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Sexual harassment
Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008 9:32 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 41

I just had a young female crewmember email me about how she lost her job when she complained to the owners about being sexually harassed by the captain. She first dealt with the captain directly but when the problem continued and she feared for her safety, she went to the owners. They said they would look into it, but guess what? She's out of a job now.

This isn't the first time I've heard that the one who complained (with what sounds like very legitimate concerns) is the one to be let go. It's a bit shocking to me the lack of human resource guidelines, protection, what have you, in this industry. As yachting becomes more regulated in nearly every aspect, the right to hire and fire is an area that's been ignored.

Has anyone else had this experience? How rampant is sexual harassment in the industry?

Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2008 3:46 AM
Hmm, I heard about sexual harrassment on yachts back in the 80's and it was pretty much out in the open.  Those of you who were around back then could name at least 5 yachts in Ft. Lauderdale that only hired good looking stews (I guess it depends on what you call good looking) with hardly any experience, but they looked like a model in a Smallwood's catalog, so why not.  Well, some of those stews knew exactly what they were getting into and a few even married the owners.  Of course, then there were the majority of stews out there looking for a job and were harassed because some owners and captains felt they could get away with it.  Some did.  Had it been my sister, there would have been a Queens, NY moment.  Seriously, I believe the sexual harrassment issue today is minimal compared to yesterday.  Hopefully...
Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 5:22 PM

Just being in the yachting industry for a short while I've come to find that captains have at times lived up to the "Salty Dog" stereotype. And what guy wouldn't want to look at pretty girl? Even people walking on the docks do. My concern was having to make a compromise (Stay and keep dealing with the captain or leave the job) because I work on a yacht. This is taken to a whole other level in the workplace. I mean you can't have pornos laying around your desk at work and especially on a 9-5 work day.. 

 If she hadn't said anything and left she'd probably have a letter of reccomendation and another friend in this small community. I guess if you make it a point to let the person know what they are doing is upsetting you and if they don't stop say something to the owners because it may be a "great" job but it's compromising your dignity.

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:41 AM

I think that if you want to work in a male dominated industry you need to be able to take things in stride and with a sense of humor.  You can't expect that every comment about everything oriented toward womento be about you personally.  To me, sexual harassment is comments about getting to where you are because of things you may have done for or with men.  Not jokes, or comments or porn magazines.

And I am a female with many years of experience with all men crews. 

Posted: Saturday, October 18, 2008 11:52 AM

Sexual harrassment is rampant in this industry. So i was told by a crew agency after experiencing it myself on a yacht that particular agency had placed me on. From about day 3 on the new job the captain started making sexual comments, a week later when i was out shopping with the engineer he made me a proposal - we should hook up, it will be our liitlle secret. I turned him down and from then on , he stopped talking to me  and would only make insulting comments. Once we started with charter the chef and engineer after a few weeks at sea both started making disgusting comments to me when i was alone with them in the galley. Of course i tried to laugh it all off, take it in my stride, be above it , ignore it etc etc. All came to a head however when for some reason i was passing the chef in a passage. we were alone. he grabbed me and grabbed my breasts. I was shocked and stunned into silence for 2 days. I was forced to speak up however when i realised that when the chef had grabbed me he had pulled a muscle in my back . Obviousely when i resisted him in the process he had  hurt a  muscle in my back when he yanked me. So now i had an injury ( which i can still feel - 2months later) so I went to the chief stew and captain. They did 'the right thing' and sent me to the doctor to get my back checked out. when the chef found out that i had complained he cornered me alone in the galley and threatened my job . He told me' its over for you now, bye,bye'. My situation was not helped by the fact that the captain and chef were tight.we were a week away from the end of the charter. One week later when the charter guests disembarked I was told to leave the boat. 

This industry is not regulated. Captains have no management training or conflict management skills. There are no proper procedures in place to deal with problems. Crew have no recourse when they are mistreated. Women are often harrassed and undermined. The rest of the world has moved on but the yachting industry has been left behind. A fat pay packet is not a good reason for good people to be treated badly.

Posted: Saturday, October 18, 2008 1:58 PM can be a very difficult situation for the single girls living onboard. You live in close quarters with guys that you probably don't find attractive...but you should consider the possibility that they may find you attractive and that they see you day in day out. After work, when in harbour, you get all dolled up, maybe with midriffs bare and skirts short , fantastic make up. You pass through  the crews mess like a fashion show catwalk. Now, imagine that one of the male crew ( sorry, I guess I should also say female crew to be perfectly pc!) has his/her interest aroused by your passing by...its exactly the effect you want to have, just probably not with that person!! So, do your Captain, crew and yourself a favour. If any crew make continued unwelcome advances, deal with it in a professional manner ....withering looks, comments to the effect that you would rather turn gay / straight  than go out with them;  put them down in front of their colleagues etc etc. I have seen all of these methods used to good effect in the many years that I have been working on yachts and observing the mating habits of crew and usually that is the end of the problem. A few laughs, a red face maybe, but on the whole it works, just as you know it does everywhere else on the planet. Good humour, intelligence and nipping in the bud are the key elements of dealing with your crewmates overenthusiastic behaviour.

