Sam reached out and wanted to help out with Yachties of Australia, he has taken some time to share his time in the industry and his advice for those getting out.

How long were you in the yachting industry?

7years spanning 2016 to 2023.


How did you find your first job in yachting, and how long did it take?

I had two family friends that were a captain and head chef couple in the 90’s and 2000’s, and had moved back home to Brisbane. I got talking to them at a BBQ and they told me one of their captain friends was on a yacht in Toulon in a shipyard and he needed a carpenter to help out in the yard period.

I sent the Captain my CV, he offered me a job, flew me to Antibes to complete my ENG1 and STCW and I joined them in St Mandrier about 2 weeks after sending him my CV.  Not your typical intro to yachting!

Deckhand partying

What boats did you work on and what was your position?

I worked on a few yachts, first being Belongers for a seasonal gig. I then went to Nirvana, followed by Anastasia. I left that fleet to join Hampshire 2, then returned to Nirvana and finished my career there.

I started as a deckie on all those vessels, and re-joined Nirvana as the 3rd officer and remained there until I finished.


What did you do before yachting, was it relevant to the industry?

I finished my carpentry apprenticeship in Brisbane and worked as a self-employed carpenter before heading over to Europe to start working on yachts. It was hugely relevant – being handy, having a basic understanding of structures and how things are built, and being a carpenter provided me with the confidence to have a go at most jobs I was asked to undertake.


Was there any particular reason why you left yachting?

I never wanted to be a Captain or Chief Officer. I love my life at home and I wouldn’t ever be able to be away from my now wife or future kids for half the year. I loved every second of my time on yachts, but it just wasn’t a long term job for me.


What do you do now and does your yachting experience help?

I now work as a carpenter for a property developer in Brisbane called Mosaic Property Group. Mosaic build luxury houses, apartments and townhouses so my time on yachts has been very beneficial to my job now – Working with high end finishes, working in large teams with different types of people, having to deal with expectations and pressure to complete things inside timeframes.


What was one of the highlights during your yachting career?

I have too many to list!

I’ve sailed the Panama, Suez and Corinth canals, had sandbar parties in the Maldives, hiked mountains in the Seychelles. Passing my oral exam was also a very big highlight for me – lots of studying, lots of travelling and spending money on courses but it was all very worth it in the end.

Driving a tender

Do you have any advice or tips for those wanting to get out?

You get endless opportunities on yachts to learn so many different things. If you discover or have a passion or qualification you want to explore, use your spare time to learn more about it. Take an online course, do distance uni or learning etc. The busiest yachts still have downtime on crossings, yard periods, standby time etc. Use it to your advantage and set yourself up for an easier transition to shore based living.


Wanting to set up back in Australia, check out Life After Yachting