For many yacht crew, spending time at a shipyard or even at your home port in the Mediterranean winter is far from ideal. But there are many ways to make the best of these quieter months—even if you’re away from home, far from friends, and not working as much as usual. From bumping up your CV to learning a new language, you can survive (and thrive) this year. Looking for ideas? We’ve got you covered…
Invest in Yourself: Improve Your Yachting CV
Use this time to brush up on courses, enhance your skills, and boost your CV. Whether it’s studying for your Officers Unlimited, completing Chief Engineers assignments, or obtaining your Certificate of Competency, the shipyard can be your classroom—without all the normal distractions of the busy season.
Plan For the Future
If you’re contemplating a move to another boat, now’s the perfect time to get things in order. Sign up with new agents, update your CV, organise your references, and maybe even reach out to a mentor for career advice. Use this time to ensure you’re ready for the next exciting chapter in your yachting journey.
Time to Travel
Take advantage of weekends to explore places that your yacht doesn’t typically visit during the season. Whether you’re traveling solo or with fellow crew members, winter locations like Amsterdam are a great jumping-off point for some epic European destinations.
Challenge Yourself (Outside of Yachting)
Whether it’s training for a 10k race, taking an online yoga course, or learning how to ski, why not challenge yourself by setting a new goal during your shipyard time? It’s not just about physical or mental gains, it’s also about proving to yourself that you’ve got what it takes, which is a game-changer for your confidence and well-being.
Take a Break to Spend Time With Friends and Family
If your yacht has some flexibility, consider taking a break from onboard life and spending time with your nearest and dearest. You could rent out an apartment to have your own space and establish a routine away from the boat and crew. Invite your family to spend time with you wherever you are. It’s an unmissable opportunity to catch up with loved ones and explore new destinations together.
Learn Some New Hobbies
During the shipyard season, you’ll have much more time on your hands than usual. Why not take advantage of your quieter schedule by learning a new hobby or skill? It doesn’t have to be yachting related but could also help you stand out on board. Try taking language lessons or a mixology class. It is a fun way to pass the time and could also become a new passion of yours.
Advance Your Yachting Career
With crew members on leave or departing their boats, positions open up. This is your moment to showcase your capabilities and step into a temporary role, potentially securing the job permanently. Networking is key in the yachting world, so attend industry events to connect with other professionals or even start reaching out to contacts you know. Embrace every opportunity for on-the-job learning, and make sure to express interest in taking on new responsibilities—it’s the type of behaviour that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Organise Crew Bonding Activities
The shipyard season provides an ideal time for crew bonding. Lay the foundations for the upcoming season by strengthening your relationships with fellow crew members. A united team will be a huge asset during busy charter days. Why not organise some trips to local attractions or start weekly game nights to keep everyone entertained—and together—throughout the season?
Focus On Your Mental Health
In the fast-paced world of yachting, it’s easy to get caught up in the work-hard/play-hard lifestyle and forget about the importance of mental health. However, prioritising your well-being is not just a luxury, it’s a necessity. The demands of the job, the confined living quarters, and the constant change in environments can take a toll. Find time in those quieter moments to focus on how you can better improve your state of mind; it could be talking to a therapist, listening to a self-help book or even just sharing any anxieties with your team. Small adjustments can make a huge impact.
Shipyard periods or the winter season are not just downtime, they offer a huge range of opportunities waiting to be explored. Embrace the new environment, invest in your personal and professional growth, and make the most of this unique period—you’ll be back to your regular yachting schedule in no time. Show us what you get up to in your winter break by tagging us on socials.