If you cannot do this then maybe you are working in the wrong enviroment and I suggest that you move on to another career. Is sexual harrasment wrong?...of course it is, and no Captain, head of department or anyone at all should turn a blind eye and put up with it. Usually it will be the same culprit on each crew who is a repeat offender, trying to chat up each new arrival . This will soon become apparent to other crew members and the officers etc. A word or two in that crewmembers ear, from a colleague or friend to the effect  that he is out of order will, once again, correct that persons misunderstanding that their behaviour is acceptable. The crew must be self regulating as a team.

But the yacht enviroment IS very different from civvy steet and crew need to have a thicker skin to deal with these problems than they maybe would working elsewhere.

So, young studs and studesses, be aware of the effect that you may have on your fellow crew and behave accordingly.

PS, If it's the Captains advances that you cannot abide and he won't be put off then yours is the rock and hard place situation. ( No pun intended). You probably do not want to work for him anyway, so quit early before it gets out of hand or you get fired, make a report to the owner and management company, hold your head high and get a better job.


Posted: Saturday, October 18, 2008 4:20 PM

Sexual harrasement is a pretty complex issue.  There are many components that need to be looked at and understood to get the full picture with each boat and the responsibilities of all parties involved.  Having been in charge of young American women overseas I can say, as an American and from experience that they have a tendency to believe that they can do whatever they want whenever.  There is the issue of cultural differences in attitudes and interactions between men and women.  None are better than the other, it's just what we are used to and feel comfortable with.  BE AWARE of this and learn to act and behave accordingly.  Second there are steps are better taken in dealing with issues.  If I were to have a problem with a captain, being female, I would not go to the owners first.  I would be going back to the agents and other industry people, outside of those connected to the boat, who I know and trust to get there advice and imput on what steps to take.  They'll likely know a hell of lot more than me the deal with the captain and the owner, for one.  Also, the owner is more likely than to stick with his/her captain than not.  Next, I would suggest that the person be dead honest with themself and carefully look at their actions and behavior and ask themselves if they were OR not putting themself in a precarious situation. IF yes, consider changing your behavior and be more professional at your interview and on the boat.  IF no, then look at what your course of action is and what you need to do for yourself and what you are willing to do for yourself.  And, NO, I am not advocating lawsuits.  They're making it hard enough for me to work on boats and with people that I do want to work with, as a non-American with dual citizenship.  Women need to be conscious of working in a male dominated industry and men sexual attitudes (applying this also to men who are being conscientious and correct in their behavior -- if you're going to walk into a room full of testosterone, you need to be aware of the ramafications of that on you and do what you need to take care of yourself).  Men need to be conscientious about the need to be professional (if your testosterone sky rockets when a female walks in the room, you need to find ways to keep yourself in check).  And captains, above all, need to be professional and manage correctly and have a clear structure of communication to work with in all situation and in especially in more personal situations such as this.  And I would say that there are probably more than 5 boats where this is truly and issue -- today and yesterday.

Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2008 9:47 AM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83

This is an age old problem on yachts sadly. It is not soley aligned to Captains but many crew; mainy male. It is the Captains who have used their 4 stripes to advantage their situation and they have been able to hide behind this. Also the situation of being at sea; away from "home" and ports. They see that often no one will find out; it is "your word against theirs" and this is often why owners don't listen to the poor girl who told them that the Captain has been making a sexual unwanted advance or worse physical contact. He will I imagine often site that "she made the first advance" etc etc.
I have been lucky not to have had any of my crew in 14 years report to me any unwanted advances or worse still; physical harm. One stewardess last season had been fondled by an over amorous dance partner Captain; who was renown for such behaviour; but only her feathers were ruffled and nothing more. However in the few years I was Mate I was aware of my Captain being more just verbally harrassing. Hands up skirts; touching bottoms and breasts. If they didn't like it they got the boot. There was nothing I could do about it unfortunately; although when I was around it didn't happen so I tried to me about as much as possible.
I wish I could but for obvious reasons I can't, I'd love to name these guys and the yachts they worked on. I am sure their wives would like to hear the stories also. Many girls would relate to these names I am sure as they are very well known men. These Captains weren't stunners either I might add; so perhaps that was why they tried to use their position to further their advances!
May I suggest to those girls out there that if they have been assaulted physically to make a formal complaint to the local Police authorities.Yes it is fine to deal with these mongrels onboard with the correct words; embarrassment and snubs etc etc. Not everyone has that ability though.Perhaps try a fleeting reply to these guys that have just made some nasty comment to you; as you walk by just say....."not interested thanks" and carry on. Go about your job as normal.
It is often the quieter and less confident girls these guys go for for obvious reasons. Go to the Police; they will at least make an enquiry and at least it will scare the hell out the purpotrator and make him think twice about doing it again.Then I suggest go and work for a better Captain and one who can appreciate beauty by looking rather than touching!
Capt Kaj

Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2009 9:26 AM

I have read a lot about, and experienced from a judicial point of view ,sexual harrasment on the yachts and though I am convinced that many claims are well founded have also come to the conclusion that there are a majority of incidences where the harassment is an excuse to compensate the ego of someone who was dismissed for another reason, such as incompetence or worse. So be careful what you say.

