Steward/ess Tips

Handy Household, Job seeking, Laundry and other useful tips for Yacht Steward/esses. Feel free to share your winning ideas!

DISCLAIMER:  These tips were collected over the past 20 years, and some come from books, magazines, other Steward/esses, internet research, websites, etc.  By no means am I claiming that they are all my own original ideas.  These are merely shared with you as an educational tool and to assist you in the best way possible.


Washing Machine Care – Mildew smell in washing machine:  Get together:  Bicarb, vinegar, Dettol
Clean out filter and tap at bottom of machine. Also check hose running out of machine – could need replacing. Wipe dry bowl inside with vinegar and bicarb. After this, put 1/2 cup bicarb, 1 cup vinegar and 30 ml Dettol in machine and run empty load. This should all be done 1 x a week.


This stuff is amazingly versatile!

But it wasn't until recently, after doing some IN DEPTH research on the subject that I came to realize what a “miracle substance” hydrogen peroxide really is! It’s safe, it’s readily available, it’s cheap, and best of all, it WORKS! It works for a LOT of stuff!

Hydrogen peroxide should really be called oxygen water, since it is basically the same chemical make up as water but with an extra oxygen atom (H2O2). Because of this it breaks down quickly and harmlessly into oxygen and water.

Some other interesting facts about hydrogen peroxide:

It is found in all living material.  Your white blood cells naturally produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to fight bacteria and infections. Vegetables and fruit naturally produce hydrogen peroxide. This is one of the reasons why it is so healthy to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

It is found in massive dosages in the mother’s first milk, called colostrum, and is transferred to the baby to boost their immune system.

It is found in rain water because some of the H20 in the atmosphere receives an additional oxygen atom from the ozone (O3) and this H2O2 makes plants grow faster.

Next to Apple Cider Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide ranks up there as one of the best household remedies.

Besides the obvious (cleansing wounds), did you know that it is probably the best remedy to dissolve ear wax? Brighten dingy floors? Add natural highlights to your hair? Improve your plants root systems? The list goes on and on!
There are SO many uses for this stuff that I’ve started replacing the cap on the hydrogen peroxide bottle with a sprayer because it’s easier and faster to use that way.

I have compiled a rather impressive list of uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide that I hope will have you as thrilled and bewildered as I was!

Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your regular dish soap by adding roughly 2 ounces of 3% H2O2 to the bottle.

Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It kills the bacteria that causes halitosis. Use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.

Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste for brushing teeth. Helps with early stages of gingivitis as it kills bacteria. Mixed with salt and baking soda, hydrogen peroxide works as a whitening toothpaste.

Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide between uses to keep it clean and prevent the transfer of germs. This is particularly helpful when you or someone in your family has a cold or the flu.

Clean your cutting board and counter top. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. (I’ve been using it for this a LOT lately!)
Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, it’s great for cleaning places that store food and dishes.

Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.

Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.

Whiten bathtub grout. First dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times.

Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.

Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.

Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.

Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis.
Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants.

Add natural highlights to your hair. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide so the solution is 50% peroxide and 50% water. Spray the solution on wet hair to create subtle, natural highlights.

According to alternative therapy practitioners, adding half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to a warm bath can help detoxify the body. Some are sceptical of this claim, but a bath is always a nice way to relax and the addition of hydrogen peroxide will leave you – and the tub – squeaky clean!

Spray a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on leftover salad, drain, cover and refrigerate. This will prevent wilting and better preserve your salad.

Sanitize your kids’ lunch boxes/bags.  Dab hydrogen peroxide on pimples or acne to help skin.

Hydrogen peroxide helps to sprout seeds for new plantings. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution once a day and spritz the seed every time you re-moisten. You can also use a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water to improve your plants’ root system.

Remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths. Fill a sink with cold water and 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Soak for at least an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry.

Use it to remove ear wax. Use a solution of 3% with olive or almond oil. Add a couple drops of oil first then H2O2. After a few minutes, tilt head to remove solution and wax.

Helps with foot fungus. Spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry. Or try soaking your feet in a peroxide solution to help soften calluses and corns, and disinfect minor cuts.
Spray down the shower with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and viruses.

Use 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water to clean humidifiers and steamers.
Wash shower curtains with hydrogen peroxide to remove mildew and soap scum. Place curtains in machine with a bath towel and your regular detergent. Add 1 cup full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.

Use for towels that have become musty smelling. 1/2 cup Peroxide and 1/2 cup vinegar let stand for 15 minutes wash as normal. Gets rid of the smell.

Use hydrogen peroxide to control fungi present in aquariums. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your fish. Use sparingly for this purpose.


CHECK this out!! We all know the microwave can get out of hand!! Who loves to scrub that bad boy?? NOT THIS GIRL! 

1 c vinegar + 1 c hot water + 10 min microwave=steam clean! Totally works. No more scum, no funky smells.


Over time, towels build up detergent and fabric softener, leaving them unable to absorb as much water and smelling funky. Recharge them by washing them once with hot water and one cup vinegar, then a second time with hot water and half cup baking soda. This strips the residue and leaves them fresh and able to absorb more water again.

Another note: White towels should not be washed in fabric softener – they will eventually turn grey and lose its absorbency.


Need: Cheap hair conditioner, water
Put 1/2 bottle conditioner in bath in blood temp water. Put blanket in and leave 1 hour. Don’t rinse just lay out on drop sheet in sun. When dry, brush with soft nylon brush or soft hair brush.


Aspirin: Get Rid of Armpit Stains on T-Shirts
Grind up an aspirin tablet or two, then make a paste out of it using water, lemon or vinegar. Spread the paste on the stained area and let sit for an hour before washing.


Tin Foil Ball: Replace Dryer Sheets Permanently
Instead of using a dryer sheet ball up one or a few sheets of tin foil and toss it in the dryer. It removes the static electricity from your clothes and one can last up to a year.


Freeze Candles to Make Them Last Longer
Put candles in the freezer for at least 2 hours before using. Once you burn them, the wax will melt at a much slower pace, making them last much longer!


Guests want Champagne or White Wine and you realise it is still stored under a seat in the saloon?? No problem!  It is very bad to chill Champagne and White Wine by putting it in the freezer. It chills too quickly and spoils the aromas and palate. It can also explode in the freezer if you forget about it…

Do the following:

  • Put the Wine/Champagne in a large Ziploc © bag and close to seal
  • Fill a sink with ½ cold water, ½ ice and a handful of fine salt

Lay the bottle inside this mix for about 10 minutes – beautiful cold beverage for your guests!


You will need: Milk, cotton wool ball
Rot some milk in the sun + spread solids over stain. Leave until ink starts to lift out of fabric. Wash milk solids off and wash item in washing machine (check clothes label for heat instructions)


Here's what you will need: Turpentine, rubbing alcohol, acetone, ear bud cotton wool
Ask the Deck Crew what kind of paint it was. You need to work out what kind of paint it is to treat the stain. If water-based paint, soak area with rubbing alcohol. Then rub stain with 2 cloths dipped in rubbing alcohol. 

If paint oil-based, use turpentine and do same process as water-based paint. Wash item immediately afterwards on warm setting (check label).  Important!!!!  Be careful with dark items, check for colour fastness first on area not visible (like waistband)


You will need: Cotton wool, ear bud, coffee descaler
Whink54 and an ear bud

Put cotton wool ball behind stain and dip ear bud in descaler. Rub over rust until it starts to lift. Hand wash straight away. 

You could also try to dip a little drop of Whink54 on an ear bud and wipe over the rust stain. Wash immediately afterwards. Wear gloves when handling Whink54 and do not use this on very delicate fabrics or fabrics that are not colour fast.

Salty build-up on crew and guest Wet Weather jackets

Need:  Cloth, vinegar, lead pencil (like HB pencil

Wipe zipper with cloth dipped in vinegar, then rub with lead pencil


Here's what you will need: Glycerine, cotton wool, dry cleaning fluid

Apply glycerine to stain with cotton wool. Apply dry cleaning fluid with a new cotton wool. Wash on normal washing cycle afterwards (check care label)


For those of you with Stew/Masseuses on board – the wax can be troublesome to remove from their uniforms – but no more!!

Stew/Masseuse – body wax on uniform or massage room bedsheets
You will need: Paper towel, hairdryer 

Put paper towel on each side of item where wax is. Blow hairdryer over area. Paper towel will absorb wax. Replace paper towel until wax gone. Then launder in warm wash cycle.


Duvets can be made of goose feathers, wool or synthetics. Wash them after each season if possible. Some duvets can be put through washing machine, but check care label first. Others can be washed in the bath. Fill bath with water warmed to blood temp. and half a cap of Woollite washing detergent. Lay duvet in bath and get in and stomp on the duvet. Empty bath, fill again with same temperature water. Soak duvet for a while. Rinse out duvet and drain all water as much as poss. Put duvet in black plastic bag (don’t drip over yacht as you carry wet duvet!). Take duvet outside and put on old clean sheet. Leave to dry all day, turn a few times. When dry, shake duvet. Try to hold it up and then whack it with your hand (another Stew would have to help). Leave it to dry as long as possible (or as the deck hands will allow you!). If you do not have time to wash the duvet, but it is a bit smelly, spray it with Febreze, and put it in warm (not hot) tumble dryer with a few Bounty Tumble Dryer Sheets.


You will need: Vanish and Colourless Dishwashing Soap (like Sunlight)

Remove vomit solids first and soak sheet in Napisan and Vanish Stain treater. After soaking overnight, make a paste out of Sunlight and Vanish and put on stain. Leave on for a while, scrape off and wash on warm cycle in machine


By definition, as a Junior Stewardess, you will have little or no yachting experience. But don’t see this as a weakness. We all have to start somewhere. So, as you cannot back-up your application with a lot of experience, and even if you have worked in land hospitality, it is highly unlikely that you have worked in such a luxurious environment. 

