Life After Yachting


For those of you that are yachties, I am sure at some point or another, the thought of moving back to “land life” has crossed your mind. It’s incredibly difficult to see outside of the world of yachting & figure out what the heck to do next!

Today I am interviewing 6 ex-stewardesses who are now thriving in their professional lives on land! The options are limitless which is evident as these ladies have all taken totally different career paths. Hopefully, this blog post will inspire you to see future possibilities.

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Yachtie for 8 Years
Brand Manager for Seedlip

What do you do now? And where in the world do you call home?

I am now the brand manager for Seedlip drinks here in New Zealand. We have set up a home in a gorgeous coastal town just outside of the city. I still get to put my feet in the ocean daily, so life is good!

Did you plan to work in this field after yachting? If not, how did this job come to be? 

Not at all – it was very serendipitous. After a cocktail competition called World Class, I was contacted by Diageo to work at some events. It took a little while, but after some juggling – I was offered a brand ambassador role that concentrated on their luxury spirits range & tied in with superyachts. After doing this job & deciding to move home – Seedlip approached me to do a similar role with their product here in NZ. I am very fortunate, but hard work does pay off!

What skills from life as a yachtie helps you in your current workplace?

Being able to speak to a wide range of people confidently, having experience styling helps me with setting up events, and an eye for details ensures customers get a great experience – similar to what you aim for on a guest trip.

It’s amazing how many transferrable skills there are!

What’s been the biggest challenge working on land?

Haha… making my own dinners & doing laundry in my free time. What a luxury it is in yachting to return daily to your cabin with freshly ironed, clean laundry & a gourmet dinner on the table!
Personally I struggled when I got home, as I found that nobody was as ‘available’ as yachties. I would try to organize get-togethers last minute & soon realized these ‘spur’ of the moment rosé lunches or weekends away don’t really happen back in the ‘real world’.

Any advice for those looking to move on from yachts?

Follow what you are passionate about & ensure you have good friends or family around you. It won’t be easy at first, but it’s wonderful once you get past the hard stage & start feeling settled. We got a puppy also – which meant that I didn’t have an urge to go back for ‘just one more season’.

Connect with other ex-yachties for support & stay social!




Yachtie for 5 Years
Boutique Owner & Virtual Assistant 

What do you do now? And where in the world do you call home?

I am a virtual assistant for female entrepreneurs and I own my own small ethical womenswear collection Discover Boutique. I live in Spain with my boyfriend who has just finished yachting too, he has just purchased a large plot of land one hour from Barcelona in the mountains. He’s just started to build a motocross track doe professionals and amateur riders, it will be ready to open in the new year.

Did you plan to work in this field after yachting? If not, how did this job come to be? 

I planned on Discover Boutique, I researched how to run an ethical fashion business for the last 2 years whilst working on boats. I spent every minute of spare time I had researching and teaching myself how to do everything. I soon ran out of my savings though whilst living in Barcelona and Discover Boutique was not making enough money to live off of, so I was close to 0.00 in my account! I got thinking about what I could I do to make an income and it just sprung on me to help out small businesses with all the things I taught myself throughout the running of Discover Boutique. So I started Virtual Assistant Michelle and I do a whole variety of things from social media and marketing, business training, content editing, Etsy store management, wedding and travel planning and so much more, I pretty much do anything anyone needs help with!

What skills from life as a yachtie helps you in your current workplace?

I don’t think you realize when you leave yachting how many people skills you acquire whilst working with many different nationalities, it really opens up your personality and confidence too. The organization is a MASSIVE one, this helps extensively in my job too as I am often organizing various aspects of peoples lives and businesses.

What’s been the biggest challenge working on land?

The biggest challenge is MONEY, and just how expensive everything is! You really do take it for granted when working on boats.

Any advice for those looking to move on from yachts?

My advice would be to make sure you do something that you absolutely love, something that you can imagine doing every day and not get bored of. Do your research beforehand that way when you leave you can hit the ground running and not spend all of your hard-earnt money straight away. 




Yachtie for 4 Years
Registered Massage Therapist

What do you do now? And where in the world do you call home?

I work back in Toronto, Canada as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).  I work at 3 clinics and am self-employed. I needed a job with flexibility and freedom. If I want to take a week off I can. After working on yachts it was important to me to have a job that didn’t make me feel tied down.  Where is home to me? This is a hard one. I would say where I was raised is “home” going back to my parent’s place on the lake and seeing my childhood friends is home but I feel the most myself in Barcelona where I was just living for the past year. I am about to go back for a month because I just can’t shake the feeling of “home” there.