A recent example, that if it was not so slanderous to the captain concerned, would have given me reason for amusement. A long term friend of more than twenty years was recently approached by his vessels management company to know the details of a crewmembers dismissal. The crewmember had, when applying for another position with the same agent, given reason for dismissal from the previous vessel, as resultant of having rejected the sexual advances of the Captain.

This claim initially instigated a harrassment claim, subsequently the crewmember is facing a defamation suit. Why?? Because the captain concerned is incapable of feeling sexual drive.  

In the more distant past, a first hand incident while on a flottila charter, An associate skipper was taken off his yacht in mid charter and sacked, while one mof the guests had complained he had made unwanted advances. This seemed unlikely as I had witnessed first hand how she was (attempting) to be all over him during the BBQ the night prior. With him gone I was her next victim, and literally covered my ass by not allowing myself to be alone in her proximity, though she threatened to make the same complaint to the company about me, the boss, fortunately got the big picture, diplomatically sent my then girlfriend to skipper the dismissed associates yacht.... the associate was reinstated, the guest remained frustrated......could have been worse, I was amused

Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2009 3:44 PM
The Us vs. Them saga (captain vs. crew) a professional captain who honestly has never sexually harassed a female, I say there is no place for sexual harassment. I am very conscious to me speech, body language, and proximity to female crew. I do not put my hands on female crew in any manner. experience has been that I feel females play it both ways. They use sexuality to their advantage when it suits them, but make it an issue when it doesn't. I am convinced that for the many females that have worked with me, see that they will get absolutely no where with me in terms of preferential treatment or favors due to them being female, they take on a whole different disposition, usually to the negative.

Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2009 6:10 PM
Anonymous wrote:

I think that if you want to work in a male dominated industry you need to be able to take things in stride and with a sense of humor.  You can't expect that every comment about everything oriented toward womento be about you personally.  To me, sexual harassment is comments about getting to where you are because of things you may have done for or with men.  Not jokes, or comments or porn magazines.

And I am a female with many years of experience with all men crews. 



The only response that I would want to give to this particular posting is:  I sincerely hope this poster ends up in the same situation as this stewardess had gone through. That and this poster has just proved the lack of quality and intelligence she has as a woman and as a crew member.


Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2009 6:14 PM

"This industry is not regulated. Captains have no management training or conflict management skills. There are no proper procedures in place to deal with problems. Crew have no recourse when they are mistreated. Women are often harrassed and undermined. The rest of the world has moved on but the yachting industry has been left behind. A fat pay packet is not a good reason for good people to be treated badly. "



And where in the hell have you been since DW opened this place??? Thanks for your smart comments about the truth that goes on this biz!  God bless ya girl.


Posted: Monday, May 18, 2009 12:38 AM
Anonymous wrote:
The Us vs. Them saga (captain vs. crew) a professional captain who honestly has never sexually harassed a female, I say there is no place for sexual harassment. I am very conscious to me speech, body language, and proximity to female crew. I do not put my hands on female crew in any manner. experience has been that I feel females play it both ways. They use sexuality to their advantage when it suits them, but make it an issue when it doesn't. I am convinced that for the many females that have worked with me, see that they will get absolutely no where with me in terms of preferential treatment or favors due to them being female, they take on a whole different disposition, usually to the negative.

Cpt. MALE,

Proceed to sign up with the times and common sense and refer to females as WOMEN.  


Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 6:49 PM
What if the harassment comes from an owner?? Working as a solo stewardess on a private yacht where the owner lived aboard most of the time, his wife around for half of that- and as the stewardess, I was up in the evening pouring him his drinks. Over the course of months, he started making comments and finally tried to grab me on a number of occasions. I was obviously horrified, and managed to slip out of the situation as gracefully as possible. Told the captain (and to his credit, he was ready to raise some hell with the owner about the behavior) but I decided to leave the yacht under my own terms and gave a plausible excuse - returning to school to upgrade certificates- and got a good reference out of the deal, unfortunately, only stayed for 8 months, thus showing a short-term gig on the cv. However, if the matter had been brought up to the owner, I am sure that it would have caused a bit ripple and I would have been fired for daring to complain. I think as a new owner, he maybe thought that he was within his rights. Anyway, it's unfortunate, but I did what I could to save myself from anything more than his attempted gropings, and got myself a good reference. If I had stayed longer and it had continued, then I can guarantee that my response to him would have ended up causing him bodily harm by way of self-defense, which would not be a good way to make a name for myself in the industry....however satisfying it would have been.
Posted: Friday, June 12, 2009 3:57 PM
Joined: 12/06/2009
Posts: 5

From my experience I would say that sexual harassment in the industry is rampant. I cringe when I hear people say you have to be "thick skinned" to work in a male dominated industry. That goes without saying, but no means no and when someone draws a boundary it should be respected. I have found it very hard to get any legal assistance with my case. I am currently seeking other avenues. I lost my job because I would not sleep with the owner when he showed up without his wife. That is wrong!
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:08 AM
Joined: 11/06/2009
Posts: 2

1, 2 , 3 STRIKES YOUR OUT!!!!
 Sexual harassment is what it is; no matter how you slice it. Regardless of how you look or act....
By the 2nd warning start looking for a new ship. By the 3rd warning report it, have it on record and don't back down......Leave with your head high and learn from it..
 To get RESPECT you have to have SELF RESPECT, when you have that no one can dominate you, or hold it over


Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:49 AM
Joined: 16/07/2008
Posts: 11

Unbelievable! I cannot believe some of the responses to this sexual harassment discussion.

