The stew is a highly visible and important position to the owners and guest aboard the yachts. The steward is the person the guests turn to or rely on to meet their needs and to answer their questions. Although this position could be considered entry-level, it should by no means be considered easy or for people who are untrained or inexperienced in both the service industry and basic yachting safety.
The job responsibilities of the stew can vary widely from one yacht to another. A lot of what the stew does is determined by the size of the yacht and whether there are passengers on board.
Crews of very large yachts can total 40 members or more, and their duties are usually much more specialized than on smaller yachts. For example, stews on large yachts are responsible for preparing the dining tables, serving meals, and cleaning up the dining room. They may also provide personal assistance to the guests, such as picking up packages at ports of call. In addition, they may arrange flowers, tours, polish shoes, and ensure that each room is fully equipped and provisioned. This may not seem all that specialized, but stews on smaller yachts may do all of these things, and in addition be responsible for cleaning all interior rooms on the yachts, and doing all the laundry. They may also be required to do some of the cooking. On large yachts there are usually staff hired to do the laundry and cleaning.
In short, no matter what size yacht, the stew is responsible for ensuring that the passengers’ experience onboard is as pleasant as possible. To that end, the stew is usually ultimately responsible for seeing to it that rooms are clean, furnished pleasantly and completely, meals are served on time and smoothly, and to ensure that any special passenger needs are met.
You can see from the list above that the stew can be one busy person, running around to make sure everyone has a drink, that meals are served, and that housekeeping tasks are completed in between. In general, the smaller the yacht, the more responsibilities the stew may be expected to take on. On the super-luxury yachts there is usually more than one stew and generally there is a chief stew that supervises the work of the others in the same department.