The truth about rotational yacht jobs for Stews

Louise Overend, Interior recruitment consultant at YPI Crew discusses rotational yacht jobs for Stews onboard yachts.

When I started in recruitment nearly 5 years ago, the most sought-after stew and stewardess yacht jobs were always on charter yachts. However, following the events of the past year, this has changed. The preferred choice for Stews at all levels is now a rotational yacht job. More time with friends and family has never been so important and valued, and perhaps it was something we all took for granted before.

 

What is a rotational yacht job?

Having a rotational yacht job means that you get more structured leave. For example, 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.

 

Fact: The most common rotational yacht job offered to more Junior Stews is 5:1

 

What is the best rotational yacht job for Stews?

The rotation I’m asked about the most is the 3:1 rotation. These are much rarer, and a 2:2 is more commonly reserved for the more senior Stews onboard. So with that in mind, today I’m going to advise you more about the 3:1 rotation – where are they most commonly offered, what are your chances of getting one, and how you can improve your yachting CV to make sure that you aim to get that great rotation in the future!

I would like to add that there are always exceptions out there. For example, a great charter with rotation, but these are super rare. Also, spa therapists, nurses, etc. will always find that rotational yacht jobs easier to find.

 

Fact: Private yachts of 100m+ are the most likely to offer you a rotation of 3:1

 

How easy is it to get a Stew rotational yacht job?

The truthful answer is that it is not as easy as we would hope. During Covid-19, many Stew rotations were cancelled for budget and logistical reasons. Stews who are currently working in a rotational yacht job are keeping their jobs as they know they are very lucky to have them! These two facts alone have meant the number of positions coming in which offer rotation has dropped to below 10%. This means out of every 100 jobs, 90 of them are offering more standard leave.

 

Fact: Less than 10% of jobs Stews offer a 3:1 rotation

 

Where can I find Stew rotation on yachts?

The majority of rotational positions are on private yachts of 100m+. There are far fewer charter yachts that offer rotation to Stews, as they are in the money-making business. It makes more financial sense for them to just have one crew member for each position, and it keeps down the logistics of flights and admin too. Yachts under 100m don’t tend to offer as many rotational positions either, as they have a different dynamic with crew and can’t afford to lose a crew member for an extended period of time. They lean more towards the 5:1 rotation.

 

Fact: Most charter yachts will offer standard leave

 

How can I increase my chances of getting rotational yacht job in the future?

As rotational yacht jobs are in such high demand, with pretty much every Stew looking for one, when a position opens up the competition is intense! It’s good to think about writing the strongest CV possible so that when these positions open up you’re in the ‘Yes’ pile. When I take in these positions, the Heads of Department always ask for the following:

  • A good background prior to yachting, in a relevant industry
  • Roughly 18 months in the industry, with at least 12 months’ longevity on the same yacht
  • Experience on yachts of a similar size (80m+)
  • Trained in extra skills which bring value to the team, like floristry, cocktails, barista
  • PDSD in hand, and Food Hygiene Level 2

 

So, my advice is to play the long game. Make a plan which will help lead you to the rotation position you want. Spend some time making sure that you have a great CV. For now, join a yacht with a great reputation and which is known for its standards, and commit to it for a long time. Be like a sponge – learn and practise everything your Chief Stew teaches you, and ask to learn more! Be the best version of yourself, and get some amazing references for your time onboard. Invest time in stewardess training courses, or in developing specific skills, like cocktail mixology for example, or floristry. Stick to this plan for 18 months, and you’ll be in the best possible position to pick up a great rotation on a top yacht!

 

Written by Louise Overend, Interior recruitment consultant at YPI Crew