Did you plan to work in this field after yachting? If not, how did this job come to be? 

was always fascinated with therapies and rehabilitation and human anatomy and biology. I did not know my life would lead me down this path although it was always kind of on the back burner deep down. It just felt like the right move after working on the jet. I knew I wanted a job that helped people, that made a difference in someone’s life but also I wanted a career I could continually grow and learn. I am my own boss, run my own business and have freedom. Yachting instilled these traits into me and it just fit.

What skills from life as a yachtie helps you in your current workplace?

As a yachtie, you have to cater to the world’s elite, posh, upscale, demanding.  You learn to become a chameleon and adapt to the demands and requests asked of you no matter how wild or challenging. You learn how to work as a team and you begin to think outside the box. You become superwoman and make the impossible happen all while smiling and flicking away your stress sweat before it rats you out. I think working on yachts transforms you. It made me a stronger person both in the working world and in my own life. You learn what you will and will not tolerate and you find out who you really are. That is an asset in any workplace and in life in general.

What’s been the biggest challenge working on land?

Well, they don’t call yachting the golden handcuffs for no reason. When you leave the industry and become land-based, life becomes very different even though you were a landie (just made that up) before being a yachtie.  You have to buy your own groceries, cook your own meals, pay bills. budget, sacrifice going out because your income isn’t entirely disposable. You have to wait for buses in the snow, do laundry, work your comparatively simple job and then go to bed and do it all over again….all for 2 weeks vacation. Wait, why am I a landie again? Get me on a yacht STAT!

What would you do differently if you could go back in time?

One thing I wish I could go back and do differently would be to stick with it and really save. If you are smart you can work for 5 years, have an amazing time and come back to your home wherever that may end up being, and buy a house. Own property, then buy more and become a manager of your own property. That’s where the money is.  Not that everything is about money but you gotta live and for me, I am 31 and independent, it is important to have your own back.


Yachtie for 10 Years
Yatstay Host & Manager

What do you do now? And where in the world do you call home?

Last year we moved to Portugal where Paulo, my husband is from. My job opportunities in Portugal were limited not yet being fully fluent in Portuguese however I was able to find a job working for a company called Yatstay they rent out smaller boats around 40ft to travellers visiting Lisbon through Airbnb. It is like Airbnb water instead of houses and apartments you can stay onboard a boat. It gives average people the experience what life is like living on a yacht,

Did you plan to work in this field after yachting? If not, how did this job come to be? 

I did not plan to do this type of work and had no idea that it existed. The job came about randomly at an outdoor trade show in Lisbon. It’s similar to a boat show but also includes camping and adventure companies. I met one of the owners of Yatstay and told him I liked the idea of the company and thought that renting out boats on Airbnb was a great idea. I then told him if he ever needs any help in preparing the boats for guests to let me know as I just spent the last 10 years working on superyachts. I sent him my CV then by chance a few days later as I was flying home to visit my family I ran into the owner at the airport as he was getting ready to call me. I started working with Yatstay last May and was able to help them get through a very busy summer season from the valuable skills I gained in Yachting.

What skills from life as a yachtie helps you in your current workplace?

I really began to see how valuable my experience in yachting was after I left the industry. It is hard to see how dusting, vacuuming and cleaning toilets will help you later on but it opens a lot of doors that you would have never imagined otherwise. People have always been really impressed when they see yachting on my CV. They see it as something different and adventurous. Yachting gives you life skills that are an asset in many industries, Yachting taught me the importance of being able to work successfully as a team and being able to get along well with other personalities, backgrounds while being able to consider others perspectives. I found that yachting also made me more efficient and organized and helped me learn how to not take things personally.

What’s been the biggest challenge working on land?

The biggest challenge living on land is having to pay for everything rent/mortgage etc and not having as much passive income. Also coming from an industry where you have developed high standards as a habit going back to work in the average world takes getting used to. I have to remind myself at times that most people were not exposed to the level of detail and perfection that is required Yachting.

Any advice for those looking to move on from yachts?

My advice for those looking to move on from yachting is to do it. Especially if you are feeling unhappy and not enjoying the work anymore. You will be surprised at the opportunities available to you from your experience. Yachting is a great career and a lot of fun but eventually, if you have family and friends at home that you care about as they get older or become ill you will want to be able to spend time with them. Yachting will always be there if you leave and things do not work out.


