Whether you’re a SoFlo local or an out-of-towner stopping by for a little fun in the sun, you're probably aware of Fort Lauderdale's reputation as the "Venice of America." Tens of thousands of boats pop into this rambunctious city every year, bearing a bounty of treasure for the locals — and by treasure, I'm not talking about gold or jewels. I'm talking about yachties.
They can be hard to resist, with their toned, sun-kissed skin, sexy accents, and “I don’t give a f*#% because I’m on one big adventure” attitudes. You haven’t really lived the South Florida lifestyle until you’ve fallen in love with a yachtie for a night. Sure, they are often charming and exotic, great with their hands, and the life of the party, but be warned — the good times are almost always fleeting, and we have ten solid reasons why.
So, fellow bachelors and bachelorettes, the next time you find yourself pining after the docked yachtie you just made out with for three hours in the pool at the Beach Place Hilton, please remember:
10. They’ll never be impressed with your travel stories. Oh, you studied abroad in Barcelona? That’s cute, they'll say. I grew up in Cape Town, and I’ve stepped foot on every floating pile of sand in the Caribbean.
9. You’re just another story between crew members below deck. No matter how strong your connection was those first three nights, Dane is going to have to go back to sharing 30 square feet of private space with a stewardess named Annie from Germany in a week or two. She shares his passion for wanderlust and is just pretty enough to curb the loneliness when they aren’t docked, so if you think you’re his one and only, it just might be time to reel yourself back in.
8. They’re restless. Good luck having a Netflix-and-chill night. They’ve been stuck on a boat for God knows how long, and they have only a week to blow as much of their tips on Fireball shots as they can while "making new friends."
7. They’re just plain weird. You thought the glazed-over look in their eyes was just from the cocktails, until the next morning, when you realized it was still there and they've probably just stared into the reflection of the sun one too many times.
6. You never really know what they're saying. With that accent and the hodge-podge of South African, British, Kiwi, and Australian lingo, you just can't keep up. It was endearing at first, but it’s annoying how he keeps telling you your cat looks like it wants some “biscuits." Cats don’t eat biscuits; they eat cat food. Go away.
5. They will never be OK with your messy room. If you asked a yachtie for the keys to success, organization and cleanliness would be at the top of the list. They’re used to being surrounded by perfectly polished, very expensive, and aesthetically pleasing items, all kept in their rightful places on the superyacht. So, even though you might be able get past the moldy shower and beard trimmings on the bathroom sink at your hookup buddy’s apartment, they won’t.
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4. There’s a 20 percent chance everything you know about them is a lie. It’s a scientific fact that one in every five yachties is a pathological liar. But to be fair, poor Maureen from Sydney has been spending a lot of time in a very little bit of space with seven of the same people, so feeling mysterious is virtually impossible. When the cute boy at McSorley’s chats her up, can you blame her for embellishing a bit about how she really spent her time St. Thomas?
3. You’re never getting to the "meet the parents" stage. Besides the fact that they most likely live on the other side of the Earth and have also never heard of you, the parents of your yachtie lover will never have the pleasure of meeting you, because the relationship was doomed from the start. Yachties aren’t being called to the sea in search of stability and a lasting love. If you want to be the kind of guy or girl who gets taken home to the ’rents, find someone who looks at you as the destination, not just a stop along the way.
2. Holidays are nonexistent. So you can stop daydreaming about that magical New Year’s kiss or passing out on the couch together after double helpings of Thanksgiving dinner. Weeks, sometimes months, at a time are spent at sea and, most of the time, over major holidays. Valentine’s Day dates will have to be pushed out to March, and the Fourth of July BBQ could end up becoming a 24th of July BBQ when you try to work with your yachtie’s schedule. If you’re really determined to try to make it work, I suggest you start getting excited about Columbus Day, since it’s probably one of the few holidays you’ll get to spend together.
1. Sext message charges to the Caribbean rack up pretty quickly. And the Skype sessions quickly become boring and one-sided: They’re telling you about the last two nights they spent in Ibiza, while you're trying to feign excitement through your story about the awesome BOGO deal you scored at Publix today. You’re going to need to spice things up to keep your yachtie interested, so sexting is a must. Only problem is, it costs $1.50 every time you text about how you like it and 75 cents for each time they respond with “send me a titty/dick pic." If you’re going to spend money on a far-from-pleasing sexual experience, just use it on a bunch of vodka sodas from Rhythm + Vine before showing up at your local hookup buddy’s dirty apartment instead. Even though he can’t go down on you because he “doesn’t know how,” it’s better than waking up the next morning $30 poorer with only your phone in your hand and a camera roll full of mediocre nudes.