YACHTING HAS CREATED A NAME FOR ITSELF as a way of escaping a boring job, stagnant lifestyle, and getting to make a ton of money while traveling.
But as someone who’s been there, done that, let me bluntly state why putting your notice in, giving up your cat, and leaving your winter parka behind is a seriously bad idea.
1. Your morals will be seriously challenged.
We all experience different levels of debauchery throughout our lives. However, your crew agent never mentioned that it would be brought to a whole new level if you want the job. If you can’t handle service-with-a-smile to old men naked in a hot tub, seeing fellatio on the fly bridge, or casually handing a hooker a glass of champagne, I suggest you rethink your decision.
2. You will become OCD. Guaranteed.
…And it will piss off everybody back home.
3. Some of the greatest horizon views may end up being untouchable.
You may get to see the Caribbean, Mediterranean, maybe even Asia and Alaska… The unsaid loophole is called a porthole. Scratch off your bucket list all you’d like, but unless you have a great captain and guests that insist on your involvement, you may only get to see those travel destinations from a window the size of a plate.
4. You’ll have to conform.
Love that old leather jacket you wear all the time that gives you your special identity? Some lucky bloke at Goodwill would love it too. In your declared dream job, we’re rocking polos all day, every day. Join the club and be ready to conform.
5. One word: Seasickness.
Never experienced it before? Lucky you. When the ship hits heavy seas, the boat will become a never-ending carnival ride. At first there will be hot flashes, then cold clammy sweats, then hours of puking. Your stationary office desk is looking pretty nice right now.
6. The concept of “weekend” will become a thing of the past.
Every day is a Monday here on club superyacht for the crew. We inherited the Monday vibes, because our guests steal the groovy Friday juju every damn day on board.
7. You’re basically becoming a modern-day gypsy.
Perhaps a minor detail, but your mother will find it suspicious when you sell everything you own to opt for a basically homeless, constantly-in-motion lifestyle with foreign grown men and women caravanning around getting drunk.
8. Your feet will get pounded.
Spider veins, calluses, and sore feet will be daily ailments, as you’ll be on your feet for 18 hours a day when your guests are on board. Your feet will love sitting in the bathroom… that’s about it for their rest period. Bring a magazine.
9. There’s a lot of competition.
Since the TV show Below Deck, there has been a 300% increase in ‘green’ yachties looking for work. The average Joes are flocking in, so be ready to compete against a busload of others who have also given up everything for this new life, and even they haven’t been able to get work for months now. Once you lose your status of being funemployed, you’ll be given the dirtiest, most obnoxious jobs on the boat until someone decides you’re not green anymore.
10. No one back home will understand what you do.
So you gave up your old life and have seen some crazy $%*# now. Others response? “Oh that’s nice hunny… I went on a cruise once.”
11. You’ll have to grin and bear strange, sometimes demeaning requests.
A Russian billionaire may demand you bow before him as you hand him something, or Arabian royalty might request you walk out of the room backwards, never turning your back to them, or a guest poops on the teak and wants you to clean it up (I wish that was a joke)… that would be all you buddy, it’d be your job to oblige.
12. Your glorious “escape from reality” = gnarly chores.
Whatever your work is before yachting, be ready to accept these new talents: scrubbing toilet bowls with toothbrushes, varnishing wood on the decks, getting down and dirty in the bilges to wipe away God knows what, and pumping out tampons from day heads. Welcome to your glorious escape from reality!
13. You’ll have to scratch off all events and celebrations from your personal calendar.
Happy birthday, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Years! Hello ungrateful rich folk, hosting impromptu sleepless parties, and spending your birthday in a dark crew mess with complete strangers. Your calendar is no longer yours to discuss or look forward to; someone else decides your work schedule, duties, and general location in the world.
14. You’ll have to redefine your concept of personal space.
If you’re a real average Joe, I bet you have a cozy little abode where you can escape the world of work and jerks on the street. Maybe you have your toothbrush in the holder of your bathroom, and your shoes at the front door of your quiet, clean personal space. Well on a yacht, your space is my space, and my space is 15 other people’s space, which happens to be a small, dark space, that turns out to be none of these people’s space in the first place. Home sweet home!
15. Hungry for lunch? Too bad.
The missus on board wants her gluten-free starfruit muffin while having her feet massaged and fanned with a freshly-picked banana leaf. Right now.
16. Hopelessly romantic, and helplessly at sea.
You’re human right? You know what it’s like to be in love. It’s a blend of selfless affection and attachment to a special someone that gives you hope and a warm tingly feeling. Trying to pursue that person in yachting is a lot like what a toddler must feel like being dragged away from its favorite toy. Except you’re on a boat halfway across the world, being dragged away by a billionaire with a mistress, and you have to keep your kicking and screaming a big secret.
17. There’s no loyalty.
Your company has had you for 10 years, and you’ve been paying your dues and climbing the ladder of success. It’s secure, and you can count on the consistency. A yacht, however, may seem secure at times, but if the captain wakes up one morning and decides he doesn’t like you, the boat sells to a new owner who wants a fresh start, or the budget is tight… BOOM. You find yourself after years of loyalty to that yacht on a dock in the Bahamas in the pouring rain on your birthday with 4 pieces of luggage and a one-way flight. I hope you’re tough.
18. It’s risky business.
A ship is a funny thing. It floats and stuff. And sinks. It also has complex electrical connections and combustible fuel pumps to avoid catching on fire, very large winches and metal cleats to try not to trip and break your toes on, and lots of rough weather to not fall off the boat in. Storms and fires are just a few things to give worrywarts anxiety, and for those Joes who are accident prone this is a no-go zone.
19. Work hard play hard. Forever.
Your boss in your office says you have great work ethics. That’s nice. How do you think your happy, smiley, productive self would fare after 5 months of the same chores every single day with no evenings or weekends off? Choose your youth wisely my friend.
20. Sharing (your cabin) is caring.
You love your bed. You can sit upright and read your book at night, spread out, maybe even invite a partner over to share it with. Flat on your back in your new dream job bunk, all you’ll have room for is to lift your head slightly and maybe enough space for your shoulders lengthwise. The bunk above yours is occupied by Gilbert: The handy-dandy, grump bucket of an engineer whose questionable old man grunts keep you up every night, inspiring dreams about large mattresses, puppies, swiveling desk chairs, and spacious meadows of motionless terra firma.
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