!

Cooking –

As a Stew right through to being Interior Manager it never hurts to improve your food knowledge and cooking abilities especially for later life when you no longer have your own personal chef to cook for you!

It will often be called upon one of the Stews to cook for the crew and it’s great if you can volunteer yourself and have a dozen solid dishes up your sleeve to cook for crew.

A cooking school will also increase your food knowledge which as you move through the ranks will be invaluable when liaising with both the chef and the guests.

Wine –

As a senior member of the interior, you will be expected to have good wine knowledge across both Old & New World. You may be called upon to choose wine for your Boss or do wine pairing with the Chef. You will also need to be confident in opening, presenting and serving wine at the table as well as passing this info onto your Junior Stews.

Diving Certs –

Not only is diving an amazing, beautiful pastime it's a great addition to a CV! It shows you are fit, active and have a passion for the ocean too!

Languages –

Yachts travel…. Having extra languages on board is invaluable! Although we wrongly assume everyone will speak English, when you find yourself off the beaten track or in need of something at short notice and you don’t have a management company to wave their magic wand, having someone with the lingo could be a life saver! I had a Stew that was fluent in French/English & Italian and she was invaluable to me!

Bootcamp –

Burn off the excesses of yachting! Whilst this wouldn’t be my idea of fun at all - (and I could certainly do with going) it is a great feel good way to spend time... although probably not on day 1.

I know a lot of crew who go do boot camps for a detox! They feel so much better for it and you’re then ready to start the next season off on a good foot

Yoga/ Pilates –

Great for mind, body and soul! (and your CV)…

The following are a few companies that have been tried and tested and come highly recommended by crew friends!

 

Do's & Don'ts of Finding a new Yachting Job

It’s that time of year again, the change in Summer/Winter seasons and here at Quay Crew we are extremely busy with jobs and candidates looking for their next role. The following is not an exclusive list but a few pointers on how to better yourselves as a candidate and help in finding yourself your dream role.

Some of these are obvious and some have definitely been covered in other blogs however, on a day to day basis, we find ourselves becoming incredibly frustrated with the lack of care and thought some candidates put in to finding a job…

Let’s start with the DO’s and the positives!

A hugely obvious one but please don’t start applying for jobs before you have even bothered to update your files and CV.

 

It’s all good and well starting the job hunt and then deciding you aren’t available for the next 3 months. Starting the job hunt in advance is one thing but it’s unlikely anyone is going to employ you that far in advance of your start date.

 

If we have had a relationship with you before and / or got you a job previously, make sure you prompt us with a call or an email so we know you are looking again! Occasionally candidates slip through our net (we aren’t perfect after all) and if we’ve helped you find a job before, chances are, we’d love to help you again!

 

This covers a multitude of topics but to mention a few: tattoos – if you say you haven’t got any, please don’t! If you have a partner you want to work with, please tell us. If you have a commitment mid season – please let us know so we can help you work round it.

 

If you have one seasons experience, chances are, applying for Chief Stew roles on 80m yachts won’t get you any interviews. (Literally see this and similar every day). You will get far more interviews and subsequently offers if you are applying for the right jobs! Aside from anything else, you aren’t wasting yours and our time!

 

If you want to cruise the world, that’s fine. (This obviously limits your options, but is understandable). If you want to be Med based, this is also fine but please don’t apply for yachts in the States!

 

More often than not the yacht will say where they got your CV from. Let us know if you have an interview lined up and then let us know how it went. We can manage the situation much better if we are in the loop!

 

And now the DON’Ts which was sort of the point in writing this blog as it is infuriating when the following happens! Some obviously can’t be avoided in circumstances but…… most of the time it can be:

This is a lengthy one and applies to all stages of the registration, interview, accepting a job process. If you have applied for jobs and we have been in touch and you then decide you don’t need a job, want a job etc PLEASE TELL US! We don’t bite and would 100% know than waste our time emailing, whatsapping and generally harassing you to see if you are keen on the dream job we have on our books!

 

If you have an interview lined up and you can’t attend because you have got last minute tickets to Glastonbury, please let us know! Don’t tell us fibs about having to go home for personal reasons, only for pics to appear on facebook… (that is a genuine case that happened to me… the candidate in question didn’t even bother to let the yacht know). Whilst it’s not ideal, we can manage the situation.

 

Nothing grates me more when I receive an email and it literally says nothing and there is just a CV attached. What does that tell me about you? You need to be selling yourself! I’m not suggesting you have to write essays however, a brief paragraph on who you are, your experience and what you are looking for gives me a great indication in to how I can help you.

