Marlies Sanders

Chief Officer Marlies Sanders

Chief Officer Marlies Sanders


An ACREW nominee for Chief Officer, previous deckhand, mate, chief officer, and captain, as well as engineer, stewardess, and chef – she’s done it all! Having sailed, cruised, and raced extensively in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, East Coast of the States, and in the Arctic, including the East Coast of Greenland, crossing the Atlantic 13 times, her experience speaks for itself. She loves being on the water and helping the crew become their best. Marlies kindly shared all sorts about her career and future goals with us!

Marlies, you have had an exhilarating life at sea – could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how it all began?

My first experience sailing was when I was about twelve years old, sailing with cousins on a 7m Dutch Valk on the lakes in Friesland. I absolutely loved it and when they let me helm the boat, I was smiling from ear to ear. As we did not live near any sailable water and my parents’ business prevented me from going sailing two hours from home, it wasn’t until I was 17, or 18 that I learned to actually sail; on the same boats and the same lakes. Early on, I learned there can only be one Captain on the boat (imagine four family members all trying to direct one another when coming into a small Frisian port under sail!). I sailed for years for fun without knowing anything about the yachting industry, despite some of the best yards, for both sail and motor, being in The Netherlands!

I picked up my love for travel and sailing during my studies. After an international corporate career where I traveled a lot but never saw anything but airports, taxis, hotels, and offices, I decided to take some time off to travel. After my first Transatlantic on a 54ft-er, I got into racing and found my first job in the BVI’s and I have been sailing ever since. I did everything on that first boat, except captain and stew, including setting up accounts to organising the boat. From there I continued and after a season as a boat captain on a 56ft sailing yacht I realised I had found a new career and decided to do my Yachtmaster.

My first years were much more racing and freelance-focused, with lots of race gigs, deliveries, and relief jobs. Moved to more permanent after a season in Greenland and the Arctic (fabulous!) and then in 2014 decided to get my tickets to the level of my experience and now hold a Master 3000GT. Working as a captain and chief officer on sailing and motor yachts, I have now sailed, cruised and raced extensively in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, East Coast of the States and in the Arctic, including the East Coast of Greenland, crossing the Atlantic 13 times.

Yacht racing has been a huge part of your career, racing all over the globe, could you tell us about your most memorable regatta and why?

It is hard to pinpoint just one as there have been so many incredible moments: being part of the inaugural Caribbean 600 offshore race, and doing my first paid racing job on the Rolex Transatlantic in 2005; among the most memorable ones though is definitely a start on the Swan 51 Star Chaser as bow, where we took a chance and started on port tack on the pin end (unusual, as it means that you need to duck any boats you’re on a collision course with that are starboard tack); we then crossed in front of the whole fleet and were in the lead! Exhilarating! A bonus was the regatta photographer got it all on camera from the air!

How early in your career did you start planning to climb the ranks

Quite quickly after doing that first transatlantic I decided to do my yacht master as that was the direction I wanted to go. I captained lots of smaller yachts, and once I had done my MCA Master 200 (the entry ‘professional’ Master ticket) I thought that was it for me – I couldn’t see myself running yachts over 200GT. So I didn’t start the OOW/ Master 3000 route until quite late! Your experience widens, yachts get bigger, your ambitions change, and you adapt your goals and go after it!

Working on both sailing yachts and motor yachts, which is your preference and why?

I very much started out as an avid sailor and didn’t want to move to ‘the dark side’ for quite a while. Having moved over last year to motor though, I have discovered a whole new world and am equally loving that side of the industry. And there are definitely places where a motor yacht is the better option, like Greenland where there is often either no wind or too much wind. Ultimately, for me it is about being out on the water, working with guests and seeing them have an unforgettable time, making that come true with a great team, most of all, both can be done!

What’s your favourite part about working at sea?

I love nights at sea when sailing, especially mid-Atlantic…it is something truly special to be out there, no land for miles, the milky way to look at, and the sky just one big canvas for the stars and planets, dolphins tracing like torpedos, leaving phosphorescence trails, experiencing a full moon out there – it so surprised me the first time, it is like somebody up there just turned the light on!

What motivates you?

Learning new things, discovering new places, meeting new people: I am always curious to learn more, and discover more! And something that really has inspired me in the last years is to see people around me grow and learn as well, and see a team come together.

I’m passionate about helping the crew become their best, and building a good team on board and love being on the water while doing so. Training, for both crew and myself, as well as being open to keep learning from everyone onboard, are key for me to become a better leader and a better person. And it keeps life at sea interesting!

