Ask 10 people why they got into yachting and you’ll hear 11 different answers. Gone are the days where a backpacker could hop onto a boat as a deckhand or stewardess, spend a few weeks sailing the Caribbean or the Mediterranean and hop off with a pocket full of money and a tan.
The Yachting industry has evolved, some say for the better and others for the worse. Whichever view you take, it is undisputable that the professionalism required from entry-level crew to those at the top of the ladder has increased dramatically in the super, mega and more recently giga yacht era. STCW, ISM, ISPS, SMS, and more recently MLC2006, has seen to it that we are now regarded as professional crew and held to the same (or similar) standards as our colleagues in the merchant and commercial industry. We are seen and are expected to act as professionals and anyone that has spent the time and made the effort to progress to higher positions within the business knows that it takes sacrifice and compromise.
Ask any crew member about the time they have spent on board luxury yachts and notice what happens. In almost all cases, the response is as follows: a distinct glimmer in their eye rapidly followed by a smile and no doubt a tale or two.
We love what we do but we also pay a price for it. That is the truth. YOA is all about that truth; we will take the good with the bad and call it like it is, and that is our promise to you.