Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - Blogs Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - Blogs

Ben's Blog

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation!

 Permanent link   All Posts

Well, here I am again, looking for work. After 20 odd years in the game you'd think it would be a doddle wouldn't you, but of course, it never is. As you get older and wiser and more experienced obviously your expectations get greater as well and this limits your options. Now that I have a family that I like to be with as much as is reasonable I am searching for the elusive rotational job, not too much of a problem for engineers but tricky for Captains. I have a CV that reads like an excerpt from Admiral Nelsons personal achievement profile but still no takers. Rotational jobs for Captains still seem to be an oddity in Yachting whereas they are the norm in Merchant circles, this is of course because the yacht owner always has a much more personal relationship with his Captain on yachts and often likes to keep a single point of contact. The problem is that highly experienced Captains often drop out of Yachting to take up positions ashore because they cannot get rotational jobs and be with their families. It is my feeling that two very experienced Captains is better than one less experienced and that the owners could be potentially losing out. If you feel the same way and have a wonderful job going begging, give me a shout!

As much as I hate to admit, the years are taking their toll and the rotational captain is becoming more and more of a need. The superyachts not only entertain and travel much more and further, they require so much more in maintenance. This due to much more equipment and class specifications. I am hoping to sell this vital need to my boss in coming weeks. We shall see?
Posted by: Jeff Huffman at 22/02/2011 17:50

I work rotation.Its common on commercial vessels.You get off.You have a 1 to 2 hour passover.Crew forget about the boat when your off. it lkeeps you fresh and not burnt out. i hold a 500 ton oceans and work in Rio.
Posted by: Blake Stevenson at 22/02/2011 19:52

It isn't just the owners perspective. I offered my own Captain this sort of arrangement and it was tantamount to stabbing her in the heart. You folks are very much like jet pilots. Very territorial.

In the end however her solution worked out to the benefit of us all. She partnered with another boat and hired a Relief Captain to run our land office and handle logistics when not on board. They then added several shore crew to be available to fill in on demand. Everyone is happy, more people have jobs, and I saved money while maintaining continuity.

I'd think a savvy Captain with 20 years experience could take the concept and turn it into a situation that provided him the best of both worlds.
Posted by: An Owner at 23/02/2011 03:14

We rotate our entire crew. 9 weeks on, 4 weeks off. A total of 17 rotating crew, with 11 on board at all times, with 12 rotations per year. It seems to be working very well. (One of the crew is the relief chef part time, and the chief stew relief the other part of the time.) Then, we also have vacation time too.
Posted by: stevenpete at 23/02/2011 09:02

To Stevenpete and Blake Stevenson: how are things organized salary-wise? Do crew get paid when off? If not, it leaves them with a very small paycheck. If to "sell" this set-up to an owner/management agency? Increase in costs, without a direct return on investment. In their opinion this would be hard to justify, especially if the vessel is commercial and it's all about the money.
Very little room for sympathy for hard working crew as there are many available. On large yachts, owners will not alter the game or rarely so to keep crewmembers. It's the management's/captain's problem.
Jeff, I know what you mean. I'm actually considering a course-change to engineering positions on large motoryachts so I can get some time off and I life of my own.
Rotation would keep many sane and competent people into this industry that are now squeezed out. Just to get the message across...
Posted by: Fonz at 23/02/2011 18:25

All salary employees receive a check every pay period. Non-salary employees don't... just for the time they actually work. Most of the crew are salary. For salary crew, we divide their annual salary by the number of days they're expected to work (plus vacation time) that year. This is their "daily rate" so if they work additional days, they'll also receive this additional daily rate. Also, all flights are paid by the boat to their home airport, or, with enough advance notice, any place in between. Non-salary employee, aka flex employees are junior crew members who fill in the gaps for the other crew, as well as the other crews vacation time. Of course, we also use day workers for special events and filling more gaps. Of course, there are frequent shift swaps between crew, if the captain approves it. But the boat only pays for 4 round trips "home" per year. It sounds complicated, but it seems to work out.
Posted by: stevenpete at 24/02/2011 03:01