 It has been considered normal to hear men say that we women at times bring it on ourselves when sexual harassment occurs, but to hear women saying suck it up, take it in stride with a sense of humor is astounding.

O.k. guys and this includes you Captains too. We all work in an industry that allows us to make some real serious money and have what so many other people only wish for, so get your heads out of your pants and take your job serious.  Putting your hands on "anyone" without permission is against the law and if you think about it you would realize that making sexual comments or touching the girl without her permission is only going to get you "no-where fast". It is not new news that us women do not like having to deal with the nasty comments or being touched without permission. For those of you who say there are some girls who use their sexuality to get special favors, you might be right, but if you were the better person you wouldn't play into the situation. Believe it or not, if you're that interested in a girl and you would like to have a chance to really get to know her; "Treat her like a Lady". Chances are you might get lucky!

Now for the girl who wrote suck it up, take it in stride with a sense of humor, or to the one who said this is a male dominated industry and you need to expect it. You must be out of your mind! First of all this is no longer a male dominated industry. Take a good look around and you will see there are more and more women in positions that only men used to do. Captains, Mates, Deckhands and Stew positions are held by women today. Let's say for the sake of it that this is a male dominated industry. Not in this life time does it mean women should have to tolerate feeling uncomfortable at her job. Never should we think that we need to suck it up, smile, or giggle when we hear comments that are offensive. So many women have been raped because they thought they had to put up with nasty comments or being touched without permission. I know this through my own personal experience.

As for owners of boats coming on board forcing their sexual ideals on the girls, I would say pack your bags as fast as you can and run like hell. There is nothing you can do except report it to the authorities when you get back to shore. And of course, say good-bye to your job. It might be what some say comes with the territory, but I refuse to live in a world where I have to feel it is my duty to put up with the crap!

For the Captains who hire girls because of their merits and to all the guys who show us respect, THANK YOU!

Listen closely women! A job is never that important to have to work with men who have no respect for you or even for themselves. It's not fair, but until all of us women put our foot down and demand to be treated with respect it is only going to continue. For those girls who do use their looks or sexuality to get special favors, you are the reason this problem continues. So stop it! Your better than that. Why not try showing and demanding that you be hired because you have a brain. Because you can do the job without having to sleep your way to the top. I did!!!

Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 6:03 PM
Joined: 22/11/2009
Posts: 14

I don't know whether these are all US boats in US waters and Americans but once outside the country the rules are with you GIRLS, standard shipping stuff.
Visit the port Captain in any port and say you need to leave because of harrasment on board and they will march on board with port police force the captain to pay you uptodate, escort you to your cabin to retreive your possessions, and get money for your air fare home.
Heard it happening more then once and witnessed it once on the boat I was on ( Antibes based Bermuda flag vessel ) actually in Bermuda but that made no difference, our new temp Captain was the problem with a new temp cook and he got sacked when we hit the the dock back in Antibes.
Its a very powerful tool.
Any EU national can be arrested in any EU country, things are changing.
More then one girl complains about the same person the bloke might be tagged as a sexual preditor.
I could imagine an agency putting you on a vessel where they KNOW this has happened may be facing a lawsuit, once that is made public others may also come forward etc blah blah blah.
Educate yourself before you get on board GIRLS about what you can do.
Only make complaints to the Captain with a witness etc.
Make sure you are classified as a seaman by whatever rules your country has, get a seamans book, join a union ( keep that a secret though)

Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:28 PM
Joined: 16/03/2009
Posts: 3

