One area of yachting that many feel could be improved is mentoring. We hear from captains about where on-board mentoring begins and how it can help bring a yacht’s crew together.

When it comes to mentoring crewmembers on board, where do, or should, captains start?

Captain Paul Kelly, S/Y Borkumriff IV
On my boat I have three crew who are keen to do their OOW and as such we began a scheme this summer to start on the Training Record Books. The only reason we are doing this is because nobody ever did it for me! As we are a private vessel there is no allowance for study leave and paid courses because we do not have the manning and qualification level requirements. I really feel that it is my duty to the crew to help them. We find the time, while on our summer trips, to plan ahead and try as best as possible to incorporate the various tasks into our daily schedule. I firmly believe that this benefits the boat in the long run; but not only that – the crew benefit also from learning 'good practice' and the 'MCA way' without actually working within these guidelines. The next boat any of us work on could be commercial so it is always best to hit the ground running.

Captain Ian Westman, M/Y Sofia

I think it's important that offering your guidance and mentoring to younger crew needs to hold relevance based on what we ourselves have learned through the course of our professional development. However, it is up to them as to what and how much of this they want to take on board for themselves. It certainly cannot be forced down their throats.

Every senior person is a potential mentor. To get things going, it’s first up to the best and brightest of the junior crew to earn it out of them.

Captain Clive Carrington-Wood
Many yacht crews receive very little training. They are expected to learn by osmosis by captains who assume they know their jobs inside out, who haven’t taken the trouble to get to know them and discover their levels of ability and ambition but are quick to blame them when they make mistakes. Many mistakes are made by crewmembers who simply don’t know what their captain needs and wants, and why.

Anonymous captain, 70m motoryacht
I believe that mentoring is an earned privilege rather than a right. It is given in direct relation to the attitude and ethic of whoever is requesting it. Mentors should not be assigned, recognising that it naturally happens to those who seek it appropriately.
Every senior person is a potential mentor. To get things going, it’s first up to the best and brightest of the junior crew to earn it out of them. Learning to do so successfully is hard to fake and builds on the exact real-world skills needed to actually do the senior jobs once they get there.

Find the full article in issue 72 of The Crew Reportdownload now.

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