Ben I hear your thoughts and totally agree. The first in line for rotation should be the Captains, it is just that the engineers have been used to getting this in the merchant navy, now even those engineers that have never been in the Merchant are demanding rotation (and getting it). Rotation I predict, will be a matter of course and probably a requirement for if not officers, maybe all other levels of manning with new regulations springing up weekly. SAFETY is the biggest bonus from rotation. As we all know the amount of hours we illegally pull every season will force the issue of rotation. It might not be in my seatime lifetime, however I do also hope for the same situation as you are seeking. Maybe if you get such a position, drop me a line! After over 20 years in the commercial and yachting game, I also am ripe for the picking!
Capt Kaj
Posted by: Capt Kaj at 24/02/2011 08:51

Well Kaj, If you have your eye on a rotation job you better look carefully for one of those rare, professional, fully established programs.
In my career Ive never seen yacht rotation work worth a dam. For many years I worked for a family with 3 private personal toy and two charter yachts. Naturally the private yacht was not used off summer season and typically only one charter yacht traveled to the Caribbean yearly . These were top quality 25 meter plus or minus yachts The fleet was operated by myself and two complete captain crew combos. Relieved crews took a generous holiday, then returned on a very flexible schedule to one of the silent yachts to keep things in order, supervise yard work or whatever was on the schedule .
All it did for me was generate 13 months of seven day work weeks cleaning up the other crews disasters. I had to rescue broken yachts stuck in the Pananma canal, marooned in Africa.....

SAFETY ???? No way. Gee Kaj !!!!, look at all those rolled up coke snorter dollar bills and single edge razor blades in the top draw ? I got so paranoid that the first thing I would do was to strip search and sterilize the yacht.

Not once did I arrive to deliver a yacht back across the Atlantic and receive it in ready to put to sea condition. Two forward toilets dead ? not to worry the owners and guests toilets still work. or just Duct Tape the forward hatch to control the water leak or...Ya, not to worry, only blowing a liter of transmission oil from the output seal every 12 hours...bring a barrel.

I still remember being beat up in mid Atlantic , with damaged steering gear ,struggling with MSDOS instruction manuals , rebooting the system to fire off a SATC , "not having a good day" , message on a laptop terminal that the previous crew modified to play computer games on.

Not one of the other crews...during my years with the program...was able to develop a good, one on one , working relationship with the owner.. not one of the crews was able to see the big picture , plan ahead and get the best out of the program. That toxic combo encouraged the other crews to not give a dam, drive the yacht mercilessly, then take a break while someone else dealt with it. They treated the yachts like rent a cars.

Sure, you can fire them..but then what ? hire another new crew and presto... same story.

The only successful relief yachts I know of generate their relief captain internally...the mate upgrades his paper, takes over when the captain is off. The mate works a tough schedule, thats his problem, but he also generates the valuable command time, personal relationships with the owner, guests, brokers that the yacht needs and he needs to rapidly transition to captain.

The same could be done with engineer, chief stewardess, chef....promote internally.
Posted by: junior at 24/02/2011 10:17

Captain rotation jobs are rare because owners prefer the familiarity of “ONE LEADER” and the consistency it brings. Right or wrong owners will go with what they are most familiar with, even if its not the best way.

Convincing an owner rotation will benefit them is not going to be easy and this is probably the principal reason you haven't secured a rotational job yet. Forget about your needs, start defining the working limits of rotation and outline the advantages of job sharing to potential employers.

If you expect the same salary and perks when you ask for a rotational job forget it, you need to be financial enough to salary sacrifice until higher money and perks are warranted.

If I where you I’d start looking for an equally or better qualified person that wants job rotation and begin selling yourself as a ready made team with a known leadership hierarchy.

There’s more to job rotation than meets the eye and it certainly needs a more professional work ethic and team mentality and mechanisms that eliminate the need for people to try to do things their way and buck the system. The “A” typical Yacht Captain struggles to share responsibility at the best of times, so be prepared to keep that big ego in check.

Good luck and I hope you learn to sell yourself better, the comment about Lord Nelson’s Resume put the proverbial foot in your mouth and made you sound rather egotistical and a less than perfect job rotation candidate.
Posted by: Matt Paint at 24/02/2011 12:17

Undoubtedly the real world isn´t the perfect scenario for a successful team rotation as the odds are certainly against it in this current mindset / industry. Perhaps the ideal situation is in fact the Mate taking over as the relief for sure. In any case, there should always be the main Captain in control and has seniority over the relief. I suppose you can call it the manager / Captain.
It is sad that the muscle flexers who are the insecure but tenacious at the same time, trouble makers who try to impress the owner and seem to want to take over the senior Captains role, it´s all part of the malicious food chain of yachting!
Job share at senior officer level will become the way forward and I see it as inevitable, it will be upto the industry to adapt, and that will be a task to tackle!
Capt Kaj
Posted by: Capt Kaj at 25/02/2011 14:01

Job share is a dead fish. No young crew in their right mind would halve their lifetime earning potential to play that game.