What do you feel is the most important aspect to leadership?

For me, it is respect, communication and honesty. You cannot always agree or accommodate everything that everybody wants and taking difficult decisions is part of the job. How you deal with these and how you communicate this to your team, sets the tone for your team spirit. It is important to make people feel heard and understood, especially if you cannot accommodate things. Even though a yacht is not a democracy, you can involve crew in a lot of areas, like safety or maintenance, and create support for policies and decisions on board.

Honesty also involves not promising things you cannot deliver and delivering what you promise. And just simply, communicate. Don’t just go silent, especially in difficult situations. Even if you have to tell your team you don’t know (yet), it’s crucial to keep communicating. Like in any relationship, personal or professional, respect is the base of everything and makes communicating that much easier. It is something to be earned though and not something that just comes with the rank.

If you could offer any advice to a young crew member following in your footsteps, what would it be?

Think about what you want out of a life at sea, and why and then make a plan how to get there, and go after it! Find a mentor to help you talk through goals, decisions, or situations that you encounter so that you have a sounding board, support, and maybe even some help to make it happen. And don’t be afraid to change if your circumstances change, or you grow in a different direction than you originally thought you wanted!

And lastly, what’s next for you?

I have just taken some time off to spend with my family, celebrate some milestones, catch up on some new courses (playing on ice with floaty things but also the watercolour painting), and am just starting to look around for my next challenge that could include more polar cruising, a new build or simply a fantastic crew to work with!

Marlies Sanders

Marlies has since done the Palma super yacht racing on the bow on 40 meters and accepted a job as C/O on a 72m converted icebreaker starting in Svalbard, heading to East Greenland and maybe Arctic Canada as we speak! Congrats Marlies, wishing you all the best!

Captain Tom Crockard

Captain Tom Crockard

Captain Tom Crockard

Tom was thrown (almost quite literally) into the deep end of sailing life relatively early on in his career. Having circumnavigated the globe on a sailing yacht, to now Captaining a super yacht, there are no waters he cannot charter. Tom shares his early journey at sea and the highs and lows that come with, as well as some sage advice for our green crew.

Tom, you have had a long and exciting life at sea – could you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from?

I was born on a Sunday, 18/01/1987 in London, UK.  My parents are Northern Irish but moved to London after graduating from medical school, primarily to get away from the worst of the rain and somewhat to get away from the conflicts taking place at the time in Ireland.

I lived and attended school in Highgate, north London up until the age of 18, where I founded and subsequently ended up being the ‘Captain’ of the schools sailing team (the sailing team consisting of all the kids who didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t run, jump or participate in anything involving a ball).

I was introduced to sailing by my father Alan, who had sailed as a child on Belfast Loch.  Dragged unaware from my comfy bed, I was stuffed into a wetsuit at about age 7 or 8, plonked into a Topper dinghy, and shoved hastily off the quayside in Christchurch Harbour in Dorset being told to ‘learn to sail or swim home!’.

Growing up sailing and racing – could you tell us about that and what it is about yacht racing that excites you?

There are many elements to racing especially those that are exciting. I moved to Cowes, Isle of Wight when I was 19, which is the hub of the UK yachting & racing scene. There is the ‘team’ element to large yacht racing or the individual challenge in smaller dinghies and always a battle with the elements and conditions.

You circumnavigated the globe back in 2012 (correct me here!!) – what was your most memorable moment on that trip and why?

Almost correct, I joined an Oyster 655 ‘Sotto Vento’ as a skipper in 2012 in Hamble, UK, having been put forward for the job by the owner’s daughter who was a Yachtmaster Student of mine at the sailing school (Flying Fish) in Cowes where I was working at the time.

The yacht was all signed up to participate in the first ever Oyster World Rally – a 15-month circumnavigation westwards from Antigua to Antigua, departing in January 2013.  We departed the UK in August and headed south to join the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers)  and subsequently the Oyster fleet in Antigua for the start.

The entire experience as a 24/25-year-old, setting sail around the world and visiting places that I never even knew existed and/or certainly never thought I’d ever get the chance to visit was amazing.  People always ask where was your favourite place and it’s impossible to pick one – from the remoteness and desolation of Ascension Island to the thriving, vibrant Polynesia Islands. The scenery, experiences, and comradery made the entire trip memorable.

Could you tell us about your studies and career progression? What advice would you give for balancing work with studies?

There wasn’t so much of a balance for me.  I have never been lucky enough to find a boat that would offer to pay for my studies, courses, or training and as such I have had to quit my job in order to further my qualifications and find new employment once qualified.

