Name: Karlien le Roux
Years in current position: 10 months
Years in industry: 1
Previous vessels: 2 months daywork on a 140-meter
Nationality: South African
My current goal is being the best deckie (and stew) I can possibly be, taking in as much information as I can and learning all the ropes (excuse the pun). A future goal is to get my Yachtmasters, land a sole deck position, and see where my journey in this industry takes me.
Before I started yachting, I was a trainer and manager of an outdoor fitness facility. The high I got from working with people aged 16-60 and seeing the positive change that being fit and healthy can bring to their lives is something I long for. If I wasn’t in yachting, I would definitely still be working in the health and fitness industry.
It’s not a normal 9-5 job. Never mind that the hours are longer, the fact that there isn’t a separation between where you live and work mentally makes things hard at first. It’s important to make time for yourself, whether it’s that first cup of coffee on the bow or evening yoga on the aft deck.
Attention to detail is critical in yachting. Always leave your station in a better condition than you’ve found it. Like most jobs, you have to be willing to start from the bottom, which on deck is the bilge. Lastly: ALWAYS be willing to learn.
Your crew can make or break your yachting experience. I’ve been very fortunate to have a great captain and awesome crew to work with. You have to find a balance between respecting your crew as co-workers and learning to live with them as family.
My most significant achievement is the number of women who have reached out for info about yachting. Not too long ago, I was reaching out and asking questions. To be the one inspiring and encouraging females to go against the old norm and smash it on deck has been a dream even before my yachting journey began.
The best part of the job is waking up on the water. Traveling the globe is awesome, but nothing beats the sound of the waves, ocean breeze, and a beautiful sunrise or sunset on the horizon.
Best deck tip: Your bucket is your bestie. You can put all your tools, products, and snacks in it. It also helps you from dropping anything on your golden-clean teak. Don’t forget to charge the speaker! Best thing about being out on deck is blasting tunes while getting the job done in the sun.
Follow Karlien on Instagram @karlienondeck.
This article originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of Dockwalk.