If you’re just about to join a new vessel, then you’ll want to make a good first impression and the best way to do that is NOT to annoy your superyacht Head of Department (HOD).
Be it Captain, Chief Engineer, Chief Stew, Bosun or First Officer, the key to onboard longevity is keeping on the right side of your senior team.
Pulling together examples from my own superyacht experience and after speaking to a lot of HODs on what really grinds their gears from new crew, I’ve put together a list of 10 things that are sure to get your noticed for all the wrong reasons.
- ‘On my last boat we did this’ type attitude – There is nothing worse than a crew member constantly making comparisons to their last boat, boss or operations. Fresh ideas and suggestions are great, provided they are given in the right way.
- Leaving ‘stuff’ lying around – When you work in a one particular area of the yacht, be sure you put everything away before starting a new task! It’s in nobody’s job description to clean up after other crew.
- Chasing leave – You’ve literally just stepped onboard, so why do you keep asking when your next day off is? It immediately irks your HOD and gives off the impression that you’re more concerned with crew life than your actual superyacht job (which might be true, but don’t be obvious about it!)
- Not showing initiative – There is nothing more annoying than constantly asking fellow crew where something is, for example, especially during a busy charter when everyone’s rushed off their feet. Make an effort to learn the vessel as soon as you step onboard.
- Dirty dishes – Under no circumstances should you ever leave anything dirty in the sink for the watchkeeper or duty stew to deal with. If the Dishwasher is running, then WASH IT UP!
- Bad manners – No, not the band, your attitude. How you choose to eat and the state you leave your personal space in at home is your choice, but in the crew mess, it’s everyone’s space and you have to be polite and considerate.
- Approaching the guests – Unless you’re on service or have been asked to by the Chief Stew of Chief Officer, stay away from the guests. If you’re supposed to be below or on the other side of the boat, get on with the job in hand and don’t hover.
- Being unprepared – Make sure you have your full uniform ready before any charter! There is nothing worse than crew coming to the Chief Stew hours before the guests arrive and saying that they can’t find their boss-on shoes.
- Clogging up the radio with unimportant waffle – Onboard radios are for communicating with fellow crew members about important updates and tasks, not gossip! Save the jokes for later!
- Being drunk – One way to p**s off your HOD is to be too p***ed on nights out. Although socialising is important, know your limits, keep the alcohol to a minimum and definitely away from the boat! If anything, it’s more about your safety and how you represent the boat.
These are just a few things to be aware of. Working in the superyacht industry is such a unique opportunity, so don’t screw it up by not following just a few simple unspoken rules.
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