I think more and more boats are now offering training incentives and with the move to online oral exams for CoC tickets finding that balance is getting easier. I gave our Chief Officer two weeks of study leave prior to her OOW oral during a quiet month in the Seychelles last year, which has been rewarded by her committing to staying onboard for another year!

When hiring crew, what attributes do you look for? And what makes someone stand out to you?

The main attribute I interview for is personality and a willingness to get involved and offer assistance to other departments. Basically NO EGO! I find it tricky to gauge professional capability over the phone and one must take an element of risk by assuming qualifications are earnt and not bought….

I have typically been on boats with small crew numbers and as such being able to get along socially is paramount. One rotten apple can be much more destructive when there are only five people!!

If you could offer any advice to a Deckhand, hoping to climb the ranks, what would it be?

Don’t be hasty – Too many junior crew are chasing titles and promotions too quickly.  Get good at your role, be an expert in your department.  Being ‘lead deckhand’, ’bosun’ etc. Is meaningless if you’re no good at your job.

The promotions will come, the salary will increase and then you’ll probably wish you’d stayed as a deckhand because you were having more fun with very little responsibility.

And lastly, I know you’re busy submitting your NOE for your Master 3000, which is a huge feat, congratulations! What’s next on the horizon for you?

Since we last spoke I’ve actually received my NOE so the next step is to book and pass the oral exam! I’m going to put off a little until 2024 when I can take some time to actually focus on studying.

Captain Tom Crockard

Congratulations Tom! We are certain that you will pass the oral with flying colours and we will certainly be rooting for you.

Mairin Hunter

Chief Officer Mairin Hunter

Chief Officer Mairin Hunter

Mairin Hunter is part of the 3.9%* of female Chief Officers in the yachting industry today. She’s forged an incredible career and shares with us her experiences, hopes, and dreams. Her tenacity truly shines through, contributing to her success at every turn. 

Mairin, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you were lured into the superyacht industry?

I grew up on Terrigal Beach on the NSW coast of Australia. I became a surf lifesaver at a fairly young age and always had a love for the Ocean, then I just had to find out how I could make it part of my career. It was actually my school friend in Australia that told me about yachting. I followed him out to France about a year afterward and we both still work in the industry today as Chief Officers. 

You joined the industry back in 2010, that is quite the stint! What has been your secret to staying in yachting for the long haul?

I don’t really have any secrets, it’s a tough job at the end of the day. One that takes you away from loved ones for extended periods of time in completely different time zones and missing some major life events. It’s about being able to accept those days and appreciate the good ones onboard and the experiences you are having and the knowledge you are gaining whilst working. I personally, love the everyday challenge of this job. Not one day is ever the same and being at the mercy of Mother Nature most days means you are constantly thinking on your feet and still having to maintain the standard of the yacht, motivating the crew, and if on a trip, maintaining the guest’s experience.

We’d love to hear about your journey from a Deckhand to a Chief Officer, did you find any significant challenges along the way?

I didn’t really have any major challenges, the first few months attempting to be a female deckhand with no prior experience was tough. I was like every other green deckhand arriving in France, male or female, not having a lot of actual yacht experience it took me longer to land something. When I did eventually get something, day-working for 6 months in a shipyard on a 30-year-old Feadship, stripping everything back and putting it together again. I stuck it out. I soaked up everything I could and had a great team who were willing to teach me. Things only went up from there to a new build 90m Feadship in 2011. There are always challenges, and I don’t believe they will ever stop, and if they do, I should probably stop!

Did you have a mentor or a role model that supported your career progression?

I have been lucky to have had many mentors and some great role models, good and bad, throughout my journey. My very first ‘Big Boat’ captain has always been a sounding post for me and continues to be to this day and someone who I have great respect for. I believe everyone I have worked beside has given me something, positive or negative, to take away and shaped me in some form into the person I am today. 

Having a significant amount of New Build experience, can you tell us what’s the most challenging part of your role as Chief Officer with a New Build?

I think the overall management of the yard relationship and getting the most out of the final product would be the biggest and most time-consuming. Knowing which battles to pick and which to hold on to. I love seeing the project come together and making that maiden voyage, it’s a great sense of achievement. The final stages of the build are chaotic and you need a good team beside you. 

I have had some great companies assist in builds that have an extensive naval architecture background, this has definitely made the experience slightly easier at times and taken some of the pressure off. 

You have an impressive resume, what have been some of your career highlights?

