Possibly one of the best additions to a deck team is having a female amongst the boys. It gives the team a different perspective, and is gold for owners and charter guests when they see the girls showing the boys how its done. One boss on deck, Yvonne, wasn’t only apart of the deck team, she ran the team. For a number of years Von worked on Lady E, starting out as a deckhand (where I had the pleasure to work with her) and eventually being promoted to Bosun and running the exterior. Here is her story, thoughts on the industry, getting out and her advice to other crew.


How did you get into yachting? Where did it all start?

Originally, I was working on dive boats on the Great Barrier Reef out of my hometown, Cairns. A few people I worked with there had started working on yachts and encouraged me to do the same, so I did my tickets (Life Before Yachting) and headed off to the US to find a job.


How long did it take to find that first job and how did you find it?

I was actually working at a summer camp in the US before looking for a yacht, once that was over I went straight down to Florida and within a week I had found my first job, which I was flown to join on the East Coast. I was only on the boat for three months, but I learnt a lot and had a lot of fun in that time, however, I am so glad I left when I did and found a better program.

Positano from a tender driven by bosun

The last position you held was Bosun on board Lady E, what was some of the best parts and difficult parts for that position?

I can hands down say that I loved my job and although at times it was difficult and exhausting it was also very rewarding. I really enjoy leading and managing a team and having that responsibility, but also having a team to back me up at the same time.

I would say that one of the difficult parts would be pleasing everyone and meeting expectations. It’s nice to feel helpful but sometimes you are overloaded with jobs and requests from other crew members/departments without them knowing your workload. You want to keep the captain happy as well as your own team and I believe it really comes down to communication and how to speak to people.


As a Bosun and leading a deck team, what skills and qualities did you need from your team to get the job done?

People who are trustworthy, team players and have a good attitude!

When hiring new deckhands, I have always pushed for people with experience, however, some of the best deckies I have worked with have been pretty green but have had the best attitude and work ethic.

bosun at work

What are some highlights or standout stories from your time in the industry?

That’s a very hard question but I can definitely say that I’ve had the best yachting experience on Lady E. From the amazing crew, to having one of the best yacht owners out there and also the places that we travelled in the last five and a half years. When I left the boat we pretty much had four days of celebrations and the most amazing surprise leaving party, so I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.

bosun on jet ski

Was it difficult to make the decision to leave and move back to Australia and have you got any advice for crew thinking about making the same move?

It was a very difficult decision, but it was always the plan to come back to Australia and find a job on land. I was always hoping that I would work out my next career while yachting, however, I was so distracted and busy all the time that it was the last thing on my mind. So if you are wanting to leave the industry and you have an exit plan then you are lucky, but if you don’t have a plan then that’s okay too. You’ll work it out and sometimes a break is much needed.


What advice / tips / dos and don’ts would you give to a person starting out in the industry and wanting to be a deckhand?

Never listen to someone who tells you to “Fake it ‘til you make it”. Just be honest and speak up if you don’t know what you are doing. As a bosun I would rather teach someone the right way of how to do something rather than them mess something up, break expensive equipment or worse, get injured.

Don’t judge the industry from one yacht. There are plenty of better yachts out there where you will have a completely different experience on each one.

Deck team


Want to become a deckhand? Check out How To Become A Deckhand.

If you want to know more about yachting or get started in the industry, check out Yachties of Australia for information, courses, discounts, tips and advice.