Can Crew Couples Work?

To be (together) or not to be (together); that is the career changing question. More and more couples wanting to work on the same boat in order to be together are asking whether they’re kidding themselves or if there is a place for them in the industry.

Finding a job opportunity as a couple is extremely difficult, but not impossible. A lot of captains are apprehensive about of hiring couples, as yachting is a high-pressure environment that can very quickly expose the cracks in relationships. Other concerns are purely administrative; like sleeping arrangements for example, and if one leaves or is dismissed, what are the chances that the Captain will lose two crew members at the same time? Captains see hiring couples as a risk. If you are, however, determined to work with your partner there are a few things you can do to better your chances of employment.


Making sure you and your partners CV’s match is the easiest and most subtle way of communicating that you are a strong couple. Having the same layout, font and structure etc send the subliminal message that you two are a package deal. Make it clear that you are a couple in your profile statements, and in your marital status you can add your partners name and their profession. Mention how long you have been together in the profile statement and if you have had experience living and working together before; emphasise this. Captains will be more open to hiring you if they see that your relationship is solid and that you can maintain your professionalism during work shifts.


Once your CVs are complete and in-sync, go about job hunting together. Try your best to dock walk and speak to hiring crew as a couple. There are a number of ‘couple-friendly’ boats that you might consider joining too. Although these vessels only provide employment for one of you at a time, you are together.

If that doesn’t work you might have to consider looking for jobs individually. Your CV will say that you are in a relationship so the captain or employer will take it into consideration. Being uncompromising in only wanting to get a job as a couple might lose you the best individual job opportunities out there. A job can have you out at sea for anything from two weeks to the entire three month summer season. Admittedly, that is a long time to be away from your partner but you could be sabotaging your own success in yachting by going for the wrong kind of yacht just so you can be together. Taking a gamble on both your careers may reap great rewards but it could also put you in the position where you hold out until you run out of money, or worse; the season starts and you’re left standing in an empty port.


Crew couples have the capacity to be great additions to yacht staff because they understand that their actions reflect one another, making them considerate team players. They tend to work harder and have agreeable priorities. Couples are also open to negotiating their salaries in order to be together. However, crew couples tend to distance themselves from socialising with the rest of the crew. There is the concern that if one is reprimanded the other might bear a grudge out of loyalty. If the couple hasn’t been together long, arguments could arise and cause a disruption with the rest of the crew. These reasons are often why captains, employers and hiring crew choose not to hire couples.

As a couple, it should be considered that working and living together on the same yacht is extremely difficult and can lead to the demise of even the strongest relationships. This pressure can be much worse when one of you has had to massively compromise their job description in order to stay together.There are a great amount of things to consider when deciding to pursue yacht work as a couple. It is no easy undertaking. If you and your partner are persistent, however, and determined you will find the perfect positions to suit you.