Hi Liezl, what are you doing at the moment?
I am currently chief stewardess onboard a 66 metre motor yacht.
How did you get started in yachting?
I was 18 years old when I started, I had seen a few boats in Monaco during a school trip a couple of years before and loved the idea of working on one of them, so I decided to look into it and see if it was even a possibility.
My original plan was to only do it for a year and needless to say I have been here ever since.
I grew up around boats so it was a natural fit for me and I have enjoyed it from the start.
What are your career objectives?
I am working towards stepping up to becoming purser.
I enjoy doing courses as I feel like you always learn something new, whether that’s in your position onboard or just general life at sea.
I have recently completed a mental health first aid training course, as well as qualifying as a certified Life Coach, and feel like these courses have aided me in being a better leader for the team, as well as being able to support and communicate with crew who might be struggling or just want to talk.
What does a typical day look like for you?
This is very different from day to day, depending on whether we’re on a boss trip, doing a yard period, or underway.
On ’off charter’ days we’ll start with a morning meeting where I explain and give each interior team member their job list for the day, and give everyone an opportunity to ask questions if they have any.
I’m always available for my team throughout the day to help with any issues or queries they have.
I like to be hands on so I would try and spend most of my day on the floor with the girls, detailing the interior, making beds, doing inventories, etc.
Some days I spend in front of the computer organising contractors, finalising orders and planning for upcoming boss trips.
During trips my primary job is looking after the guests and making sure they are happy and all their needs are met.
I run the service for all meals and ensure the interior operations run smoothly.
What’s your favourite part of this role?
I love all the different dimensions that the job has to offer.
Every day is different and interesting and exciting!
I love people and I love managing the interior team, seeing the boat come together for boss trips and seeing the owners leave happy after a trip is such a great feeling.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
The toughest part of the job for me would probably have to be missing big life events at home, friends getting married, family passing away and sometimes you just don’t have the opportunity to go home no matter how flexible the boat is.
I was fortunate enough to meet my husband onboard though, we’ve been together 6 years now and it’s great having a partner who understands this life, the pressures, the hours and of course all the travelling!
Is there anything you know now about working in yachting, that you wish you had known before starting?
Come into yachting open minded, and take what people tell you about the industry with a grain of salt because every person has a completely different experience.
Trust your gut, work really hard, explore when you can and always be open to learning new skills onboard.
You never know when they will come in handy.
Thanks Liezl for sharing your experiences with us!
If you’re interested in a chief stew position please check out our live job board
, updated every week with new opportunities.
For all your course needs visit our training page
with a full interior course schedule for Fort Lauderdale, and if you’re based in Antibes you can book massage and beauty courses with Harmonie Rock Therapy, or ask us for the list of interior courses at our preferred partners.
Enjoyed reading about Liezl’s life onboard?
If you’re working in the interior department and would like to share your story please send an email to our marketing manager
, Sarah Smith-Garrison, who will get in touch with you to discuss.