By Oasis Services •
Having worked on yachts for many years, crew may at some stage think about leaving the itinerant life behind and consider working shore-based. However moving from yachting into land-based private service roles is not always a smooth and seamless transition. A very important factor/deterrent is the often huge drop in salary. Yachting salaries are generally 30% – 50% higher than land-based ones.
Crew often feel that their skills translate well for positions in the private homes and estates of the UHNWI and certainly the interior roles of steward/ess and chef are applicable as good food, top quality table service and excellent housekeeping skills will always be required – but generally these positions only pay a ‘yacht level’ salary for the summer months. Owners of these properties are only in residence for 3 or 4 months of the year and of course for this summer period they require excellent services but at the end of the summer all that is usually required long term is basic interior housekeeping maintenance of the home and obviously, with no-one in residence, the chefs are not required at all!
Certainly interior crew wanting to transition to working on land find it easier than the exterior/deck crew. There is always a seasonal demand for chefs, housekeeping and service staff and we regularly have clients seeking long term housekeepers and cook/housekeepers for their private homes.
The professional skills of exterior yacht crew do not translate as easily. 99% of our clients are looking for the exterior worker to have a good knowledge and professional gardening experience, they should be a good handyman, know how to keep a swimming pool clean, serviced and balanced, have basic electrical and plumbing skills, be a good driver, have a good general knowledge of this region and in most cases they require that the person also speaks a good level of French to be able to liaise with local contractors etc.
We are frequently contacted by Chef/Stewardess yachting couples looking at the possibility of moving from yachts into a land-based ‘couple’ position here on the Riviera coast, feeling that their skills would be what an employer requires from a couple charged with caring for his property. 9 times out of 10 this is not the case! Employers looking for a couple in this region of France generally require the combination of female providing housekeeping and family cooking – (when they require a chef they either bring their own or book one locally) – and male on the exterior providing gardening, handyman, driving and contractor liaison skills. A male chef cannot be in the kitchen cooking and also be outside cleaning the pool, doing the airport runs, mowing the lawns and generally maintaining the property.
However the Chef/Stewardess couple combination works extremely well for the winter ski chalets, being excatly what is required – but this also tends to be seasonal work.
There is a lot to consider before making the decision. Many have made the transition – some very happily, (myself included) – one thing is certain, moving ashore to continue working in the private service industry is a lifestyle choice – not a financial one!