If you grow tired of the yacht gypsy cycle or crave a more secure home life, move off the boats and into another sector of the marine industry.
Posted by: junior at 26/02/2011 12:40

Yachting as it is is a young mans game that is not friendly towards family life and relationships. If you have been doing it for 20 years with an admirals resume you should know this. That is why we get paid a fortune for a job that most people, if they put their mind to it, could do. Lets be honest, its not that hard. The high salary makes up for the lack of personal time and is not because you have to be extremely educated or clever to do what we do. Yes experience means a lot as it do in any job. If you have been flipping burgers for twenty years you will probably get burned by oil less than somebody that has been doing it for 5. Point being that basic safety on board boats becomes second nature pretty quickly unless you are just plain stupid.
Posted by: Jonah at 26/02/2011 22:06

Years if poetry, picturesque time. Bright and calm, and describe this season brings us comfortable and contemplation. Those brilliant colors, has gradually fade out of our vision, momentary glimpse of who has also been with the passage of time, faded immature, ushered in growth. This June, continuing the cool and bright in May, before the arrival of the heat, to give people a home warm and refreshing.

Square miles of grass, trees, wind-containing ink, Yunkai cloud together, just like a picture lie between heaven and earth, and the dark blue background, beautiful. And I, if a passenger horizon, is this verdant time, the distillation of emotion, the self-sedimentation. No gorgeous spring, no summer heat, there is no more desolate winter, this June, bringing us, doomed to be a poetic heart like a beautiful and romantic.

Pick fleeting bits of the past, I always want a cappella singing that song, there is warmth, enthusiasm, wind, also romantic. Dressed in a purple dream, so in full bloom in the dawn of the window, there is no past, no future, there is only now. June style, my singing will make you string together new eyebrow, fashionable shades that no mood already intoxicated me, would know each other Xiangxi emotions, and also had a rose and rose, Xiangpiao Miles.

Cross in the brow warm and romantic, had replaced the once languid and cold, showing a quiet and peaceful, as the horizon of the crescent, as the evening a sunset, a pool and if the forest streams. I let fly heart, in a time of quiet good, the soul covered with a beautiful glow, to Nirvana and nourish.

Poetic June, early painting eyebrow. Natural world, pregnant with beauty, pregnant with the Spring and Autumn seasons. This June, the scenery, it is like a classical beauty, in between the first cicada Crescent, everywhere surplus wave, "Qiaoxiaoqianxi, eyes hope Xi", gestures, blue micro-Yang, quiet and tranquil. At this time, the air floated the scent of cloves, misty, dreamy wisps of fragrance, this June, but it was a long walk in the south of the alley like a lilac ordinary girl? Suddenly the sky floating down the raindrops, that across the sunny and warm cool moment arrived mind, a long-lost paradise-like life flashed in front of.

Those ignorant flash of inspiration, the light that shines in the sky heart of wisdom, given the confusion between us and the source of endless power. The vast Red, who is right, but everything is met and missed. Pure miss those who traveled the journey, after all, just a personal obsession. Faced with affection, love and friendship, we may open our hearts to make a return magnanimous candid person, forgiveness of others, forgive yourself.

In fact, all the good, all from the heart. I carries a poetic heart, flick June curtain, with wind and sun, and describe the most beautiful poem. I use the brush of nature, which depicts the misty rain Red ink Dan, joys and sorrows. Eyebrows mind, and gradually stretch, back room, it is the clear sky.

Stand in the way of the season, this June, I saw you. Your waist light show with their own memories to smear this piece of beautiful land. The pool lian shadows, that slender willow shore, that the sky clouds roll back and forth, even before the evening sunset ...... it is you want to pursue this dream, right? You all the way, to travel thousands of miles just to meet with a poetic heart, early painting eyebrow, right?
Posted by: yll at 28/03/2016 03:35

This is my very first time that I am visiting here and I’m truly pleasurable to see everything at one place. <a href="">youtube to mp3 converter</a>
Posted by: youtube to mp3 converter at 15/05/2017 08:50

Leave a comment
Name *
Email *

Blog Calender
RSS Feed
Latest Blog Posts
Blog Archive