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Superyacht Stewardess

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation also known as a reference letter is a formal document which requires a lot of thought and consideration. Generally speaking, the letter should be 12 point font in an easy to read business font such as:

  • Arial
  • Time New Roman
  • Garamond

Further, the letter should be printed on letterhead and the stamped with the yachts official stamp next to your signature.

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

As a chief stewardess or interior manager, you will/may be required to write a letter of recommendation for your departing interior crew member. This is a very important skill to master as it, as the crew member leaving will rely on it to gain future employment.

You can see online there are many variations in the layout of a good letter of recommendation, but below is a good place to start.

To begin the letter you should always start off by stating the facts, things like:

  • Full name of crew member whom you are writing the letter for
  • Duration of service on board, including dates
  • The position or title held

The second paragraph is designed to highlight their skills, education and positive attributes:

The third paragraph focusses on positive personal attributes such as:

  • Is a team player
  • Has a bubbly personality
  • Has a warm personality and is easy to get along with

Close your letter on a positive note and give your contact details. Always finish with yours sincerely, or yours faithfully.

A letter of service

Now consider the crew member whom you are writing the letter for, had a bad record of service onboard and you had to let them go. Clearly this letter will not be a glowing letter of recommendation, however, you still need to be professional and maintain a balanced outlook on the person.

The crew member may have performed badly for many reasons, this is not for you to analyse as you have already made the decision to let them go, rather you need to focus on their strengths (remember… everyone has both strengths and weaknesses).

The format is as above with an example letter below.  The things to remember here is to just state the facts.

This should never be a personal vendetta against the person, however, if you cannot possibly recommend them or write a simple letter of service, then ask the chief officer or the captain to write a letter of service, (its ok to do this we are all human at the end of the day).

Lastly, if you feel so negative about the person then simply write the letter of service, end it in a positive note, i.e., I wish her/him well, but do not include your contact details at the end.

You need to be able to stand by what you write, and if you write merely a letter of service, then chances are that it hasn’t gone well on board, therefore you do not want to “run off with your mouth” with a verbal reference check!

Sample letter of recommendation

[Insert Yacht Letter head]

[Yacht Name]

[Current location]

[Date]

To whom it may concern;

I had the pleasure to employ and work with [insert full name] from [insert date] until [insert date]. She/ he was employed on a permanent basis in the capacity of [insert position].

[Insert yacht name] is a [insert size and type of yacht] which is [insert private or charter yacht], which spends her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas. [Include more details about the yacht, i.e., busy with children, back to back charters or demanding owner’s etc.].

[Insert name] was an excellent asset to have on-board. She/he holds an advanced diploma in Hotel Management and is clear to see these skills displayed with her/his superb hospitality and people skills. Her true strengths are in managing her time and quality of work.

She joins us with short notice and adapted immediately to the crew and her working environment. [Insert name] has a pleasant personality and is a team player, this made her popular with the crew and guests alike.

We are very sorry to see her/him leave, but I know that [insert name] will compliment any yacht that is fortunate enough to acquire her/his excellent services. {You can also add why she/he is leaving here}

I highly recommend [insert name], and I wish her/him well with future endeavours.

Should you have any further questions regarding [insert name], please do not hesitate to contact me [insert telephone number, email address or both].

Yours sincerely

[Insert your name and position] {Insert yacht stamp and have the Captain sign it}

Sample letter of service

[Insert Yacht Letter head]

[Yacht Name]

[Current location]

[Date]

To whom it may concern;

[Insert name] joined [insert yacht name] from [insert date] until [insert date]. She/ he was employed on a permanent basis in the capacity of [insert position].

[Insert yacht name] is a [insert size and type of yacht] which is [insert private or charter yacht], which spends her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas. [Include more details about the yacht, i.e., busy with children, back to back charters or demanding owner’s etc.].

[Insert name] holds an advanced diploma in Hotel Management, and is clear to see these skills displayed with her/his superb hospitality and people skills. Her true strengths are in managing her time and quality of work.

If the crew member does not hold formal qualifications, then simply state their duties which they performed; i.e.

[Insert name] performed the following duties to a satisfactory/ good level

Housekeeping, service, floral arrangement, laundry etc.

I wish [insert name] all the best with future endeavours.

Yours sincerely

[Insert your name and position] {Insert yacht stamp and have the Captain sign it}

 

 

The Superyacht Stewardess and Basic Seamanship.

Sailing terminology can be a little daunting for any ‘newbie’ to the yachting industry, but basic seamanship is essential to any seafaring  professional…  ‘YES’ even stewardesses.

Picture this…. You’ve just landed you first job on a super yacht, your bags are on board and you are super excited to begin your journey. The yacht is leaving port in just  2 hours so you get your initial crash course in safety  and a walk around by the mate, chief officer or safety officer, (depending on the size of the yacht) He then asks you to meet him on the port-side, main deck port-side amidships… what do you do?

