Dovaston Blog

Blog for Dovaston Crew


First, lets clear some fog.

A profile does not predict what someone is going to do in a particular job. It will not tell you how skilled a person will be in a certain position, and it does not tell you magically what a person is thinking.

What a well-researched profile such as DISC offers is a vast amount of information about behaviour. 

And since behaviour influences environment and environment tends to drive behaviour, this knowledge used wisely can significantly raise the quality of crew selection, and the success of crew once hired.

Simply put, using profiles in recruitment offers new places for dialogue that can:

•  Bring new objective information to the hiring process

•  Improve understanding of what motivates an individual

•  Improve communication overall

•  Help avoid conflicts and misunderstandings

•  Help better understand the causes of stress in the workplace for an individual.

•  Help the introduction of change (new crew integration)

You want the best from your new employee, but if you unknowingly put them into a position that is uncomfortable, you are not going to get the results you want, the new crew is not going to perform at their best, and you can end up with something more than you bargained for.

Having this new information and knowledge from a profile will help you make better hiring decisions and once made, help your new recruit give their best. They can be better prepared for their new position, and you are better placed to help them become the great crew you know they can be.

But there’s more.

Integrating new crew into an existing one can be stressful, even when crew are experienced and exactly what you want. Crew share cabins, they eat and live together, and with limited time to get to know what a new crew thinks of change, how they asses risk, what their communication style is, or how they prefer to manage or be led, there is a lot that you will leave to chance. Again the profiles we use make sense because they offer light quickly here, and offer insight and information objectively in a language all can use and understand.

The cost of profiling and good recruitment is tiny compared to the cost of turnover, and what caused the turnover. Crew leaving because they were not what a captain expected, or because the job was not what the candidate expected, costs the owner, captain, existing crew, and eventually crew leaving the job.

There is no win-win in recruitment gone wrong, and while profiling alone will not guarantee success, it offers a competitive advantage over subjective decision making, gut instinct, and selection via certificates, experience and personal choice that many captains adhere to today.

Clare Francis: The first women to singlehandedly sail across the Atlantic

Dovaston Crew are celebrating women in yachting this month, and take a look at one of the very first women to be held in admiration for her yachting skills, the Surrey born Clare Francis.  

Clare spent her summer holidays on the Isle of Wight where she learnt her sailing skills.  She was educated a the Royal Ballet School and then went on to gain a degree in Economics at the University College of London. After working in marketing for three years she began a personal odyssey which turned into what she terms her "unplanned" five year career in sailing.  

The odyssey was an unsponsored and unsung solo voyage across the Atlantic.  She took leave to singlehandedly sail across the Atlantic, departing from Falmouth in Cornwall and arriving, 37 days later, at Newport, Rhode Island.  Following this, she received sponsorship to take part in the 1974 @Round Britain Race with Eve Bonham.  They finished in third place.  In 1975, she took part i the Azores and Back and the L’Aurore sing landed races and in 1976, she competed in the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race in her Ohlson 38 yacht Roberstons Golly, finishing thirteenth overall and setting a new women’s single handed transatlantic record.  She also took part in that year’s L’Aurere singlehanded race.  During 1977 and 1978, she became the first woman to skipper a yacht in the @Whitbread Round the World Race, finishing in fifth place in her Swan 65 ADC Accutrac.

Although her racing career was a relatively brief period, there is no doubt that Clare took the male dominated world of yachting by storm and set an exemplary precedent to other young women who went on to become famous in their own rights in the art of international offshore sail yacht racing.

Would you like to follow in Claire's footsteps? Superb crew selection for yacht crew.

Introducing Merelita: The Female Captain of S/Y Rapture

Merelita Revel is the Captain of a 100ft Southern Wind built Sailing Yacht called Rapture. 

During her career, she has sailed through the ranks in the yachting industry with her skill, dedication and hard work. Merelita is an inspiration to women in the industry and Dovaston Crew were lucky enough to to talk with her. We were dying to find out all about being a woman in yachting and how she has worked her way up the career ladder… not just as part of the interior team as a cook, but ocean sailing, on deck, and now as one of the few female captains in the superyacht industry.

