We want to stay connected to yacht crew and work hard to provide crew with content that they want to see, content that educates and entertains, and resonates with those on the ground in the industry – that’s why we launched the SYC Ambassador program.
Superyacht Bosun Joshua Armstrong is the first Bosun to join our SYC ambassador program. Joshua is currently the Bosun on board a 43m Private/Charter Superyacht and this is his story so far…
SYC: What first inspired you to enter the yachting industry, how did you learn about the industry?
JA: When I decided to pursue yachting, I did a lot of research. Coming from South Africa, there is always someone you know in yachting to whom you can ask a few questions. I quickly realised there was an increasing number of ‘Green’ crew entering the industry, which seemed extremely saturated at the time (it always does). I heard many stories of people spending months looking for work and dock walking, while this all seemed like great fun, I simply did not have the funds to take that risk.
I realised that being a Diving Instructor would give my CV substance. Knowing this, I completed my Dive Instructors and travelled Asia while working for the following year. This led me to gain much-needed work and life experience needed to make a job search much easier.
SYC: How did you land that elusive first job in yachting?
JA: I got my first interview on a 90m Superyacht. I was lucky enough to get the job, and just like that I was off to Spain to start my job as Deckhand/Dive Instructor on a dual-season private yacht. I spent the next 18 months learning as much as I could, while relishing the life of a yachtie, spending almost all of my earnings.
Once resigning, I decided to try out smaller yachts and landed a gig on a 45m, I loved this size. I also made the transition over to the U.S.A which brought MORE SPENDING with it. I spent about 18 months there gaining a lot of hands-on maintenance skills and repairs.
It was then time to make the step up to Bosun, which I currently am, on a 43m Private/Charter. We have built a great crew dynamic on board over the past year.
SYC: What would you say is a highlight of your career so far?
JA: I would say the highlight of my career thus far was being fortunate enough to go for a swim in the middle of the Atlantic ocean during a crossing. There is something about bobbing around on top of thousands of feet of water that is kind of blissful.
SYC: What have been some of the low parts of your career?
JA: The lowest part of my career was definitely waking up in a different city on a Monday morning after a BIG night of drinking on Sunday, with no phone, and late for work. Just pure embarrassment, but it led to something good. I decided after that night to stop drinking alcohol – It’s been 15 months of sobriety now.
SYC: What are some of the more challenging parts of your job?
JA: The most challenging part of my job would definitely be the time away from home, family and friends. I cherish them and find that missing important occasions is the hardest.
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SYC: Do you prefer the Med season or the Caribbean season?
JA: If I had to choose between the Med and the Caribbean: I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the Caribbean seasons and really loved the culture, However, with where I am in my life now I must be honest, I would favour the Mediterranean.
SYC: What advice could you give to green crew wanting to get into the industry?
JA: I would advise Green crew that are looking to get into the industry to be persistent. Don’t give up. Get your courses done and then apply, apply, apply. Don’t fear rejection. Apply with Crew agents, Facebook, Yotspot etc.
SYC: What tips do you have for deckhands wanting to step up to bosun position?
JA: For those of you looking to step up into a Bosun role, I would advise you to take a step back prior to doing it and realistically assess whether you have leadership and time management skills, knowledge and tender operation skills. If you tick these boxes then I would say go for it and you will love the role. I sure do. If you don’t tick these boxes, I would say there is absolutely no rush. Take your time, practice, learn and when you are ready, go grab it with both hands.
SYC: Where do you see your career progressing in the future? Either onboard or onshore?
JA: I am in the process of completing my OOW and at the time of this article, I currently have one last module to complete. After which I strive to find an Officer’s position and potentially land that time for time rotation in the near future.
JA: Lastly, I would just like to say that if you have any questions or would like any advice, opinions or just a contact in the industry, please feel free to send me a message on Instagram @joshatravels. I would also just like to thank The Superyacht Content team for all the value they add to the industry and wish them nothing but the best for the expansion plans they have. I am honoured to be a part of the environment and look forward to building up the industry. Special shoutout to Lucy J and Lucy W – The Queens behind the scenes.
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