It would have to be the circumnavigation I completed on Plvs Vltra in 2017-2020, incredible owners, crew, and itinerary. I am not sure that trip could be re-lived if I tried. We had some incredible challenges and made memories I will cherish for a lifetime. 

Other than traditional yachting courses – has there been any other training that has helped you in your role today?

I completed and Senior Leadership and Management course last year. I met some great people on it and we shared a lot of experiences. I took a lot away from this and believe that all senior crew should take some further form of this course as it’s something that’s missing from yachting. We learn about the nautical and scientific side of yachting but not the management and leadership of the people and the running of a multi-million dollar asset. 

What advice would you give to young crew who are looking to follow in your footsteps?

Be motivated in learning and taking the tough jobs and making the most out of them. Not needing to progress too quickly, the more experience you have in the junior and middle levels, the more rounded crew member you will be when getting to those senior levels. 

And finally, where to next for you?

Hopefully another new build and then a drive of my own in the future. 

Mairin Hunter

Thank you for sharing with us Mairin, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

*According to She of the Sea 

The Value of Recording

The Value of Recording

The Value of Recording


As entrepreneurs, we are constantly striving for growth and self-improvement. Whether it’s streamlining processes, expanding our businesses, honing our skills, or working on personal development, we are always looking for ways to become better versions of ourselves. However, this can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if we don’t have a clear direction or a set path to follow. But fear not! There is a simple yet powerful tool that can help us make progress on all of our goals: recording EVERYTHING.

I remember during my first sales job (highly recommended if you are going to start your own business as you are always in sales!), we had to record our calls with potential clients and listen back to them. This was, as you can imagine, an extremely painful experience, especially if you hate the sound of your own voice. The point was not to torture us believe it or not but to evaluate ourselves and see how many of the points we were being taught were being implemented and where we were going wrong. Often our perception is quite distorted so listening back sounded completely different to when I was in the actual conversation. This was quite surprising and it was hard to ignore flaws when you are confronted too aggressively by them.

Needless to say, I learnt a lot. This first lesson is to record everything; everything is measurable.

Towards the end of 2022, I was feeling very sluggish and demotivated and it seemed like I was doing a ton of work but not really getting anything done. So in January, a month, we all choose to start our good habits over again, I decided to start recording my work – what I did, every moment of the work day. Well did this shock me – it opened my eyes to a whole new reality. I wasn’t spending my time as productively as I had thought. I discovered that I was spending my time inefficiently, getting easily distracted, and falling into bad habits like task-switching. However, once I became aware of these patterns, I was able to make changes and become much more focused and productive.

There are so many reasons why recording yourself doing anything is a good idea, whether it’s exercise, public speaking, your work or your personal life. If you want to improve then you need to track yourself and your progress.

Firstly, you need to establish a baseline before you start trying to improve so that you have a point of reference. You can also try out different strategies and come back to your baseline to compare which is working better for you.

When you start tracking yourself, you start to create awareness. For example, if you want to start changing your spending habits, you need to be aware of how you are spending your money now. Oftentimes things become automated in our lives and bringing back awareness is an important part of the change.

Keeping focused can be difficult over long periods of time. As with anything that occurs over time, your tracking might show ups and downs. Don’t let this discourage you as progress often isn’t linear. Often when you go through a lower point it can be motivating to pick up your act and gear up.

Discovering patterns or problems will also be a part of the process. Constantly recording information will easily reveal these over time. It can tell you if you are doing something effectively or not and get rid of anything that is distracting you or leading you off track.

Creating and working towards milestones is also an integral part of setting goals, so how do you know if you are close to achieving your milestone if you don’t know where in the process you are? Information is power and gives you the upper hand.

To summarise, recording or tracking yourself:

·        Creates awareness.

·        Allows you to discover patterns or problems.

·        Enables you to discover if you are using your time efficiently.

·        Helps you avoid distractions.

·        Keeps you on track for your milestones.

Trackers we recommend:

·        Habit trackers for daily habits.

·        Hubstaff for time tracking.

·        A personal journal.

·   Often banks integrate with budgeting tools – this is also great to make use of!

·        If you’re doing presentations record yourself on your phone.


It’s important to remember that progress is not always linear, and we may experience ups and downs along the way. But this is all part of the process, and we should not be discouraged by setbacks. In fact, these can often be motivating and help us get back on track. By recording ourselves, we can discover patterns and problems, get rid of distractions, and work towards our milestones.

The Value of Recording
Virtual Pursers Myths Busted

Virtual Pursers Myths Busted!

