Crew comment on discrimination in yachting

Nov 25, 2013 by Guest Writer

Read The Triton Survey on discrimination here.

Read crew comments on the survey below:

Before I got the job as a bosun, the boat I applied for only employed male deckhands. I changed that.


No Americans were to be hired on one of my boats due to legalities in our employment contract.


I have found Australians and South Africans to be asked not to apply for certain jobs.


So many instances I couldn’t possibly list, or remember, them all. Stews must nearly always be female. Females on deck still face obstacles; several boats I’ve worked on wouldn’t hire women on deck. And the captain or owner often has a preference for a male or female chef.

In 17 years of yachting I have never worked with an African-American crew member and have seen them actively discriminated against in the hiring process. I have also only worked once with an openly homosexual crew member. Life was not easy for her onboard. It goes on and on and on.


I was refused a position as captain of a yacht because I was atheist.


There are unwritten rules as to what type of person can and can’t be employed.


If you do it in the public or private sector, you would be sued for discrimination, so why yachts?


Every person is an individual and should be given the chance to prove themselves in an interview or trial period.


My hands are tied when hiring.


If you are qualified, these things should not matter.


We do not require a certain sex but they must be the same sex.


True, it is about choice. Wall Street stockbrokers do not wear jeans and T-shirts to work. It’s part of the decorum. Either play the part of the career you choose or pick one that accepts your lifestyle choices.


Very often, some of us older, more experienced guys want to be paid what we feel we are worth. If an owner wants to go cheap and get less experience for less money, good luck to him.


Experience, attitude, trust, reliability, lack of references, same as in the corporate world.


Younger vs. veteran captain, all this is driven by owners wanting to go on the cheap. They get what they pay for. Is it discriminatory? No. It is the industry, and if a person does not like it, get out and move on.


Interior crew and even deckhands can be trained from the bottom up and ultimately only need STCW to get in the door. Officers and chefs need professional training, licenses and extensive experience to make them valuable and worthwhile hence their salaries are considerably higher.


Non-licensed crew are easier to replace, therefore the hiring of them is less stringent.


Interior staff mingle with owners much of the time, so appearance and attitude are much more important.


The yachting industry, at least in the U.S., must clean up their hiring practices now or face the legal / monetary consequences.


I feel you should be able to hire who you want without any outside influence.


Yachting is an extremely superficial and shallow industry that has lots of growing up to do.


It is good to recognize the differences in people, hence why we hire them. Ask a pizza delivery guy who the worst tippers are, then ask another pizza delivery guy from the other coast. They will have similar answers. Do you call that discriminatory or the truth?


Yachting is a lifestyle for the rich and famous. These owners typically want to surround themselves with the best of the best and that includes crew, whether it be attractive crew, heavily licensed crew, lawful crew, or party crew. It’s not just a job for crew either, it’s a lifestyle. That’s why there will always be discrimination because we work for the top 1 percent of the world who usually get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.


The people not hired always look for an excuse as to why they are not hired. In yachting as well as any other job with interaction, knowledge is not everything; other factors play a role. Personal appearance, hygiene and personality are part of the equation.


As hypocritical as it may sound, when abroad I find that hiring locals is easier than back in the States. For example, when I’m in Mexico, I will hire a local mate for the sportfishing side of our program, not because I can pay them less than a Spanish-speaking mate that I may bring in from the States but because the Mexican mate will work circles around any mate from the states. So yes, I am discriminatory.


Yachting today is a different game than from when I started years ago. Boats are larger, more crew, licensing, training, electronics, foreign crews and lots of new-money owners. Yes, it’s a different ball game today. You have to find your niche and work it to survive.