Crew Pacific - Cairns Queensland Australia


How Crew Pacific Started

How Crew Pacific Started

How Crew Pacific's Recruitment and
Steward/ess and Deckhand Courses were established.

Joy WestonCrew Pacific’s Recruitment and Training division was originally established in 2001, however Crew Pacific’s Steward/ess Courses were developed by Joy Weston Owner/Operator of Crew Pacific in 2000.

My experience in the International Super Yacht Industry started in 1992 when I travelled to London to work as a professional Nanny. Looking after two spoilt kids for three months changed my career path radically! I returned to hospitality, working for a 5-star intercontinental hotel (The Forum) based in Earl’s Court. During my six months with the hotel the London Boat Show was running. A couple called Bob and Fiona Freeman were staying in the hotel and I served them several times at the bar and in the restaurant. One particular evening they were quite excited and I, being inquisitive, asked them why??? They told me they just been accepted for a job on a 90ft Super Yacht as Captain and Chief Stewardess. Basically I had no idea what a Captain was or even a Chief Stewardess, so I asked them. They explained and then proceeded to show me a brochure of the yacht. Wow!!! I was amazed as I had never seen a yacht like this in my life. Coming from a country town in New Zealand and horse riding professionally most of my life, I had only ever been on the Whanganui River in New Zealand on jet boats and this yacht seemed enormous to me at the time. We got chatting and the next thing I know they offered me a position as 2nd Stewardess. I accepted the job and started to write down details of when I would start, where I was to meet the yacht and blah, blah. A month later I flew to the South of France. I was picked up at the airport by Captain Bob and taken to the yacht. Wow!!! When I arrived at the Marina I realised that I was joining the smallest yacht in the Marina…. yet I was overwhelmed and excited all at the same time. I completed 3 months on board M.Y La Paradiso with Bob and Fiona during which we travelled to Marmaris, Turkey to charter. I resigned due to relationship issues between the Captain and wife team.

I stayed on in Marmaris obtaining day-work and freelanced doing stew/deckhand/cook jobs for Sunsail and Moorings flotillas for about a month until I obtained a full-time stew/deckhand position on a sailing yacht called S.Y. Nuku II 72ft. I worked for two years (two seasons in a row) for the Welsh couple, Margaret and Rob, who chartered Nuku II throughout Turkey and Greece, gaining an immense amount of skills and knowledge about sailing yachts and how to become a professional crew-member. After finishing up the second season in Turkey with Rod and Margaret I decided to expand my horizons and sail to the Caribbean.

I organised an unpaid delivery as stew/cook on a 72ft sailing yacht called S.Y. Shonalonga. I  would be living and working with 5 South African crew and it would take us up to 6 weeks to reach the Caribbean. During our travels we experienced some bad weather which caused our main sail to whip. We managed to make our way to Gibraltar where we provisioned and fixed the main sail (which I can say is quite an experience in itself), spent 5 days there and then set off into the sunset to the Canary Islands. We had a 2 day layover in the Canary Islands and then sailed to our final destination of Antigua in the Caribbean.

Upon arrival in Antigua I spent 2 weeks on the yacht before being offered a position on a large Super Yacht called S.Y. Snow Goose, 140ft sloop. I completed the season with Snow Goose although I will say I did not have a good experience on my first large yacht (you can find out why during Crew Pacific’s Training Courses!). The experience nearly put me off yachting for the rest of my life. I was very lucky to be rescued by an Irish Captain on a 65ft Swan who employed me as a stew/cook for delivery back to the Mediterranean, more precisely Palma de Mallorca, an island off Barcelona, Spain.

Once we arrived in Palma I stayed on board the yacht for a few days and then discovered a Crew House which I moved into whilst looking for permanent work on yachts. Living in a Crew House is a lot of fun as you get to mingle with many different characters and learn more about the Super Yacht Industry. During my travels at sea I had a lot of time to think about which direction I would like to follow. I decided that I wanted to work on larger vessels ranging from 40-60m as a stew/deckhand and wanted to be on motor yachts. Whilst I was in Palma de Mallorca I registered with all the international Crewing Agencies (the major agencies which now recognise Crew Pacific’s Training). They assisted me with job opportunities, however I was fortunate enough to find a job myself by walking the docks. I was very lucky to find a good Captain and Owner and a good job all at the same time. A lot of crew were experiencing bad Captains and bad Owners and getting into the wrong job. This can still happen today and depends very much on the questions you ask and your knowledge of the International Yachting Industry. (There are ways you can avoid the pitfalls of the industry and this information is covered in the Crew Pacific Training Courses).  

The position I obtained was a stew/deckhand position on a 43m motor yacht (private) working for an Arab owner. My Captain was Larry Barnett (Scottish) and his wife Manu was our Chief Stewardess (German).

This is when my Stewardess Manual started to come into being as I began to realise that the international standards of large yachts were extremely high, with an exceptional level of service which I had never experienced on smaller yachts or in the land hospitality jobs I had held over the years. I started to realise that I had entered into an industry that was “Unique” and “Elite” and that these high-profile people were extremely “Rich” and liked expensive items, fabrics, clothes and objects and so much more….and that they employed the everyday person to look after their yacht and toys so that when they chose to us their yacht it was ready to go and everything was shiny and beautiful for them.