Virtual Pursers' Myths Busted

Ahoy there! The yachting industry is one that is constantly on the move, which is why at Virtual Pursers, we love keeping up with the fast-paced environment. As pioneers in innovative solutions, we understand the challenges that come with introducing new approaches to yacht support. We’re thrilled to have dedicated supporters, but we know there are skeptics out there too. So, let’s set the record straight on a few common myths about Virtual Pursers and our services.

Myth 1: Availability Restrictions.

We often hear people say that our services are limited by geography. Not true! Our team is composed of Pursers stationed across various time zones, giving us a global reach and ensuring that we’re always available for our clients. Our co-founders even reside in South Africa and Australia, respectively, so we truly are a worldwide service.

Myth 2: Management Functions.

Some people think we’re a management company, but that’s not quite right. Our team is an extension of the crew, providing support with administrative tasks so that senior crew members can focus on leading their teams and running the vessel. We take care of account management, destination management, crew administration, logistics, port clearances, and any other yachting-related paperwork, leaving the onboard team to do what they do best.

Myth 3: Security Risks.

At Virtual Pursers, we’re serious about the security of our clients’ information. We follow the same cybersecurity best practices as other third-party agents and suppliers, and our systems are cloud-based, protected by VPNs and Yubikeys, and all information is kept confidential through NDAs. You can trust that your data is in safe hands.

Myth 4: Ineffective Without Onboard Presence.

Some people think that we’re only effective when we’re onboard, but that’s not the case. We’ve been successfully operating for two years, and our communication with clients can be conducted through email and phone, just like with an onboard Purser. Our team is always available to ensure that administrative needs are met, no matter where we are.

Myth 5: Competition for Onboard Pursers.

Finally, we often hear people say that we’re trying to replace onboard Pursers. That’s simply not true. Our services are an alternative solution for those who may not have space for an onboard Purser or prefer a virtual support system. We’re here to complement the onboard team and ensure that administrative tasks are taken care of in a timely and efficient manner.

In conclusion, we’re passionate about providing the highest level of service to our clients at Virtual Pursers. We hope that by debunking these common myths, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to delivering quality support to our clients. 

Virtual Pursers Myths Busted

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help!

Chief Officer Nick Ward

Chief Officer Nick Ward

Chief Officer Nick Ward


At the young age of 9, Nick Ward embarked on his seafaring journey and has since become a seasoned sailor. In 2012, he entered the world of yachting, and over a decade later, he generously shares his wealth of knowledge, personal experiences, and future aspirations with us.

Nick, you’ve had a long yachting career thus far, could you tell us what enticed you into a life at sea?

At age 9, I joined a local sailing club and learned to sail on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. I was completely hooked at the first lesson. I remember not being able to sleep through excitement for the following day and being amazed at the concept of how boats float and how the wind and sails work in unison. I admired the sailing instructors immensely and after 3 years I became a sailing instructor myself. I taught kids on Friday nights and Saturday mornings as well as adults on Saturday afternoons.
At primary school, I recall going onto the Sunseeker website and requesting a brochure. I spent days and days looking through the pages with my friend in absolute awe – ‘one day’.
I was headhunted at age 12 to start racing dinghies. I raced Mirrors and represented Team GBR around Europe. I was paired with my sailing partner, Tom, and we had a very successful racing career. Eventually, outgrowing Mirrors and moved to 405’s and 29ers.
Tom and I were European Champions in the 405 class and trained with the current 49er Olympic gold medallists. Racing began to absorb my life and I was lucky enough to be at a college where they supported me through this time, leaving school early on a Friday to get to Weymouth Sailing Academy and coming in on a Monday absolutely exhausted.

How early in your career did you start planning to climb the ranks?

I climbed the ranks quite quickly – I progressed from Relief Bosun on an 89m to Second Officer on a 76m. I created a ‘3-year plan’ in my iPhone notes of the courses I wanted to complete in years 1,2,3 including my OOW exam and I stuck to them – it is such a great feeling to be able to tick them off one by one. I am lucky to have worked with incredible Captains and Officers during my time as Deckhand. They supported me through all of my courses and I was able to take this time off to complete them.

Can you remember your very first year in Leadership? And from that time, how do you feel your Leadership skills have changed?

When I had my first Officers job I was 25 and on a 75m private yacht – it was quite overwhelming. The HELM course helped me a lot – it is an incredibly important course and a favourite to date. It is crucial to be approachable and listen to your team. I very much stick with the ethos of firm but fair. I support and respect all of my team through their learning and progression.

