Team Work Makes The Dream Work

It can be said that there is no “i” in team and that no man (or woman) is an island. In order to be and do our best, for ourselves and others around us we must learn to work together.

Yacht crews can be as small as you and your partner or boast a team of 12+ crew members. That is 12+ people of varying backgrounds, differing opinions and contrasting personalities. Although it may be up to Captains and HoD’s to organise and harness all that energy into a productive system, crew members willing to be team players make it easier.  In order to achieve a successful service it is imperative that the crew work in harmony. Here’s how you can become a better crew member.

  • A good crew member is a listener and a discerning observer.

When you have a vessel staffed with several crew; each having enjoyed decades in yachting industry, people will tend to think they know better. Either they were used to doing it a specific way on their previous yacht, they read about it in a blog somewhere or a refresher course they’ve just completed insisted on it being done in a certain way. Whatever the case; to spare bruised egos and hurt feelings consider advice your team mates give you as opposed to shutting it down. Even if you don’t use it, the person who took the time to offer their assistance will feel appreciated.

Hint: Captains and HoD’s should initiate open channels of communication. If crew members feel safe enough to share techniques and advice without risk of ridicule or reprisal you will have a crew unburdened by tension or fear.


  • A good crew member is teachable

There is no place for a know-it-all on board. You may be an industry veteran but rest assured; you haven’t seen it all.

Stubborn crew is a problem often faced by younger yachties, holding senior positions, who are expected to lead crew members older than they are. What can happen is the power dynamic becomes a tug of war pitting age against experience. The only way to resolve this would be the Captain/HoD/senior confronting the disruptive crew member.

  • A good crew member picks his/her battles

Yacht crew tend to have big personalities, the job demands it. Yacht owners and employers prefer charismatic staff to meek, awkward candidates. When you put 12+ strong, opinionated individuals in close living, working and socialising proximity for months at a time those opinions and personalities will surely clash. An argument may arise about something serious; pertaining to the safety and service of the yacht. This is fine as the stakes may be life threatening. Two hot-headed crew members getting into it over a coffee pot at breakfast time?  Maybe not. But it is understandable

Working crew members are highly strung, sleep deprived, stressed out staff at the best of times. The job is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Having a bad day is okay but don’t take your frustrations out on the wrong people. Don’t lose your cool about something petty because you’ll feel pretty foolish when you’ve calmed down and realised the spat wasn’t worth it. More importantly don’t entertain someone who is clearly picking a fight with you. If you can sense someone is becoming increasingly sharp with you pull them aside and ask if they’re doing okay. A lot of the time we pick baseless fights when we’re upset about something unrelated. If you reach out to your team mates they’ll instantly open up and warm to you for being so understanding and patient.

Before picking a fight or engaging in animosity take a deep breath. As you exhale you’ll begin to relax, common sense will kick in and you’ll see no point in arguing.


  • A good crew member is in the business of people

Yachting is about creating an experience. A good crew member will regard his work as not providing a product or rendering services, but rather as a facilitator in creating memories. When he sees that this is where he brings value to the lives of the passengers he serves he will acknowledge that his fellow crew members do the same.


It all boils down to mutual respect. Team players respect and value each other. They band together, support and encourage one another because collective success is the target. Once you and your fellow crew members come to a common understanding and endeavour to work towards one goal, together, you will find working as a team will come naturally.