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!


Caroline entered the yachting industry in 2005 as a Junior Stewardess on MY Kahalani. She progressed through the ranks quickly before finally becoming Chief Stewardess / Purser on MY GU. Since setting up Quay Crew in May 2013, Caroline has taken over the interior side of things and now predominantly deals with Pursers, Chief Stews, 2nd Stews and all Chef roles.

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