The Yacht Crew Guide to Transitioning to a Life Ashore

For many senior yacht crew members, the thought of transitioning to a life and career ashore can be daunting. After years spent living on a yacht and working up the career ladder at sea, it can prove difficult to imagine leaving the lifestyle behind. However, for many in the yachting industry, there comes a time in life where the choice to settle down is apparent. With proper planning and preparation, the transition to a life ashore can be an easy and enjoyable experience. As it is a dilemma faced by so many yachting professionals, we have created this short guide to help you better plan for a transition to life ashore: 

1. Ask Yourself, What Interests You?

Assessing your interests and abilities is the preliminary step in preparing for a life ashore. Consider the jobs and responsibilities you’ve taken on, as well as the experiences and skills you’ve obtained. The skills learnt at sea can have a positive impact on the future opportunities available and although it is not essential, this life experience will often give your job application the edge, as seen by many ex-crew who are now working with Riela Yachts. 

During this initial planning stage, you should also prioritise speaking to your employer and begin interviewing prior to making the move. This will ease the pressure on your current team in finding a replacement for the job role whilst lessening the pressure of any financial burden during the time period that you are in-between positions. 

2. Financial Planning

Working on a superyacht can come with many financial perks, such as the food, bills and accommodation that is included as part of the role. As a result, this can leave yacht crew in a position where they do not have the experience in managing the typical budgets required for land-based living. Before making the transition, we recommend taking your existing savings and costs into account and creating a financial plan. Make a budget and set financial goals for yourself. It’s also a good idea to start saving for an emergency fund so you have something to fall back on in the event of an unforeseen expense. 

3. Location, Location… Remote?

Next, you must consider where in the world you would like to live. If you have no prior commitments, the world is literally your oyster, and you are in the envious position of being able to choose a place that suits your wants and needs (depending on global affairs including Brexit and Visa restrictions, that is). Alex Worthington, Safety and Compliance Officer, joined team Riela in our Isle of Man office in Autumn 2022 after a life at sea. Alex decided on the location due to its innate safety, strong economy, and beautiful scenery (being an Island surrounded by water, it was new but at the same time, somewhat familiar). In addition, with many employers now offering the ability to work remotely, you will likely have the choice to experience many of the same freedoms of travel that your life at sea prepared you for 

4. Find a Strong Support Network

Once you have made the change to your new village, town or city and you are set-up in your new role, or in the final stages of the interview process, it is important to surround yourself with a strong support network. The change from being in a working environment twenty-four hours a day to a typical nine to five job can come as a culture shock and this should not be underestimated. It is understandable that this will bring its own challenges to your mental health and home life structure. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your unique situation is key to coping. If you are struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out to the many friendly management companies and charities out there who are available to help. 

In summary, transitioning from a life on a yacht to a life ashore can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. By assessing your skills and interests, researching potential career options, having a financial plan in place and securing a support network, senior yacht crew members can prepare for a successful transition to a new chapter of their lives. We wish you the best of luck in doing so. 

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