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couples' roles

In a recent social media poll, 62% of crew said that their yacht was couples-friendly and while we have certainly seen a rise in people looking for couples’ roles, they remain rare.

Just 5% of yacht jobs are actively seeking couples on average, and only a further 5% would be open to hiring a couple if the candidates were right and the timing aligned.

What respondents of this poll probably meant, however, is that their yacht is accepting of developing relationships onboard.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key characteristics of a couples role in yachting, when and where they might be available and how to nab yourself one if you are half of a loving pair…

Joining a yacht together

Very occasionally a superyacht will be looking for a solid crew couple, and this is most probably down to cabin arrangements. This is likely to be a smaller-sized yacht, and for this reason, a wider skillset would be hugely beneficial in a couple as roles may be cross-department. Think stew/chef or deck/engineer, for example.

Therefore, if you are already in a couple and looking for your next gig together, you might need to downsize.  

Joining a yacht separately

A more common opportunity will be for you and your partner to continue your job search individually, but enquire whether the yacht is open to having couples onboard. This way, you could put your other half forward when a role arises in their department.

This will not necessarily mean you’ll get to stay in the same cabin, but it could be an advantage for the yacht too.

The caveat here, and what we often find, is one of you is usually better at your job than the other. You’ll first need to work you’re a**e off to impress the yacht enough to even consider your other half and then hope that they don’t drag you down, or vice versa.

Falling head over heels onboard

Although not everyone joins a yacht with the intention of starting a relationship, being in such close quarters with people, and being away from home for long periods, will undoubtedly lead to romance for some.

Few yachts have very strict rules prohibiting relationships onboard – or more specifically, casual ones. This does appear to have phased out over the years, but in most cases, you’ll need to disclose relationships to your Captain or HOD.

Strength in numbers

Crews can be clicky at the best of times, so imagine what tension can be caused when a couple fights or breaks up when working on the same boat. And this is, understandably, one of the biggest turn-offs for yachts.

If you’re actively seeking a couples’ role, then you need to prove that you are solid – not only as an experienced crew member, but also as a pair. Longevity in your relationship will be as important as the longevity on your CV.

If you’ve been together for 12 months but working on different yachts, with different leave patterns, then stolen weekends here and there will be more like having a six-week relationship.

Downsides of couples’ roles for a yacht

Cabin arrangements and great crew candidates aside, taking on a couple can be seen as riskier for yacht.

Firstly, a toxic couple can have a terrible impact on the overall atmosphere onboard. Even if you’re totally loved up, you might isolate yourself from the rest of the crew in favour of spending time alone together when you can.

If one resigns, then it’s also likely that the other will follow, meaning there is a higher rate of attrition among couples in yachting.

Finally, if both of you are at a senior or HOD level, then you could be seen to yield too much power onboard.

Want more tips on how to success in a couples’ role? Read these other top tips here from our consultant, Glen, who worked on three different yachts with his now-wife.

Are couples’ roles on the rise in yachting?

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Sophie Wells

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