My leadership skills haven’t changed a lot over the years. Through working as Second Officer on a 75m I am now Chief Officer on a 92m so the main difference is an increase of crew.

What’s been the most rewarding part of yachting for you?

The most rewarding part of my job is to stand back and watch the deck team work their magic boss on. I work very hard with the current Second Officers on training the team to work efficiently and effectively – through launching tenders, driving tenders, anchoring and general seamanship.

Have you noticed any significant changes in the yachting industry over the years?

I have. It is very apparent that rotation is a new thing for Junior crew which I completely agree with. It is important to have a work/life balance. Yes, initially it is more expensive for the Owner to agree to this, however, you will keep crew longer, reducing recruitment fees and they will be much happier and work harder – the Owner and guests see everything, be attitude or general vibe. In the long run, it is cheaper for the Owner and they will have a better experience on board.

What’s important to you when it comes to working in a yachting environment?

Arguably, the hardest part of working on yachts is to work and live with your colleagues. It is very important to respect fellow colleagues’ space and don’t forget to be patient outside of work.

What advice would you give a green Deckie who’s looking to follow in your footsteps?

Work hard, always be 10 minutes early and look presentable – everything is noticed. Ask questions if you are not sure. Do not forget those skills that will help you. I look for a crew who has those extra skills – drone flying, video editing, PT, medical, and tender driving. Unfortunately, ‘just having the qualifications’ isn’t enough.

And finally, what’s on the horizon for you?

My goal is to be a fleet captain working closely with the owner and management company. My priority is to manage the owners’ expectations whilst delivering unmatchable service.

Chief Officer Nick Ward

Nick, your journey has been truly remarkable, especially considering your young age. It’s always inspiring to hear stories of early success, as it reinforces the notion that with dedication and determination, anything can be accomplished. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours and have every confidence that you will achieve every one of your goals!


Disorganisation and It’s Effects

Disorganisation & It's Effects

In this article, we will discuss the effects of disorganisation on our mental health and work capabilities, and what we can do to combat these negative effects. Organising our workspace and work processes can have a significant impact on our mental health and work capabilities. This will lead to increased productivity, decreased stress, and increased motivation.

Increased Stress

The first and most obvious effect of disorganisation is increased stress. When we are disorganised, it can be difficult to find the things we need, and we often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. This leads to increased levels of stress, which can negatively impact our mental health. It can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, and making it difficult to focus and be productive. Additionally, disorganisation can cause us to feel overwhelmed and powerless, leading to decreased motivation and a lack of energy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that stress is a leading cause of workplace accidents. This can lead to decreased mental and physical health, decreased job satisfaction, and increased risk of burnout.

Decrease productivity

Another significant effect of disorganisation is decreased productivity. When we are disorganised, it is difficult to find the information we need, leading to wasted time and decreased efficiency. This can make it difficult to meet deadlines, prioritise tasks, leading to a lack of focus and decreased motivation.

When we are disorganised, it can be difficult to find the things we need, leading to a feeling of disempowerment and a lack of control. Additionally, disorganisation can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, making it difficult to feel good about our work and our abilities, negatively affecting our mental health.

Sleep Deprivation

Disorganisation can also lead to sleep deprivation and stress-related accidents in the workplace, which, according to the National Sleep Foundation, can lead to decreased alertness and increased fatigue, leading to decreased productivity and increased risk of accidents and errors in the workplace.

Studies have shown that sleep-deprived individuals are twice as likely to be involved in workplace accidents and that sleep deprivation can lead to decreased productivity, decreased job satisfaction, and increased absenteeism. Additionally, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that workers who get fewer than seven hours of sleep per night are more likely to be involved in occupational injuries.

How To Combat It

So, what can we do to combat the negative effects of disorganisation on our mental health and work capabilities? The first step is to take an honest look at our work environment and determine what is causing the disorganisation. This may involve decluttering our workspace, creating a system for organising our work materials, or streamlining our work processes.

Once we have identified the source of the disorganisation, we can start to make changes. This may involve implementing a new system for organising our work materials or setting up a schedule for decluttering and organising our workspace. Additionally, it may be helpful to seek the assistance of a professional organiser, who can help us to create a system that works best for our unique needs and challenges.

Another key step in combating the negative effects of disorganisation is to focus on self-care. This includes taking breaks throughout the day, practising mindfulness and meditation, and engaging in physical activity. Additionally, it is important to make time for the things we enjoy, such as hobbies, social activities, and time with loved ones.

