I love my job, but I understand that it might not be for everyone. Here’s how to tell if you should just stay land based and cut your losses.
You’re too private and embarrass easily
There is no privacy on a boat. Remember that nasty virus I had back in Seattle? Yeah, under normal conditions I would have being sharing that lovely experience with a crewmate in a room the size of a modest walk-in closet. Heaven forbid you drop some kids off at the pool (that’s poop for those not down with the get down) because anyone looking at the monitors can see the water levels change. It’s easier to just check your ego at the door and embrace it.
You like to plan ahead
Want to know when I booked my flights home for the holidays? The day before I left. And that was for a trip going from Singapore all the way back to the east coast US. While I was home, I didn’t even know where I’d be flying back or what date I would be leaving. That’s the reality of a life in yachting. In fact, sometimes I don’t know if we’re leaving port to sail somewhere else until I wake up. It all comes down to ever changing owner’s schedules, crew schedules and various boat maintenance. It would drive some people crazy, but I love the unpredictability.
You’re looking for the OTHER other fish in the sea
Listen, working on the boat with two married couples as the only single is not ideal, but for me the pros highly outweigh the cons. However, if you’re looking to find a mate and settle down, keep looking; yachting is not for you. You’re most often only in a given place for a few days to a few weeks before it’s on to the next place and like I said before, planning in this industry is near impossible. Even if you are in a relationship already, finding jobs together as newbie couples in the industry is close to impossible, so I recommend flying solo. Oh yeah, and you aren’t allowed to bring people back to your crew cabin so have fun getting creative.
You get seasick
This is a no brainer, but it has to be said. There was a lot riding on my first trip at sea because if it all turned pear shaped, I wouldn’t be here writing this. On that trip, I witnessed firsthand somebody so seasick that they couldn’t move or eat for almost two full days when we finally had to stop and anchor to give him some relief. We also had a guy doing some work for us on the boat while we were in Singapore and even while tied up to the dock, not moving, he got a headache and dizziness from the slightest movement. Seasickness is no joke and it will kill any career working on yachts.
You’re a hoarder
Good luck finding space for your stamp collection from elementary school in your crew cabin. (Fun Fact: I actually did have a stamp collection in elementary school…)