Q:”Hi, I’m planning to head to Palma soon to start my job hunt for a stew role, but I just wanted to check that there aren’t any minimum height rules in yachting like there is for flight attendants? I’m only 5 foot 3, so I’m a bit worried that being short might count against me?” (Sara, 21, Aspiring Stew)
A: The Crew Coach:
Good question Sara! height really hasn’t been a factor in yachting over the years I’ve been in it. You occasionally see a job ad requesting female crew of a certain height, but that tends to be as a result of a certain aesthetic preference held by the yacht owner, rather than having anything to do with an ability to carry out your duties as a stewardess.
You referred to flight attendants… the minimum height is not really an operational requirement for yachts as it on planes, as there are not any everyday duties that require you to reach overhead like you would need to as a flight attendant.
There are only a few instances where height may create some potential difficulties for stewardesses that of which can include:
Dusting high shelves and getting into high cupboards or storage lockers are two instances where height is advantageous, but there are always a few of those handy step ladders or foot stools around the yacht for this.
Occasionally you’ll come across one of those huge aft deck tables where you need really long arms to reach across and clear plates, but there’s always ways around that, whether it’s getting another crew member to serve those people, or just being upfront about it and asking the guest to pass you their plate. You can’t exactly grow longer arms, and it’s not something I can imagine a Captain thinking too much about when hiring you.
It’s pretty unlikely that someone would turn down an otherwise great candidate because of their arm length, that I can almost promise you.
Also, being short on a yacht is sometimes an advantage! Really tall people sometimes struggle with the length of the bunks however, you will find it much easier to wriggle into tight spaces like storage lockers or bilge storage on a sailing yacht.
Essentially, in yachting, as long as you’re fit, healthy and can carry out your duties, you will be fine. When you attend interviews, put the emphasis on your fitness, positive attitude and your ability to get the job done.
I have not heard of a single instance of a stew being rejected for a job on the basis of being too short so I don’t let the height thing bother you.