We make it our priority to be as organised as possible to ensure maximum output and effectiveness while still maintaining boundaries and self-care. We make it our business to stay up to date with the latest efficiency tools and systems to keep the work flowing as smoothly as possible because well as we saw above, we simply cant afford not to! Can you?


A Different Type Of Fitness – Mental Fitness

A Different Kind Of Fitness

We are all bombarded by influencers, personal trainers and gyms for ways to keep ourselves physically fit, but what about mental fitness? Just like the body needs exercise, so does your mind to keep in tip-top shape. Forbes defines it as “Your measurable ability to engage constructively in life and work every day, no matter what stressors you encounter. You can consistently respond to challenges with optimal performance at the moment and minimal recovery time afterwards.”

There are many benefits of keeping mentally fit. The obvious one is greater focus, improved memory and concentration and better communication. It also leads to increased mindfulness and the ability to be present which leads to developing deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Your positive emotions also increase, which allows you to be more compassionate, and reframe thoughts and it improves your general outlook and attitude to any adversity you face. Your self-esteem and efficacy (confidence) also escalate. There are also physical effects such as improved quality of sleep.

There are a few ways to increase your mental fitness but the ultimate exercise is meditation. Meditation is essentially the ability to observe and detach from your thoughts. Even ten or fifteen minutes a day can make a significant difference. Just a reminder that meditation doesn’t mean you need to blank out all thoughts completely but rather to observe and dismiss them as they pop up – it can be daunting but start slow and short and build from there. Let go of your expectations and run with the experience.

You can also try these five things to make a difference:

  1. Get physical – the mind & body are interlinked and physical exercise can relieve stress and tension. This doesn’t mean you need to run 10 kilometres every day but instead move your body in a way that feels good to you. Find something you enjoy doing and stick with that!
  2. Eat and drink to support your gut health – your brain needs water to stay hydrated and function properly and your gut plays a huge role in your mental health. The bacteria in your gut communicate with other systems in your body, notably the nervous system. Hence when you’re nervous you may feel nauseous or have butterflies in your tummy!
  3. Continue to be grateful – keeping a gratitude diary helps shift your consciousness into a more positive space which correlates to a healthier and more optimistic way of living. Writing down what you are grateful for comes from a place of abundance. If you’re focusing on the negative constantly, you will be coming from a place of lack which will automatically set you in a defeatist and pessimistic mindset, holding you back from any improvements and motivation.
  4. Be in a growth mindset – keep a growth mindset and step out of your comfort zone constantly. Think about when children start learning to walk. They have to try and try again as they get used to the sensation and practise the movements over and over. Failure teaches you resilience as you as in a state of learning, stretching and growing yourself to become stronger
    and more capable.
  5. Do your inner work – just as you would do physical exercise, do mental exercise by checking in with your emotions, goals and values. Take stock and make improvements in the way you interact with others.

You may wonder why you would put so much effort into your mental fitness, there are many results that enable you to live a happier more joyful life. Imagine feeling like you’re gliding through your day instead of struggling through it. Increase your mental fitness and you will be more mindful and present in your interactions with others, enhancing your personal relationships.

You will have more control over your automatic reactions – you behave more rationally and less emotionally in most situations. Your focus, processing, memory, time management and a number of other mental functions improve with mental clarity as a result of increased mental fitness. Build yourself a mental fitness program so that you can maintain consistency and practise throughout your week, month, and year and eventually it becomes a habit that you can maintain for the rest of your life.

Be in a learning mindset, it keeps you young!


Excellence Over Perfection

Excellence Over Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist like me, you will know how exhausting it can be, not to mention time-consuming and sometimes just a complete hindrance! In an industry that demands perfection over all else, I’m sure you can relate. However, perfection is often unattainable so you end up losing yourself and becoming a slave to the image society expects while feeling like a failure and not even taking into account all of your achievements. Strive for perfection no more and welcome (drum roll please)…..EXCELLENCE! Your new best friend. Excellence gives you back control of your universe, grounding you and highlighting your uniqueness while getting validation for your efforts.

As with any change, it requires some effort at the beginning that will pay off ten-fold in the long term.

Cement your values

Our values often dictate our behaviour so it’s important to truly identify what is important to you. Once you have done this, make sure you keep them easily accessible so that you can revisit them often and keep them at the forefront of your mind. This will enable you to focus on what is truly important to you and where to put your energy.

Don’t be a rebel without a cause

We are all passionate about something whether it’s protecting children’s rights or improving equality in your industry, choose something to weigh in on and fight for. Chances are, you will make a difference no matter how small and your own excellence rating will skyrocket.