I think it all depends on what you are calling sexual harassment. If you tell a stewardess that she looks pretty, is that harassment? What if you tell her she looks hot, is that harassment? Some women have a hard time telling the difference between a compliment and harassment.
Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:10 PM
I had been working on a yacht for almost a year when I caught the captain trying to give me a spiked drink...a drink with some kind of pill crushed up in it. We were stuck in an isolated marina...our departure was delayed due to a huge storm and the other two crew members had to fly home to take care of something personal, so it was just the captain and myself onboard. I'm a very cautious person who has always vowed to never allow myself to become a victim. The captain, who was always very professional, and would barely ever speak to me, became very flirty and chummy--a side of him I had never seen before. By recognizing his unusual behavior, I was wide eyed and on my toes which is how I caught him trying to give me a spiked drink. Long story short--in a split second I weighed my options: confront him and risk his reaction, alone on the boat in an empty marina, far from any town, in the middle of the night--or, play it off like I didn't notice and say I was tired and go to my room. I chose the latter, right or wrong--I'm still not sure. It was the longest night of my life as I sat on my bed, door barricaded, mace in one hand, my swiss army knife in the other. I had emailed my mom about what was going on--it was the only source of communication available and I decided I needed to let her know just incased of anything. My heart pounded and my body wouldn't stop shaking. I prayed for morning to come, when the other crew members would be returning. I didn't sleep one second.. The voyage home was a quiet one. The captain wouldn't look at anyone and the other crew kept mentioning what a bad mood he was in. He knew I had caught him. That day when we arrived to our home port I stepped off the boat and never looked back. I know this story doesn't convey just how scary it was, but I was pretty traumatized from it for a while. My family wanted to kill him and they did their own online investigating and discovered he is a registered sex offender. I thought about going to the police, but I had no proof and I was so afraid they would accuse me of crying wolf and I was still rather new to the industry and afraid I would come out with a bad reputation in the industry. He was a well-known and liked captain and I was a nobody. I even thought about quitting working on boats. But ultimately decided if I did that, in a way the captain would win. I loved working on boats and didn't want him to ruin that for me. I didn't want to tell anyone in the industry about what happened, and didn't want to list the captain as a reference. I just didn't want to be connected to him in any way. And I realize how bad it may look--when you don't have any reference listed for a boat you worked on for nearly a year. One crew agent grilled me about why I wasn't listing him as a reference, when I had worked for him longer than any other boats--and pretty much accused me of being fired as my reason for not listing him--I told her, well if you really want to know.... And I told her. As I told the story of that night my body actually started to shake, remembering what had happened. And you know what! She responded like she didn't believe me at all and I was just another young girl who was trying to cover her own tail by making some huge accusation against a man/captain. After that I decided I'd never tell anyone again, because I feel like in this industry everyone just wants to sweep everything under the rug. What should a woman do, in this industry, when sexually harassed? Unfortunately there are women out there who cry wolf and make false accusations for attention (or to divert attention). But what about those of us who are actually victims of harassment? Ladies--be smart, be cautious, be aware and never let yourself get in a position where you could be a potential victim.
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:23 AM
Joined: 22/11/2009
Posts: 14

I hope your family emailed the sex offender data to all the agencys

Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:13 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Hmm, Carrying a can of mace with you on yachts. You realize that in many countries mace, pepperspray is illegal ? and you can cause huge problems for the yacht and your fellow crew if caught with it. Oh Well, perhaps the situation on the other side of the Atlantic is bad ? Soon stun guns ? Don't know. I do know that yachts are no different from real life. I'm sure sexual harassment happens . A good way for girls to avoid it is to act appropriately. Put yourself in my shoes as a captain during the peak, frenzied spring fall hiring season . I just cant go to the pub with my mates without some plumped up girl, drink in her hand hustling me for a job. It get so tiresome that many times I go invisible, avoid the pub and girls on the prowl for the whole period. I remember a few years ago , after the prize giving in St Tropez, returning to the boat, walking into my cabin and finding a drunk girl whom I was talking with earlier, sitting on my bed , telling me she wants to work on the yacht and sail to the Caribbean . Think about it......
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1:40 PM
Junior, I think you completely missed the point of the previous post. When someone "spikes " your drink, it is usually in order render you unconscious to sexually assault you. So in this instance, I don't think the poor girl was worried about the legality of carrying mace, she was trying to protect herself from getting raped. That guy got off lucky, if it was me I would have gone to the engine room, foung a large heavy tool, and made sure he never concidered such an assinine idea again. Maybe that's why i've not had this problem? As for the tramps you are attracting, I can only surmise one thing... You run a really Hot boat???
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010 11:28 PM

Yachting Issues Lets get things started. Tell us what you have experienced in the yachting world. Everybody thinks its sunshine and roses as nobody wants to talk about the issues and things that do happen in the yachting world.

this is why there is Yachting Issues to get things out in the open

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 3:21 AM
There is nothing that ever happens in yachting that doesn't happen in the rest of the world where there are people working together. Probably less so actually if you think about it. Yachties just think they are special.
Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 4:42 AM
Joined: 03/02/2009
Posts: 5

"There is nothing that ever happens in yachting that doesn't happen in the rest of the world where there are people working together. Probably less so actually if you think about it. Yachties just think they are special."

And your point is.....?

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 3:46 PM
In January I lost my job on a boat where I was really happy. The captain had had my resume for 6 months. I thought it a little strange that he'd offer a job via email, without even a proper phone interview. But I needed a permanent job and he agreed to the high salary I requested.

From the time I started, he would frequently and overtly check out my body, no matter who was around. I guess he was trying to flirt. He would appear behind me and start massaging my shoulders. He scheduled our midnight watches together and told me he wished he and I could talk more often. He made regular remarks in front of everyone about how sexy I was. I would have left, but I really enjoyed the rest of the crew and everyone just rolled their eyes. I was not the first conquest. They informed me that he had been "talked to," that there were other women who'd left because of his behavior. I avoided being alone with him as much as possible and did my job well.

One day a bunch of us were in the crew mess and I put a dish into the cupboard behind him. He looked me up and down. In the interest of humorously making a point, I called him a "dirty old man" and left the room. On my way out I heard him say- "You know what the difference is? You're NOT 25!" As if somehow it made it okay that I was nearly his age.

Eventually his attitude toward me became bitter; he was directly argumentative. I ignored the pouting and remained cheerful, played dumb or left the room.

