Name: Sarah Mackenzie
Role on yachts: Stewardess / Chief Stewardess
Time on yachts: 8 years
Current role: Public Relations Manager at West Nautical
How and when did you start in the yachting industry?
I started six months after finishing high school at the end of 2006. A good friend of mine was going over to France to do a gap year on yachts, and I decided to join her. I ended up doing a three-year stint and returned for a further five years in 2015 after I had finished university.
How long did you work on Superyachts for?
In total I worked on yachts for 8 years.
What was your last position?
I was Chief Stewardess on a very busy 45m charter yacht based in the Med.
What was the main reason you left the industry?
I met my partner on the 2nd last yacht I worked on; It was just time to settle down and get settled into a land-based life in the UK, buy a house and learn how to garden!
When you left the industry, did you have a job to go to? Did you have a plan?
I did not have a job to go to or a definite plan, but I knew about West Nautical and had previously worked with Geoff Moore, the MD, on a yacht in 2008 / 2009 in the Caribbean. I got back in touch with Geoff and went into the office in Newcastle for a catch up. The company was looking for an additional person to join their marketing team and because I have yachting experience and a degree in Public Relations management, it worked out well for the company and myself.
Can you tell us about your job and the company that you work for now?
My title is Public Relations Manager. My main focus is to establish connections with media and journalists in order publish news stories about the company, the yachts we manage, sell and charter as well as stories such as owners’ profiles or destination articles. I also manage the crew social media accounts along with our recruitment team and will work with our MD on events when Covid allows them to resume.
West Nautical is a yacht management, charter and sales brokerage company with offices in the UK, Antibes, Palma, Cyprus and Russia. I am based in the Newcastle upon Tyne office in the North East of England.
What did you find was your biggest challenge when transitioning from a life at sea to a land-based life?
I found that adjusting to not always being around people quite difficult as I also attended boarding school for high school so was very used to always having a lot of people around.
What do you miss most about working on yachts?
The people and friends I made from all over the world. I also miss the excitement of discovering a new destination with crew.
Looking back at your experience of working on yachts, would you do anything differently?
I would definitely start saving at an earlier age and probably not be as wasteful during time off, spending too much on fancy dinners and unnecessary shopping trips.
Thank you so much for sharing your life after yachting story with us Sarah. We know there are a lot of crew out there who are unsure of what to do next. It’s stories like yours that inspire a lot of crew.
Sarah now works for West Nautical. Based in Newcastle, UK they offer full services including management, charter, sales, Crew Services and training.
Find out more here.
Looking for inspiration? Check out some of our other Life after yachting stories here.