Therefore, you need to capitalise on all your strengths and attributes – and those are: YOU and how you present yourself, how you communicate and relate to other people and how you show flexibility and a willingness to learn. 

Presentation is super important when you go for interviews. You should display etiquette and manners, be punctual and present yourself in a professional manner. It is important that, if you were sent to an interview by a Crew Agent, that they receive excellent feedback from the Captain, even if they did not employ you. Wear a white “office blouse” and black long pants with black flat shoes or sandals. NOT flip flops, skirts, jeans or shorts. Make sure your hair is neat and tied up and your nails are short and well-groomed and no nail polish. Wear only a little make-up. 

During an interview, you need to convey that you have the resilience, team spirit and hard-working attitude required and that you will not quit in the middle of the season when the yacht is somewhere in the middle of Turkey or Russia where it will be very hard for the captain to replace you.

So, if you know that you have what it takes and if you can work long hours with a smile, find an example of a real life situation that you have experienced this – to illustrate that you will not let the captain down.

Don’t worry, you have learnt the skills you need for your first job during the Steward/ess course and you will learn a lot more from the Chief Steward/ess on board. It is therefore your personality, commitment, service-orientated smile which will be your greatest asset to get the job. 

No doubt you will hear about some fantastic wages/salaries that some stewardesses are earning. DO NOT be greedy and if the first question you ask the Captain at the interview is: “How much does the job pay?” you will almost immediately put the Captain off. This is not what an employer wants to hear. Arrive at the interview with a list of questions you can ask in relation to the job, (see list of suggested questions elsewhere in the manual), for example – your duties, the yacht itinerary, the crew composition, etc. Prove yourself, work hard and the good wages will follow.

You might get asked: “Why do you want to work on a yacht?” The immediate reaction is to say: “Because I want to travel”. This is not the best answer at a yachting interview, as it focuses on you and your needs and not on the yacht and its needs. Talk about the things you can offer to the yacht, such as: “Even though I have not experienced this high level of service, the little experience that I do have as a resort worker/hotel worker/waitress, has given me the motivation and passion to carry on in the hospitality industry. “OR “Because I am a perfectionist, I am hoping that I can contribute to your team and learn more about an industry that I am very passionate about.” “I invested a great deal of money, time, effort and energy to prepare myself as much as possible for this position and career, all because of my commitment and willingness to grow and progress through being a part of your team.” 

You need to give the Captain a reason to hire you. Hiring Junior Crew is always a gamble and the employer will want to be reassured as much as possible that he is not making a huge mistake by endorsing you. 

If you are invited to an interview by a Captain or Chief Stewardess, go there with an open mind. As a junior crew, you are not in a position to make demands. It may seem common sense to you, but many candidates forget the basics, such as thanking the Captain/Chief Stew for their time and for being willing to meet with you. If you feel the job is right for you, SAY this to the Captain and tell him that you will represent the yacht well and you are very excited about this fantastic opportunity to learn and be part of what seems to be a wonderful crew. 

Remember: Show you are eager to learn and you WILL find someone who is willing to hire you. Being crew on a yacht could be the best experience of your life and hopefully the beginning of a great and successful career.


Hello! Just joined this group, loving the tips!… I have a question… anyone have any tips for removing stains from suede walls!??? The owners of my boat have "horror" children therefor grubby little finger print stains all over said walls!!


it would depend on what was on their fingers. If it is oily stains, try the following: Bran (the edible kind) and a soft clean white cloth. Rub bran a few times over the stain to suck up oils

You can try this on white/cream suede: 1. Cold to lukewarm water, never hot

2. Mix one teaspoon of a mild soap (Woollite, Joy, Ivory, Fairy, or Tide powder) to a pint of cold or warm water.

3. Pure white vinegar mixed 50/50 with water. Use vinegar full strength for stubborn stains

– Remember that a stain is always cleaned inwards, never outwards, as it will spread the stain. Never rub suede too much, it will rub off the hair.

Cleaning Procedure for suede

1. Select the appropriate cleaner from the chart on back

2. Wet a small area of a clean terry cloth towel or a soft sponge with the cleaner and dab it onto the stain.

3. Blot up the cleaner and the stain with a clean cloth towel.

4. Repeat the dabbing and blotting as necessary. If the stain has been allowed to dry, it may take more than one application for the cleaner to dissolve the stain.

5. DO NOT RUB AGGRESSIVELY, let the cleaner dissolve the stain, and them wipe it up with a clean towel.

6. After using a soap solution or vinegar/water, follow by dabbing and blotting with cold water to remove residual soap or vinegar.


Lay down an old drop sheet, covering any marble first.

Cover water stains on the glass door with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Drape with a towel and let it stand for an hour. Wipe off, rinse and dry. Make sure to clean the door with water and rubbing alcohol mix afterwards. This is your magic solution for cleaning streaks, always remember it!


To get white socks really clean, soak them for an hour in one-gallon hot water and 2 tablespoons automatic dishwasher detergent (liquid form, like Cascade), as well as 1 Alka Seltzer tablet. Pour the socks and the solution from the bucket into washing machine and launder as usual.


Always carry double sided iron-on tape on board (buy at a sewing store) – if you need to iron in a hem when you have no time.  Look for a product called ‘fabric glue’ – it can save a lot of time rather than sewing in hems.

Sew on the CREW uniform shirt buttons with white dental floss and paint over button with clear nail polish – the buttons will stay on longer


You will need: Dry cleaning fluid, cotton wool
Apply dry cleaning fluid with cotton wool, work in circles from outside to inside. Remove all ink before washing in machine on warm cycle.

Be careful of coloured items – test if colourfast in a hidden area first.


IMPORTANT: Remember to ALWAYS test a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture first before using ANY of these methods.

Ink stains: Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rub over the ink stain. Dry with a blow dryer set on its lowest setting.

Dark stains: (i.e. food, blood, etc.): Make a paste of one part cream of tartar with 1 part lemon juice. Rub this paste on the stain and leave it set for 10 minutes. Remove the paste with a damp rag and moisturizing soap (like Dove soap bar) for general cleaning. Buff the leather dry with a soft cloth.

Grease stains: Simply wipe stain from the leather using a dry cloth. Do not apply water to the grease stain.

Newsprint: Newspapers left on leather furniture can cause a newsprint ink stain. Spray the stain lightly with aerosol hair spray and then wipe with a soft cloth.


What you’ll need:
1 cup of boiling water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon fine white salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 sheet of tinfoil, shiny side up
A bowl
Soft cloth

What to do:
Prep it

Boil the water. While it’s simmering up, line the bottom of the bowl with the tinfoil, shiny side up. Cover the entire bowl with tinfoil. Then, add the salt and baking soda to the bottom of the bowl. Add the vinegar slowly (prepare for the fizz) and mix everything together to dissolve the salt and baking soda. You want all the granules to dissolve so that they don’t scratch your pieces 


Add the boiling water to your bowl and then gently drop each piece of silver in the bowl. Just let it sit, the chemical reaction does all the work for you. If you wish, you can flip them over with tongs, just to ensure that both sides get exposure to the tinfoil.

Take each piece out carefully, being sure not to burn yourself, and buff it gently with your polishing cloth. It is safer to do this with yellow dishwashing gloves on. You should start to see all the tarnish come off and all the original glory of your silver come back!


Stain-proofing: Spray with Scotchguard Fabric protector or a similar product prior to using. Don’t spray the cloth on top of a wooden table, it will spoil the wooden finish!!

Removing stains from table cloths: soak any coloured tablecloths in heavy-duty detergent solution. If possible, pre-treat the tablecloth on the table after a meal (but put a cloth underneath to protect the dining room table). 

Soak white tablecloths in a bucket with water and Napisan or 2 Alka Seltzer tablets, and launder afterwards. 
Removing red wine, red sodas, cranberry juice, tomato juice stains from a tablecloth:

Pour soda water on red wine. Do this as soon as you can. Then wash immediately afterwards. Put stained part of tablecloth over sink and pour soda water over it. Launder afterwards. Wine Away also good to use. 

Instead of folding tablecloths, fold minimally lengthwise (depending on storage space) and roll the cloth. Hang cloths on hangers if you have space. Do not starch tablecloths when they are going to be stored for a long period of time (between seasons), this will yellow the tablecloth.


Keep napkins stored in large Ziploc bags (each set of napkins in its own bag). This will keep them organized in the linen cupboard.

Stains on cloth napkins: Most common stain: Lipstick!!! Spray with WD 40, wait 10 minutes, then work undiluted colourless dishwashing liquid into the stain. Launder as usual. 

For food and beverage stains on napkins: treat with Shout or similar, or Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain remover. Do not let stain treaters dry on napkin before washing.

Do not iron napkin once folded, as it leaves permanent creases. Only iron it while open and fold without ironing again.


Keep a cheap bottle of shampoo (like Palmolive or similar) in the laundry room. Rub some shampoo on the make-up stain (remember to rub inwards, not outwards) and wash afterwards as per care label.

Never allow shampoo to dry on the fabric, wash straight after applying shampoo.


Need: Undiluted Rubbing alcohol, cloth

Soak cloth in alcohol and wipe board. The permanent marker will come off in no time!


"Water Displacement #40".

The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.

WD-40 was created in 1953 and its name comes from the project that was to find a 'Water Displacement' Compound.

They were finally successful for a formulation, with their fortieth attempt, thus WD-40.

There is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you, it is quite natural.

WD-40 Uses:

1. Protects silver from tarnishing.

2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.

3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.

