Are Crew Relationships on ‘Below Deck’ Ever a Good Idea?

Below Deck Med | Hannah Ferrier Instagram

In nearly every single season of Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean, someone is bound to hook up. From Adam Glick and Malia White to Eddie Lucas and Raquel “Rocky” Dakota, quite a few crew romantic relationships went south quickly.

But are crew romances always a bad idea? Or, according to chief stew Kate Chastain, may be helpful? When deckhand Rhylee Gerber and new deckhand Tyler Rowland hooked up, Chastain said, “Crew hookups are good for crew morale because you have more bounce in your step.”

This is how captains view crew romances

According to a survey by The Triton, at least 40% of the captains said couples had a positive impact on crew dynamics. “Couples tend to be more settled and disciplined,” a captain of a yacht 160-180 feet in yachting more than 25 years told The Triton. “They are usually better behaved and mature. The singles are out late, seeking social interaction, whereas couples tend to be less pressed to go out and be part of ‘the chase’.”

Another highly experienced yacht captain says, “I have had chef/stew and first officer/stew couples in the past, and it worked out fine as they were committed couples as well as very professional.”

But not everyone feels the same way. “Seems that there is always some drama on board that is not there otherwise,” said a yacht captain with 30 years of experience.  Another captain with more than 30 years said, “Couples tend to break the crew morale and dynamics. They often are off by themselves, excluding the rest of the crew. This makes it difficult to build a strong, cohesive team when part of the crew are trying to separate themselves from the others.”

Have any ‘Below Deck’ romances worked out?

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Plenty of crew members have hooked up but nearly none of the relationships worked out. For instance, deckhand Kelley Johnson sort of strung along fellow deckhand Jennice Ontiveros. He pursued her, but once he got her, he seemed to cool to have a relationship once the season ended.

Also, Chef Adam Glick and deckhand Malia White apparently hooked up before the charter season began. They kept their relationship secret until White found herself more attracted to bosun Wes Walton. She ditched Glick for Walton, which caused tremendous tension throughout the crew. Another Below Deck Med fail were the couplings of bosun Conrad Empson and chief stew Hannah Ferrier. And deckhand Joao Franco and second stew Brooke Laughton. Alliances were formed, some crew members appeared to be slacking and it was “no bueno” for a lot of reasons.

Only one Below Deck romance that made it on land for more than a week. Chef Ben Robinson and second stew Emily Warburton-Adams had the least amount of drama on charter too. And while the couple dated for some time after the cameras stopped rolling, today they are just friends.

Most ‘Below Deck’ romances start while on charter

So do captains have a policy about crew hookups once the staff is already employed? Close to 60% of yacht captains have no policy about crew hookups, The Triton reports. “No rules against it but it is usually not the preferred situation,” said the captain of a yacht 140-160 feet in yachting more than 30 years to The Triton. “If two good crew ‘hook-up’, we try to make the best of it.”

And for those who do impose an “anti-dating” policy? “You cannot stop it, but I consistently discourage it,” a captain with 30 plus years said. “The military complex worldwide has had centuries to work out these situations and they realize that couples within the system do not work well. The military and most large companies have policies about staff relationships.”

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