I've been fielding a lot of calls lately from students and crew about what the summer is going to hold given the war in Ukraine and thought it best to write something brief about the current situation.
I have spoken with crew who have left their yachts due to non-payment of wages, who are being sent on paid leave and I have heard reports of entire crews being terminated as a result of the sanctions and subsequent detention of some yachts. This is the exception, not the rule.
Russian owned yachts make up +-10% of the industry, but not all are facing sanctions and the majority will most likely be able to operate as usual.
This is of course subject to change but the uncertainty about 'what if the owner of my boat is next on the list' is real and is having a big effect on crew. Many qualified and experienced crew are now looking for jobs either because they have been let go or have chosen to leave.
So where does this leave the majority of yachties?
More than likely, it means that charters will be cancelled, itineraries will change and owners may chose to use or not use their yachts this summer. All of this is relatively normal.
As I type this, the Dubai boat show is happening on the 9-13th of March, the MYBA charter yacht show in Barcelona is going ahead and it sounds like the regular events will continue.
Should you still go to Europe to look for work?
Will there be as many boats in the Med as in previous years?
Do you have a good chance of finding a job?
Yes. You have as much chance as anyone else, but as always it comes down to how motivated and proactive you are about it.
I realise there are of course many considerations that will influence your choices and everyone must do what they feel is best given the information at hand which is why I suggest following these events closely and making as educated a decision as possible.
These are difficult times indeed. Stay safe.