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Is 51 years old too old to start a career as a Yacht stewardess?

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by KateAdventure, Aug 25, 2015.

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  1. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    So, how about it Norse, you want to be pampered on an expensive charter with looks or grey hair and dentures?
  2. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    I would ask for more, but she just sent me a PM, all set:)
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Good boy.
  4. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Well, I am the owner and operator so I'll take the grey hair and dentures, that is where the money is.
    The looks are for days off.
  5. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Yup, and she can trust me, I am a gentleman and looking for a stew on my charter boat. (As long as my wife does not find out)
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Good boy.
  7. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Thx dad:)
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The challenge is the first job. It comes somewhat through luck. However, you can make your own good luck. You get your STCW, you take some other stew relevant courses at a maritime school, even develop other skills such as massage or personal training or cooking. Then you put yourself in places you might get that first job from crew houses to docks. You also realize that from the day you start toward the goal, you're interviewing. People you train with or meet in a crew house or see on the docks might be impressed by your maturity and work ethic or they might be completely turned away from you. Also, make it clear that there is no part of the job beneath you and that includes cleaning up after sick guests, swabbing the decks, cleaning the heads. Especially at the start it's a heavy, hard working, manual labor type position. You have to prove you're ok coming in as the lowest ranking member of the crew, taking orders from others 20 years and more younger than you, sharing a cabin with an 18 year old but treating her as your peer, not your daughter.

    I did mention Julie Perry's website and book in post 3 and still recommend them.
  9. pamibach

    pamibach Member

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    well, as you can see, you will run into men who want only eye candy, but the most important thing is can you do the job well
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    There are many that do their work very well. Young and old, everywhere in between.
    In the later years, you have these many already ahead of you.
    NFGs are not going to just walk up to a boat with a box of certs and get their dream job.
    Knowing somebody, a training/placement program will help. Nice gams beat out some of the competition also. Eye candy? Yes, it may help.
  11. pamibach

    pamibach Member

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    I'd hire her on my crew, she probably has some good stories
  12. Ted Anderson

    Ted Anderson New Member

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    I am as well trying to do the same.although stew is not my plan.do it ,make or break but have no regrets..life is to short.when does life end or start.follow your heart.be smart if in the end you need to bale, pun intended..lol go.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The OP's last post was over 2 years ago, so if she hasn't done it by now, not likely to happen.
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Like it or not age discrimination is very much alive and well in this industry

    There are a number of experienced and qualified people in the 50+ age group who find it tough if not impossible to get a job.

    It is a shame to see these folks sidelined purely because someone thinks they are past their best before date.
  15. Ted Anderson

    Ted Anderson New Member

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    I like you....
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    As in most industries, they're discriminated against by a combination of factors, all related to age. Owners can hire younger and less experienced at far less cost, or at the very least they perceive less cost. They feel even if they hire the more experienced at the lower cost, they'll lose them quickly. In addition, those who provide medical coverage, look at the cost.

    It's the same thing Walmart and K-Mart and others do. If they can find a reason to replace a 60 year old with a 25 year old their cost is less than half. They depend on people retiring so they can promote and pay less plus hire someone at entry level. It also holds down medical costs.

    It's a shortsighted approach. We have within out boating and our home management group, 12 full time employees. That includes 4 people 60 or older. We have a two 60+ year old captains. Out total age graph shows 60+ = 4, 50-60 = 2, 40-50=1, 30-40=2, 23-30=3. Perfect curve with senior training junior. That's very important to us as the 25-35 year old captains can gain the knowledge that the 60+ year old have.

    Within our business we have some very young key people. Our CEO is a 34 year old female and our COO is a 28 year old female. However, at the Group Director and Profit Center Manager level we have something like 5 managers over 60 and 15 over 50, most of them training and developing younger managers.

    I see it in the yacht industry daily. Someone has a 130' boat and can hire an experienced proven 50+ year old captain with over 30 years of experience but the going salary would be $100-150k plus benefits. Or they can find a 30 year old with no experience as a Master of a boat or on a boat that size but willing to work for $75k. Same on Engineering. Chief Engineer on a boat that size probably $80-120k or less experienced engineer without the needed experience for $60k. On engineers they also think the older can't handle the physical side. Actually, the older has learned how to make it less physical and the younger often still tries to use strength over brains and is the one who gets hurt.

    The best hiring practices are to go for the best candidate, regardless of age or sex or anything else. Female engineers and captains also encounter the wall. Well we have a female engineer and three female captains.