4. Gives floor that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.

5. Restores and cleans chalkboards.

6. Removes lipstick stains.

7. Loosens stubborn zippers.

8. Untangles jewellery chains.

9. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.

10. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.

11. Removes tomato stains from clothing.

12. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.

13. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.

14. Keeps scissors working smoothly.

15. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.

16. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen flooring.

It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.

17. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.

18. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.

19. Removes grease splatters from stove-tops.

20. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.

21. Removes all traces of duct tape.

22. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks and wipe with a clean rag.

23. If you washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!


As for that Basic, Main Ingredient…….

Well…. it's FISH OIL….


Pour ½ cup of warm vinegar into a re-sealable plastic bag. Drop in the shower head, making sure the holes are submerged, and seal the bag. Let sit for 1 hour. Rinse and wipe clean, then reattach. DO NOT DO THIS WITH GOLD-PLATED SHOWER FIXTURES!


Odour Destroyer
Even garlic, fish, mothballs and that disgusting gunk in your garbage disposal can’t stand up to lemon juice’s odour-eliminating power. Use a cut lemon or fresh-squeezed lemon juice to remove bad smells from your refrigerator, cutting board, microwave or practically any other surface. 

Glass Cleaner
Lemon juice will make hard water stains, debris and other marks on glass disappear. Use straight lemon juice on a sponge for tough jobs, or dilute a few tablespoons in a cup of water and spray it on. Wipe it off with soft flour sack cloth for clear and sparkling windows.

Stain Remover
Sweat, mildew, berries, wine, oil – pretty much any substance that leaves a stain on fabric can be removed with good old lemon juice. Durable fabrics can be rubbed with a paste of lemon juice and salt while more delicate fabrics might require a gentler touch, saturating the stain with lemon juice and then washing it out.

Toilet Cleaner
When mixed with household borax, lemon juice can remove even those stubborn rust stains from the toilet bowl. Make a paste of borax and lemon juice and apply it to the stain with a scrub brush or sponge. Let it sit for up to two hours, then scrub away.

Laundry Brightener
Just as it removes stains, lemon juice can act as a natural, non-toxic alternative to bleach. Add a quarter cup of juice to the washing machine to brighten whites. 


Hangover Help
The next time you’re groaning in pain the morning after enjoying just a tad too much alcohol, try drinking a little lemon juice squeezed into warm water or tea. Not only does it help you re-hydrate, but the lemon juice can reportedly help balance the pH levels in your body and replace the vitamin C lost in the binge.


Effectively clean the limescale off a coffeemaker
Hard water leaves mineral deposits in the tank of your electric drip coffeemaker that not only slows the perking but also affects the taste of your brew. Denture tablets will fizz away these deposits and give the tank a bacterial clean-out too. The tablets were designed to clean and disinfect dentures, and they’ll do the same job on your coffeemaker. Drop two denture tablets in the tank and fill it with water. Run the coffeemaker. Discard that potful of water and follow up with two rinse cycles with just clean water.


Wipe away mildew

Use undiluted vinegar to wipe away heavy mildew stains. Mix it with water to clean light mildew stains. Just be careful, it might damage some delicate fabrics.

Clean chrome and stainless steel

To clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures around the yacht, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

Unglue stickers, decals, and price tags

Don’t you hate when you peel a sticker off and the glass/plate/etc. is still sticky from the glue? Worry no more! Use full-strength white vinegar and gently scrape it off the product. Use an expired credit card to scrape. You can also use this solution to get glue off of glass, plastic and walls. Of course, the best product to use in this situation, would still be GooGone

Remove carpet stains

You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:
For light stains, mix 2 tablespoons salt with ½ cup white vinegar. Rub into the stain, let try and vacuum.
For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon corn starch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.

Keep bathroom mirrors frost-free

Vinegar is a great way to keep frost from forming on glass doors and mirrors. Spray the glass with a mixture of 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water and polish away.

Refresh your refrigerator

Fridge has a mouldy smell? You can freshen up your fridge with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. You can use the solution to wash the interior and exterior of the fridge.

Steam-clean your microwave

Fill a bowl with 1 cup water and ¼ cup vinegar. Set the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. Once the bowl cools down, use the solution to wipe off the walls of the microwave.

Disinfect cutting boards in the Stew pantry and galley

Use full-strength white vinegar to clean wood cutting boards or butcher block counter-tops. This is a great alternative to dishwasher detergent that can weaken surfaces and wood fiber. It disinfects against E. coli, salmonella and staphylococcus.

Clean china, crystal, and glassware

Have soap spots and dingy spots on your dishes? Polish them away with undiluted vinegar

Stop reds from running

Unless you or your guests have a fondness for pink-tinted clothing, take one simple precaution to prevent red washable clothes from ruining your wash loads. Soak new clothes in a few cups of undiluted white vinegar for 10-15 minutes before their first washing. You’ll never have to worry about running colours again! This also works with other bright colours that you worry might run. However – REMEMBER THE RULE – COLOURS AND WHITES NEVER GET WASHED TOGETHER!!!

Weekly clean – all toilets on board 

Put 2 handful ice and a cup of vinegar in each toilet on board and immediately flush the toilet. This will break down any calcification or build-up in the toilet pipes and system.

Calcium breakdown in your kettles and irons
1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water in the iron – heat up iron and steam out onto an old drop sheet – this will get rid of any calcium build-up in the iron. Remember to rinse out water reservoir and only use distilled water in your irons!
1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water in the kettle – boil as per normal and rinse kettle out afterwards


Any tips on different ways to tag guest laundry to relevant cabins? I use safety pins with allocated beads in different colours. Need something that stays on each item through wash, dry & iron…… Laundry bags aren't specific enough as socks and undies are removed for ironing/folding!


Colour pinning (as you described) is still the most commonly used method, anyone have any other interesting methods they want to share?

Some yachts use a laundry book to write each guest item down, it is a long process, but it is full-proof.

You could also wash the items in mesh laundry bags – and then label the laundry bag with a colour stitch or write on the laundry bag what cabin's laundry is inside. You can then pin the laundry after it was washed. Again, a long process, but it will eliminate pins from ending up in the washing machine.

There are some of the bigger yachts that tag their guest clothes in the care label with those plastic tags that you find in clothes stores, however, the machine that does that tagging is quite expensive and many yachts will not be willing to pay for that machine. Most of the full-proof processes are unfortunately quite time-consuming.

Every single item from each cabin should always be hand written in a laundry log even if there are pins attached. Saves a whole lot of time at the end of the day … And is a fail-safe check at the end of charter.

Use “attach a tag” tags – see more details on 

For those of you who still want to use safety pins, here is a website where you can order coloured ones: 


You will need: Lemons, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), hot water

ALWAYS check for demitasse spoons, toothpicks, or other foreign objects before switching on. Never put egg shells, potato skins, lemon, orange and lime peels inside. However, once a week, pour bicarb, vinegar and cut a lemon (unpeeled) (cut into 4 pieces) in garburator and switch on for short while. Run warm water while doing this, and remove lemons after.


For stained teak:

You will need: Colourless Liquid Dishwashing soap, water

Wipe with soap and water mix, then dry. You can also use diluted Murphy's oil soap and water to wipe, then dry with soft cloth. If stained, rub lightly with bicarbonate and vinegar before washing the floor with soap and water.


Never even attempt to put any guest dishes/silverware/vermeil cutlery/bone china/crystal in the dishwasher – the minerals and salts and high heat in the dishwasher can permanently damage these items. Put on those yellow gloves and start washing by hand  : )

Always rinse items before putting in dishwasher. Heat sensitive items go in top drawer and don’t overpack dishwasher.
What to do with a smelly dishwasher:

Need:  Bicarbonate of soda and Vinegar
Replace rinse agent and salt crystals regularly. If the dishwasher has odours, put bicarbonate of soda in detergent compartment and vinegar in rinse-aid compartment.

Turn dishwasher on for empty run. Detail rubber seals in dishwasher regularly and add few drops of citrus/vanilla oil on cloth used to wipe rubber.


(a commercial antacid that contains aspirin; tablets dissolve in water to give an effervescent solution – similar to Steradent)

Safely Unclog a Drain
A great natural solution for unclogging the drain! Just drop four Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar and allow to stand for about ten minutes. Flush with a pot of boiling water. Doing this on a regular basis can help keep that drain clear. This also works to deodorize the drain.

Clean a Toilet in a Hurry
Drop two tablets in the toilet, wait 20 minutes for the citric acid to loosen the grime, scrub and flush. The bowl will be clean, shiny, and deodorized. Handy for a quick clean in case of unannounced surprise guests.

Whiten and Brighten Your Laundry (if you don't have Napisan handy)
To get rid of dingy yellow colour on white cotton, soak your whites in a solution of a gallon of warm water and two Alka Seltzer tablets. 

Deodorize the Fridge
For a clean, fresh smelling refrigerator, drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in a cup of water and leave it in the refrigerator for a half hour. If there is still a smell in the refrigerator, then wash down the inside of the refrigerator with another Alka-Seltzer tablet in water.

Clean a Glass Jar, Flower Vase or Thermos flask
For those difficult to clean vessels with narrow-necks, and hard to reach places, drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets in, add hot water and swish it around until the tablets are dissolved and let it sit for an hour. Rinse, and the glass jar, vase or Thermos will be as clean as new.

Restore Stained Plastic Containers
Got spaghetti sauce stains on your plastic containers? Simply fill your container with warm to hot water and depending on the size drop 1-2 tablets into the water. Let sit for 30 minutes and the stains will disappear before your eyes.

Polish Your Jewellery
Drop two tablets in a bowl of warm water. Let your jewellery soak for about 20 minutes. It will look new again! (Note: This is not safe for pearls or opals.)

