You just can't get the staff these days, and it seems one never could...

Good to know that the problems of finding suitable and compliant crew have always been a concern for readers.

While doing some research in the archives recently I came across this reader’s letter in ‘The Yachting Monthly’ of 1911. It was one of a series lamenting the shortage of reliable, sober crew who could turn to at all hours and be relied upon not to pocketing sundry inducements.

‘Sir, why cannot the difficulty be got over by taking an amateur paid hand – ie a landsman to whom a cruise would be a thorough holiday, and who would be keen on all there was to do.

‘I know one man who takes his chauffeur. Another that I heard of carried a footman.

‘A college kitchen boy who would, of course, cook and who could row a dinghy would soon pick up what was wanted of him and would probably come for little more than his expenses.

‘I believe the Boy Scout movement includes instruction in just the arts that are wanted and should produce youngsters who would be glad to spend their holiday time in such a capacity.

‘On a yacht carrying four amateurs, a professional yacht steward might be the only paid hand. If made to dress in a striped jacket and apron, he would keep his place.

‘F. C. Kempson’

An idea perhaps? There’s still time to get CRB-checked for this season’s sailing…