 

Alongside the above…. Get a signature for your emails! Don’t just sign off ‘James’. We have 229 ‘James’ registered with us. Sign off with your full name, your phone number and your location. Help us to help you!

 

These are all very basic but common mistakes crew make. This is intended to help you find your dream job! Good luck for the upcoming season and we hope to hear from you soon!

Interior Crew: A reflection on the season so far & some things to consider…

Interior Crew: A reflection on the season so far & some things to consider…


“We’re not being mean, you’re just green!'”

As another summer season comes to a close, we’ve had the chance to reflect on the season we’ve had here at Quay Crew and to take a closer look at the interior crew coming and going.

Everyone has different wants and needs from their yachting career and there is certainly a yacht out there for everyone but with the influx of crew joining the industry every year it certainly feels like perhaps new crew aren’t doing as much research as they should be!

This year we have heard of and seen a large number of crew joining yachts (some amazing) and then jumping ship for a marginally better offer or the belief that the grass is greener! For the most part however, it appears that the crew are joining yachts without any concept of the work required or the environment they will be in.

The following is a brief overview of what to expect when you start out. This is by no means an exhaustive list and of course you should do your own research before setting sail!

  • Hard work: Yachting is certainly not a glamourous industry to work in! Sure, you get to visit some amazing places, meet some high flying people, live onboard a super yacht and earn great money but to achieve all of this you have to work bloody hard. Often you will be working 7 days a week with limited down time and a few breaks snatched here and there. With guests on you won’t get your evenings off and you won’t have a weekend of relaxing after a hard week of work. Feeling a bit run down or hungover? Well you won’t get the luxury of a day off sick. Ever…
  • What the job involves: Regardless of your job title, Stew / Nurse or Beautician, Masseuse or PT etc 90% if not 95% of your job will involve mundane tasks which have nothing to do with the 2nd part of your job title. So get your head around that fact. Not infrequently you will be cleaning things you wouldn’t have thought you would be cleaning in your nastiest of nightmares. If someone back in the day had told me I would be cleaning with toothpicks and cotton buds, I’d have probably given it a 2nd thought so I just wanted to share this reality with you.
  • Being given orders: Sounds obvious but many people entering the industry aren’t prepared for being given orders. Time is often tight so it won’t be explained to you why you have to do something a certain way. Sometimes you will be given them in a curt manner. Often your instructions will appear excessive and unnecessary to your untrained eye. But you have to do it to the letter. As an ex Chief Stew nothing is more frustrating than someone ignoring explicit orders.
  • Port holes: Most of your life as a stew will be spent looking out of a porthole at a distant shore. You will often go days with barely a glimpse of the sun. This job does not involve lots of sun bathing on deck, drinking cocktails in between hopping into the Jacuzzi. You work on the boat, you aren’t the owner.
  • No mobile: As a green / junior stew there is no reason for your mobile to be on your person in work hours. Be prepared for it to sit in your cabin for hours on end and for dozens of whatsapp messages to go unanswered before you can reply. This isn’t a normal job where you can send 50 messages throughout the working day.
  • Close living quarters: Gone are the days of your luxury double bed, your own en-suite bathroom and the ability to come and go as you please. You will be sharing a cabin with another crew member, who may or may not snore…. You have to be clean & tidy at all times as well as being respectful of each others very limited space! If you are a person who needs their own space then maybe this isn’t for you.
  • Getting ready: You can’t take an hour to get ready in the morning. You are sharing a bathroom and you should be naturally made up with the emphasis on natural and minimal. Caked in make up is not an appropriate look.
  • Constant tiredness: On a busy yacht, once the season is underway you will be constantly tired. You don’t get the opportunity to catch up on sleep and have a couple of days to recharge the batteries so expect to be operating on empty. Everyone is in the same situation and no one wants to hear constant moaning about how tired you are.
  • Freedom: Your life is now pretty much under someone else’s say so… You will have a watch list to abide by, curfews inflicted on you and even perhaps someone telling how far you are allowed to travel away from the yacht. This is an eye opener even for the most prepared and certainly something to consider when applying for yacht jobs!
  • Being super smiley ALL the time: You may have guests on board for weeks, sometimes months on end and you will be required to have your smile permanently in place at all times! Despite the fact that you dislike one of the guests for refusing to say please & thank you (ever), you can’t let any of that affect that smile!
  • Sore feet, dry skin and achy bones: I can still remember back on my first yacht the shock of how much my feet hurt after the first few charters! This is something that becomes normal over time though so stick it out and your body will get used to it!
  • Tears at morning, noon and night: Don’t be surprised if you have a little cry on a regular basis during your first charter/charters! All completely normal! Speak to one of your fellow stewies on board and I’m sure they will reassure you!
  • Contacting home: Running on from the above you will be a little isolated from your family and friends as they will be in another country. Different time zones, long work hours, patchy internet means you might not get many opportunities to have a lengthy chat during the season.