Clean and Deodorize a Cooler
Add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of your cooler, drop 4 tablets in, and let sit for an hour. After an hour, rinse and dry. All smells will be gone and it will be clean and ready for its next use.


We're at a loss – pillow case stained yellow either from the smoker sweating on it or her hair products (could also be sunscreen…)


  • It would depend on how many times the pillow case has been tumble dried. Tumble drying sets a stain and after this, it is very hard to remove old stains. If you have tried soaking it overnight in Napisan or in 2 Alka Seltzer tablet or using the great tip Dragomir Cristina has given, then I am not sure if it will still be able to remove at all or use that pillow case for a drop cloth!!
  • You could also try the following: Dilute 1 tsp coffee descaler powder and 20 tsp water. Hold old cloth on non-stained part of pillowcase (opposite side of where stain is) and apply diluted descaler on side where the person slept and left the stain. Then rinse with water before washing item.
  • If it is a sunscreen stain, you could try the following: Put some glycerine on an ear bud and wipe from outside of stain to inside. Wash afterwards.


It might be time for professional carpet cleaners, however, if you want to try this first – it might work. It is actually for "fresh" tea and coffee stains, but give it a go…

  • You will need: Glycerine, ear bud, white sponge, white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, vacuum cleaner

Apply glycerine to the stain with ear bud. Leave on for 5 mins.

Damp sponge with vinegar. Sprinkle bicarbonate on stain and sponge with vinegar.

Repeat a few times if stain not removed. Sprinkle with bicarbonate again and vacuum when dry.


Any good tips on how to get set in ink from the day covers on the bed and set in ink on the galley upholstered (textured fabric) seating?


It is almost impossible to answer this question if I do not know what type of fabrics the day covers and galley seating is made of….

You can try the following; HOWEVER, YOU HAVE TO TEST IT ON A HIDDEN AREA OF THE DAY COVER FIRST FOR COLOURFASTNESS: You will need: Dry cleaning fluid, ear bud, vinegar. Apply dry cleaning fluid using ear bud (to the stain). Rub lightly over stain. Apply vinegar with an ear bud afterwards. Keep doing this until stain is gone.


Dissolving baked-on drips in the oven
Get rid of those gross, blackened globs on the bottom of your oven without scrubbing yourself sore or flavouring your next meal with chemical-based cleaner. It really is as easy as sprinkling a liberal amount of baking soda all over the oven floor, spraying it with water until well dampened, and forgetting about it for a few hours. Come back, wipe it out and rinse with vinegar to prevent a white film of baking soda residue.

Carpet deodorizer
All those little fibers in carpeting really hold on to all kinds of smells that you don’t exactly want lingering in your home. Sprinkle baking soda liberally, let it sit overnight and then sweep most of it up before vacuuming what’s left. Baking soda absorbs the odours instead of trying to cover them.

Fruit and vegetable wash
Pests and, worse, pesticides are common contaminants on produce, so washing our fruits and veggies is essential. Sure, you could buy a pricey spray, but you know what works even better? A few tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of cool water. Just soak them for five to ten minutes, giving some hard-to-clean veggies like potatoes and celery a little scrub with a vegetable brush.

Scrub out the toughest dirty dishes
Baking soda makes those dreaded dishes covered in dried crud so much easier to tackle. Dunk the dishes into soapy water, then sprinkle the trouble spots with baking soda. Let them sit a little while to soften. You can also add a dash of baking soda to the dishwasher for a boost in cleaning power and a reduction in funky smells. DO NOT DO THIS WITH GUEST DISHES, BUT RATHER USE FOR CREW AND GALLEY DISHES.

Deodorize sneakers
Pour a few tablespoons into a paper coffee filter or scrap of tissue paper, tie it up with a rubber band and stick it into a less-than-fresh-smelling shoe and it will absorb the odour without making a mess or damaging delicate materials like suede.

Eliminate musty smell in books
Mold growth makes old books, photographs and other stored items smell musty. Get rid of both the odour and the cause, excess moisture, by sealing the items in an airtight container with a large, open tub of baking soda. You can also sprinkle the baking soda directly onto the items and brush it off.

Brighten your smile
Baking soda is a common ingredient in toothpaste, but you can give your teeth a little boost by scrubbing them with a paste of baking soda and water between brushings. Baking soda is just abrasive enough to scrape off coffee, wine and other yellowing substances before they penetrate your teeth.

Remove oil, grease and wine stains
Sometimes, scrubbing a stain just makes it worse. Let baking soda do most of the work. Sprinkle it on, let it sit and it will lift much of the offending substance from the surface. Brush it off and then rub the area with a paste of baking soda and water if necessary. This baking soda cleaning trick will remove oil stains from certain fabrics, and can save carpets and couches from permanent splotches of spilled red wine.

Polish silver, chrome and stainless steel
You don’t need a special polish for every surface in your home. A damp cloth dipped in baking soda makes chrome and stainless steel shine; add a little lemon juice to brighten brass. Real Simple notes that baking soda will even take the tarnish off silver: place the items on a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of a pot and add a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda, 3 teaspoons of salt and a quart of boiling water. Cover the pot for a few seconds, and the ensuing chemical reaction will do all the work.


Oily stains on cotton fabric (Chef clothes, aprons, white napkins, white table cloths, sheets)
You will need: Liquid laundry detergent, cloth, paper towel, lots of detergent suds (foam) and little water. 
Rub suds (foam) into oil with cloth or old toothbrush, blot with paper towel and allow to dry out. 


You will need: Glycerine, colourless Liquid dishwashing soap, water
Take 1 tsp glycerine, 1 tsp dishwashing Liquid, 8 tsp water
Mix into paste. Put on stain. Let it sit for 1 min. Wipe off, wash with warm water. If needs be, repeat before washing item in washing machine.


Need: Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar
Clean the inside of blenders by adding 2 tsp of bicarb and 120 ml vinegar and then switching on the blender. Cover the blender while doing this!!! Rinse out with water and dishwashing soap and leave to dry properly


Wash in dish detergent and water only – NEVER IN DISHWASHER!! Soak in Tupperware container next to sink with hot soapy water while serving meals, food will start soaking off. If needs be, use bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to polish before washing. Use Hagerty/silver polish to detail cutlery. Can use white toothpaste to polish if no Hagerty/Silver polish on board.

More natural way to polish silver cutlery:
Rub with a paste of wheat bran and vinegar. Wear gloves when doing this. Clean the paste off, then polish with a soft dry cloth. Remove scratches from silver cutlery by rubbing wheat bran over it with your hand. 

Need: Wheat Bran and vinegar
Be careful not to over-polish, softly rub on, clean paste off and dry with soft dry cloth.

GOLD VERMEIL: (gold plated cutlery):
Gold plated flatware is a set of eating utensils that are coated with real gold. Because of the plating, there is a risk of chipping when cleaning the flatware, so it can be hard to maintain. 

Instructions for Gold Vermeil:

1. Clean excess dirt and grime from the gold-plated flatware with a soft cloth, mild dish soap and lukewarm water. Soak the flatware in warm to hot soapy water to loosen up difficult food deposits, but not for too long – just long enough for the dirt to lift off the surface. Be sure to get in between the tines of the forks, and to wash the entire surface of each piece of flatware right down to the handles. Only use soft sponges when doing guest dishes, nothing ABRASIVE SHOULD EVER BE USED!!

2. For stubborn spots, add a little lemon juice to your cloth and buff the flatware until the stains come out, but be sure to rinse off the flatware immediately with hot water and soap as the acid can eat through the gold plating if left on too long. Vinegar also works for this purpose.

3. Put a bit of baking soda on a damp, soft cloth and lightly rub each gold-plated utensil until it is shiny and good as new. Do not scrub or rub because the baking soda is strong enough to remove the gold plating if it is worked in too much.

Tips and Warnings:
Wash your gold-plated flatware immediately after use. Don't leave food and other items on the surfaces as they can eat away at the gold.

NEVER PUT IN THE DISHWASHER!!!! – EVER! Never use an abrasive sponge or Brillo pad or steel wool on gold plated flatware, as this can scratch the gold plating.


I once worked on a yacht that had velvet couches… Here are some tips for cleaning velvet clothes and upholstery.

"Hand cleaning" Velvet 
You will need: Surgical gloves, water
Hang item on a hanger. Wet your gloves with water and brush over velvet. This will remove hair, fuzz, wrinkles, etc. 

Water mark on velvet couch/clothes 
Need: Bowl, bran, vinegar, brush, vacuum
Mix bran with few drops of vinegar, not too much vinegar. Apply mixture to water mark – leave for 1 min. Brush with dry brush afterwards and vacuum if on couch. 
Grease stain on velvet 
Need: Bicarbonate of soda, bristle brush, vacuum
Sprinkle stain with bicarbonate, then GENTLY brush over soft bristle brush. Do not use nylon brush. Leave for 10 min and vacuum.

If your velvet couches become very dirty after a busy season, you must not attempt to wash them in any way, leave this job for professionals.


It is very important to keep the jets clean and in working order.

Once or twice a month – do the following:

1. Fill jacuzzi with hot water to a couple inches above jets. 
2. Pour in about a half cup of bicarbonate of soda and a cup of vinegar
3. Run the jets for 15 minutes with the air knob thing open all the way so it gives the highest turbulence 
4. The gunk in the pipes and jets will start floating on top of the water
5. Empty jacuzzi 
6. Refill with cold water to above jets 
7. Run jets to rinse – 10 minutes 


Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup bicarbonate of soda, then one cup warm white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so, then run hot water down the drain.


Remove scorch marks from steel bottom irons by softly rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn't work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.


