While working on a luxury yacht is often a challenging endeavour, the career path offers many benefits that make it an extremely enticing undertaking; from cruising in exotic waters to meeting lifelong friends, the rewards are numerous. We spoke to Isabeau Piskorz, a Bosun on board M/Y La Tania, to find out how she got into the industry and what she enjoys most about her superyacht crew job.
What is your hometown?
What inspired you to get into yachting?
Let’s not beat around the bush here: obviously the initial draw card was the travel and money – that is just how the industry is portrayed on a very rudimental level. But the more you research around the role, the quicker you discover the career prospects on offer. Working on a yacht enables you to nurture valuable professional and personal relationships within what is essentially a very small, tightly woven industry.
What is your background and what made you choose the deck route?
Like a lot of people in yachting, I grew up around the water. Chasing the deck route was due to a simple observation of my love for being outdoors and being active, and an exceptional inability to hold a tray of drinks without spilling it all over someone.
How did you go about getting into the industry once you had decided it was your chosen career path?
This career isn’t too dissimilar to any other – aside from the whole ‘floating office’ part of course – so, network, network, network! My first job was actually as a temporary stewardess. I knew it wasn’t the department I wanted to be in, but it got my foot in the door.
What advice would you give prospective female deck crew?
In terms of your job hunt, yacht crew recruitment agencies are there to help you. Register with a couple and be diligent in keeping the information up to date. Fiona from YPI CREW is your go-to woman – she handles the Deck side of things. On top of having fantastic insight to the industry, she’s easy to chat to and always offers great advice!
Once you’ve got that dream job, make sure you are fit for work! And I don’t mean looking hot in a pair of short shorts ‘fit’. Working on deck is a physical job, there’s no denying it. So make sure you can run circles around those boys, but at the same time know your limits. If something’s too heavy, know when to put your pride aside and ask your fellow deckie for a lift.
What are your favourite tasks onboard?
Pirate treasure hunts with the kids! 3am night shifts sketching treasure maps and sewing mermaid costumes – all in the name of children’s entertainment!
Your least favourite tasks?
Slides. Setting them up or breaking them down. Slides. Funnily enough, also all in the name of children’s entertainment!
What has been your worst moment in yachting?
Looking at my bank account after the first season… it is a well-known fact that a lot of us blow our first season’s salary. This is not the part where I say don’t do it – no, no, do it, but do it right!
What has been your best?
It’s not the travel, it’s really not the money, and it’s certainly not the mermaid costumes. This job will give you whirlwinds of highs and raging rivers of lows, but you will meet people who leave a lasting impression, and watch some sunrises and sunsets of which National Geographic themselves couldn’t even capture the beauty.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Who knows! Yachting has a spectacular ability to lead you to all sorts of weird and wonderful eventualities. Every now and then though, I have to stop and ask myself two things: am I still learning something new each day? And am I being challenged each day? If the answers are yes then I’m heading roughly in the right direction.