Christmas Message to Yacht Crew

To all those working away on ships and yachts during this Christmas period away from family and friends, do look out for each other. Stresses run high with guests on and missing key family events. Don’t be alone, my number is on the website and International Seafarers’ Welfare & Assistance Network (ISWAN)/ is manned over the holiday.

We are 300 days into the Russian and Ukraine War. We are wishing for a swift and peaceful outcome and a resolution to the sanctions. Some crew members have remained unpaid from yachts and some crew members are struggling to find new positions as a result.

I wanted to send a message to new and existing crew, please stop paying for poor CV writing services (free template on our website), unnecessary courses, and offered paid career services and advice. We are seeing more and more crew spending money on courses and advice to better their CV with no outcome. The yachting crew marketing has never been as competitive as it is now so I understand. I recently spoke with a green crew member who had 20 certificates to their name having been sold a dream. Call one of the team here and ask for advice Wilsonhalligan Recruitment. Our stew lounge webinars will be running in 2023 and the deck recruitment team have some ask-the-panel style questions planned.

Salaries, sadly another year with some stagnant and even declining salaries. As we see yachts under sanction or for sale crewing up again, we feel the supply and demand will even out which in turn brings up salaries. We have now seen a fleet of yachts offering equal rotation for all crew something that was discussed a year ago during GSF. The question is has it solved attrition?

During one dinner with a group of Captains this year, they were all very disappointed in the lack of loyalty and longevity in the crew both new and experienced. One Captain simply saw himself as a training yacht and had experienced 100% turnover in a year with his deck crew as he offered 5:1 month rotation and not 3:1. I would say this would be a great yacht, with a great Captain, crew, and owner but still sadly he struggles to keep crew for a year.

Is the grass always greener?

What is the solution to this?

References have been a very hot topic this year with Captains and HODs, the amount of falsely written references and written references that differ widely from verbal references are at an all-time high. We have had a higher-than-normal amount of reference checks saying the crew member was let go due to drugs. Is that due to more testing happening or are crew more widely using drugs?

Onward to 2023, with a record number of yacht sales this year and builds appearing from everywhere I see no slowdown in yachting ahead bucking the economic downturn. Our shoreside department is very busy with many yachting businesses expanding and opening in locations. If you are at sea looking to move ashore do make contact……

It has been a positive year with Wilsonhalligan overall. With Nicola Morgan on maternity leave since June, I had to do some very fast learning with taxes, VAT, and business organisation. The team is looking forward to her return in 2023.

We would like to thank the yachts and companies who continue to use our services and to crew to register and engage with us on their career journey. Crew looking for work do speak with your recruiter to get the best of our experience and expertise. Our trips to yards and yacht shows have been successful and we are enjoying again face-to-face meetings. Do always feel welcome to visit our office if you find yourself near Southampton.

Have a great Christmas and New Year, or Holiday Season as many call it.



Published by Liam Dobbin
Illustration: Ethereal Yachts