Spray undiluted vinegar on the stains and leave on for 15 minutes before washing.  For tougher sweat stains on white crew uniforms: try the following – 1 tsp ammonia, 1 tsp colourless dishwashing liquid, 1 tsp water. Make a paste, put it on, let it sit for 1 minute, scrape it off and wash as per normal washing instructions.


Here are a few tips to help get you through the interview:

• Listen: If you don’t listen you won’t hear, so calm that beating heart and listen to what the person has to say! PAY ATTENTION TO THE ENTIRE QUESTION AND WAIT FOR THE INTERVIEWER TO FINISH! There is nothing more annoying than somebody butting in while you are asking a question.
•  Think…Decide…Answer: Be certain you understood the question, think about it and answer.
•  DO NOT lead the interview: Let him/her ask the questions, you will be given a chance to put forward any questions you might have.
•  Have a list of your own questions prepared: DON’T ask about your salary, wait until they bring it up.
•  Be Professional: When going for a personalized interview, make sure you arrive on time, that you are dressed appropriately and have all documentation, written Reference letters and certificates with you (your Crew Profile in a nice leather folder – organised and up to date)
•  Stay Focused: Keep your attention on the subject, your interviewer is there to see if you are suitable for the job in hand, not the last time you went base jumping or bungee jumping.
•  Sharing your attention: In some cases you might be interviewed by the Owner/Captain and the First Mate/Chief Stew… Do not give the Captain or Owner all the attention, those other crew members are there for a reason and will more than likely have the final say in you being hired or not. 
•  Swearing, speaking poorly of others, negativity, personal frustrations… LEAVE ALL OF THESE AT HOME!!

The following list of questions include many that have been used when interviewing candidates. These examples are provided to give you an idea of the sort of questions which might be put forward by Captains/Chief Stews/Owners. 

•  Enthusiasm: Why are you interested in the position? Why should you be hired?
• Cooperation and Teamwork: What kind of working environment do you prefer? What kinds of people annoy you the most? Describe the most difficult person you have had to work with?
• Honesty and integrity: Have you ever been fired from a job? If so, why? 
•  Personal attributes: What activities give you personal satisfaction? In the working environment do you feel you are most productive working on your own or in a group? Why? Would you describe yourself as reserved or outgoing? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• References, what would your previous employer/supervisor describe as your 2 strongest and weakest points?
• Independence: Have you ever worked away from home out of your country of birth? Have you ever worked with people from different cultures? Do you tend to stick with a decision no matter what? How much supervision do you need? Are you prepared to live and work away from family, friends and home?
• Initiative and motivation: What kind of work-related duties do you most like to perform? Least likes to perform? How do you handle stress and pressure? What are your career goals? What motivates you?

Interviewers also look at non-verbal cues:

• Posture
• PUNCTUALITY for interview
• Personal grooming and hygiene
• Presentation – correct and professional clothing, neat and clean hair, little make-up, no jewellery, not chewing gum, no fidgeting, not too sexy outfit, not smoking, not smelling of booze from the night before
• Preparation – did they bring a Crew Profile with them to interview?
• Respect – did they take their shoes off when they stepped on board, do they show respect to Captain, Chief Stew, Crew they meet, etc?
Attitude – are they friendly, positive, answering questions in a positive way, not saying unprofessional things about previous jobs or boats? Confidentiality and no negative comments about previous jobs and owners and crew
• Smile!! – a smile goes a long way
• Sense of humour – show a little bit of your fun side, but don’t be a clown trying to be funny the whole time!!
• Eye contact, confidence, but not overly arrogant
• Ability to listen to the questions being asked and answer honestly without waffling, fidgeting or without getting flustered


I work in a Laundry and we have a tough time getting stains out of crew uniform and our biggest problem is with bed linen. 

If white linens are very dirty, we are often asked to bleach but this becomes a nightmare if the guests have been wearing certain after sun products because the linens turn bright pink. This can be removed by putting in sun or very hot water but the pink area then turns yellow and is there forever. This leaves us and our clients very unhappy.


  • Bleach should never be used on white linens. It only makes the problem worse. Not only is the self-tanning lotions and after sun products staining the sheets, but the bleach turns the sheets yellow over time. The other problem is that the sheets have been washed, and soaked in bleach AND then dried. Drying a stain makes it set in deeper. Therefore, the most important thing is to treat a stain and re-treat (and maybe re-treat again) BEFORE you dry the sheet. Here is what you can try: Look for a product called Napisan (available in UK and Australia). Soak a sheet in a large bucket overnight with about 1/2 a cup of Napisan and wash in the washing machine the next day. Napisan used to remove make-up, self-tanning lotion and even blood out of our sheets and towels.
  • If you cannot find Napisan (but no laundry room should be without this miracle product), you can also look for Soda Crystals (try a pharmacy) and soak the sheet in warm water and about 2 – 3 teaspoons crystals for a few hours and wash as per normal afterwards in the washing machine.
  • Another option would be a more natural one – 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup of washing POWDER for whites. Soak overnight in this mix and wash in washing machine afterwards.


Astroboy and the Mystery of the Odd Sock
Written by: Jo Morgan

I was in the crew mess, doing something momentously silly like polishing a toaster for the second time that day, when I noticed the engineer, ‘Astroboy’ leave his dirty mug in the sink and start to walk out of the room. 

‘Are you just going to leave that there?’ I asked him. There was a tone. 

'The detergent dispenser is empty.’

'Well fill it.’

‘But I don't know where the detergent is kept.’ 

‘How long have you worked on here?’ 

‘Two years.’

‘And you don't know where the detergent lives? Here's an idea, Astroboy. It's under the sink.’ 

‘I didn't know that.’ He gave me a pathetic, gormless look by way of apology. 

Well, that’s just nonsense. Everybody in the whole world, even toddlers, your pet gerbil and the former President of the United States (on a good day) knows where dishwashing detergent is kept. You trained in astrophysics and are the engineer on a 30-million-euro boat. I reckon you might, if you put your mind to it, figure out where to find detergent. Of course, I said none of this. 
‘Well now you do’, I said petulantly as he left the room, and went back to making angry faces in the gleaming stainless reflection of the toaster.

‘Well it's your job to stock the crew mess, I shouldn't have to do your job for you’, I heard floating back down the stairs. A door slammed as he went outside. Damn. He got the last word there.

The next day, Astroboy made another appearance, this time standing at the door of the laundry. 

‘You've lost one of my socks again. It's black. I need it back.’ Well, I need a lock on my laundry door. We all need things.

‘Oh, it's black, is it? How unusual.’ I sighed, put the iron down and turned to face him.

'Was it in your mesh bag? Was the bag zipped up? Are you sure you put both socks in the bag? (I do realize I'm talking to him like a five-year old, I simply can't help it.)

‘Of course.’

‘Well the washing machine ate it then.’ (It is a truth universally acknowledged that washing machines love socks.)

‘I'm also missing a shirt. I wish you girls would stop losing my stuff.’ 

‘I can stop doing your washing if you like. That'll solve the problem fairly quickly.’ I say this with a smile to soften the rudeness, a smile that both of us know is light years from genuine. 

‘No, I just want you to be more careful.’ 

I growled when he was safely out of earshot, hitting the steam button on the iron repeatedly for special effect.

What? Is it upsetting for you when the interior wash and iron, fold and return your clothes – and accidentally, occasionally, return your shirt to another cabin? Oh, dear heavens! Shut up and shut up some more. And then take a little walk around the cul de sac of shut the f@*k up and take a quick dip in shut that gaping hole lake. 

We stews are, in short, quite an angry bunch when it comes to whingeing crew whingeing about their laundry in a whingey way. We try to memorize what you wear each day (no, we weren't staring at you over dinner because we think you’re hot, we’re just thinking 'Vile shiny purple shirt belongs to Ross, no wonder he never picks up. Wonder if it runs. Mmmmm, this chicken is tasty'.) There are lots of you, and you keep buying new clothes- it's hard to keep up. So yes, sometimes we get it wrong. But before you even think about coming to the laundry to accuse us of losing your clothes, you'd better make sure that you've done the following things:

Go and look in your cupboard again. No, not just glance in a male–pattern blindness kind of way. Actually look. And then look again.

Not there? Here’s an idea. Open the cupboard and look in your cabin-mate’s stuff. This is not rocket science. Or astrophysics. 

What, still can’t find it? Go check if your stupid shirt made from the foreskin of lamas from the upper plains of Mongolia is hanging up in the laundry drying (as you insist on having everything you own hand-washed.) 

What?? You've just noticed in your hunt that your snakeskin pants are missing? Oh, that was me, I was doing a public service and shrunk them in the dryer. They're tiny now, still shiny though. 

Still missing? Then use the brain part of your heads. Ask at lunch if anyone else has it. 

If you manage to get through all- and I do mean all- of those steps, then come to me, and in a very polite fashion, ask me if I know where it is. I will think, I will search, I will find. Almost certainly in your cupboard. At which point I will stab you with a coat-hanger and brand you with a steaming iron.

A more gentle-natured stewardess accepts this is an annoying facet of the job. A stew like me, well… stews.

Of course, there are boats that don't make the stewardesses iron personal clothes, and some even take it so far as to let the guys do their own washing on weekends. Sometimes, this wonderfully liberal policy will end in you coming into the laundry on a Monday morning to find stinking piles of stinking laundry stinking up the washing machines in a seriously stinky manner after having been left there over the weekend earnestly trying to foment some mouldy revolution. Sometimes you will discover the floor awash with soapsuds from an overflowed machine- as boys always put in 800 liters of detergent per pair of underwear.

Despite the stinkiness and the seas of slippery soap suds, I will never criticize these lovely boys who at least attempt to look after themselves. They may not be very good at it but, at least the dears are trying. Bless their cotton socks. Even if I'm only going to give one of them back. (I had to offer the other in a sacrifice to the washing machine gods.)