This seems like a pretty negative list however, it is the reality and should definitely be noted! There are of course a hundred positives to working on yachts too! Not least, the life long friends you will make and the incredible memories you will hold on to that only a small percentage of the population will ever have. However many of you entering the industry only seem aware of the positives and seem to have a pretty limited understanding of those even.

I loved my career on board but I do wish someone had given me a complete heads up before I got on a yacht. I think I would have been so much better prepared for the hard work!

Good luck to everyone starting out their careers and fingers crossed you all survive the above!

If you’re looking for work on a Superyacht, or you’re searching for the perfect crew – Click Here to register!

An interview with a Charter Chief Stew

Caroline from Quay Crew interviews a Chief Stew under the pseudonym Elizabeth. Here you will find out all about this role, and some great tips and tricks for succeeding as a chief stew –

What made you join the yachting industry and how did you get into?

So, I started out primarily because I wanted to travel and I was already working as a Hotel Manager so it was an easy transition to a chief stew role. I had heard about it through a colleague who had been a Mate for 10 years. She told me the ins and outs so I registered with agencies online. I went to the Isle of Wight and did my courses and then headed to Palma and dock walked!

How easy did you find getting your first job?

Fortunately, very! I was looking for 2 weeks and an agency got me my first job, It was on a 35m private MY which was a seasonal role cruising Turkey, it was an amazing season! I loved it and I actually met my now husband and one of my closest friends on board.

 

How quickly did you become Chief Stew?

After 2 years as a Stew I made the leap to Chief Stew. I was employed on a 45m as 2nd Stew for 3 months before being offered the role as Chief Stew.

 

What’s your most memorable moment as Chief Stew?

Probably the charter guests taking us swimming with a pod of dolphins in Costa Rica! Certainly one tick off the bucket list.

 

Where have you travelled and what has been your favourite place?

We have cruised the Pacific, the Med and the US and my favourite place was Tahiti - It was amazing.

 

Any nightmare charter guest experiences you can share?

I think I have been pretty lucky really. We’ve had a few of the usual charter guests being a pain but apart from that I consider myself fairly lucky on the whole!

 

Worst yachting experience?

Working as a temp with some volatile crew - The Captain insisted we lock our doors at night as one of the other crew was mentally unstable. Needless to say, we walked off fairly quickly.

 

What advice would you give green Stews looking to break into the industry?

Get some life skills - Learn how to live on your own and be independent. Whilst yachting can be an amazing experience, it isn’t all fun. You need to have a thick skin and a strong character to do well and take the negatives as well as the positives. Perseverance is also key to doing well. It’s tough competition and in order to succeed you have to work hard and don’t give up. Once you get there, it is all worth it.

How to survive with kids on board!

Having children on board can be a daunting task, especially if, like me, you aren’t hugely keen on the rug rats! (Despite being a parent myself… I know it sounds bad.)

During my time on board yachts, there were always had nannies there to accompany the children. However, for the most part, their main aim was to sit around, drink carrot juice or coffee and pay the kids little to no attention which meant we would end up having to help keep them occupied.

This is a quick blog with a few ideas to keep the kids on board entertained. If nothing else, it will keep them from being under your feet and potentially earn brownie points with their parents! Win win!

Arts & crafts

This is an obvious one but with some careful thought can entertain for hours! First of all, you need some serious protective sheets and then clothing protection too. Give careful consideration to purchases and be mindful of where you are going to set up your crafts area.
Colouring books etc are all a given but a selection of different papers, cards, glues, pipe cleaners, pom poms, stickers, sparkly things (not glitter.. gets everywhere!) and then some great ideas for who can make the best mask etc will keep kids amused for a while. Maybe the kids can even decorate some candle holders that could be used at their dinner setting…

Board games

Another obvious one but I think children often forget (possibly because they don’t get to play often) how much fun card and board games are. My son and his friends (aged 8) love playing Uno (as do my adult friends). It’s quick easy, takes no space to store and is easy for the kids to learn.

Another staple is of course kids monopoly & Articulate for kids is a winner too!

