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Yacht crew comment on love onboard

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One of our questions asked captains and crew what they thought was the key to having a successful relationship and a career in yachting.

  • The same keys as all relationships (honesty, good communications, etc.) and understanding that you both need space. Maybe even formalizing separations: guy’s night, girl’s night, for example.
  • The key is to have total respect, patience and understanding for your partner.
  • Get home as often as you can.
  • Trust, and having personal time to enjoy each other, and your own individual time.
  • Communication and trust. If you don’t have those two, it won’t work.
  • Venting problems as soon as they appear.
  • One of the keys is to let her know how lucky we are to be doing something like this together.
  • If you live on the same boat, you both need time with friends without the other.
  • Time together must be planned, not accidental.
  • Respecting your work environment, partner, and your crew.
  • Someone who is not involved in yachting.
  • I’m married with children. I have an understanding owner and I’m home a lot. I’m always away for Valentines Day and my wife’s birthday. The key for my relationship’s success is a very understanding wife and a good nanny.
  • Love, commitment, communication, understanding My wife is my partner and best friend. in and out of yachting. This May, we’ll have anniversary No. 31.
  • Rotation, or have a home base for part of the year where it is possible to go home at night.
  • Find the right girl who has expectations in line with reality.
  • Keep relationship matters strictly during non-working hours, do not isolate yourselves from the crew, do not work in the same department, and try not to have one as the boss.
  • To have the same target and be able to find time together, far from crew and yacht. Intimacy and privacy are the most important. All crew should stay out of the couple’s relationship and should not try to take advantage of it.
  • Being able to understand that we sacrifice many things working in this industry so that we can enjoy great things together later.
  • You have to laugh at each other a lot. Expect to argue but always laugh after. 
  • We are a captain/stew team. We are careful that my wife does not overstep her position by being the “captains wife”. If she see a problem, she will inform me and let me deal with issues.
  • This is hard to do when she has more experience them most of the crew we hire. Mates do not like any direction from a stew. 
  • We realize that crew living with a married couple is a unique living and working situation. Therefore, we are sensitive to the way we conduct ourselves around our crew. 
  • If you don’t already have a great relationship, don’t expect it to get better working together. We try to take a few moments a day — even a 10-minute walk or a coffee off the boat — just to talk and catch up. Sometimes with owners on for two months, it’s very hard to do. 
  • We are social with our crew but do not go out with them unless for a crew dinner. We like to keep some distance or it becomes uncomfortable at some point if they are not doing a good job and need disciplinary action. We don’t go out drinking with them.
  • Trust, love and understanding. It works better when neighbors and friends are in the industry.
  • Staying connected with the ones at home as much as possible, to remember that family comes first, not the job.
  • Both individuals need to be committed to a career in yachting and open with each other regarding goals, both in their relationship and career.
  • Both people must understand that there will be lots of away time and must also trust and respect the other.
  • Both partners must want to be there — together — on that boat.
  • It must be more important to you than your career.
  • A balance between time at home and time away. If you can’t achieve that due to the type of position you have, choose one or the other. You can’t have both.
  • Keep it off the yacht.
  • To not be together 100 percent of the time. I know in yachting we don’t get a lot of time off, and you would want to be with your significant other, but take a girls/guys weekend every once in awhile. Sometimes you need to miss someone to re-appreciate what you love about them.
  • Whoever is on land must embrace the sailor’s schedule.
  • As someone who has a significant other halfway across the world, keep in touch every day and communicate well. I know that the opportunity to talk to your significant other every single day can be difficult. However, a quick hello by phone or a ‘good morning’ e-mail can help the relationship that much more.
  • Discipline and compromise.
  • Keep your personal life separate. You do your job and let her do hers, although sometimes it’s tough when you are the ultimate authority.
  • Both people must be career-oriented and focused; there cannot be one person “following” the other.
  • Make as much time for each other outside of the boat as possible. Remember, your life is your life. The boat is not your life.
  • Separating the work from the relationship, but working together. Work as a team and you are always home because home is being next to your spouse.
  • Trying to keep any tiffs or arguments sheltered from the other crew as much as possible. Cut back on the drinking as it tends to exacerbate petty arguments.
  • Division of responsibilities and decompression time off the boat.
  • Rotation, and an understanding wife.
  • Compromise. Friendship, thoughtfulness, lots of patience and fellowship.
  • Every situation is as different as the characters involved. Every new person creates a new dynamic that can only be understood in time. There is no recipe for success here, but I think the best thing that crew can do is try to understand the others around them.
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