“We are definitely noticing an increased demand for crew with professional qualifications in both fitness and water sports,” Louise Cailbourdin, crewing manager at The Crew Network, tells The Crew Report. “This is in keeping with frequent requests for full-length photos of crew plus their measurements to ensure pleasing to the eye, fit and healthy looking crew. More and more, it is simply not enough to be, for example, a deckhand with a Power Boat II,” she adds. “You should also offer a PADI, fitness or kite surf instructor qualification if you want to increase your chances of being hired.”
“Crew who invest in fitness related training and skills significantly increase their chances of finding employment in an increasingly selective recruitment market."
Cailbourdin adds that this demand has stretched to the galley, where more chefs focused on healthy cuisine and specific dietary requirements are requested more and more. Not only that, but the increasing size of superyachts also plays a role. “As vessels get bigger they have the volumes to accommodate spas, so we not only get requests for stewardesses with the full array of massage qualifications, we are now receiving requests for spa managers, hairdressers and beauticians,” explains Cailbourdin. “Crew who invest in fitness related training and skills significantly increase their chances of finding employment in an increasingly selective recruitment market.”
Mark Healy of MH Fitness Management, through his fitness-specialist services, has also seen this trend in the superyacht industry. “ Over the years I have seen a large increase in the importance of not only personal trainers but all aspects of the health and fitness industry on board yachts. Owners and guests have always been particular about their standards and it's only been in the last few years that the requests for other industry professionals such as yoga instructors, beauty therapists and massage therapist have become more prevalent.”
For Healy, if a charter yacht offers a gym, it makes sense to offer guests the trainer personnel too. “Unless the guests are extremely knowledgeable about exercise prescription, then why just offer them a gym without professional staff? It's an added bonus for the yacht to offer someone knowledgeable and therefore completes the service package. This is definitely a good thing for repeat chartering.”