Learning / Career

A dream job on a superyacht

By pamela parkes, Tuesday Mar 14, 2017

Fancy spending the summer in St. Tropez and being in the Bahamas in the winter? Travelling the world in the lap of luxury on a superyacht?

OK so there is a catch. You do have to work for a living pandering to the every whim of the rich and famous however, when your office has a view of the ocean that may not be so bad.

Super yacht

Training for a career at sea can take you all over the world

20-year-old Ellie Leenan, who lives in Clifton when she’s not at sea, is in her second year of crewing. The former barista now works on board a 60 metre superyacht.

She says she applied when she saw a friend doing it and “it looked too good to be true”.

Super Yacht

Luckily the reality lived up to her expectations: “Time off with the crew when we were in Ibiza last summer and we had deserted beach BBQs and parties all the time.”

Ellie trained at the Bristol Maritime Academy based near Underfall Yard, which has just been approved to run STCW basic training packages for people who want to work on yachts.

The six day course, taught on the picturesque but slightly less glamorous Bristol harbour, prepares you for sea survival, fire fighting and ship security.

Mohammed's Yacht in Abu Dhabi

24-year-old deck hand Mike Knowle was a painter and decorator before he started working on an 85 metre motor yacht: “I’ve always loved sailing and I couldn’t see myself working in an office (not yet anyway), it just seemed a great way to travel and earn money.”

A career he’d recommend? “Yes- it’s great for people who want to do something a bit different, see the
world and make friends in every country.”

owne on superyacht

Owen has worked on superyachts for the past six years

Owen Sparks has found you can make a career out of working on superyachts. In six years he’s worked his way up to be first officer on a 70 metre super yacht.

The former office manager says the hours are long but the job is worth it. He is currently “working on my officer of the watch qualification and I hope to become a captain”.

“My best memories of the job are doing the transatlantic and not seeing anything but sea, sky and whales for days”


Read more: Superyacht returns to Bristol

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