In this month’s Life After Yachting feature, we speak with Julie Dahl Joergensen & William Nicholson, owners and business partners of the yacht uniform brand Oceanform.

Julie & Will have worked on both private and charter superyachts for several years. As of February 2023, they left their last position to pursue their company full-time and will be talking about their experiences moving from sea to land, from wearing crew uniform to designing them.

How long did you work onboard? What was your role and which yachts did you work on?


When I had graduated from business high school, I knew I wanted to take a gap year to earn money and travel. I had planned to work on yachts for 3 months, but I actually ended up staying in the industry for 2 years.  

The first boat I was on was a 35-meter catamaran, both charter and private. I was the 2nd stewardess but after just 2 weeks, my chief stewardess went on vacation, leading me to take charge as a solo stewardess for a boss trip. Shortly after that trip, I was offered a stewardess role on a 69-meter private/charter yacht. I was very fortunate and was given a lot of responsibility by my Chief Stewardess, which made me truly love being on the boat. I dedicated a year and a half to this vessel before ultimately deciding to leave the industry in February 2023. 


I started my yachting journey and qualifications in February 2017 following my Alevel studies. Other than recreational experience I knew next to nothing about the industry and got the idea from a BBC documentary on the Monaco yacht show. With this vast expanse of due diligence, I headed down to Palma in April to begin looking for work as a deckhand. After a few months of dockwalking and day work, I landed my first position, in the place of inspiration itself, Monaco. Between 2017 and 2023 I worked on a 32m Riva, a 55m Amels,  a 65m Benetti and finally a 69m Feadship.  

When did you leave the Superyacht industry and what were your reasons for leaving? 

We left the yachting industry in February 2023 in order to focus full-time on our company Oceanform.

Before leaving, did you plan an exit strategy?


I kinda did, yes. I actually started Oceanform while on board just before a Caribbean season, so I always knew that eventually, I would have to transition to focusing on it full-time. It was never just a hobby project, I always intended it to be a serious business. 

During the first half of the year, I managed to juggle my duties on board with Oceanform simultaneously. Whenever I had breaks or finished my work hours, I dedicated my time to working on designs and having phone calls and online meetings with our design assistant, suppliers, and manufacturers. It did require a lot of coffee and not much sleep if I am thinking back on it now, but it was all worth it. 

Eventually, I found myself receiving production-related calls and needing to go on business trips, which I couldn’t manage while still working onboard. It was at this point that I realised I had to resign from my role onboard and commit to Oceanform full-time.  

At this point, William and I formally went into business together, we devised an exit strategy, carefully planning the optimal timing for both the boat and our own careers to depart. 

Most important lesson you learnt as a crew member that you now apply to day-to-day life on land?


I would say adaptability and attention to detail. The life on board is all about dealing with unpredictable situations and unexpected challenges. I learned a lot to quickly adapt to new circumstances and be flexible. We use that a lot in our day-to-day life now as business owners of a start-up brand. We consistently receive both good and bad news to deal with, and every day presents its own set of circumstances to manage. 

Additionally, I would emphasise paying attention to detail. As a stewardess, you’re trained to pay attention to every aspect of your duties. Both William and I are perfectionists, and the efficiency and quality we gained from our experience on yachts have played a significant role in our company. Each day we strive to ensure that nothing is overlooked. 


Networking! Joining the industry as a teen, I discovered a valuable life lesson, to never judge a book by its cover. In doing just that, I have been able to build an incredible network of friends, professionals and everyone in between. Not that I’ve ever been particularly judgemental but from owners, guests, crew and vendors, yachting never fails to surprise.  

What is your current job role, and where are you based?

We (Julie and William) are the founders, CEO and CFO of Oceanform. Despite being based in Denmark and the UK, we often find ourselves, ‘metaphorically ‘living out of our suitcases’.

Can you tell us more about Oceanform and what you do on a day-to-day basis?

At Oceanform, we provide modern uniform solutions that challenge outdated designs and not only meet the highest standards of quality and performance but, most importantly, contribute to a more sustainable industry, reflecting the evolving preferences and demands of modern seafarers. 

Made from our firsthand experience and frustrations with the industry’s lack of emphasis on quality in uniforms, we departed from the industry a year ago to redefine excellence in uniforms. For an industry that prides itself on providing the highest level of hospitality, we felt obligated to bring a brand to the market that represents that unequivocally, creating workwear that works for us, not against us. 

On a day-to-day basis, our roles include the entire management of Oceanform. From sales and marketing to supply chain management and product design, we are deeply involved and hands-on in every aspect of the company’s functioning. 

The good, the bad and the ugly parts of transitioning from yachts to shore?

The best part of this transition is undoubtedly the opportunity to pursue our passion through Oceanform. Being able to dedicate ourselves fully to building and growing a successful venture in an industry we thoroughly enjoy. 

The bad is definitely the initial loss of income. With tips often tripling your salary on a good charter yacht and the obvious tax advantages, climatisation back on terra firma can be interesting. 

The ugly… not living on a superyacht. Yes, the work can be tough but the good times are unrivalled. Everything is temporary, and you definitely feel that when leaving the industry.

What is the hardest struggle you have faced since leaving the industry, and how did you overcome it? 

Without question, finances! Living a life on board where there are minimal expenses and maximum savings, that inverts the moment you walk off the passerelle. Saving and investing whilst still on the yacht is paramount to the comfortable transition from sea to shore. 

Read more: Life After Yachting: Hugo Ortega’s Superyacht Sunday School & Fostering Community

Did you have any other career options in the back of your mind when you were considering your life after yachting?

Simply, no. Having both held strong business mentalities, there would have been no alternative other than to exploit our entrepreneurial spirits.

If you could return to the start of your yachting career, would you change anything?

Generally speaking, no!

We say it nearly every day, ‘everything happens for a reason’ and if you’d changed any decisions throughout your journey, we most likely wouldn’t be doing what we are today.

Without a choice, it has to be prioritising sustainable practices and more important than that, actually making a positive impact; from the locations of your yacht or fleet, to the day-to-day choices made on board. Conservation, ecological surveys and charitable efforts must become the norm to protect the oceans our industry so heavily relies on.. 

What kind of positive changes would you like to see in the industry?

Without a choice, it has to be prioritising sustainable practices and more important than that, actually making a positive impact; from the locations of your yacht or fleet, to the day-to-day choices made on board. Conservation, ecological surveys and charitable efforts must become the norm to protect the oceans our industry so heavily relies on.. 

What does success mean to you and what is your career vision for the next 5 years?

For both of us, success means waking up each morning and being able to pursue our dream job, which is Oceanform. We pinch ourselves every day because we feel so fortunate to work with each other and engage in what we are most passionate about. 

Also for us it is to make a genuine, quantifiable difference and create something that adds value to other people and our environment. 

The career vision for the next 5 years is that Oceanform becomes the preferred choice in luxury hospitality, globally. We aim to make a positive impact and be a crucial part of the goal of creating a more sustainable industry.

Lastly, can you share 3 pieces of advice for crew members thinking about their life after yachting.

First of all, we recommend having a financial safety net. Yachting is arguably one of the best ways to save a lot of money, very quickly. Having your money in order takes the pressure off of life on shore and working out your next plan if you haven’t already.

Take note of the skills and experiences gained during your time in yachting. They are highly transferable to shore-based careers.

Finally, to take every opportunity, take risks while you can and regret the things you did do not what you didn’t.. Make the most of it!  

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