September 27, 2013

Yacht School II: Stew School + AEC

I can fold toilet paper into a little fan. 

I can set a table with 12 pieces of silverware - per person. I can create a lively flower arrangement with some grocery store flowers and crowns out of crisp linen napkins that would shame Martha Stewart into eating McDonalds take out for life.

I am the champion of fancy shit. 

Where did I learn these game changing skillz you ask? Stew School. Known officially as ‘MegaYacht Interior Operations Course’, Stew school is a yacht stewardess intro course. It teaches everything from cleaning and laundry to table settings and silver service. It’s a fun, but expensive (around $1000!) 5 day course that I took at the same school as my STCW. 

While it’s not necessary to get a job, and redundant if you have one - I would recommend it for green stews who are looking to get their first job. Not necessarily for the specific skills (you’ll have chief stew who will tell you how she likes it, trust me) but for the confidence and connections. The instructors of this course have been stews, and they know the game. Here’s your chance to ask aaaaalllll the questions and meet other girls just starting out in the industry. It’s fun, and it was the first time that I actually got my head around the level of service required in this industry. 

StewFact: Did you know we clean the bathrooms EVERY SINGLE TIME their used? 
Yep. We do that. 

THE GUYS: Deckies and AEC

While I was off learning how to fold fitted sheets, Juliano was learning how engines work. This industry is still quite gender segregated. While there are notable exceptions of female deckhands and male stewards - it’s not the norm. 

Stews : girls. Deckies : guys. 

The career path for the exterior crew is also clearer - there is a long series of courses and qualifications available for Juliano to take as he moves forward in yachting. For the interior crew there are course you can take (ex wine tasting, bar tending, service, etc) but no specific certifications that pre-qualify you for advancement.

Back to the engines... Juliano took the AEC ‘Approved Engine Course’ which is an intro engineering course. It’s a 5 day course as well, also quite expensive ($1000). 

Not my picture of a yacht engine room:

While hands on learning is the best for this, it’s a good general overview of the mechanics of boats - including jet skis and tender, the items typically required to be cared for by the deck crew. Additional, taking extra courses like this can show a bit of commitment to the industry - and differentiate yourself from the backpackers that fall into it looking for a quick season of cash.


  1. Aw! Hazel! Wasn't she just the cutest? I pretty much forgot everything from that course already, except folding the toilet paper. I whip that shit out as a party trick and people go crazy over it. Weird.

  2. Love it as usual! You have a crazy life Dana, good on you! Love, Mama

  3. That is really cool, and yeah I can see how that differentiates yourself. Just putting in the time and effort to learn sets you apart as a professional and dedicated to your field.


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