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Chief Stewardess statut
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2015 2:43 AM
Joined: 10/12/2013
Posts: 1

Hi everyone,

I would like to know from what size of boat, the Chief Stewardess has the officer statut on board.

On my previous boat a 100+ my chief stew was considered as officer. What about a 50m. Is there documents to attest that rule or just commun sens for professional crew.

Thank you.

Posted: Monday, June 15, 2015 11:22 AM
Well from what we practise onboard an Officer recieves the title from the license they carry, the varying licenses Officer of the Watch, Chief Mate, EOOW etc, are what gives them their title and status as an officer, Sure the Chief Steward/ess we have onboard receives the same level of respect and afforded all the same benefits, but we do not deem them to be Officers based purely on the fact they do not Carry an Officers license
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 10:17 AM

The Chief Stewardess is not an Officer, on commercial ships at least. They do not have a certificate that is recognised by any State or Country. That I know of..? But correct me if I am wrong. .!

It is a little bit different on yachts though. They are normally part of the Senior Crew and also the Head of their Department, all depending on what set up you have onboard. That means that if you have a nice Owner, Captain or Management company then they will receive the same benefits as the Senior Officers or HoD's onboard. You should get the same benefits as any other HOD i.e. extra leave, health care, yearly bonuses, more flights etc... 
But as I said above.. It all depends on who you are working for. You do not have any "rights" to the above, over and above a normal crew member, it is purely discretionary by the person who advises and who draws up the contract. 
As far as what size yacht. There is no absolute. It is purely on what kind and level responsibility you have. So you could say that once you are running a big department, say 2,3 or 4+ Stewardesses under you, then you have a good case to make to the Captain. Good luck. 

Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 4:57 PM

In the commercial sector, Purser is a licensed position and requires the crew member to hold this license. Below is the required sea service for one to apply for this license under the USCG system.

 Chief Purser – Two years service aboard vessels performing duties relating to work in purser’s office. 

 Purser – One year service aboard vessels performing duties relating to work in purser’s office. 

 Sr. Assistant Purser – Six months service aboard vessels performing duties relating to work in purser’s office. 

Jr. Assistant Purser – Previous experience not required

Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:28 PM
As per previous reply's it depends on the yacht your working on. The chief stew is a key member of the crew and of the senior crew and deserves that respect, but lets not forget that an officers licence is obtained by years of study, exams and oral boards by the issuing authority.
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:53 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

"Purser is a licensed position and requires the crew member to hold this license."


 A purser does not hold a license. Under the USCG system, a purser holds a "certificate of registry." 


  A purser is, like a doctor or nurse hired as part of the crew, a "staff officer" who is not a licensed mariner with responsibilities for navigation or engineering.


Except for passenger ships which require the carriage of a doctor, there is no requirement to fill any staff officer position in order to sail.


A chief steward (or stewardess) is not a staff officer and does not require a certificate of registry.

Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:59 PM

I'm not a crewmember, I'm not an owner yet (but I'm looking at smaller boats around 30m), so I know as much about yachting and maritime law as I do about women. My wife is the brains, I'm just the fat old guy with the checkbook.  But doesn't the term "Officer" imply one who can assume LEGAL responsibility for the safe operation of a vessel through the chain of command? (I'm referring to what we used to call "deck officers", not "technical officers" like engineers.) In the worst case scenario (God, I HATE cliches), even a trained monkey or an owner can aim the boat "that way" and make it go forward... but the rank of Office is EARNED through butt numbing weeks and months of classroom training, and months and years of sea time. In the Air Force (USAF, naturally) I didn't care how many stars you had on your lapel, you were on MY aircraft and I was the one in command. I would think that applies to yacht Officers as well. 

Bob P, Palm Springs, CA

Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 10:33 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Officer in the civilian world is a licensed position, since there is no Steward's Department license, no officers. The other thing is in the civilian world is that officer status has no real meaning. There are no benefits afforded to you as in the military world.  People in the civilian world who need to consider themselves officers have ego and self worth issues and I would stay away from working for, especially chief stews, and especially if they are the captain's girlfriend or wife as they have an Admiral attitude and usually the captain doesn't have the balls to reign her in because he'll lose his sex.
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 11:52 PM
I find it strange that you say the Civilian Officer has no "real meaning".  It would seem that the 170 odd countries that abide by the IMO regulations of STCW holds Officers in quite high esteem.  So high in fact they they are held liable for their position and actions in an Admiralty court of Law, which under the British Flag until recently has been chaired by Lieutenant - Commander Gerald Darling, who I also believe is not a "Civilian".

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 2:46 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

That's not esteem, that's our job, to be the liability shield for the owner, that is the captain's primary function onboard and has nothing to do with whether one calls oneself an officer or not, it comes from having the license and accepting responsibility. Titles are only there to feed egos. Just do your job as well as you can and forget titles. If you're in this business to feed your ego, you're in the wrong place. In the yacht world we are glorified servants of the owners, nothing more. Stewardess = Maid, Captain = Chauffeur... We're lackies for millionaires and billionaires.
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 5:46 AM
Unless you have done your seatime and Completed the courses needed for an officer then I'm afraid not.. Why would you even ask such a question. This is common sense.What a rediculas question.
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:40 AM
Whilst the Chief Stew deserves utmost respect for their position and knowledge as many have taken years working their way up, officers with CoCs have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars/euros to get their tickets.  Other important parts of the CoC are the advanced STCW courses that are required which also cost alot to take and the long process of building up and documentation of seatime.  CoC holders can be held legally responsible if an incident occurs and risk losing their CoC and all the money that went into it if things go wrong.  However, without the interior department being run properly by somebody that knows what they are doing, guests would not be happy and as previously stated we are all just lackies!  It is not a question of having the title no matter which department you are in but more about finding work on the right boat where the Captain and crew respect you and your work.
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:54 AM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

From the British military origins there are commissioned officers who the military spends large sums training - in return you are required to serve a large number of years (8 maybe?) before you can apply to get out. Next up you have non-commissioned officers who have more limited training and responsibility (sergeants, corporals and lance corporals), not sure what their service requirements are, followed by the other troops.

In commercial shipping the honorary title of officer is also given to Radio Officer, Catering Officer etc which as much as anything else gives them access to the Officer's Mess! Both have been largely phased out I believe.

From a practical point of view on board a yacht, the Purser and Chief Stew should IMHO be given "Officer" status, but apart from a few extra days leave and a requirement to attend HoD meetings, it is unlikely to mean very much. Honestly anyone trying to treat you differently is probably not being very respectful, so maybe there is more to this story?
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:59 AM
Joined: 13/07/2008
Posts: 32

Chief Steward/ess is clearly not an Officer however deserves such respect and similar benefits considering his/her position in on-board subordination structure, his/her duties and responsibilities.

Commonly on-board there are certified OOW (Officers of Navigational Watch) and EOOW (Engineer Officers of Watch) who may be assigned different roles.

Officer in such a context is an on-board title who's owner is maritime administration certified for and gets involved in wider scope of specific operations and professional responsibilities to all crew/guests and liable to legal consequences from his/her actions in his/her scope of duties.

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