Postscript: I found the sock he was missing. It had fallen down the back of the ironing board. I threw it away, just to spare myself having to admit to him that it had been my fault.

The moral of this story? Be nice to your stewardesses. We are well-trained in the art of laundry voodoo. The black sock arts.


As mentioned earlier in this group – effervescent denture tablets are great for many household cleaning dramas…

Here is another useful tip:

Clean your toilet
Looking for a way to make the toilet sparkle again? Porcelain fixtures respond to the cleaning agent in denture tablets. Here’s a solution that does the job in the twinkling of an eye. Drop a denture tablet in the bowl. Wait about 20 minutes and flush. That’s it!

Also try the following for a more environmentally friendly toilet cleaner:

1 cup vinegar
1 cup bicarbonate of soda

Pour in the toilet and scrub with the toilet brush. 

For a bit of freshness and nice smell – you can add some lime juice to the mix!


Remove scorch marks from steel bottom irons by softly rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn't work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.



  • The problem would be if it has been tumble dried… Tumble drying sets the stain and it is almost impossible to remove AFTER tumble drying. The secret is to treat a stain BEFORE it gets tumble dried. But you can try the following: 1 tablespoon glycerine, 1 tablespoon colourless dishwashing soap 8 tablespoons water. Mix into a paste. Put on stain. Leave on for about 1 minute. Scrape off. Wash in washing machine on WARM wash. If done and stain still there, repeat.
  • I had a friend look it up online and some said Coke worked – also baking soda and vinegar, but I feel that might be more for the diesel smell. So, I tried Coke, vinegar, baking soda and oxy clean!
  • If a cleaning tip calls for using Coke, rather use Soda water (because it is not brown in colour!), because it is the bubbles in the soda that actually helps with the stain treatment. So, it would be more advisable to use Soda water in case the Coke might stain the fabric. It is not actually the Coke that does the trick, it's the carbonated water, which is actually a mild form of carbonic acid. For cleaning purposes I'd suggest using plain soda water with no sticky sugar or colouring to complicate matters. I suggest you also clean red wine stains with soda water, rather than white wine. I find it "bubbles out" the red wine out of the fabric.


Ok, that dreaded candle wax on the yacht surfaces…

1. How to remove candle wax from a table cloth
First scratch off the most of the wax with a plastic scraper (old old credit card). Take 3 – 4 pieces of paper towel and place them on top of each other on the candle wax on the tablecloth. You can also put 1 – 2 pieces underneath the tablecloth (directly under the wax spot). Place a medium iron on top of the paper towel and hold it there until the wax melts into the paper towel. 

2.  How to remove candle wax from raw (untreated) teak 
You will need: Ice, soft scraper (like credit card), silk cloth, paper towel, hairdryer, rubber gloves
Harden wax with ice. Remove as much as possible with the scraper. Scrape along grain of timber, not opposite. Rub rest of wax off with SILK cloth. Must be real silk.

Then press paper towel over wax and heat with hair dryer. Keep paper over wax while you blow hair dryer. Use stop-start method, not to overheat the wood. Allow to cool between each blow-dry session. If an oily stain remains, use K2R and spray over the oily spot, let it dry for about 10 minutes and brush off.

3. Candle wax on polished/varnished wood 
You will need: Warmed silk
Wet silk cloth and warm up in microwave. Rub over wax. Repeat. You can also dip some GooGone on a soft cloth and rub over the candle wax until it dissolves. Candle wax is easily removed from varnished and glass surfaces with GooGone.

4. Candle wax in candle holders
You will need: GooGone
Pour some GooGone in the candle holder, rub it with your fingers and the candle wax will dissolve. Wash with dishwashing soap and warm water afterwards.


My owner decided to smoke inside his cabin last night which has windows you cannot open. I’ve had the door open and the aircon on all day but it hasn't helped! He wants me to get rid of the smell! I have air freshener but that only makes it worse because it just covers the smell and doesn't remove it! Any advice on any make of air freshener which would work better or anything I can do?


  • A bowl of white vinegar in the room will absorb the smoke smell.
  • Baking soda might be better for not spilling; however, it may take longer to absorb the smell then vinegar.
  • It would also be good to clean out the air con filter in that cabin and wash it and then spray the filter with tea tree oil and water (20 drops tea tree oil mixed in 1 liter water).
  • It will also help to sprinkle baking soda on all the upholstery, let it sit for a while and then vacuum up – this will help get rid of the smells in the upholstery
  • Another note on the baking soda on the upholstery – you have to try and keep it on there as long as possible before vacuuming away – normally it should sit there for up to 24 hours. I understand this is maybe not possible with your owner on board, but the longer it sits on the upholstery, the better!!


You will need: Bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, clear nail polish 
Put little bicarb on rust, add vinegar and rub off with a sponge. If stain caused by bottom of rusty spray can/aerosol can, paint clear nail polish under spray can and let it dry.
It is best to have a small tray/basket for perfumes, sprays, etc, as this will prevent it from standing directly on surfaces and secure them from falling around in rough seas.

For laminate, Corian or veneer surfaces, you can try the following rust removal trick (don't use this trick on marble, it can damage the polyurethane that seals the marble!!)
Use a drop of Whink 54 rust remover and apply to the rust using an ear bud. Immediately wipe off the rust remover with dishwashing liquid and water and make sure it has all been removed. Clean afterwards with alcohol and water.


  • Peppermint oil in a ramekin near the fruit basket
  • Bounce sheets in the guests’ clothes pockets if they go to the beach for sundowners
  • Burn ground coffee in a little bowl, that's what Greek Restaurants are using.
  • Cut a lemon in 1/2 and put about 10 cloves in each. Wasps don't like the smell. You can put this right on the table w/ decor disguise. It doesn't look too terrible, and it's natural.


On the boat I work on, we have a huge red wine stain on the wooden floor (oak), light brown colour. The stain is old, as it was covered by a carpet, we have not used any water nor soap, I was wondering if there is any good tip for this kind of stains?


  • My first thought would be… it is too late; the stain is set and the floor would have to be sanded down and re-varnished/treated. Especially if carpet glue was applied to keep the carpet down. (The glue would have set the stain even more)
  • You could try some Murphy's Oil Soap mixed with water and give it a good scrub. Is there any varnish/treatment on the floor? If so, be careful not to scrub with a hard brush, as you can remove the varnish.
  • Mix bicarbonate of soda with some lemon oil or linseed oil to form a paste, and then lightly rub it over the stain with a soft cloth in the direction of the wood grain. Leave the paste on for 30 minutes, and remove it with a clean dry cloth.
  • I think from experience, if a red wine stain is that old and set, then the only solution might be to sand down the floor for a new look!


One of the problems might be that the shirts have been tumble dried several times after being warn and washed. The secret is to always treat stains BEFORE they go in the washing machine, in other words, as a precaution, the deck crew white shirts should always be treated for sunscreen stains just after they wore it and before it gets washed and tumble dried.

Here are a few things you can try, but like I said, if the stains have been tumble dried, it might already be set… 1. Make a paste with a whites laundry powder and a little water. Put it on the stains and leave on for 30 minutes. Put some lemon juice and vinegar and a bit more laundry powder in a bucket of cold water, and put the shirt in and soak overnight. It might do the trick, but here is another one you can try…

Put some 1 tsp glycerine, 1 tsp colourless dishwashing liquid and 1 tsp water (mixed in a paste) on the stain (after the shirt was worn), leave on for a minute, and wash the shirt on warm water cycle.

Here is a little discussion for the day! What is your favourite cleaning product you simply cannot live without on a yacht? Please share with us what the product is – and what you use it for.

  • White vinegar……I use it for everything!
  • Murphy's oil on varnished wood
  • Ivory soap mixed with hot water for everything… So easy and cuts down on all the senseless chemicals
  • Sprayaway glass cleaner… love the smell too and Goo Gone for sticky stuff
  • Mr. Proper white magic sponges, gets ANY marks out, great on pleather and plastics, and fantastic in the shower
  • Rubbing alcohol and water for cleaning windows/glass/mirrors
  • Downy wrinkle release! For after those guest afternoon naps – on the sheets! And lately I have become a fan of pledge multipurpose cleaner… Not the can bottle, but spray… If you need a quick clean, you can use that in stainless steel, wood and marble. No residue at all!
  • You let the GooGone soak on the sticker for a long time – at least 30 minutes and it will dissolve the glue and then you simply peel off the sticker and the remaining glue comes off with your nail. And it totally dissolves candle wax out of a candle holder. Love that stuff!!
  • No Streek glass cleaner. Put some on a damp sponge, wipe over mirrors, glass, showers, chrome, let dry then buff off with microfiber cloth, repels water and all you need is a dry microfiber cloth to remove water spots or fingerprints afterwards. You can get it at Southport hardware in Lauderdale. It's a cream, not a spray.
  • "Incredible" stain remover for any stain on any material. RainX for the glass shower doors at the beginning of a charter and it will repel water and last the for the whole charter and of course Downey Wrinkle Release for the guests wrinkled beds, but needs to be watered down 50/50…



Nail polish on fabric: You will need Hair spray (Loreal Elnette Hair Spray works great). It works best if the nail polish is still fresh (wet). Spray on the hair spray, let it dry and scrape off the nail polish. Wash in washing machine as per care label and the nail polish should be gone. If not gone, repeat before drying the fabric.

If you don't have any hair spray handy, use NON-ACETONE nail polish remover. It is still important to test on an inconspicuous area of the clothes to see if the nail polish remover will bleach the fabric. 