Merelita is a Fiji born, New Zealand schooled sailor. Although she sailed from a young age with her father and as part of her schooling, Merelita wasn't always in this particular industry in fact she has qualifications and talents to excel at anything she turns her hand to.

At a young age, Merelita gained her Bachelor of Science in Zoology, then made a swift move back to sport and went on to being a sponsored snowboarder for 6-7 years. During this time she was sponsored to snowboard around New Zealand, Europe and Canada. 

Even though the first job this ambitious sailor took on-board a yacht was as a cook, that particular boat also demanded a lot of time on deck so naturally she progressed from cook to sole deck; and racing positions.

Since her first position, Merelita has spent three years as a Mate on board a Swan 80 with a very heavy race program. From there she enjoyed a mount of vast experience crewing and racing. Her brag sheet includes crewing in three Rolex Transats; the fastest one taking 10 days and the slowest, though it was wet and stormy, was completed in 23 days on a classic yacht. She also crewed on yachts racing in world class regattas in Sardinia and the Caribbean.

When asked whether she has found it challenging competing in a very male dominated industry, it is clear Merelita feels strongly that she has never been treated differently or struggled as a female… She does offer this advice however, “Know what you know and what you don’t know, but if you don’t know something ASK it!”.

Merelita has noticed that in recent times, crew agencies such as Dovaston have more jobs advertised for female deck crew...

'The industry has changed massively since I joined...It may still be a male dominated industry’, she says ‘but, there are a lot more females out on deck and there are no limitations.’

Her knowledge of the industry is not limited to her career on-board…currently Merelita has some good friends involved in the Volvo Ocean Race; Corinna Halloran the on-board reporter and Sara Hastreiter who is a crew member of the all-female boat SCA. Merelita’s insight into the Volvo Ocean Race was focused on the dangers of sailing through Malaka straits, which would have been very tiring and stressful for the crew, not necessarily due to winds and seas, but dangerous traffic and some hazardous unlit fishing boats. The challenges from the Malaka straights didn’t stop there, ‘There’s a lot of debris in the water, so the crew would have had to spend a lot time in the water clearing the debris from the rudders. Then there are the wind shifts, working with these to keep up speed, which requires a huge amount of skill.’

At the moment, Merelita and her S/Y Rapture  and crew are in the yard until April, after that they may do the Sardinia Southern Wind Regatta. The summers consist of either cruising the Med or New England, and winters are normally in the Caribbean. But you can bet that no matter where she is sailing that Merelita is taking pride in her job, looking after her boat, and her boat is looking after her… ’You have to be motivated and learn to motivate others, and most importantly take pride in what you do. When you take pride in your job, i.e. your boat, not only is that noticed by others, but your boat will look after you. At the end of the day it’s not just a job, it’s crossing seas.. It’s risky.’ 

Merelita only had a few parting words for females, or actually anyone getting in to the industry 
“Go for it!” but she stresses you need to think about studying, what courses you’ll need… ‘Keep moving, get your sea miles and most of all be prepared to graft and gain respect!’

Dovaston Crew would like to thank Merelita for taking the time to speak with us… and we hope that these words will inspire women to follow in her footsteps.

Fancy Working On a Yacht in Build?

How many superyachts have you worked on where you thought to yourself, "If only they had put this oven higher up", or "that area could have been used as extra storage space and not just boarded up".  How exciting would it be to be able to have your input and expertise to help design and finish off your own working area in your new working environment?  

Dovaston Crew are receiving many enquiries for crew for new projects that are still in the last stages of build.  Fabulous opportunities to be a part of incredible projects and to put forward your ideas based on your expertise.  Anything from 30m all the way up to 140m.  With lots of exciting projects on the go around the world, there are plenty of fantastic possibilities.

Dovaston Crew spoke to a captain of one such new build, who tells us,

‘Building a yacht is a complex team event with all parties playing their part, from the owner down, it’s a synchronised event that leads to the ultimate goal of the owners dream being realised. 

Complementing this with a team that are hand picked and sourced using the latest analysis and recruitment technics leads to the dream coming to fruition. Having the proper team in place is often the missing piece of the puzzle, and bringing the right team in early saves the owner time and money in the future.’

So if all you yacht crew out there are looking for a challenge and are eager to learn about the workings of the boat building process, contact us at or register online at