Plain Sailing

5 Rules for a happy crew!

Even a monster-sized catamaran can seem a small place to be cooped up on if you don’t get on with the rest of the crew. Here’s our five rules for happy crews to live by…!

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A boat or catamaran can seem the ideal place to relax, and an inspiring place to spend a day with family, friends or even strangers. But mixing sunshine and holidays works in mysterious ways, and whilst you might find yourself a holiday romance, you could also end up falling out with the rest of the crew – and then even a 55-foot yacht won’t feel big enough!

But coming together as a crew is easy - here’s our five rules for a happy crew to live by:

1. Tidy up your own mess!

A sparkling Clean CatamaranNo one likes to spend the week tidying up after the messy one of the group, and, whilst it might be acceptable on the first day of the holiday, by the end of the week, the ‘tidy’ members are going to get a bit fed up!

If you make a mess – you are responsible for tidying it up. And make no mistake, it needs to be tidied up now, and not just when you can be bothered to take a break from your sunbathing / reading / relaxing!

2. Do your share of the chores!

Cooking on a yachtBut there’s more to it than just tidying up after yourself – you also have to do your fair share of the housework. Whether that’s cooking and cleaning, doing the washing up, or keeping the boat nice and clean, then sadly the boat isn’t manufactured to do it all by itself, and, unless you have a Hostess, someone is going to have to do it.

It’s not rocket science that there are only 6 of you on board and that you’re going to have to help with the cooking and cleaning at least once or twice a week, but often you’ll find that it’s the same people who do it all the time.

So if you want a happy crew, make sure you pull your weight in the team. Likewise, every so often it will have to be your turn to go and make a brew or get the drinks in, so don’t argue and make a scene – just do it!

The only minor caveat to this rule is that the Skipper – if they choose – can claim that they are ‘busy’ looking after the boat. But if you’re a member of the crew, you’re a member of the team, and that means being a team player.

3. Be respectful (Let people sleep!)

Party on a yachtSome of your crew might like to head out until the early hours. Others might prefer to curl up in their bed and get a nice early night and to wake up for an early-morning swim. There are no rules, and different people want different things from a holiday.

That’s fine: do your own thing. But (and it’s a big but), don’t impose what you want to do on everyone else.

That means, if you’re getting back late and someone is already in bed, then don’t put the music on and continue the party on the boat – just be quiet and respectful and let them sleep. Likewise, if you’re the first one up, there is nothing funny about being woken up by some doofus banging around in the kitchen, or doing their yoga or press-ups or lunges whilst they’re stood directly above your cabin.

Play nicely, be considerate, and everyone will get along just fine.

4. Be nice (don’t argue!)

Arguements - not coolA week on-board a boat with someone is a long time, and you’ll find out all sorts of fascinating facts if you get your chat on long enough.

But there is a saying popular with landlubbers that you should avoid talking about politics, religion, or money, and the same is also true at sea. And there’s a reason why: these topics are the ones which are most likely to turn into heated discussions and cause friction between people. People will have to take sides, there’ll be animosity, all of a sudden he doesn’t want to talk to her, and she refuses to go to that bar with him, etc… it isn’t going to be pretty, and it will hit everyone’s morale…

But going further than that, it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep their words in check, and, no matter how much you want to talk about Brexit, or God, it’s better to keep schtum. Odds are that you weren’t going to convert anyone else to your way of thinking anyway.

So keep talk kind and gentle, don’t argue (even if you know they’re madly wrong) and, be aware that shouting at someone is a complete no-no.

5. Don’t hog the wheel (or the ropes)!

Don't hog the steering wheelFinally, everyone came to sail this mighty ship – not just you. Some people might not be as confident as you are at making a beeline for the ropes or the steering wheel, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to do it just as much as you. If you enjoy it, they will probably enjoy it, and therefore, you’re going to have to share.

That means waiting your turn, not being too eager to take the helm, and giving everyone a fair crack of the whip – including the newbies.

Sure, the newbies might not be as adept at the jobs as you are, but even you had to learn somehow, so give them a chance, and by the end of the week, you might just be a damn fine crew.