We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Yachting is a great gig – the traveling, the people, the places, the luxury and glitz and glam, it really has it all. Amongst all these things, there are some unique encounters you will come across that aren’t your typical Tuesday as far as a 9-5 day job. Living and working with the same people in a compact area can have it’s challenges. However, if you know how to approach the issue beforehand, its just another swell under the bridge as far as yacht crew goes. While we suggest having an open mind and go-getter personality for this industry, sometimes the hard work, stress and small spaces can get the better of us all. Here’s how to jump in and solve those situations before it gets messy.

The Negative Nancy

Sometimes people are just plain having a bad day, and sometimes (when you scrub toilets and eat lunch together every single day for a month) you’ll notice that some people just have a negative attitude. While trying to keep the peace, why not ask this individual if there is something in particular that is bothering them. If there seems to be a legitimate reason, offer some advice or maybe just offer an ear to help them vent. If you feel it is more of a life choice, why not offer some short-term positive vibes that politely hints at how you are more of a positive person and would appreciate not to have future negativity directed in your conversations. If all else fails, maybe offer to finish up cleaning the bathroom while they gain some fresh perspective by taking in the fresh salty air. You’ll look like the rockstar and maybe you’ll have won all future negative-vibe battles.

How to Tackle Annoyances

No one truly enjoys confrontation, but when it does have to happen, do not beat around the bush. Try starting with a soft approach to the subject, while still allowing for your points to be heard. You could even start off with ‘I have to talk to you about a difficult subject’ and then dive on in, a heads up could ensure they are listening and will avoid the awkwardness of bringing it up twice. Make sure to speak calmly and assertively to ensure the issue is being heard and taken seriously. Feel free to offer examples and point out how it is making other crew members uncomfortable and offer solutions to how the situation can be handled in the future. If all else fails, sometimes the compliment sandwich is a great approach to this; a positive, something that is bothering you/could use improving, another positive. Who doesn’t love sandwiches!

Working as a Team

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that with a little bonding a team can go a long way in terms of working and living together. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of this subject. Being liked and creating friendships with each and every crew can not only help your daily working-living life on board, it can also help ensure longevity in your job. Bonding over likes and interests, rather than just the job at hand, can help ease some stress and add some fun back into the work place. Crew dinners and nights out can really help move this process along, as well as day trips and fun activities shared together, rather than just work situations. This is especially important when a new crew member comes into the team to help them feel welcomed, and remind the crew not to feel threatened by change.

Take Time

This one can be more important to some over others, however taking time for yourself can sometimes get overlooked while working on a yacht and can make a world of difference to any of the above situations. Make sure to recognize when you are in need for some ‘me’ time and don’t be afraid to take it. If saying no to a group activity will help develop a healthier mood towards everyone in the long run, your crew will understand – as long as you bring this up in a neutral way.

Seasoned Master of Yachts / Yachtmaster or STCW Trainee – Your Training Makes A Difference and Helps Make You Prepared For Life’s Challenges – On and Off The Boat