Nail polish on leather: Take a cloth and dip in un-diluted rubbing alcohol. Again, it works best if the nail polish is still fresh. Take the cloth, dip in rubbing alcohol and squeeze onto the nail polish, removing as much of it as possible. Do not rub!! After removing most of the nail polish, mix 1 tsp rice vinegar and 2 tsp olive oil. Use a soft toothbrush and lightly scrub over the nail polish. This should remove the remaining nail polish. Wipe the leather with a leather cleaner afterwards.


1. Start with a clean vase

2. Add ONE of the following to the water: 10 ml bleach, 10 ml Sprite, 10 ml sugar, a copper coin, or use 1/2 tap water and 1/2 soda water when filling the vase.

3. Remove leaves below water level

4. Cut 2-3 cm off the bottom of the stems and immediately put in vase/oasis (use sharp plant scissors)

5. Arrange in the vase

6. Water flowers EVERY DAY and change water out every second day

7. Avoid draughts and windy areas, as well as Air Conditioners

8. Avoid direct sunlight

9. Do not place flowers near fruits, avoid Ethylene damage

10. Immediately remove dead or wilting flowers


Written by: Rod Smith MW

The wines of Europe in general, and those of France in particular, can seem very confusing. This is especially true for people who may have grown up with more familiarly labelled New World wines. In essence the difference for this is that wines from the New World are usually labelled with their grape variety. If you discover that you like Australian Shiraz X, it’s not too much of a push to imagine you’ll like Australian Shiraz Y. The same is not, however, true for French Villages, wines from France will normally be labelled with their place of origin, and not a great deal else apart from who made it.

The reason for this is largely historical. Vineyards across Europe were as a general rule established by the Romans, who planted vines pretty much wherever they went – even as far north as Grimsby in Yorkshire. Many of these vineyard areas, including Grimsby, alas, do not survive because – presumably – the wine wasn’t up to much. The vineyard areas that do still exist are because the resulting wine was good at the time and continues to be so.

The Romans didn’t know a great deal about individual grape varieties. Understandably, they named the wines after where they were produced – the most obvious difference between them. Today’s wine drinker needs, therefore, to have a little grasp of geography in order to fight their way through. It’s worth the fight, however, as your existing knowledge of liking (or indeed disliking) a particular style can help you find its French counterpart to embrace or avoid in the restaurant, wine merchant or supermarket.

In general, wines from cool climates are more likely to be white, and crisp in acidity – it is more difficult to ripen the grapes. Wines from warmer places will be more likely red, higher in alcohol and softer in acidity as the more ripened grapes produce greater amounts of sugar (which becomes alcohol). Grapes develop colour in their skin for the same reason we do – a defence to the sun. This is less of a problem in Kent than in Corsica.

In the north of France, of course, is Champagne. This is the only sparkling wine allowed to call itself Champagne these days and is made from the black grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and the white grape Chardonnay. A Champagne that is labelled ’Blanc de Blancs’ will be made wholly from Chardonnay – ‘white from white’. Most New World sparkling wines follow the Pinot/Chardonnay mixture.

Northern France’s other cool wine region is the Loire Valley which produces dry and sweet wines from Chenin Blanc (in, for example, Saumur and Vouvray), and some light, elegant reds (mainly from Cabernet Franc (as in Saumur and St Nicholas de Bourgeuil). Whilst Sauvignon Blanc is now almost as famous from New Zealand as it is from anywhere, the grape variety reaches its height in two Loire villages: Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. Both display a particular minerality (the French call this ‘terroir’). In Sancerre the soil is flinty, and Pouilly-Fumé is chalky (in fact the ‘fumé’ part comes from the smoke-like chalk dust that billows in the wind).

East from here, but with a climate tempered by being so far inland, are the vineyard areas of Alsace. This picture-postcard region has been batted politically back and forth by Germany and France so much that it has its own identity, culture, and cuisine. The wines, similarly, are French but with a very German accent. From Riesling, Pinot Gris (Grigio) and Gewurztraminer the winemakers of Alsace craft wonderfully rich-yet-dry examples of wines found nowhere else.

Back west of here is the northernmost part of Burgundy. In the region of Chablis, the variety Chardonnay produces its crispest, leanest examples (still a cool climate). Usually without any oak flavour, these are the perfect Chardonnays for shellfish and unlike almost all New World examples (apart from those from Otago in New Zealand, or Washington State and British Columbia in North America).

Further south in Burgundy, Chardonnay becomes riper and more golden, and so does its wines. These are the famous White Burgundies which sport the very famous names such as Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne and lots of things ending ‘–Montrachet’. These Chardonnays will often have oak maturation as part of their makeup. They can be the most expensive dry white wines on Earth.

Burgundy is also the home to Pinot Noir – which produces the most ethereal and wonderfully textured red wines of all. They are not always pale, but usually more red than purple. At the top end there is nothing finer, although cheap Pinot Noir can often be worth avoiding. Once again this variety is no great sun lover and the best wines are from cooler climes – New Zealand and Oregon are providing the best competition to Burgundy currently.

Just below Burgundy is Beaujolais, where the variety Gamay produces light, chillably fruity easy to drink wines. Forget ‘Nouveau’ and look for the name of a village such as Fleurie or Morgon.

South of Beaujolais, but on the same granite rocky soil is the famous Rhône Valley. Here the sun shines reliably and the vineyards are perfect for ripening Syrah (which is widely known in the New World as Shiraz). In the northern Rhône, wines such as Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie are the essence of inky violetty Syrah – perfect with roast or even barbecued meat.

A little further south, the Rhône begins to broaden as its estuary grows to form the marshes of Marseilles and the Carmargue. The sometimes-arid higher land, the Côtes du Rhône, is perfect for growing a melange of grape varieties – up to thirteen different permitted in the most famous wine of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

South-east of here are the swathes of vineyards of Provence, justifiably famous for its Rosé, as often as not made from Grenache. Westof Marseilles begins the vast Languedoc-Roussillon area making robust sundrenched reds as well as white, rosé and some fortified wines such as Maury (sort of French Port). The varieties here: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan are all noted understandably for their tolerance to heat and sun.

The vineyards of Bordeaux, on the south-west coast of the Bay of Biscay, are protected from the saline winds of the Atlantic by a huge pine forest. Here there are two different soil types. On the southern ‘Left’ bank of the river estuary the soil is gravel (so much so that one leading area is called ‘Graves’). Here the vines are mainly Cabernet Sauvignon which rejoices in gravel’s drainage properties. On the northern ‘Right’ riverbank, the water-retentive clay is more suited to the thirsty Merlot. Most Bordeaux wines are a blend. If from the Médoc (on the left) the wines are Cabernet with some Merlot, in villages such as Pauillac and Margaux. If on the other side the great wines from Pomerol and St Emilion are usually Merlot with some Cabernet included, often Cabernet Franc.

It would not be easy to sum up the wines of a single village in France in so few words, much less the whole country, but I hope this whirlwind Tour de France has given you a thirst to find more information to help you discover the wine of your dreams.


Written by: Rod Smith MW

Champagne – Known for centuries as the Wine of Kings and the King of Wines, any fine meal should start with a glass of Champagne as its aperitif. It is a perfect ice-breaker, delicious palate-wetter and will make a celebration out of any dinner party or lavish lunch. But all too often the flute glasses get left in the reception area and are not taken to the dinner table. This may be to deprive your guests of experiencing some of the greatest – albeit possibly less obvious – of food- and wine-matching accompaniments.

Almost all of the great French wine regions make a sufficient variety of styles to drink throughout a meal – although sweet wines in Burgundy are something of a rarity. Champagne, perhaps incorrectly, is rarely viewed in this light, partly because almost all the production is sparkling (still wines from the area are called Côteaux Champenoise). Firstly, it is important to reiterate that Champagne, the wine, can only originate from this region of northern France. No other sparkling wine in the world is able to style itself “Champagne” any longer, and even the term “Methode Champenoise” has been superseded by “Methode Traditionelle”. Champagne, as a region, is unusual in France and Europe in that its wines and traditional cuisine appear at odds with one another. Its wine is the epitome of refinement, whilst the local food is the sturdy, rustic, cold weather fodder of the North – based on root vegetables, game, pâté and andouillettes. 

It is also quite tricky to come to terms with the Champenois’ idea of drinking mature vintage Champagne with game and red meat, but very often it does work surprisingly well. Examples include cold roast game birds with rounded vintage Champagne – try something like Moët et Chandon Brut Impérial 2003 (subtle, complex and medium bodied with creamy vanilla flavours) with cold roast partridge or similar. However, the region’s most exclusive restaurants have also developed a repertoire of lighter dishes, often cooked in champagne sauces (think pan-fried sea bream with leeks in a Champagne-and-caviar sabayon). For these, a classic non-vintage Champagne will often be a greater match than even the finest single-year wine. 

There are, however, some rather more obvious and heavenly food-and-wine marriages with Champagne. For example, a classy, absolutely bone-dry Champagne such as Philipponnat NV Non-Dosé (light, supremely elegant, refreshingly tart, minerally and with a beautifully lime and elderflower hint to the finish) with oysters (“Brut” Champagnes, the vast majority, are lightly sweetened to off-set their piercing acidity). As everyone knows, some sweet wines can work with savoury dishes – the classic pairings of Sauternes with foie gras or Roquefort spring to mind. Using Demi-Sec champagne with imagination can give some heavenly results, for example seared scallops served with such as Pol Roger's splendid "Rich" Demi-Sec (perfectly balanced with hints of ginger, cream and baked apples) – it must, however, be an exemplary example as cheap sweet fizz simply won't do a delicate seafood dish justice.