During my six months on board M.Y. Ramses working with Manu the Chief Stewardess, I started to learn many different techniques from her on what a good stewardess ought to be doing on board a larger Super Yacht, such as folding fitted sheets neatly into sets, washing and ironing guest clothing and crew uniforms to a suitable standard, understanding the foreign stain removers, learning various napkin folds and so much more. After six months all the crew left the yacht due to owner issues. I continued the Mediterranean season, freelancing as a stew/cook and stew/deckhand.

At the end of the season I returned back to Norfolk Island where my parents had resided and spent 6 months working on Norfolk Island. I then received a phone call from Captain Larry Barnett. He and Manu had obtained a Captain and Chief Stew position on a 43m motor yacht called M.Y. Legend of Tintagel. This yacht was both charter and private. Larry asked if I would like to the join the yacht in Palma de Mallorca, Spain as stew/deckhand. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity and left on the next plane out of Norfolk Island for my new adventure. During my 2.5 years on M.Y Legend of Tintagel I learnt further skills which I added to the Stewardess Manual. Whilst I was on Legend of Tintagel I experienced a personality clash with the First Mate. Unfortunately, due to rank, I had to professionally leave the yacht. I do not wish this experience upon anyone however I learnt a lot from it. Larry Barnett the captain found me another job as 2nd Stewardess on a 56m motor yacht called M.Y. Destiny Langkawai, on which I spent 3.5 months and during that period I was promoted to Chief Stewardess. I received a call from Larry Barnett informing me that the First Mate had been dismissed due a stupid incident on board. The owner and Larry asked if I would like to return back to M.Y Legend of Tintagel. I agreed I would return back to Legend of Tintagel on the condition I was offered the 2nd stewardess position. I got my wish and spent the rest of the season on board before the yacht was sold to an American owner.

 At the end of 1998 I returned again to my home base of Norfolk Island and started to research the Industry in the South Pacific. Things slowly started to fall into place for the Steward/ess Course. For the first part of 1999 I worked casually in Norfolk Island and during this time I started to develop the Stewardess Training Manual.  I began to research Crewing Agents and training organisations in New Zealand as the America’s Cup was to be held in New Zealand in 2000. Late 1999 I flew to Auckland, New Zealand for 2 weeks, held business discussions with International Crewing Agents and various training organisations, however nothing really came of it until I meet Ami Ari from Crew Unlimited, an International Crewing Agent from Ft Lauderdale which I used whilst working on Super Yachts overseas. Ami’s word of wisdom to me was to start my own business and become the first person in the South Pacific and South East Asia to develop a Super Yacht Steward/ess Course for the International Super Yacht Industry and to incorporate a recruitment agency into this venture so each would complement the other.

I flew back to Norfolk Island to get the wheels turning. I had just been back in Norfolk Island for a couple of weeks when I received a surprising call from out of the blue!!!  A yacht manager, Mr Tony Smith, asking if I would like a position as Sole Stew on a 35m motor yacht called Kokomo II. At first I was not interested in the position at all, however I changed my mind very quickly as the yacht was travelling to Auckland, New Zealand for the America’s Cup and then heading to Sydney for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. I had an interview, was offered the position and flown to Sydney at the end of 1999 to join the yacht. I spent 18 months on board M.Y. Kokomo II and during that time was given the opportunity to complete courses to assist me in the setting up of Crew Pacific. Eventually Kokomo II ended up in Cairns, Queensland, Australia for a refit. I assisted with the refit and eventually resigned in September 2001. This is when I registered Crew Pacific. At the beginning of 2002 Crew Pacific’s 8-Day Internationally Recognised Super Yacht Stewardess Course was launched.

In 2005 I purchased a two storey Queenslander which i turned into a Crew House(accommodation for yacht crew) office and training facilities, where i run our short 2 day super yacht induction course and the 5 and 8 Day Super yacht Steward/ess course. Late 2011 I sold the crew house/office and moved into a new premises . (22 Minnie Street, Cairns, Australia). Crew Pacific no longer has a crew house. Crew Pacific's main focus these days is just Super yacht Training and Recruitment.

By the middle of 2012 Crew Pacific launched two new courses; a 5 day Super yacht Deckhand course and a 8 day Super yacht Steward/ess/Deckhand course.
These courses are specifically tailored to the International Super yacht industry and are the "First in the world" to be developed. These courses have been developed to provide the appropriate "Knowledge and Skills" required to be a Deckhand or Steward/ess/Deckhand on an International Super Yacht.  These courses wouldn’t have come about with the help of professional Yacht Captains and First mates that assisted myself in the development of these courses. The Deckhand course criteria has been developed to the level and standard of a 50m-80m motor yacht. Students will learn the "Finesse and Skills" that are required for these type of vessels, both Motor and Sail. These skills will help to increase your chances of employment aboard yachts in Australia or overseas.

Crew Pacific’s aim is to train crew to the highest standard of the International Yachting Industry and be able to give them the opportunity to travel, be well paid, have exciting adventures and to meet some of the richest and most famous people in the world. This industry is awesome and if I could do it all over again i would!!!

Joy Weston Laughing
Crew Pacific

(These courses are conducted by other organisations)
Click below for further details