    A lot of 50+ captains doing deliveries today, not by choice, but by inability to get full time jobs. They're also competing with desperate younger, inexperienced captains willing to do the job at below market rates. A great delivery captain quotes $400 a day and an inexperienced one quotes $250 a day and the owner of a $5 million boat chooses the $250 captain. They fail to realize that there will likely be some problems on a delivery of a boat they just purchased and the captain who has seen it all and has experience will be able to deal with them plus has run the route many times and knows all the areas that require special care and if service is needed along the way also knows all the providers.

    The oldest and the youngest get discriminated against as captains and engineers. For deck and stew, anyone over 40 may have trouble and often those over 30 do. They hire the stew willing to take $2k a month and wonder why when someone wants something special they don't know how to provide it.

    Last season of Below Deck Mediterranean had an interesting battle between chief stew and wannabe chief stew. The wannabe might have been a harder worker, but she did not understand all the other things a chief stew on a charter has to do and that when they aren't visible, they may well be making some last minute arrangement to accommodate a guest. With deck hands and mates, owners see it as a job requiring muscles and not brains. Again, older persons may have muscles (I'd never want to get into a contest of strength with our 60 year old captain) but they also know how to do the job properly without ending up hurt or injured.

    Every other form of discrimination is equally alive and seen every day in this and every industry. In business, some of my best hires ever have been possible because others chose to discriminate, either consciously or not.

    My 67 year old jewelry buyer can earn his salary ten fold in a year vs the average buyer in the industry. Meanwhile he's training someone so he can travel less and then go to part time when he wishes.
  17. SpaNStew

    SpaNStew New Member

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    I'm following this very interested thread. I still feel there is hope for me and believe there is a boat out there for everyone. I do know it will take me longer. I'm 42 . But I hope my Massage Therapist, Esthetician, Nail Technician skill sets, BS Degree in Business Mgmt, and years of Human Resources and Legal Administration will assist me.
  18. discokachina

    discokachina Senior Member

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    Olderboater has very relevant and sage advice such as, "However, you can make your own good luck. You get your STCW, you take some other stew relevant courses at a maritime school, even develop other skills such as massage or personal training or cooking. Then you put yourself in places you might get that first job from crew houses to docks. You also realize that from the day you start toward the goal, you're interviewing. People you train with or meet in a crew house or see on the docks might be impressed by your maturity and work ethic or they might be completely turned away from you. Also, make it clear that there is no part of the job beneath you and that includes cleaning up after sick guests, swabbing the decks, cleaning the heads."

    You did not mention where you live. Are you financially able and willing to move to Ft. Lauderdale to do the things he suggests? If so I would strongly encourage you to do so now! The sooner the better while the fire remains in the belly of the beast! The networking opportunities here are incredible!! While you go to school you go to every event possible to meet and greet other people in the business. If you want to work in "the industry" Ft. Lauderdale is "ground zero" in the US. I am a great believer in that having a positive attitude will pay off at some point in your near future if you are able to take the risk to put yourself out there. If you are dedicated to your goals in life and you work hard towards them I am confident your efforts will be rewarded. The only way you will ever find out is by taking that first step toward your dream by moving to Ft. Lauderdale where all the yachting action is taking place.

    Make your own good luck and you will definitely get whatever you set your mind to!!!
  19. SpaNStew

    SpaNStew New Member

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    I have lived in Florida since 2000. I owned and helped bring a 46' 1969 Roamer Chris Craft (Aluminum hull - only 11 of them built) 1,300 miles down the MS River from the WI/IL border to Pensacola, and lived on her for 11 yrs. Been through so much on her I really think I can get through anything. I guess the biggest one and longest was during & after Hurricane Ivan decimated every single marina in the area, we lived at anchor in a bayou for 14 mos. (I couldn't ever evacuate for storms because I worked for the local government attorneys office I had to work the Emergency Operations Center). I hauled my own drinking and shower water, fuel for generators and 2 dinghies, laundry, food, and dog. I maintained an online blog the entire 11 years actually of all of adventures! Anyways, after my divorce a few years back, I moved to central Florida.

    I am a couple hours from Ft L. Taking the STCW and Food Handling course next week. The Stew Intro course in January, and moving to Ft Lauderdale Feb 1.

    Thank you for your support and words of encouragement!
  20. discokachina

    discokachina Senior Member

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    One of the best sources of networking information in Ft. Lauderdale is a newspaper called "The Triton". You can pick them up at locations in the 17th Street area and marinas. They are also online!!! They sponsor regular networking events that you should not miss.

    I would check with the crew placement agencies in Lauderdale now to see what assistance they may be able to offer you in preparing to get that first crew position. Their websites offer a plethora of information. Based on the yachting experience and skills you have mentioned above your CV will make you a lot more attractive than those who have had less yachting experience and none of the desirable skills you have under your belt.

    Good Luck and let us know where you end up!