In January, after our fifth and final charter, he let me go in a meeting with the Chief Stew. He claimed my salary was too high for a "charterless season." I asked him if it was personal. Nope. I asked if it was based on my job performance at all. Nope. I later found out the contract stipulates that both crew and yacht owe 30 day notice for termination. Since I got 3 (read: t-h-r-e-e) days notice I asked for 27 days compensation. To this day he refuses to pay me. He made up examples of how I broke the contract and claimed that I had actually been fired.

The First Mate told me later that he complained constantly that I "reminded him of his wife," who he did not get along with. Because of this (and for no other reason; I was good at my job) he wanted me off the boat.

I think we all know the real reason I was let go. It's just a shame this industry has no real recourse for people who've been wronged in this way. This captain has been in the industry for years and (apparently) has a great reputation. Lots of friends in FL and when I've told people the story, they look at me like I'm nuts. My consolation is that as of now- only one month later - all but 3 of the crew has left the boat because of his rude behavior. And even those have approaching D-Days. He's not a good captain nor is he a good manager. He's got no education, he's condescending and rude, unprofessional, drinks far too much and has obvious issues with women. And yet we give these men unquestioned authority for entire organizations where our lives are at stake on the ocean.

For those of you who say I should have known or I should have adjusted my behavior, that is blame-the-victim mentality and it exempts the perpetrator from responsibility for his own actions. Everyone is responsible for his/ her actions. Even people who kill someone after a lifetime of abuse are punished for murder. Just because someone walks by in a skirt doesn't mean you're justified to act on your basest instincts.

Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 4:43 PM
Wow, this is a great post topic and pertinent. There are indeed many complexities to the harrassment issue. I would also like to remind everyone, especially the American crew members... If you are not on a US Flagged vessel, then a different set of legal standards may very well apply. Also, if the ship is in international water a different set of legal standards may very well apply. I am an American, 45 years old, and well travelled as you may imagine, and I see Americans making assumptions, over and over, that are simply not correct all the time. I am NOT saying sexual harrassment is correct, but I am saying to recall that what is culturally the "norm" in the US is not always the "norm" everywhere else. Suppose for instance you were on a vessel flagged in an Arabian/Muslim country... Just throwing that into the conversation.
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 11:17 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Anonymous wrote:
The USA and its stupid legal system is not the norm, its the exception and those involved in International Work should realize that.

It really isn't as bad as all that. The standards to actually be able to pursue and win a sexual harassment case in court are pretty straight forward and tight. "Making someone uncomfortable" does not count in the US, you pretty much have to threaten their job. What people perceive as the legal standards and what they actually are are typically two different things.

Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 6:46 PM
No.. all you need is "offend" them. Like the boss who recounted a Seinfeld episode and was sued for $Millions. And Offend can mean different things to different people, nevertheless its very vague and with a hungry savvy lawyer it means you virtually cannot socialize or talk casually with your employees or you risk being sued. Even if you win, you ave to pay $50K -$100K++ for legal fees. One off color joke and you are history! as many have proven. So thats why its simply better to avoid US women as employees if you can and a US Flag as well. Certainly not hard to do.
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 9:50 PM
well like the other girls your story doesnt help anybody unless you give us a name so we can do our own research, as for Junior, [removed by moderator] she wasnt a drunk girl looking for a quick job trying to chat up a captain at a pub [removed] read the story [removed] , this sounds like he was planning a night in, anyway like i said you should post his name and anyone else with similar stories, these blokes need to take a long holiday sift out the crap from the industry otherwise yea some other poor soul may fall victim to these sleeze,
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 10:54 PM
Joined: 22/10/2010
Posts: 12

Well seems your angry, jealous and disgruntled.. not much will be accomplished that way. If someone hurt you, take it out on them please !
Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2011 3:31 AM
Joined: 01/04/2010
Posts: 15

So girls...

You're working on a yacht owned by a 70 year old billionare who is surrounded by young beautiful women.

They are all there because they think he is witty, hansum and a nice fellow.

Bullshit... It's all about money and from what I,ve seen these girls are basically prossies.

Sorry some owners see you as little more than "meat for the beast"

Welcome to the real world of big money.

Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2011 3:35 PM
ok , How interesting it has been .. reading about all the unfair treatments in the yachting industry. Fortunately you can now do something about it. ladies and gentlemen all that have had some unfair treatment of sorts that seem scary to air out.Here is the solution. Do not fear , your identity is protected with these people , all you have to do is tell them the name of the yacht and the name of the person that treated you unfairly.Just knowing that their names are with these guys is enough to get the offenders in line immediately if they value their careers because these people will pass the information confidentially of course to all the crew agencies and management companies along with certain inquiring individuals .It has to be genuine though and they will investigate in their own way to make sure the story is true so please do not try anything silly. They are professionals and very discreet , and they are sailors too so they know the inner scoop, know how hard it is to root out the seemingly nice guys/girls. You will need to tell them your name for authenticity checks and the , yacht and persons involved. These guys will then take the info and confirm it from then on you will start to see the bad guys shaping up or shipping out. send your emails to and watch the yachting inner works get cleaned up
Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2011 4:23 PM
these guys are known as the crewtamers , they are anonymous so you cannot tract them down even online so imagine what happens when an anonymous email hits the desk of the charted yacht agents with damning facts , careers and reputations will be at stake and the word on the dock will be rather interesting as the boxing gloves come out , its really good and and its free for the hurt. i used it and saw instant results so the least i can do is share the info.
Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011 11:34 AM
Joined: 01/04/2010
Posts: 15


If I got an email that stated that my reaction would be.

