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Looking for a change of pace!

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by Chris H., Mar 3, 2016.

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  1. Chris H.

    Chris H. New Member

    Mar 2, 2016
    Tampa, Florida
    Good morning!!

    I just joined last night and read through some stuff and figured I'd poke my head out of the rabbit hole. I'm a 200 Ton Master with all the bells and whistles looking to get out of the GoM oil patch. Always comes a time when family as well as professional ethics trump money so here I am! Haha!! I'm just looking to get my foot in the door without stepping on anyone's toes so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all!

    Capt Chris
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2013
    Fort Lauderdale
    I'm going to start with a couple of questions for you. Let's talk the family side of things. How do you see a change being better for your family? What is it you're expecting in that regard?

    I ask because career changes in any industry almost always require sacrifices on the part of the family, both financially and in terms of family time. I'm guessing now you're working on some form of rotation and 28 on, 28 off or 14 on, 14 off or something similar. That type system, if that's what you're on, provides more family time than most yacht situations. The yachting side of things has multiple areas but some spend months away from home at a time, some weeks.

    Second, how big of a step are you prepared to take backwards in your career? How big a pay cut? How long can you afford to be without a job or a decent one? You're going from what I'm assuming is to a large degree regular full time employment into a side of things where you're likely initially at best to find assignments. Are you prepared to take a very much lesser position to build up experience? Are you prepared to go long periods without any work?

    You're talking about a major career change. I would talk face to face with some crew placement companies, asking them for honest answers. I would go spend time around those active today, places such as crew gathering spots, dining facilities at large boatyards.

    Part of the job as a recreational boat captain, a large part in some jobs, is hospitality. Yes, you are suddenly both a professional captain and a member of the hospitality industry. You're expected to captain safely but also to cater to the guests needs and desires. There are certain areas of the job where you probably have knowledge and experience far beyond others doing it today, but other areas where it's a field you have zero experience in.

    In some ways a change is much like taking a job in a country in which you don't speak the language or know the culture. This could be an excellent move, making your career one you'd enjoy more and perhaps see doing longer. However, it is a mid-life career change. I don't know your age or experience. It's also a gamble as the work on the yacht side is not as steady and dependable as on the commercial side, especially for someone new to it. Last it's a gamble for your entire family, a decision that will impact you all. It may include lifestyle changes. It may include a relocation. It will include changes in schedules.

    Good luck in making the choice that's right for you.

    As an aside, we have three engineers who have spent time in the commercial side, but no captains among our crew members who have done so, so more direct experience in seeing the change from engineering than from deck.