A Day in the Life Series — Bosun
There are many working parts that contribute to the smooth running of a yacht. Each crew position is integral to the puzzle. In this series, Luxury Yacht Group talks to crew about how they came aboard and what keeps them there.
By Rupert Connor
Daniel Stevenson was a master carpenter with an established business and life in Sydney when a chance encounter with old friends sparked an interest in joining a yacht. At the age of 28 Daniel, “sold everything I owned that I couldn’t fit in two bags and chased a dream.”
With the transferable skills of carpentry and a life spent at the shore, he had a leg up on a job search that requires specific skills in addition to a strong work ethic, positive attitude and a team orientation.
LuxYachts: Is there a routine of Bosun responsibilities or is every day different?
Daniel: Every day is a routine that is different! You have to have structure that can bend, change and adapt to variation. During the first moments of the day I list what I need to produce and who best to utilize in order to produce the goal for the day. That is the foundation of a plan. By the time I’m out on deck, I’ve run through the day three or four times in my head.
LuxYachts: What were the transferable skills you brought aboard from your previous experiences?
Daniel: Carpentry. To build anything is to solve problems, problems that stop you from moving forward.The rules apply not only in building physical and tangible objects but teams and individuals as well. I also had previous experience working as a slip hand at a marina so the transition to my first Yachting position as a Deckhand was more of the same – washing, sanding, polishing, varnishing, etc.
LuxYachts: What did you do for training and licensing prior to chasing that dream?
Daniel: My first position was entry level deckhand. I had only ENG1 and STCW. I figured I needed to watch, listen and learn. Both the Bosun and Chief Officer from that first job taught me so much onboard. Their knowledge and patience made it the best two years of my life and changed my life forever. Since that first opportunity I added CoC in carpentry and B1/B2 to my certifications. I am also in the process of scheduling the final assessment to complete Yachtmaster Offshore.
LuxYachts: You have mentioned other crew a number of times. Don’t you have specific responsibilities?
Daniel: The team is what gets you to places that we simply would not achieve alone. It is the single most important element to success. We all have specific jobs and titles attached to the responsibilities. However, what we have in common is we need each other. Everything we achieve on board is because of each other’s efforts. The last things I do each day is thank my team for the effort. As a good friend once taught me, ‘It’s teamwork that makes the dream work.’
LuxYachts: Do you see yourself aboard in 5/10 years? Are there other positions aboard you would like?
Daniel: Yes, I’d very much like to continue to be an active member within the industry. I’m so happy being out on deck and on the front line, so to speak. As much as I would like one day to hold an officer position, I know I have some years left outside before I take that step into the bridge.
LuxYachts: What have you observed about the differences from yacht to yacht? Are the differences based on the owner, the captain, or crew members?
Daniel: Every yacht is a fingerprint. I have not experienced one program or schedule the same nor have I had owners who have been alike or shared common interests in destinations. It’s all in the detail. I personally have found every yacht to be different and I believe the owner, captain and crew are all factors in regards to a positive and happy life onboard.
LuxYachts: Are there things you miss about being ashore?
Daniel: Small things like strolling out to buy a coffee and Sunday paper, cooking, seeing the surf everyday are no longer routines. I miss seeing my little nephews growing up, but for everything I miss, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s all worth it.
LuxYachts: How do you cope with being away from home?
Daniel: Sometimes in trying moments being able to see family and friends on Facebook can bring on a little bout of homesickness. On the flip side and more positively, a quick chat can be all you need to pick you back up and get you on track when you’re down.
LuxYachts: Looking back, do you recall your first step aboard?
Daniel: I can still feel that victory and the feeling of achievement. It is as strong today as the day I walked aboard. I remember proudly the looking around at my new world and then looking down, smiling to myself about my bare feet on the teak after I put my first uniform on. It symbolized freedom to me.
More about Daniel
Daniel Stevenson has served aboard yachts from 56 to 114 meters. During crossings and seasons in both the Med and Caribbean, he has accumulated 12 months OOW experience on the bridge. A strong team contributor, his experience includes managing junior deckhands.
Luxury Yacht Group leads the industry in providing professional crew for yachts. The Luxury Yacht Group website provides links to available crew for each position aboard. Crew Coordinators are available throughout the world to assist in your search for the perfect candidate. Contact LuxYachts via the website or at (954) 525-9959.