Is Yachting Still For Me

As the yachting season transitions from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, many contracts are ending and crew members are seeking employment on new vessels.

While you polish up your resume and reach out to hiring Captains, take a moment to reflect on the career you’ve enjoyed and decide your next steps moving forward. Motivate yourself if you must, and console yourself if you’ve decided to hang up your boat shoes and return to your life on shore.


There are a number of different reasons why crew, new to the industry or experienced yachties, retire. Most feel it’s better to do so when you still have a love for life on sea as opposed to when you’re extremely unhappy. It would be a pity to look back on your time as a crew member with a sour taste in your mouth. Pre-empting the discontent will allow you to leave with your head held high and enjoy sweet nostalgia when you reminisce from time to time. So sometimes you have you ask yourself, “Is yachting still for me?”


The yachting industry is very rewarding. You get to travel to some of the world's most beautifully remote and naturally kept locations. You truly are privileged enough to see sunsets, coastlines and marine life that many will never get to see their entire lives.

Working on a yacht, however, is not for everyone. Not only are you giving up a stable life on land but you relinquish niceties that you’ve become accustomed to. Crew members work erratic hours, are often expected to perform arbitrary tasks not part of their portfolio, and share small living quarters with others- so bye bye privacy. It takes an extremely strong willed individual to make a career out of yachting. Those driven few are rewarded with life lasting friends and generous remunerations.


It’s a Catch-22 of sorts. It can be extremely exciting at the start of your career, but begin to weigh you down over the years. Or you can land your first job, be raring to go, and quickly realise the dream you were sold isn’t the reality you are living.


Whatever the reason is for losing the wind in your sails rather retire from the industry before you begin to despise it.


This is not to say jump ship when you come to a conflict you don’t want to deal with. Neither are we supporting quitters who are going through a boredom lull on board.

Check out our articles Great Hobbies For Crew On board and Maximizing Fun and Functionality On board if you’re feeling a little demotivated.


This article speaks to the yachties who feel like they’re reached the end of their tether and are contemplating leaving the yachting industry after having dedicated themselves tirelessly. Advice often given to professional who work office jobs is to wait it out for another month and if you’re still looking to leave then, and only then, should you tender your resignation. Because of the nature of the yachting industry that advice doesn’t really stick. Taking time between seasons to reflect and recoups is critical in this regard because it gives you a chance to decide whether you have the will to commit to another season or not.


Our advice: always try to get through one more season.


We often underestimate our potential for perseverance. You truly can handle more than you think you can. If you’re reading this and you’ve recently signed on for the coming season; complete it and see where you are at when your contract ends. If you’re still contemplating retiring, and haven’t applied for work yet; give it one more try. If after this season you really are done with yachting then all you’ve lost is six months. You’ve gained clarity, experience, and some money to tide you over while you look for work ashore.


It could be a change of scenery that you need. Perhaps you are unhappy with the crew you are currently working with. You’ll have no way of knowing what your gripe is until you compare your current bleak experience with another. Don’t be so quick to bow out without exhausting all the possible options. You owe it to yourself to try the best you can.


Making the decision to retire from the industry is an emotionally and intellectually challenging one. If, however, you are sure yachting is no longer for you be sure to leave on good terms with your Captain, HOD and fellow crew. You never know if/when you’ll need them in the future.


All the best to you and Bon Voyage.