Yachtie for 1 1/2 Years
Galati Yacht Sales

What do you do now? And where in the world do you call home?

I will be doing one more temp stewardess job in St Lucia over New Years. Then, I will be starting my career with Galati Yacht Sales working my way up to be a charter broker in their new program. Home is Tampa, FL. 

Did you plan to work in this field after yachting? If not, how did this job come to be? 

Yes. Being on the water and on boats is a love of mine. This was the perfect fit for me to be able to somewhat stay in the yachting industry but gain more stability and set roots at home. 

What skills from life as a yachtie helps you in your current workplace?

I am able to bring my experience as a yacht crew member to the office side of the industry, which they do not know much about at all. I am able to bring knowledge about yacht crew, yacht maintenance, and especially creating a 5-star charter guest experience to the table. 

What’s been the biggest challenge working on land?

Waking up in the same place every day. As a crew member, I’d always say, “I wake up wherever the boat is”, which was always somewhere new and exciting. I will have to make an effort to continue to explore the world and nourish my passion for travel. 

Any advice for those looking to move on from yachts?

If you’re ready to make the jump, know you can (most likely) always go back. Daywork is plentiful and your yachtie friends are forever. Trust your gut because yachting is a difficult industry to leave for many reasons, but it’s one very few are fortunate enough to be employed in. I’ll feel forever blessed that I got to do this right out of college instead of an 8-5 desk job. 


Yachtie for 6 Years
Health & Wellness Business Owner

What do you do now? And where in the world do you call home?
What don’t I do now? haha! I’m a full-time mom to two little boys under the age of 6, which means I do a lot! haha! Chauffeur, chef, housekeeper, psychologist, mediator haha, you get what I mean! In all seriousness, once the rascals give me some free time or are in bed,  I’m running my own on-line global health and wellness business and I’m living in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia Canada.
Did you plan to work in this field after yachting? If not, how did this job come to be?
Absolutely not! I never imagined I’d have an online social marketing business! I thought I would get back into event management, but after doing some freelance event work, I knew that career path wasn’t right for me anymore or at least not for the moment. My husband has a rotation position as a chief officer, so he is away 7 weeks at a time. That didn’t leave me much time to have a traditional job, as I needed to be there for our boys!
This line of work kinda fell into my lap. I had been watching an old yachtie colleague of mine have success with her online business, she was travelling and living life the way I like to, all while working with people she loved being with and making her own schedule! I asked her if I could do it too! It was as simple as that! I had heard of the company but didn’t really know much about it. I had a look at the business model and their company ethos and it made perfect sense for me! I jumped in and haven’t looked back. 
What skills from life as a yachtie helps you in your current workplace?
One of the joys of the social marketing industry is that my workplace can be anywhere that I have wifi. My work environment is constantly changing! Somewhat similar to that of the yachting industry. New guests, new places, new crew so I’d say being adaptable, and being able to go with the flow has certainly come from yachting.
Also leadership qualities. When I was working as a chief stewardess, I found it very important to be respectful and mindful of all the crew’s different qualities, backgrounds and values. In my current work environment, I am once again in a leadership role with a team of my own. It’s so important to make each and every team member feel valued and respected.

What’s been the biggest challenge working on land?
That I don’t get to travel all the time!
As a yachtie, I loved waking up somewhere new and getting to explore and experience new countries and cultures, with my husband and our friends! That’s not so easy anymore! haha! Mind you, the boys and I have been lucky to go meet my husband in various places around the world.  It’s been wonderful and it is definitely been a perk that I can work my business from anywhere. It’s not really the same though as just waking up together in a new port if you know what I mean!
Any advice for those looking to move on from yachts?

Do your research before you move on. I feel that if you’re well prepared before you leave, you’ll have so much more success on land! I think that sometimes yachting ‘spoils’ us. We get used to the incredible travel, the great tips and paycheques, and the wonderful people, that we don’t realize that these are some of the fantastic perks to the yachting industry. Life on land can be very different, but if you’re well prepared, you’ll love the new experiences that being land-based can bring!

Connect with Colleen:

I really hope this blog post has given you some peace of mind when thinking about life after yachting. It certainly helps me to see so many ex-stewardesses having careers that they LOVE while also having a life on land that gives them balance. How wonderful it is that The Yacht Stew is a community of such strong & successful women!!

Big hugs,
Gemma xo
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