Name: Lauren Evans
Years in current position: N/A
Years in industry: 5.5
Previous vessels: M/Y Elisa
Nationality: British (Born Kenyan)
I had always dreamed of being a captain on a 50- to 60-meter or a first officer on a 70- to 80-meter. I had seen all the guys around me moving up the ranks and wanted to become like them and prove that women could do the same thing.
If I wasn’t on a yacht, I would be working in the hospitality and tourism industry back in Kenya or East Africa. I have always liked working with people and loved meeting new people.
I would say the toughest part of my job would be trying to reach the deckhands during wash downs, as being 5 foot 5, I am a little too short.
For those looking to get started, I would say follow your heart and if you want to be on deck and grow, then that is what you should push on your CV. There are a lot more yachts out there nowadays looking for females on deck and we have a few more officers and captains; I think we need more.
For those looking to impress on the job, I would say just be yourself. You have to be active and outgoing. You also can’t worry about getting dirty or wet from wash down or cleaning bilges.
I think extra skills are a huge plus, but only do it if you enjoy it. People won’t find it fun if you’re just doing it because you were told to, rather [than because] you enjoy it and [teaching] people. Some skills will be better than others, but any extra skills are a huge plus, but you need to make sure it’s the path you want to go down.
One of the most important things I’ve learned on board is to learn from others. Everyone has something to contribute and if you listen, you can learn a lot. Always have the will to learn more, even if you think you know, remember that there is always another way to do things.
My most significant achievement was doing my Yachtmaster in Cape Town. I did a zero-to-hero course and had learned a lot from the Yachtmaster Sailing School in Cape Town.
I started in yachting back in 2011 to 2016, then I left for a couple years and now I'm back. Yachting is something you’ll have for your whole life. It’s an industry that you will make friends for life and never leave behind.
The best part about my job is working outside and [being] among great friends and colleagues. And if you get the right captain, first mate, or bosun, you can learn a lot of tips and hacks.
My best deck tip is to learn how to do as many knots as you can.
This column originally ran in the April 2021 issue of Dockwalk.