Crew Houses are BnB or backpacker type communes. Most crew houses have cozy environments with shared rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, laundry, and common lounge areas.
There are also usually computers and printers available to help crew with the job-hunting process.
When you're new to yachting staying a crew house is the best way to get your foot in the door of the industry. You'll also be in the right place to network with other crew, both newcomers and seasoned professionals and hear about jobs as they come up.
But beware -- staying in a crew house is not only a place to sleep, it’s the first day of an extended interview for a yachting job.
You might feel like one of the crew (or wish you were), but the truth is, you’re a guest here.
Be on your best behavior and act like you’re staying at someone’s home.
This means keeping your space tidy, cleaning up after yourself in the bathroom, the kitchen, and the common areas, and making sure you’re not causing a burden on others.
Remember, if your housemates are working long days at the marina, they want to come home to a restful space. Make it easy for them and you’ll be remembered.
On the same note, be aware of your noise levels - don’t play loud music or hold loud video conversations. In short - keep the noise down.
Oasis Crew House, Antibes, France
Go above and beyond and don’t wait for someone to ask for your help.
Doing dishes? Take care of the extra coffee cups left to soak in the sink.
Running a load of laundry? Ask if you can include the hand towels or your roommate’s sheets.
Add value and be a helper.
Yacht crews are tight-knit and expect every member of the team to do what they can to pitch in and lighten the load.
If you can demonstrate these skills at the crew house, you’ll be seen as an asset to the team onshore or on a yacht.
Living alongside crew of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the career and fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge.
Take the chance to ask about the best and worst experiences, lessons learned, and tricks of the trade.
But be thoughtful here - you don’t want to turn the crew house into a stressful environment where your housemates can’t unwind and forget about work for a while. Balance your questions with a healthy amount of non-work related banter.
Crew houses are for sleeping -- solo. Many crew houses have strict rules about bringing home a date, and others have nearly as strict unwritten rules.
Often you’re sharing a room with someone. The last thing they want is to be thrown out onto the couch in the wee hours just because you found a hot prospect at a bar.
If you’ve got a date, make an alternate plan, but don’t bring him or her back to your crew house.
Smart Move Crew House, Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Most crew houses are zero-tolerance environments for drug and alcohol abuse. A few beers or a glass of wine won’t violate this -- but anything more serious definitely will.
Yachting is a career that requires safety, honesty, and responsibility.
Any aspiring crew members seen to be using illegal drugs or acting irresponsibly with alcohol aren’t likely to get a positive recommendation.
Keep your habits clean and refrain from significant drinking and ANY illegal drug use while you’re staying in a crew house and seeking work -- it’s the only way to make sure you’ll be considered as a serious candidate!
Pineapple Crew House, Antigua, West Indies
If you’re leaving home for the first time to begin a career in the yachting industry, crew houses provide a warm place to rest your head and a safe space to call your own while you look for that first job.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be a model crew house guest - and well on your way to building some lasting relationships in the yachting world.
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