Do I Stay or Do I Go Now? Contemplating Changing Yachts Before the Summer

It’s March, which means much movement is happening across our industry. Yachts are heading back from the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean to get ready for the northern hemisphere summer, and it’s that time of year when many yacht crew are starting to wonder...

By Sharon Rose • 16 March 2023

Is it time for a change?

Will I stay on this boat for the summer?
Am I still learning new things?
Is it time to spread my wings?
Will I get enough sea miles on this boat to get my tickets?
Will my HOD ever move on and give me a chance at promotion? 
Can I fit in a course and upskill before the season starts? 
Can I do another season with this boss, this crew? 
Will I make more money towards my goals on a different yacht?  
Should I get some different cruising locations on my CV?
Can I get a job with my partner?
Do I need a different type of yacht on my CV?
Will another yacht pay for my courses?
Am I excited about the season to come?

Or am I better off staying right where I am, with the yacht and the people I know and love?

What questions are you asking yourself as you cast your thoughts towards summer? Are you tending towards staying where you are or are you beginning to dream of new horizons?

Our Advice to Crew Thinking About Changing Yachts

March is always an exciting time to be in crew placement. The Mediterranean finally wakes up after a long winter, and the first trickles of crew hopefuls arrive in Antibes and Palma, looking for their big break into yachting.  

We generally counsel these brand-new arrivals to be open about their initial yacht choices (for example, we advise against new crew turning down offers on small boats or sailboats). But for existing crew, those of you who have started to amass some solid yachting experience, we encourage taking stock of your career regularly— where it’s been and where it’s going. Are you at the helm of your career or letting the wind blow you where it takes you? 

At Bluewater, we love long-term stability in yacht crew. It creates efficient yacht operations, tight-knit crews and a great guest experience. But, for the yacht to keep working well, crew need to feel engaged in their roles — which is increasingly tricky when you’ve been on the same boat for a long time. 

Stagnation is good for nobody — even the captain who hopes their ‘gun’ crew will never leave them. However, yacht crews need occasional fresh blood: fresh faces, new cruising areas, new skills, and fresh experiences to stay motivated. 

Crew turnover is inevitable, and done right, it’s a good thing. Waving goodbye to one yacht on good terms and bringing your skills and great attitude to another boat is a critical process. For the industry as a whole, this acts as a skills transfer, not a skills loss and over time, this crew movement makes each yacht stronger as crew share what works on different boats and remain engaged and motivated in the industry. 

So, as the snows melt and the first spring flowers bloom, it’s time to check-in.
Is your current comfort the enemy of progress? 
Are you itching for a new challenge?  
Is it time to move up? Move across? Or even move down? 
What new skill do you want to learn this year?
Is your captain or HOD supportive of your training goals? 
Have you only cruised in one area? 
Does your boat get enough sea time for you to progress towards your tickets?
Is your quiet, privately owned boat growing your skills and employability? 
Where do you want to be in 12 months, two years, five years, or 10?

If you’re happy where you are and getting solid experience on your CV, please, don’t go anywhere. Stay the course and be part of a high-performing, stable crew for as long as it makes you happy. 

But I expect if you’ve read this far…the thought has probably already crossed your mind: 

Do I stay, or do I go now?  

Before making any career moves, you need to take stock. Be strategic. Make a list of pros and cons. And book a digital appointment with a crew agent, or pop into our agency to consider your options and discover what’s out there. 

The role of your dreams might be sitting on the next quay. Or maybe it’s sitting in Tahiti, waiting for you to start looking for it.