Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Yacht Crew House Etiquette
Posted on: 09/28/2018
Want to get paid $30,000 to $50,000 a year to travel on the most expensive yachts in the world? Becoming a part of a yacht crew is tough work, but worth it for the life experience gained.
Anyone in the yachting industry will tell you a crew house is an essential step in how to become a yacht crew member. This temporary housing will put you near the ports, making it easier to find employment.
Crew houses are more than housing though, they are industry housing. This means you need to follow certain unspoken rules of etiquette.
Use our guide so you know what to expect for your first crew house experience.
What Is a Crew house?
Each year potential working crew members move to hiring ports at the beginning of the season. Crew houses give them a hostel type shared living space for their stay.
You can expect to share your living space with a group of industry professionals. Often each bedroom has beds for 2 or 3 individuals.
For those new to the industry, you can expect to stay up to 4 to 6 weeks in a crew house. Others who have experience may only stay 1 to 3 weeks while looking for yachting industry jobs.
Sometimes a yacht's entire crew will need to move into a house. This happens if the yacht needs to come out of the water or have its power shut off.
The crew will live in a house while the yacht gets work done. Then, move back aboard once the yacht is ready for service again. These homes are different from the ones you will stay in as an individual.
Crew House vs Hostel
Crew houses are only available to those in the yachting industry. While hostels and crew houses are similar, they cater to different clientele.
This is important to consider as you are moving for work, not a vacation. Sure you will have fun, but you don't want to share your space with someone partying every night if you need to work.
Crew House vs Rental House or Apartment
It is a lot of work to go through rental paperwork when your end goal is to find placement on a yacht. Most rental houses and apartments want long-term residents, which hopefully, you are not.
If you don't like the idea of communal living, or privacy is paramount, then this may be a better option for you. Remember that you won't have a ton of personal space and privacy on a yacht either.
Where Can I Find One and Major Port Cities
Most crew houses are near the port as you will want to "walk the dock" to network. The most desirable crew houses are also near banks, grocery stores, and nightlife. The larger the port city the more crew houses you will find in the area. Some of the biggest ports for hiring are Fort Lauderdale, Palma de Mallorca, and Antibes.
Why Do I Need One?
A crew house will provide you with a homey atmosphere. You will have use of a communal living area, kitchen, and laundry.
It is also more affordable than staying in a hotel. You also have the ability to network and build relationships with others in the industry. Often captains have relationships with the crew houses. A day opportunity may come to you through the crew house that you would otherwise have to chase down.
Yacht Crew Etiquette During Your Stay and Following The Rules
The number one rule of any shared housing environment is to be respectful of others. Don't do anything to others that would annoy you. Before you move into a new crew house you may receive a welcome letter or packet. This will explain the procedures and rules of the house.
If you want to continue your stay, you need to follow the rules. A well run crew house will not tolerate rule breaking and will ask you to leave. This leaves you with no place to stay. It also hurts your professional reputation. The others living in the house will know of your actions and that you had to leave.
Pay on Time
You don't need to sign a lease or make a deposit. So do yourself a favor and pay on time.
Most houses charge on a weekly basis. This can vary depending on the time of year and location in the world.
This will present a positive and professional impression on the house owner/manager. It will also make their job easier and your stay less stressful.
Don't use someone else's toiletries without asking first. Keep in mind that there could be four or five people sharing one bathroom. Be courteous of the other people who may want to use the bathroom or take a shower. Do this by not taking an hour-long shower. Use the bathroom to take a shower or use the toilet. It is also appropriate to brush your teeth or shave your face.
Things to Not Do in the Bathroom
Avoid using the bathroom as the place to paint your nails. Try to not do your hair and makeup in the bathroom. These tasks can be time-consuming and can be done in your room.
The kitchen is the communal place that everyone wants to use and no one wants to clean. The simplest policy to follow is if you make it dirty, you clean it up.
Do not eat other people's food without asking. The same goes for other's alcohol.
Options to Not Cleaning
If you don't want to clean, buy paper plates that you can throw away. You could also plan to eat out or order food for delivery.
Keep in mind that others may have a different sleep schedule than you. If you share a bedroom, try to be quiet while your roommates sleep. If you come back to the room late, keep the noise level down. If you need to wake up early, remember that others may be sleeping in.
Don't use other people's laptops, tablets, or other technology without asking. This goes for phone cables too.
Pay attention to the status of your clothes in the laundry room. Do not leave your wet clothes in the washer for too long.
Do not leave your dry clothes in the dryer either. The best policy is to set the alarm on your phone so you know when your clothes are ready.
There are some general courtesy rules that often go unspoken. These are rules that make everyone's life in the crew house more pleasant and avoids conflict.
Noise and Smoking
Avoid blaring your music loud enough to bother others. It is a good idea to have a quality pair of headphones around. This lets you listen to your music or block out other's music.
Use common sense about the level of acceptable noise. If it's Friday night and everyone is in the common area drinking, then it's ok to be louder. If it's Tuesday night and people have work or go to school the next day, you should keep the noise down. Do not smoke indoors. Do not smoke in the bathroom with the fan on. Do not smoke in your room with the window open.
It is best to leave your windows closed. This prevents bugs and rodents from coming in. It also helps keep the crew house temperature regulated with the air conditioning.
Respect the Quality
You should expect to have clean and safe living quarters. The furniture and linens get provided to you.
The quality will vary and you can find super cheap to expensive housing. Remember you get what you pay for. Cheaper is not always better.
The more expensive housing tends to get more calls from captains looking for crew. Better quality housing tends to have the rules enforced better, which results in better quality crew staying there.
No matter what the quality of crew house you choose, always leave it in as good of condition as you found it. This shows respect, professionalism, and avoids an expensive repair bill.
Living in crew housing is what you make of it, so take the time to get to know your fellow crew housemates. You will find people from all over the world with different cultures and religions.
Having a friendly rapport with your housemates will make for a more pleasant experience. This will also help your career as you could end up on the same yacht as them.
Become a Yachtie
You're ready to take your first steps in the yachting industry by knowing how to make a great first impression at your crew house. The yacht crew house will become your home away from home. Use your time at the crew house to network and further your career. The best way to do this is to follow the common rules of respect and courtesy.
Keep the noise level down so as to not disturb others. Don't monopolize the bathroom. Clean up after yourself in the kitchen.
When in doubt, ask yourself if it would bother you. If the answer is yes, then don't do it.