Before I joined the superyacht industry, I was the General Manager for La Tasca Spanish Restaurant in Sheffield. The management experience helped me secure my position but I think generally you need to have the right attitude, some sort of customer service background, lots of perseverance to get your first job and a big smile!
A job in Antibes
I got my first job after just a week and a half in Antibes. It would have been a lot harder had I not completed the Flying Fish crew course.
I'm now on a 28m Mangusta which berths in Monaco for the summer. The owner lives in Monaco and we have a mixture of charters and the boss being on. At first I didn't pay any attention to any yachts below 45m when I was dock walking as I thought I wanted a bigger boat but I'm very happy on this one, at least for my first season. Being sole stew, I've learnt loads and also had the chance to do some deck work.
On charter it's pretty hectic as a sole stew. Up at 7 or 8 am, set up and serve breakfast. Then, if there's time, make some beds while they're eating.
We usually then move the boat to go out on anchor for the day so I need to jump in our tender and follow the boat which is great fun, although the time would be better spent cleaning the cabins! Once we are on anchor, I can finish the cleaning while the guests play in the water.
By then, it's time to set up for lunch, usually outside, which on our small boat means dismantling the sofa beds on the aft deck and bringing the table up from underneath. A good workout for my bingo wings moving all the cushions!
Lunch is served then I'll clean up and tidy everything away. Polish the silver, put the china and crystal away. I can normally grab an hour or so in the crew mess to chill. I have to try to fight getting gently rocked to sleep with the boat as I need to be available to the guests if they need me during this time.
On the mova again
Then we'll be on the move again, usually going into port.
By the time we get into port, it's time to set up for dinner unless the guests are dining on shore, which is magical! After I serve dinner, I turn the cabins down. I remove the bed day covers and make the cabins look like they haven't been used. This can be quite a challenge and I just hope they eat slowly. Then I serve after-dinner drinks, clear up and wait for them to go to bed.
I also need to fit my laundry in around this and various other jobs. Hard work but lots of fun!
Cool places and good money
I love working in the sunshine and in beautiful surroundings. Some other great aspects of this job are meeting people, partying in cool places, and being on very good money with alcohol expenditure your only outgoing.
My advice to anyone thinking of looking for work as a stew is to definitely do the Interior Crew Training course - and take the powerboat course too - a great bonus to life when you're jetting round the Med in a tender.