Ermmm. I need some real proof before I say anything.

And... I wouldn't do anything anyway.

Not my problem.

Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011 3:26 PM
They investigate well , the fact that your name , vessel name and the person reporting you has details already confirms there is a problem , you would not receive the first email , you management company would or charter broker / boss , so you would start by investing in attorneys to fight back. so money and time are what you will be parting with to deal with your problem along with maintaining a reputation you worked so hard to build for years... is it worth the trouble?... think about it. from what i saw this is serious so a person reporting must have a valid reason to do's not a light matter.
Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 11:27 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

You just better make dang sure you got the story straight before you send email one. BTW, who is paying for this investigation? Proper investigation of something like this takes a lot of time and resource. It is just as easy for you to be "played" by some disgruntled manipulative person so you can't just go by Hear Say, you need evidence. Considering the pay scales involved even at crew levels you can be sued for compensatory damages of millions of dollars, and if punitive damages are awarded they typically add two zeros to awards.

From the manner of "speech" you use putting this forward, I doubt that your operation is plausible. At best you will be sued and potentially arrested for stalking, at worst you'll anger someone with the connections to "disappear" you. Remember, the money levels involved in yachting are not always attained by peaceful and above the board methods.

You may fantasize that you are some avenging angel, but you actually sound like an idiot who is going to eat a baseball bat.

Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:07 PM
so I have worked in this 'apparently' male dominated industry now for 12 years, I have sucked it up and laughed it off and now and then put a male colleague (usually the Captain I am afraid to say) in his place....but I am talking about the daily gruel of working and living with members of the opposite sex 24/7 in sometimes remote areas where people get lonely, think they are in love with another crew member, etc....I am not talking spiking drinks and groping! I have however had 2 unfortunate experiences: 1 - the 2nd Officer onboard, in front of many crew told me until I started [giving him oral sex] he would continue to give me the terrible jobs onboard!! All the other crew and myself were extremely embarrassed as the line had been crossed and we nervously laughed it off. 2 days later whilst in a situation alone with him he repeated to me "like I told you...until you start....blah blah blah" and smiled at me. I was extremely uncomfortable and tried to avoid him. He began to make my life hell and finally I went to the Captain to give my notice. The Captain was furious when I told him....however, I left the boat and the 2nd Officer stayed!! 2 - My Captain was one of those sad, unmarried, lonely, took on a female crew member that he fancied and tried to worm his way in there type! Very nice guy but I just was not interested and told him so. We got along well but it was extremely uncomfortable when every time you look up he staring at you, every time he walks past he puts his arm on your shoulder or brushes past you, as soon as you are alone together he begins to try to have deep and meaningful conversations with you and then he started turning up at every bar i went to and befriended all my friends. After 6 months I was living ashore briefly, I could not open my front door and had to duck behind curtains, my friends had to enter bars 1st to check he wasn't there and I used to sneak off the boat after work so he wouldn't ask what I was up to that night. Finally my friends convinced me to leave as I had a full blown stalker. When I tried to talk to him about it he said "but we are good friends!" It was impossible to make him see how uncomfortable I was. So suck it up all you like....but why should we have to sneak around avoiding other crew and not be comfortable in our home, in our own beds at night??
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:43 AM
Wow where do I begin, I have been in the industry for years and unfortunately for me my resume reflects having to leave four boats for this reason alone, is one free to discuss these things at an interview, I think not, so we who have experienced this “behavior” just rag to our friends about what happens but if we want to keep our jobs reporting it is a double edge sword isn’t it? A few examples of what some refer to as strange behavior onboard. Once while on a long and nasty delivery with 2 extra captains in addition to our own crew and owner aboard, a captain barged into my room through the adjoining head and jumped into bed with me while I was sleeping! I immediately jumped up and started shouting at him what was he doing? And get the hell out and am quite sure I used other key words as well but was in the midst of a deep sleep and can’t remember needless to say I left my room and slept in the crew mess, the other 2 captains in the bridge were laughing hysterically! …..on another occasion a captain continually used to “tap” be in the arse whilst I was going up the stairs with a full tray in my hands (how convenient for him) and saying I couldn’t resist, and approx. ½ hour later was called to the bridge for a sexual harassment conversation, another time a captain and I were alone in the crew mess and my cabin door was open and he pushed me in and started kissing me (yes with tongue! Gross!), there is a certain captain out there whio interviews in the agencies conference room for two hours at a time only to pick who he'd like to date the most! gross abuse! and guess what all these people I speak of are married with children!! And I am sure it continues ….I could go on and on so what is your take is it harassment or were they just kidding around! Come on people really I thought this was a professional job and the owners were difficult!
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2012 3:01 PM
Joined: 21/10/2009
Posts: 1

