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FLIBS17: Checking the Tide: What would you change about your uniform?

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Yachting is all about image and presentation, and the crew’s appearance is an integral part of that. Uniforms can define a yacht’s program to the public, but crew don’t often get a say in what they wear. Epaulets and black pants in the tropical heat? So we asked what crew like, or don’t like, about their uniforms.  Photos by Dorie Cox

Stew Jennifer Whitt


Stew Jennifer Whitt
M/Y Lady Genyr
140′ CNR

I don’t like it big and baggy and when they don’t fit nicely. I wish there was more customization. Polos are fine if it is sweat-wicking material.

 

 

 

Eng. Jaco Scheepers

Eng. Jaco Scheepers
M/Y Lady Genyr
140′ CNR

I could use more stretch material and the type of material that breathes. We need it with the work we do. I think they can improve on the technology of shirts. And no floppy shorts; I like them long.

 

 

 

 

2nd Eng. Tom Hodgkiss

2nd Eng. Tom Hodgkiss
M/Y Lady Genyr
140′ CNR

I want epaulets. (I’m just joking.) I don’t mind the uniforms. We look smart, but they are a little warm. I prefer no stiff “fishing line” thread.

 

 

 

Bosun Jez Hyder

Bosun Jez Hyder
M/Y Lady Genyr
140′ CNR

I would want decent footwear for on deck. Something cool. The traditional leather boat shoe takes six months to break in. It’s dangerous with no shoes on bigger boats with anchors, chains, lines and things.

 

 

 

Bosun Toni Jones

Bosun Toni Jones
M/Y Safira
129′ Newcastle

I like cotton better. One problem is the dark color because we are in the sun and it is so hot. If I could change something it would be to cotton. And for things to fit every body type.

 

 

 

Head Stew Katie MacAdam

Head Stew Katie MacAdam
M/Y Safira
129′ Newcastle

Cotton is better. I’ve only been on boats where the uniforms are already on board and they carry spares. We have a collection of random uniforms that don’t match. We use those for day workers, but we have so many in storage.

 

 

 

 

Capt. David Sloate

Capt. David Sloate
M/Y Silver Lining
164′ Christensen

We can choose our own uniform so I like lightweight material that dries fast, shorts that are like board shorts and shoes that are no skid. Crew need to match. A uniform is uniform; that’s the definition. These companies are starting to understand and now uniforms are very modern.

 

 

 

Chief Eng. Stephen New

Chief Eng. Stephen New
M/Y Silver Lining
164′ Christensen

Cotton is too hot and I hate the penguin suit [epaulets and the long black pants] in the heat. We’re wearing these everywhere we go, which is tropical. I know it’s traditional, but it’s not logical.

 

 

 

 

Stew Karen van Heese

Stew Karen van Heese
M/Y Lion Share
130′ Heesen

Maybe the mini-skirts are outdated? I think shorts are fine. The only thing I would change is the skirt. I don’t think I can really get away with wearing the skirt. I’m a very conservative dresser. I would never wear this out there.

 

 

 

Deckhand Lucas Parent

Deckhand Lucas Parent
M/Y Lion Share
130′ Heesen

I am not fond of the polo shirt and I never have been. It’s not comfortable when it’s warm. I like it to be pretty comfortable.

 

 

 

Eng. Toby Quin

Eng. Toby Quin
Event staff, USSA

I don’t like wearing shirts at all, but if I have to these [polos] are fine. As long as I don’t have to button the top button. But I’m not a golfer.

 

 

 

 

Dayworker Oliver Plunkett

Dayworker Oliver Plunkett
M/Y Status Quo
150′ Richmond

I don’t think twice about the uniform. It is no bother and it’s perfectly comfortable. I do like to be barefoot, though.

 

 

 

 

Chief Stew Prue Heffernan

Chief Stew Prue Heffernan
M/Y Status Quo
150′ Richmond

I would move away from the traditional colors. I like color schemes like bright red. I love the skirts, but I would prefer that it doesn’t cling. I am constantly adjusting this skort. I would like more stretch and for it to be longer, especially for older crew. I don’t need to show so much leg. We need a stronger band. The radio pulls this skort down.

 

 

Deck/Stew Roggette James

Deck/Stew Roggette James
M/Y Status Quo
150′ Richmond

The material is so uncomfortable, I work on deck and it is too tight. I need more stretch. If I did work full-time inside, I would like a dress with shoes. Something casual but that looks nice.

 

 

 

Mate James Derby

Mate James Derby
M/Y Status Quo
150′ Richmond

The uniform is important and it should be uniform. The captain should look different and distinguished from the crew. The belt helps with radio and knife.

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Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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