Profiles

Q&A with Deckhand François Soetewey

1 May 2020By Laura Shaughnessy

Written by

Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy has been the managing editor at Dockwalk since February 2018. Having grown up among the cornfields, she is ecstatic to be among the boats in the yachting capital of the world. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism, 15 years of experience with newspapers, magazines, and the online world, Laura has joined a great crew. When not writing about superyacht crew, she’s hanging out with her husband and their German Shepherd, working on house projects, or binging on Netflix.

Deckhand Francois Soetewey

Name: François Soetewey
Yacht: private motor yacht
Builder: Feadship
LOA: 63M/206’8”
Position: Deckhand
Years in current position: 3
Years in industry: 3
Nationality/Country: Belgium

I am currently working as deckhand on board. I would like to progress and gain experience and knowledge in order to become an officer one day.


I am currently working as deckhand on board. I would like to progress and gain experience and knowledge in order to become an officer one day.

Prior to yachting, I worked as a travel person/travel butler working with UHNVI, where my team of three and I flew on a private jet with the principal everywhere in the world. Basically, my job was to make everything easier for the principal.

The toughest part of the job for me is not being able to make plans and missing out on family commitments such as birthdays and weddings.

My advice for those looking to get started: Personally, I found it easier to look for work from home yacht recruitment agencies and Facebook. There are a few very good recruitment companies, such as Yotspot, YPI, bluewater, Crew Hunter. You can also apply for a job on Facebook groups like Palma Yacht Crew, Antibes Yacht Crew, and Fort Lauderdale Yacht Crew.

I am actually a PADI dive instructor and I have found this beneficial to work on yachts. It gives you an extra edge.

The most important thing I’ve learned whilst working on yachts is 1) You must be a team player integrating well with crew and 2) Maintaining crew moral is an [integral] part of yachting.

My greatest achievement is having the opportunity to work for a royal family as a personal butler.

I got my start in yachting thanks to my grandparents who lived in Monaco. When I was younger, I spent some time there and I used to look at the yachts and dream one day that I would work on a yacht.

I’ve spent three years in the industry and it doesn’t feel like work for me because I really enjoy what I do.

My best deck tip: Always carry a rag.

This article originally ran in the May 2020 issue of Dockwalk.

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