I experienced sexual harassment recently and am also out of a job for bringing it to attention of owners. In addition, I was worked 15 hours days, for 10 days and am wondering why work guidelines for all other businesses do not extend to yachting industry.Do they really believe they are beyond the law because they have mega bucks? Apparently so...we need to bring this to attention of government..they are missing out on taxes as a result of improper practices, and should be happy to find another source of income...
Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2012 12:23 AM
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 10

I dont know where you are , but I had problems with a captain , so spoke to a marine lawyer in fort Lauderdale . ( David Irwin +1 9547752301)Who brought my problem to the owners attention and suggested the possibility of legal action . Problem solved and captain fired . Dont take "Sxxxx" from a jumped up chammy mechanic . Fight back
Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2012 3:05 PM
[Comment deleted by moderator]

Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:14 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

"How was in past that is how should be!!!!"

Such enthusiasm makes one wonder.

Not that there is anything wrong with that sort of thing but ...

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 3:14 PM
Joined: 10/11/2011
Posts: 35

Im sorry to hear about your situation Irish lass. In a male dominated industry unfortunately it happens far too often. I too have experienced men "behaving badly", and I do believe and hope that the industry is slowly changing. The most important thing is that you are ok and don’t worry if you are good at your job you should have no problem finding another one. Feel free to drop me an email if you would like to discuss this further. Also , here is a link that might help.
Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 10:22 PM
When the police round up prostitutes they round up Johns too in reverse stings, then publish the names of those guys in the press. Create a website, with anonymous postings of guys names. Have it trigger that once 3 'agrees' - the name appears on the website. Or some such thing. As a man that grew up in a house full of sisters and a single mom, I have zero tolerance for sexual harassment. You're being a bully with a penis and should be ashamed. You wouldn't want your wife, your mother or your sister to endure that treatment, why would you do this to a coworker? One that potentially could have your life in their hands at any given point. Ridiculous. If it happens to you, call a lawyer. Michael Moore in Miami is likely the biggest name in yachting, go in with proof and have your mates be able to add to your story. Take them down and purge the industry.
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:04 PM
I am one of the victim of harassment in the bigger ship for two contracts and my first was suck because i ask my Filipino friend to help me and they did but because they drinking they send him home as well and blame me for the consequences by the Hotel director that time the captain is kind but he has force to do it, and when my friend disembarked the ship i ask the captain that if they are not being help in our agency i will pursue my complain to the shore  side attorney and i dont care weather the ship will be tied up and the captain did help my friend to come back again  to work, then the following contract they treat me well and the security officer make me a choice together with the captain if i want to call a police in fort lauderdale but still i think about the family of that bastard who harass me they did not accept him but the first one i was shivering when i saw him on pre departure orientation in the philippines and i found out that he still work in the same company its because he has a good connection at the agency.
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:32 AM
Joined: 06/07/2010
Posts: 60

Its such a hard topic because without proof its hard to say whos right and whos wrong, we all hear of girls that are just Bitchhes and want to mess with others lives and fake being harassed but for the true victims , I feel really sorry, but if you dont do anything about it (report it to as many people as possible) then you have no one to blame but your self, loosing a job in the yachting industry is not that bad, there are so many more jobs to go for so if thats your excuse "i didnt want to loose my job and thats why I didnt report it" then im sorry but then you have only your self to blame.
Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013 6:26 PM
Joined: 14/06/2013
Posts: 1

Dear (female) crew members.Please be aware that on 20 august 2013 MLC 2006 will come in force, and although pleasure registered yachts will not have to comply, be aware that all flag states will have to adres complaints if not being solved on board or with manager. Unfair dismissal but unfortunately also still sexual harassment is present in the industry. It is wrong, criminal, unprofessional and unacceptable, regardless your rank, age, sex, nationality. I know from experience that new legislation does not make the world perfect but it is a step and please be aware it is there.
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:56 AM
Joined: 15/12/2013
Posts: 39

Sexual harassment is wrong. I'm glad it's illegal in the US. Unfortunately, it still takes place. I would terminate any employee, male or female, guilty of it. 

Now that's for the obvious harassment. The other level is the small things, hints, comments. In the case of those I encourage reporting them. Then there is a discussion and warning. Repeated incidents are terminations. These are the situations where what is joking to one person is harassment to another, makes them uncomfortable. But the person in this situation is generally very apologetic and goes out of their way not to repeat. If they don't change their actions, they're terminated. 

I do make sure claims are legitimate but from history they almost always are and there is almost always someone else who knows once you start questioning people. 

And for those who are filing clearly false claims, then they will be terminated as well. I encountered one of those where an employee was the mistress of another and then when he said he was cutting it off and fixing things with his wife, she reported harassment. Unfortunately, he was filed for violating company policy (position of power over her) and she was fired for lying.

Using one's position in business or on a crew to get sex is no different than putting drugs in a girl's drink in a bar. 

And, for the record, my wife and I are far far from prudish. We are quite liberal in terms of sexual matters. But anything forced or coerced is criminal and should be treated as such. I've also made it clear to employees that if they do commit sexual harassment and the harassed sues them, we will support her suit, not defend him. 

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