  1.  Do you giggle like a 10 year old… flicks your hair and say ‘what is’ that?
  2.  Walk off confidently only to find yourself terrible lost and very embarrassed when another crew member is sent to find you.
  3. Head straight off to the middle, (approximately halfway between the bow and the stern); left side of the yacht.


Many stewardesses underestimated just how important basic seamanship is . Understanding sailing terminology is particularly important, especially when it is your home and work place. Below is a list that I have complied that will help you to get your head around some of these nautical terms…

A.

  •  Aft: The back end of the yacht, also known as the stern.
  •  Anchor ball : Round black shape hoisted up forward to show that the yacht is anchored.

B.

  •  Bow: The front part of the yacht also known as forward.
  •  Bow line: The line running from the bow when docking
  •  Bowline : Type of knot, produces strong loop. Very useful to learn if you safely tie of a tender.
  •  Bosun : A non-commissioned officer responsible for the deck equipment and the boss of the deckies.
  •  Beam : width of yacht at the widest point
  •  Bilge : The space or compartment at the bottom of the hull: usually contains storage, originally the space where water collects.
  •  Bridge: This is the location from which the yacht is steered, navigated and where the speed is controlled. It’s also a great place to find the Captain.

C.

  • Cast off: To leave go.

  • Capstan : A large vertical winch used to wind in anchors or tighten lines.

  • Cleat: a fitting where lines are made fast. (Tied off).

  • Cockpit:  An opening in the deck from where the yacht is handled. (sail yacht).

D.

  •  Deck Fittings: Those shiny items used to work and secure lines. Items include cleats, pad eyes and bits.
  •  Dead ahead: Directly in front.

E.

  •  EPRIB – Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon – Make sure you know where this is fitted, because this will save your life in an emergency.

F.

  • Fair lead : round opening used to put a line through to prevent it rubbing.
  •  Fire Extinguishers: You covered this in your fire fighting course for STCW95.  Here are the basics again:
  •  Foam extinguishers – Class A & B – For use on solids and liquids on fire, found regularly in the interior.
  •  Powder extinguishers – Class A,B & C –  Not usually found on-board because of collateral damage these do .
  • CO2 extinguishers – Class B – Found in galley and near electrical  Do not use on people as it creates frost-burns
  •   First mate : (chief officer) second in command
  •  Fender : An air filled bumper used to keep boats from banging into docks or each other.

G.

  •  Galley: Kitchen.
  •  Gear:  Ropes, blocks, tackle… general term for deck equipment.
  •  Gangway: Where people board and disembark the vessel… (Get on and off).

H.

  •  Head: Toilet.
  •  Hull: Is the main construction of the vessel.

K.

  •  Keel: The centre line of the vessel, (the back bone).
  •  Knot: The rate which you measure the speed.
  •  1 knot = 1 nautical mile = 1.15 miles = 1.852 km

L.

  • List :  angle of lean or tilt to one side  (along length of ship this is called pitch)
  •  (LOA). Length overall: This is the measurement of the yacht along its centre line.
  •  Lazarette: The Garage where all of the toys are kept. Located aft of the vessel.
  •  Leeward:  The side away from or sheltered from the wind. Opposite of windward.

M.

  •  Master : Captain
  •  Muster station:  The location where the crew and guests meet in case of an emergency.

P.

  •  Passarelle : walkway ashore at stern of yacht
  •  Port side: The left side of the yacht when facing forward. The easiest way to remember the red  light that is allocated to indicate the port side for navigational purposes is by remembering this little verse.
  •  “No port left in the bottle…  (Port side is left and port the drink is red)’

S.

  •   Starboard side: Is the right side of the yacht when facing forward and opposite to port-side.

Note: So you don’t get confused with this remember when referring to the port and starboard side of a vessel it is when you are facing the bow.

  •  Screw:  The propeller.
  •  Scuppers: The drains in deck.
  •  Spring line: Used in docking to stop the boast moving forward or astern.
  •  Squall: Sudden and violent wind always with loads of rain.
  •  Stern : The rear part of the yacht

T.

  •  Transom: the flat back panel of the yacht

W.

  •  Windward:  – In the direction that the wind is coming from. Opposite of leeward.
  •  Winch: used to pull up anchor and tighten bowlines

So now that I have covered the basic sailing  terminology, please take a minute to learn them.

It will help you move around the vessel easier, understand your muster responsibilities faster, you will seem more professional; and finally you never know one day this information may just save your life.

Thank you for reading my article on basic sailing terminology, and I would like to thank my husband for his guidance with writing it 🙂

As always… wishing you safe travels and calm seas.

K.

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