Movie night

Dress up the sky lounge: cushions, throws, fairy lights and stick on a Disney movie! Get the stain safe movie snacks ready and sit back with the kids and relax!

Pizza night

Now this one all depends on how accommodating your Chef is, however, you could keep it simple by using ready made pizza bases. Gather in the galley, each child has a pizza base and then they simply make their own!

Children generally love ‘helping’ in the kitchen and this is a great excuse to get them involved.

Cup cakes & biscuits

If the Chef is particularly lovely, perhaps s/he could whip up a batch up cookies or cup cakes for the kids on board to decorate. Again requires protective clothing/covers etc but who’s going to turn down a cookie covered in a thick layer of sugary icing and a bunch of sugar balls!

Water fight

Who doesn’t love a water fight! Heavy duty water pistols are a must! Get the crew involved, buy some vests, make teams and get stuck in!

Fishing

If your yacht has fishing equipment, get the kids involved in doing some late night fishing! They will find it extremely rewarding and exciting to actually catch something and then chuck it back in!

Girls beauty parlour

If you have a Spa on board and the adults aren’t using it, why not have a Spa day for the girls on board. Manicures, pedicures, blow dries! The girls will love being pampered and it doesn’t need to be over the top.

Olympics

In my opinion, this is just as good for adults as it is kids! Getting the kids active is fantastic and its something the adults and crew can join in with.

Based in the water specifically you can have swimming races, raft races, inflatable races! It’s all great fun and at the end of the day, the kids will be exhausted!

Lego

Another fail-safe entertainment for children. To make it more interesting though, you could have a few pictures of figures you have pre-built and then each child gets a copy of the picture but no instructions. Set a time limit and see who comes closest to the original.

Treasure hunt

Requires a lot of organization but always a winner! Amazon is a great source of all things themed and with some imagination and creative heads on board a treasure hunt can be excellent fun and take up a few hours!!

Failing all of the above revert to Pinterest!! A great source of ideas on just about everything!

We’d love to hear or see some of your kids entertainment ideas!

Featured image credit: allyachtsworldwide.com

How to escape cabin fever

Cabin Fever… The term used to describe a crew that have been stuck on board the yacht for weeks, maybe months with limited time off, often at anchor, on standby, waiting for the boss to either turn up or let you know they won’t be!

I myself have spent months at anchor, off buoy number 5 in Sardinia. At the time, I was pregnant so was quite happy to be a hermit but I know my fellow crew struggled with it!

The following is just a few ideas to maybe relieve the boredom factor. If you have any additional ideas feel free to let us know!

Games night

Who doesn’t love a board game?! Even the most reluctant crew member will probably enjoy a competitive game of monopoly once knee deep in cash and hotels with the opportunity to rinse his/her fellow crew members! Amazon supply just about every board game under the sun, so it’s a great idea, if you have space, to stock up on a few of the classics before the start of the season to keep in your crew mess.

Poker night

I used to love poker night in our crew mess. We didn’t gamble for money, or if we did it was for coppers. It took me a while to learn the rules and to get to grips with not being too enthusiastic when I had a good hand but once I had, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Anything that is competitive can be made more enjoyable by adding a beneficial element to it eg finishing early on a Friday for the winner or something like that.

Movie night

This is an easy one to pull off. Dim the lights, bring out the duvets, cushions etc, get comfy, make popcorn and put a classic movie on! To avoid any disagreements over the movie, it may be a wise idea to fill a hat with a bunch of classics – think Top Gun, Shawshank Redemption etc and pull one out. Alternatively take it in turns and everyone has to choose a lesser known classic they love which hopefully everyone hasn’t seen before.

Interior Vs Exterior

A chance to learn something new as well as beat your crew?! Conducted in the manner of a relay race, your Deck Captain shows the Interior team a knot and then one by one they have to complete said knot, unable to start until the person before them has completed theirs and had it verified. The same goes the other way with the interior Captain showing the exterior team a napkin fold. The team to successfully complete all knots/folds wins a point… The prize at the end is up to you!

Swimming Olympics

This entirely depends on your yacht’s rules on crew swimming etc BUT if you have an owner/Captain who is happy for the crew to use the toys and swim this is a great way to get some exercise and have fun with your crew.

Split the crew into teams and have swimming races around the boat. Involve toys if you are able… paddle boarding race etc. Always highly entertaining watching your mates stack it off a paddle board into cold water. You can liven it up further by throwing water bombs at the rival teams…

These are just a few ideas but everyone knows that it’s important to keep crew morale up. Anything that involves everyone and keeps the laughter going can only help in my book!