A guide on how to get started in the Superyacht industry
A podcast where you join me (Jess!) From Superyacht stories with other Yachties to helpful hints for green crew, we cover it all.
I am a yacht stewardess now living life back on land! After 5 years travelling the world on Superyachts. I want to share with you how you can do it too!
When you’re searching for yacht jobs online as a stewardess or deckhand you may have seen jobs advertised as rotational or 3:1 or 2:1 and a lot of questions have popped up around these jobs. So in the blog, we will get clear on what rotational jobs are, how they work, why they are sought after in the industry, and the differences between working as a permanent yacht crew and rotational yacht crew.
It’s where you work a set amount of time then have an organized period of leave this can range anywhere between 5 months on and 1 month off to 6 weeks on 6 weeks off. Rotational jobs are normal for vessels above 3000 gross tones.
For Junior Stews a 5:1 is the most common and standard rotation. This means that you are on board for 5 months, and have 1 month’s leave. Other rotations for the interior department are the 3:1 rotation however a little harder to come by… Typically speaking yachts over 100m are likely to offer a 3:1 rotation for the crew. And a 2:2 is more commonly reserved for the more senior Stews onboard. For those stews with extra skills such as spa therapists, hairdressers, and nurses rotational jobs are easier to come by.
2 crew members share one job onboard so when your time onboard is complete so you’ve done your 3 months you’ll prepare handover notes for your crew member you are swapping out with to carry on their role onboard and they are up to date. This may also come from the chief stew with a briefing.
On departure day you’ll do a full detail of your cabin cleaning it and making the bed for your incoming crew member and You’ll pack away all your belongings in your cabin and put them in your suitcase. Sometimes vessells allow rotational crew to have another bag on board where they can store some items so they don’t have to carry them on leave and then return with them to the boat. However not always depends on the space available for luggage onboard.
Your flights are also paid for back to your home port (country), and a question popped up the other day as to whether or not you HAVE to fly home on your leave or can you fly to another country and enjoy a holiday. And it all depends on the boat’s policy. I always worked on boats where they would offer crew a flight to the same amount that it would usually cost to fly them home. So for the Aussies and kiwis out there who are over in the states and Europe, this is often one of the most expensive flights so it was great and you could fly anywhere, however, this was not the case for crew from England as if we were in France and they were going on leave it was usually a very cheap flight and they would have to contribute money to their flight allowance if they chose to fly to a different part of the world. The crew from England would usually save their flights till when we were in the Caribbean so they could use more of the allowance for a holiday.
Many years ago charter yachts were the most desired boats to be on because of extra tips earned. However, this has recently changed with many recruiters confirming the preferred choice for Stews at all levels is now a rotational yacht job. It means more time with friends and family has never been so important and valued, and perhaps it was something we all took for granted before. It offers more structure so you can plan your life a little easier and maybe be able to attend events back home like weddings etc. It gives you a bit more stability in what feels like a very fast-paced life onboard sometimes.
In my opinion, it makes your career as a yacht stew or deckhand more sustainable as you know there’s light at the end of the tunnel when you’ve been working so hard you have a date when you know you’re leaving the boat. And that feeling is just as good as drop-off day! You’ll know what I mean when you first experience it.
In short, yes! You will continue to receive your superyacht crew salary throughout the year, and although this may not be as much as if you were working on yachts in a permanent role, the trade-off is generally considered well worth it. It means that when you are on board, you’re highly motivated and ready to carry out your yacht crew duties to the highest standard.
Rotation was a big goal of mine, but I have to admit it was a very different environment to working for a few years on a charter yacht.
To start with most rotational interior positions are on private yachts of 100m+. Charter yachts don’t seem to offer rotation as much to stews as they are in the money-making business! Considering financially it makes sense for them to have just one stew to keep flight costs down.
On Yachts, under 100m you don’t usually see as many rotational positions as they can’t afford to lose a crew member for an extended time.
When a rotational position opens up it’s good to know you have a really strong CV so that you can be considered for the ‘Yes’ pile. If you’re unsure about yours the Yachting CV my toolkit can help! it has everything you need to make a stand-out cv from cv templates to a full cv review.
As it is a lot harder for green crew to land a rotational role here is a rundown of heads of departments will ask when recruiting for a rotational role.
Filled with so much valuable MUST KNOW information for aspiring yachties! Don't miss it, it's free!
I’m a chief stewardess with over 6 years experience working in the superyacht industry on boats up to 88m. I help aspiring yacht crew by propelling them with the know-how and tools to confidently break into the superyacht industry.