When we relaunched The Crew Report at the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show, we proclaimed the magazine was aimed at senior, professional superyacht crew. We wanted to get away from the ‘how-to’ articles and encourage crew to pick up a magazine without the sole aim of looking for photos of their friend at the latest dock party. And to that extent I am confident we have succeeded.
But the industry is changing. No longer do ‘senior’ and ‘professional’ come hand in hand. I do not mean that senior crew are not professional. Thankfully, most senior crew are – they wouldn’t be in a senior role otherwise. But over the past three years I’ve noticed that junior crew are becoming increasingly professional too. I do think we are moving, albeit calmly, away from the ‘backpacker’ industry.
This magazine has never been meant for members of the industry with no passion for their job. For this reason, in the past it has been focused on senior crew, but the way things have changed recently it’s time to expand the focus and include junior crew a bit more too.
If we want to encourage junior crew to take this job seriously and consider crewing as a professional long-term career option, we must treat them as such. If we treat them as ‘gap year backpackers’ then we’re suggesting that’s all they are. It’s almost as if a desperation to complain about junior crew has lead us to create a culture where that’s the only attitude we accept from junior crew, which isn’t fair on them. If we treat junior crew as proficient then we are rightly suggesting they are, or can be, competent, capable crew – which is exactly what we need.
If we create a culture of professionalism from day one of stepping on board as a crewmember then those lacking this will stick out like a sore thumb – it will be much easier to identify those who need to up their game and, should they decide not to, replace them with someone who can.
It is a two-way street, though. So I want to make a deal with you, the junior crew. We’ll up our game and treat you like the professionals you can be, but you have to match this and prove to us that you are the professionals we believe you are.
And when it comes to our end of the deal, we’ll start providing more advisory articles across the board – not just to captains and first officers, but deckhands and bosuns; not just to pursers and chief stews but to junior stews; not just to head chefs but to junior chefs; and not just to chief engineers but to junior engineers. We will do our best to support you in your career journey. Just remember to show us that you are the professionals we know you are.