Listen to learn and understand

We often listen to respond, not to actually truly hear what someone is saying. Ask questions, gain insight, and be interested not interesting, people often feel a lot more validated if you take an interest in them, rather than talking about yourself or putting your two cents in. Are they telling you something because they want advice, or do they simply want to be heard?  Become a better listener and watch all of your relationships improve.

Follow the cycle

Just as nature has seasons, so do we. Continually striving to reach for the sun and you will get burned. Follow your highly energetic self and observe your slower-moving self. Just as the moon waxes and wanes and the seasons change, embrace these energies within yourself.

Write it down, feel it, meditate

Journaling and mediation are notorious for your well-being, Do them as often as you can. Also, give yourself permission to feel, whether it is a positive or negative emotion, make room for both and don’t shove anything away.

Focus on being, not having.

In our modern world, we have been taught to define ourselves by what we have and not who we are. By focusing less on consumerism and more on our inherent person we start finding validation from ourselves, thereby increasing our own self-value and excellence!


Ask yourself, “Did I give the world my best today?”. If the answer is yes, dig deep and see what motivated you to give your all. If the answer is no, don’t be hard on yourself, try and figure out what set you off balance and how you can find it again tomorrow.


Perfectionists have a tendency to always look forward & be extremely hard on themselves and others and generally end up being dissatisfied with a lot of aspects of their life. It’s important to strive to do the best that you can at that specific moment in time with what you have. Excellence is attainable, aim for excellence.

The Flag State

The Flag State and the Seafarer

The Flag State and the Seafarer

For those of you that have been in yachting for a while, you’ll know all about the flag states. But for those that need an introduction, this is essentially the ‘nationality’ of the yacht. For example, if it is registered in the Isle of Man, the yacht will be governed by the laws of the Isle of Man, so as you can imagine, it’s a relatively important decision for the owner to make, not to mention the fiscal implications of the country that they choose.

The flag state holds a lot of power because it can govern the legislature and regulations that are likely to influence the yacht and international maritime issues. As early as the Roman Greek empire, flag states have played a role, often being selected for protection and benefits for that specific port when it came to trading. Obviously, these days, the more important issues such as regulations, tax and general standards dictate how flag states are chosen.

What was once known as “open registers”, which back in the day were chosen for their trading advantages, are now known as “flags of convenience” which are generally laxer with their regulations, standards, and often have sanctions to trade in contrabands and dangerous goods. Additional points that attract ship owners to these registries are the ability to hire crew of any nationality, freedom from tax & fiscal control and the mere simplicity of the registration procedure.

However, what’s in the interest of the owner, is not necessarily in the interest of the seafarer. Fortunately, the majority of yachts tend to register with the red ensign group, which is a group of British Shipping Registries which are well known for their high standards and strict adherence to rules and regulations that provide safe work environments for seafarers as well as the protection of the marine environment. SOLAS, the IMO, MARPOL, the STCW and other conventions also contribute to these objectives. The red ensign group, along with any registries of the Paris White List, are registries under which you would be wanting to work. The Paris MoU Annual Report gives an extensive list of registries ranked in order from quality to poor performance flags.

With your HOD, Captain and DPA all being points of contact for any contentious issues onboard, the flag state is also responsible for seafarers that are working under its jurisdiction and are not to be ruled out when issues onboard arise. As with their responsibility to protect seafarers, it is then the responsibility of the seafarer to report any incidents to the flag state. Failing to do so not only skews any reporting but also has a knock-on effect on potential flaws in the registration and protection of seafarers in the long term, so it is important to take this responsibility seriously.

Flag states are considered to be somewhat of a weak point when it comes to the protection of seafarers. As they are one of the highest authority figures to go to, there is work being conducted to illuminate ways for improvement, however, there is very little action that can be taken to ensure flag states are taking every measure possible to oversee the good of the maritime industry. They like to remain diplomatic with other flag states, and IMO sanctions have many legal and fiscal effects that make them an unattractive solution. Not to mention the numerous different regulations within the commercial sector that they need to oversee which is time-consuming and requires specific expertise, which can be a strain on resources. This brings us back to the point of taking every action as a maritime professional to work together with the authorities towards creating improvements, which includes the reporting of incidents.

The Flag State

There are many organisations that can also assist seafarers in need and can facilitate communication in difficult circumstances, namely Nautilus International, the PYA, The Seafarers Rights International (SRI) and it’s important to make use of these organisations and the flag states to strive for better conditions in the maritime industry throughout.


International Maritime Organization

Paris MOU


Scholarly Commons