1. You are here as a servant
You serve the party, you are not part of it.
2. Sleep when ever you can
Because there will be many times you can't, and some of those your life will depend on your ability to stay focused. If the choice is go to the bar or go to bed; go to bed.
3. You are responsible for your own safety
You and you alone, so manage your rest and double check everything. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Never take your eyes off the game. Be vigilant at all times.
4. Stupidity WILL lead to your death or permanent disability.
5. Do not take on more responsibility than you have the experience for
Once you have a Yacht MASTER rating, your errors in judgement and results of lack of knowledge now hold CRIMINAL liability. If your mistake gets someone killed, it's no longer a simple 'accident', you are on the hook for Manslaughter and prison time. You are not ready for any rating that reads 'Master' in its title after 1 year cleaning, handling lines and tenders, and some classes.
6. Save your money
Forgo the big watches/expensive hand bags, jewelry, and fashion items. You'll need that money to live on between jobs as you tend to be out of work in the industry more than at work.
7. Avoid big bar bills
for the reason above, however never forget to return a round to someone who bought you one. 2-3 drinks a night, 1-2 nights a week maximum. Do not be the drunk fool. The person you are throwing up or spilling your drink on tonight may be the person you are interviewing with tomorrow.
8. Avoid working on a boat where the captain is a regular feature at the local bars
Drunk captains are dangerous captains, and will get you hurt or killed.
9. Learn to be a minimalist
Living and personal storage space will be scarce, and shipping stuff home extremely expensive. You will not have the space to be a fashionista unless you want to sleep with your clothes taking up your tiny bunk.
10. Learn all the skills involved in your position
Learn all the skills involved in your position, then start learning the skills involved in all the other positions onboard. When you see a crew mate needs help, or you see something that needs doing, just do it. You are part of a crew, a team, there is nothing that is 'not your job'. It's only when you know all the jobs that you are ready to advance to mate or captain.
Most engineers are looking to upgrade to captain at some point, so they need to learn all the deck duties as well. The thing about the Master's position is that you need to be exactly that, Master. You have to know every job on the boat not only to operational competence, you need to know it well enough to teach it. I can do, and have done, every job on the boat, and still do when the need arises, be it scrubbing decks, beds and heads, or cooking.
Actually decks are stress therapy for me lol, I get to stand in the sun, listen to music, and play in water. Once I had a newish deckhand walk up to me as I was doing it looking kinda nervous, "Do you want me to to do that?" thinking he was failing at his job. My response was, "Hell no, I love doing this, you want to do something there's a whole stack of receipts on my desk that need to be added up and organized for the monthly reports. You do those while I play in the sun..." I think he got the impression I was nuts lol.
About the Author : Henning Heinemann is a Super Yacht Captain of 30 years. Holds qualifications of 3000ton Ocean Master, 1600ton Sail, Unlimited Towing and Commercial Pilot.
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