On Course: Invest time in newbies

Dec 8, 2017 by Clive McCartney

On Course: by Clive McCartney

Earlier this week I enjoyed one of those episodes that refreshes the mind and resets the attitude. Here at Bluewater we held an “Introduction to Yachting Open Evening” – 45 new crew members, eager and excited to discover what their next step would be along the path to yacht crew-hood.  

If you’ve ever been to the Bluewater training center, you will be familiar with the cavernous showroom, which also now serves as the social area. This space acts as an echo chamber in which 45 people sound like 500 as the conversation gets going, with Bluewater staff from both the training and the crew placement teams in attendance.  

I was interested to hear some of the background stories for these newbies so, armed with a few stock questions I joined the throng. Where are you from? How did you hear about yachting? Have you completed your basic STCW safety training?

Here are a few snapshots of the answers I heard:

Where from? Panama City in Florida, Tampa, Philadelphia, Wisconsin, Maryland, Idaho, California, China, Colombia, Zimbabwe. Probably about 75 percent of the group was U.S., the others a veritable United Nations.

Why yachting? “My friend’s cousin did it and I wanted to try,” “I came from the corporate world with a degree in PR and advertising and needed a change,” “I want to travel,” “My brother did it,” “Managing hotels back home earning $600 per month wasn’t going to last.”

The vast majority indicated they had already completed their basic STCW training, which tells us that as an industry we are doing something right.

These snapshots, however, do not convey the energy, the enthusiasm and the connections being made. These people were mostly strangers to each other, but as they joined the queue  (sorry, the “line”) for the photographer to get their headshots, they were engaging with each other and with us, sharing their stories, eager to get information from the Bluewater staff and each other. A few already had jobs working on yachts, others were anticipating picking up day work through FLIBS, and still others were actively looking, including one who took a call with a job offer while she was at the event.  

Speaking as one who is generally “glass half empty,” this was assuredly a “glass full” event and we can draw inspiration from it – not only to harvest and mirror the enthusiasm of the newbies, but to encourage and lead them well, ensuring that their efforts are not wasted or discounted for their inexperience. Take time to get to know their stories, build a relationship, ask specific questions regarding the advice and guidance that they need, set them on the right path and invest in their journey.  

With thanks to Rhonda Darling & Matt Carroll who put the Introduction to Yachting event together, as well as to Ami Ira, Sue Price, Terry Haas, Holly Fisher, Edie Guzman and Shalom Weiss from the Bluewater team.

Clive McCartney is vice president of maritime operations and business development at Bluewater Management & Crew Training USA in Fort Lauderdale. Comments are welcome below.


Related Articles

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

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

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

KVH introduces fastest 1m Ku/C-band VSAT antenna

Rhode Island-based technology company KVH Industries recently introduced the TracPhone V11-HTS, what it calls the fastest 1m Ku/C-band maritime VSAT antenna, designed to deliver data speeds as fast …

Top Shelf: Big Alvin’s Antiguan Mahi Ceviche

Top Shelf: Big Alvin’s Antiguan Mahi Ceviche

Top Shelf: by Chef Timothy MacDonald With our yacht about to cross to the Caribbean, visions of hot sauce, barbecue ribs, jerked chicken, mac ‘n cheese and slaw served on

Jotun launches new bottom paint

Norway-based paint manufacturer Jotun has introduced SeaLion Resilient, a marine coating based on epoxy-polysiloxane technology that it claims is “the world’s first resilient …

Bluewater teams up with sailing event to ditch the plastic

Bluewater teams up with sailing event to ditch the plastic

Sharing a pledge to turn the tide on the plastic tsunami threatening the planet, Bluewater has donated hydration stations to be used at each leg of the 52 Super

Marina Mile Yachting Center installs new lift

Marina Mile Yachting Center installs new lift

Marina Mile Yachting Center of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently upgraded its operation with a 75-ton Marine Travelift. The new 75 BFMII mobile boat hoist replaces a 34-year-old 70-ton lift. …