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Advice for a lost college girl starting out in the yachting industry

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by Summer Hayes, Jan 26, 2018.

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  1. Summer Hayes

    Summer Hayes New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Rep. of Panama
    Hi all! I'm a 23 year old female with a college undergrad degree in Foreign Affairs and a little bit of hospitality. Ive been around boats, fishing and the ocean my entire life, Ive worked at a world renowned fishing lodge for the passed couple of months between semesters and I'm planning to get into the yachting industry as a stew or guest relations but I'm not too sure where to start. I am going to take an STCW course in a few weeks, but after that...? Do I dock walk? what other course would I take to that would make me look like a better hire?
    Thanks guys!
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
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    4,576
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    What is your nationality? I ask because that does impact the ease of starting it certain areas and the best approach.

    Now, I would also ask you why do you want to be a stew? Career goals or just for a shorter time?

    If you're serious about it then every course you take helps demonstrate that. Your hospitality and boat background definitely help. I assume you're multi-lingual and that's a big advantage. In Fort Lauderdale, two courses are offered, a five day Introductory Stew course and a 10 day Senior Stew course. I would think the five day introductory course would be good. The goal is for your resume, with your training and experience, to look better than all the other beginners.

    Then you walk, but not just docks. Spend time around others in the industry. Have lunch in the Cafe at Rybovich. Have lunch adjacent to other yards. Don't go on the drinking and bar routine. Everything you do is as a job applicant and you don't know who might help you or when. Also, crew housing can work in your favor as you meet other crew members and form relationships plus you impress the operator who observes and who knows a lot of people in the industry.

    Does it help to list on crew sites? Not a lot generally, but it doesn't hurt. Finding a job should be a full time job so why not do it. And initially to build some experience, don't say no to anything unless illegal or immoral. Even if it's just a two day run, it's a chance to impress, and what better do you have to do? I have two great stews who their first work was asking if help was needed (when it obviously was) on cleaning a boat. One asked the chief stew and ended up after that day with a job. The other asked a grumpy old man who ran his own small charter boat and his deck hand hadn't shown up. Well, she was his deck hand for the charter starting the next day. You often prove yourself on the dirtiest work.

    Other things that can help are any additional skills. Massage, Personal Training, Cooking, Tender Operator, Scuba. The two stews I mentioned above, one has massage training and the other went to a short culinary course.

    There are a lot of stew applicants. Many of them are looking for a nice vacation to exotic places and have no idea how much work the job is. You want to distinguish yourself as wanting to do the work.

    A lot of stews make decent money but party and play it all away. However, it's possible to save a lot of money while being a yacht stew. I know smart stews on charters who never touch their pay, just use tips for spending money as they don't have to spend money for food and lodging when on the yacht. It's possible on a private yacht to spend very little of one's pay.
  3. Prospective

    Prospective Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
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    115
    Location:
    New England
    My daughter has talked about being a stew when she's old enough. Not sure it will ever happen but that is some great advice, for that job, or any other...
  4. Summer Hayes

    Summer Hayes New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Rep. of Panama
    THIS IS SO HELPFUL!
    thank you so much!
    I have dual citizenship between the USA and Panama, so 2 passports and yes I'm bilingual
    No worries about partying my pay away, I am pretty low key about that.
    Yep I figured day jobs would have to do as a start.
    My dad was a Panama Canal ship pilot and my brother is in merchant marine school, We grew up with a 62 ft island hopper and would spend nights on it in the islands.
    I feel that being stew/deckie would be my best bet.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Sep 2, 2013
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    4,576
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    On larger boats you're either inside or outside, stew or deck, but on smaller boats jack of all trades is very valuable.
  6. Summer Hayes

    Summer Hayes New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Rep. of Panama
    All advice is warmly welcomed! I'm watching this thread for anyone who wants to drop in their two cents!

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