My opinion on big boats 🤷🏻♀️
I've been asked this question a few times and it always gets asked exactly the same way...
"What do you think of big boats? Did you enjoy working on them, cos I've heard mixed reviews? Some people say it was the best move they made and others say they don't want to be just a number??".
Before I go any further, I want to preface this by saying this is MY OPINION. We all have them and this is mine.
I personally LOVE the bigger motor yachts. They're my absolute favourite to work on.
To give you some context, over 8 years I worked on a 34m sailing yacht (SY) (I did 2 stints, I started as a Junior then got asked back to be Chief Stew a couple of years later), a 65m motor yacht (MY), 107m MY, 126m MY and a 134m MY.
I can categorically say I'm 100% a big boat person and wouldn't work on anything under 100m again (unless it was a temp job for a couple of weeks). I loved the crew on the smaller boats, but I still prefer over 100m. I'll talk about that shortly...
The people who say "you're just a number on a big boat" have 95% of the time never worked on a big boat, (or if they have, it must have been a shit one, and you get shit boats of all sizes). They're just repeating what they've heard other people say most of the time.
I heard it as a Junior Stew, & it's still being said now... "big boats are bitchy" and "you don't meet everyone".
Let’s break this down...
"Big boats are bitchy".
You get the Regina Georges of the world on all size boats. (If you haven't watched Mean Girls, go watch it right now). They don't specifically flock to big boats. 😂 Big boats don't advertise for "bitchy crew". Saying big boats are bitchy is the same as saying "offices on the 3rd floor of buildings are bitchy". You get bitchy, cliquey people in every walk of life and on all size boats, but most people are lovely!
If you're on a boat with bitchy crew, maybe that particular boat just isn't the right fit for you.
"You don't meet everyone".
Of course, you do! It's not a cruise ship with 2000 people. 😂 You may not know them reeeeally well & be their bff, but of course you'll meet everyone, you live in a steel bubble together. There will usually be people on rotations coming & going, so you get to work with different crew as people go & come back from leave.
Plus, you'll find your group of friends. If you don't, maybe it's not the right fit for you and you can leave to find a new job that IS the right fit.
"You're just a number".
Let's be honest, you're just a number wherever you work. Employees are replaceable. At the end of the day, a business will always put itself first over you. Which is fine, it's how the world works. 😁
There are of course differences between big & small boats, to name a few:
Big boats are generally more structured. With lots of crew, you need to keep things super organised or it would be total chaos. I love that though; I need structure & routine or it drives me nuts.
Smaller boats can get away with less structure/ more chill time as there’s less people & things to organise.
I said I love working on big boats. Here's why (again, my own PERSONAL views):
I love having more structure & routine in my days. You get that on big boats.
More space; bigger cabins, crew mess, crew lounge, places to workout. I don't like being confined to a tiny cabin where there's only room for one person to stand up at a time and one small crew mess to sit in. I like the big open spaces.
Continuing on the space... there's always somewhere to workout, gym equipment & you can go for a run around the boat or find a quiet place to sunbathe. It's much harder to do that on a small boat.
There are always people to hang out with. Whether that's watching a movie, going on a crew night out with 20 other people, or if you want to go for a walk, there's always someone keen to do things with. Or if you want some quiet time, there’s enough room.
A bigger team. I love working in a big team and spreading the workload between everyone, rather than being only 2 of you and having to do everything.
Specialising in one area, i.e., service or housekeeping. I've been both a housekeeping stewardess and Head of Service on 100m+ boats, and LOVED it all. It was so much fun.
Some people LOVE big boats, some people don't. Some people love small boats, others don't. It really is just personal preference. But don't knock either until you try them.
Over your yachting career you'll figure out what you like and what you don't like.
Unfortunately, there are always going to be nightmare crew in the industry, but they can be anywhere, big, medium or small boats. But most people you’ll meet are great.
Form your own opinions on things & not on other peoples experiences (even mine). I just wanted to give my two cents for those asking...
Love Georgia xx
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