The dos and don’ts of crew accommodation
Written by Sophie Allen | With thanks to Kylie O’Brien – The Stewardess Bible.
Last updated: 01/08/2016
Whether you’re seasoned yacht crew or a first-timer, chances are you’ll need a place to stay when the time comes to head out to sunnier climates and look for work. Many locations offer dedicated crew houses or shared living, giving you a place to rest your head after a long day, and meet some like-minded people in the same boat as you.
With that said, Yachting Pages has spoken to Kylie O’Brien, former chief stewardess and founder of yachtie staple, The Stewardess Bible. Here, we lay out the dos and don’ts of crew accommodation to keep both you and the rest of the house happy.
Do mix with fellow yachties
If you’re new to the yachting industry, there’s never a need to worry about making friends, as Kylie explains. “You meet people all the time in the yachting industry, as “yachties” tend to be very open and outgoing people. You will find yourself mixing with a varied group, and it’s really not hard to make good acquaintances.”
When it comes to where you meet people, you don’t have to just stick with those you’re sharing with; it just depends on the type of work you’re looking for. “Those who are focused on finding full time employment will seek out people that can help them. Those who wish to do day work, generally tend to party more and hang out with like-minded people.”
Do know how to present yourself
“Intercommunication skills are the most important skills in the yachting industry”, says Kylie. When you’re first meeting crew, try to listen more and talk less, and don’t give away too much information. Kylie also emphasises the importance of body language. “I believe this to be just as important as verbal communication. Your eye contact, facial expressions and body all tell a story.”
Other areas of communication to be mindful of include managing your speaking volume, and using slang words and swearing. “It really doesn’t help anyone if you’re gossiping about the place, even if you think that you might be helping (remember the superyacht industry is very small and gossip moves around very quickly).”
Don’t treat your trip as just a jolly
Remember; a trip to Antibes as yacht crew is not the same as a mates’ holiday in Magaluf. As Kylie points out, “People who are staying in a crew house are usually on a business trip, whether it be to look for work or to do a course. Therefore, they really don’t appreciate the late-hour parties after the pub closes, or the stinky laundry floating around in public areas.”
It’s essential to socialise, but getting plastered every night and not picking up after yourself will not only irritate others, it can also reflect badly on you. “The main point is to extend to your fellow housemates the same amount of respect that you expect back from them. Respect for their time, respect for their personal wellbeing, and finally, respect for their belongings.”
Finally - Do enjoy yourself and remember the basic rule of R.E.S.P.E.C.T
As previously stated, a crew trip, wherever you’re going can be considered a business trip, but they are also supposed to be enjoyable. We’ve laid out the basics of what to do and what not to do, but the ideal scenario is a good balance of business and pleasure.
As Kylie explains, crew trips are, “Fun, interesting and can be really beneficial, both professionally and personally. However, the key here is to maintain a healthy balance between good social conduct, fun and your ultimate objectives, i.e. to find a job, or complete a course.“