Gravadlax, smoked salmon and even delicate smoked trout work well with Chardonnay-dominant Champagne blends such as Ruinart “R” NV Brut (stylish crisp with biscuitty hints but apple and citrus flavours). Another delightful quality of Champagne is that it is one of few wines that can be enjoyed throughout the day without either ill effects or a guilty conscience! Indeed, breakfast is a perfect time to crack open a bottle, and if wine at that time of day seems a shade too much then try Bucks Fizz made with freshly squeezed orange juice and a Champagne with plenty of tangy fruit with a zippy mousse such as Laurent Perrier NV. Good Brut champagnes with some weight such as Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV (smoky, rich, complex and restrained) with more black grapes in the blend work well with Thai and Asian flavours where hot, sour, salty and sweet are often found together. These flavours risk making a Brut champagne taste a little sweeter & blander so complementing the food perfectly – in this instance a Demi-Sec would be a complete mis-match! 

Rosé Champagne of course has now acquired ubër-trendy status, whether it is the best-selling Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV, (raspberry and leafy, floral scents) in its distinctive skittle-shaped bottle, or a prestige cuvée such as the ethereal Dom Pérignon Rose 1996 (sublime orchid-like perfume with redcurrant fruit flavours and gentle brioche notes). Rosé Champagne is a wonderful accompaniment to smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, or even charcuterie and other really quite strongly flavoured meaty dishes. With top Rosé Champagne the sign to look for is a delicate orange tinge which indicates that the hint of colour has been present from the very beginning, and has come from the grapes by a process called saignée (bleeding) rather than by the addition of red wine at some subsequent point in the process. This progression of the colour is due to the ageing, and with the best vintage Champagnes, this is at least five years. Champagne is really the only style of wine where a five-year-old Rosé would still be drinkable, let alone at its apogee.
So it becomes apparent that there is more to Champagne than just as an aperitif introduction to the evening’s wines or events. Champagne is truly a wine of diversity, something that was so neatly encapsulated by Madame Lilly Bollinger:

"I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.
When I have company, I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am.
Otherwise I never touch it, – unless I'm thirsty."


Get a clean, new thin cutting board from the Chef and use it as a folding template to get your T-shirts and towels and sheets the same size while folding. They will always end up the same width and your folding will be perfect every time!


My owners insist in using soap bars in the shower… I don't like it because it makes my daily routine a lot harder (sole stew). Can any of you suggest a way for me to effectively get rid of bar soap residue on shower doors?


  • Always squeegee the shower doors and the shower walls first (as soon as possible after the shower). Wipe undiluted white vinegar on the shower door and let it sit for about 30 minutes (while you are cleaning the rest of the bathroom). This will break down the watermarks and soap residue on the glass/Perspex. Just be sure to cover the marble, because vinegar should not touch marble
  • What will also help, is if you put RainX on the shower doors once a week. It takes elbow grease to rub it in properly, and wipe away any streaks, but it will protect the shower doors from build-up. Another thing to try: mix corn starch with water to make a paste, rub on door, gently rub off, then use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the paste and then a third clean rag to "polish" – this works very well on glass, mirrors etc.
  • You could also try a wet Bounty Dryer Sheet – wet the dryer sheet and wipe off the shower doors with it – and clean and dry afterwards, using 1/4 rubbing alcohol and 3/4 water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the door with wd40 and polish it off… It creates a film that the soap should just run straight off
  • I like baby shampoo mixed with water similar to Dawn dish soap, but easier to get everywhere. Might not be tough enough for this job, however it my vinegar and water substitute. Smells better and pH balanced too so good on marble etc.
  • Use a mixture of Dawn (dishwashing liquid), alcohol and water


You will need: Bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water

What is Corian? – a mixture of diff materials like: quartz, marble, granite, mica, feldspar, synthetics, epocies, cement blends

For detailing – clean with bicarbonate and undiluted vinegar

For everyday cleaning, wipe with rubbing alcohol and water

NEVER SCRUB CORIAN, it is very easily scratched.  NEVER put anything hot on Corian, it can burn or crack.

Have a look on this website for some valuable information about caring for Corian –…/corian-countertop-repair.html


How can I get rid of the 'stains' Johnny the dog left behind on the wool carpet? I've tried different products on every other stain but no luck.


It would depend how fresh the stain is and what kind of carpets you have. Assuming you find the spot when still fresh and you have white/cream wool carpets on board, here is what you can try:

Before doing anything else, if the area is still wet, be sure to blot the urine stain with a clean towel. Blot away as much urine as you can. The faster you do this, the better.

If you have access to any kind of wet/dry vacuum cleaner use it to extract any remaining urine.

Take 1/4 teaspoon of colourless liquid dishwashing soap and mix it with one cup of warm water. It must be colourless, not coloured!

Spray the dishwashing liquid/water solution on the stain. Remember wool carpets do not like too much water, so do not soak the carpet with the solution.

Suck over the stain with a wet/dry vac. Otherwise, you can use a cotton cloth after the solution has set into the stain. (do not let it dry though)

Repeat all these steps again if necessary

Lastly, take two tablespoons of ammonia and mix into a cup of water. Rinse and repeat until the stain has disappeared. If you are scared to use ammonia on the yacht carpets, test it in an inconspicuous area first.


Rub shaving cream or shampoo or RainX on the mirror, then wipe it clean. The mirror will not fog up! If you have a hair dryer in the guest heads, first blow on the mirrors with the hair dryer before starting to clean them – it will minimize the fog/moisture on the mirrors.


Unplug the tumble dryer or switch off at electrical panel on board. Pull out the filter and remove any lint with a fabric softener sheet or toothbrush. Hold the filter under a faucet: If water beads up or doesn't flow through, there is a build-up of fabric softener. Clean with soap and water and a scrub brush, and allow to dry before putting back in. Use the crevice tool on your vacuum, a bottle brush, or a ruler with a cleaning rag to remove debris down in the lint trap. Last, check the exhaust hose to be sure it's not clogged or deteriorating. Use a damp cloth to wipe off all surfaces. If it is difficult to reach the exhaust hose, ask the engineers on board to assist. A clogged exhaust pipe is a huge fire hazard on board, and also prevents the tumble dryer from drying properly.


Put an old dry towel in with wet items, it will make drying faster. (Beware of a white towel with black clothing. If you have "fluffies" left on laundry, use a lint roller to remove them. If no lint roller handy, wrap duct tape around your hand (sticky side outside) and wipe over clothes.


Put several old towels in the dryer and let it run on WARM for a few minutes to soften the gunk. Then mix a tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent with just enough water to make a thick paste and apply to a clean cloth. Use the cloth to scrub off the gunk, go over the entire inside of the dryer. Before drying your next load of clean clothes, run one cycle with several damp cloths, just to be certain all the gooey stuff is gone.


Wait for the wax to cool, then scrape off as much as you can, using a dull knife or old credit card. Place a couple of white paper towels on the remaining wax and run a warm iron over the area. DO NOT LET THE IRON TOUCH THE CARPET, just stay on the paper towel with the iron. Repeat the process, using clean towels each time, until all the wax is gone.


Make sure to clean the stain as soon as the guests left the area! Scrape off as much chocolate residue as you can. Then, with a white paper towel or clean cloth, apply dry-cleaning fluid to the stain and blot. If any stain remains, apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon mild white laundry detergent (like Woollite) and 1 cup room-temperature water. Work from the outer edge of the stain to the middle — always blotting, not rubbing. Rinse with clear water to remove soap residue.


Find two empty spray bottles, and fill one with cold water. In the other, mix 1/4 teaspoon colourless dishwashing liquid and 1 cup warm water. Spray the detergent solution onto an absorbent cloth (not the carpet — you don't want to wet it too much), and dab on the spot. 

As the stain dissolves, blot with a clean cloth. Keep applying and blotting until the stain is gone. Spray another cloth with the cold water, and use it to rinse the detergent solution from the carpet; blot with a dry cloth. Then, pile on a stack of white paper towels, and place a heavy item on top; leave overnight to soak up any residual staining deep in the carpet.


Even cedar wood closets can smell musty at times… Put a few tablespoons of fresh, unused ground coffee into several clean socks and hang them in your closets when our guests are not on board.


Fill a container with activated charcoal and place in areas affected by mold and mildew. Remove when guests on board.


Make sure the drain hose is not crimped and remove bits of food and gunk from the bottom of the machine. Pour a liter of white spirits vinegar in the bottom, let sit for an hour, then run the washer through a full cycle (empty). To help remove hard-water build-up, add a half cup of bicarbonate of soda and run the dishwasher.


Leave a couple of used fabric softener sheets in the bottom of your rubbish cans and trash compactor to absorb odours.


Disconnect and turn the keyboard upside down. Shake gently to dislodge crumbs/dirt. Use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to push out bits lurking beneath keys. Use a soft, clean makeup brush or paintbrush for additional dusting. Wipe keys with a slightly damp cloth or ear bud dipped in rubbing alcohol. Let keyboard dry before reconnecting.


Pour colourless liquid laundry detergent on the pillow case, rub together and let set about 10 minutes before laundering alone in an empty machine. Use the hottest water the fabric will bear and an extra rinse cycle if possible. DO NOT put in the dryer, but allow to air-dry. Check to see if they are still sticky. If they are, repeat the steps.


Don't rub or scrub; just cover the sticker with a light oil, like baby, mineral or vegetable, and let set overnight. The best product to use, is GooGone. Lift one corner and slowly pull off.


Use a plastic squeegee or a microfiber cloth dipped in white household vinegar to wipe down the doors, or squeeze cheap shampoo on a cloth and lightly rub over the area to help dissolve the film. Let sit for a few minutes, then use a squeegee to clean off the residue. Keep a spray bottle filled with vinegar handy and apply when you start to see a haze. Remember to protect the marble in the shower when working with vinegar!


Use a small amount of pH balanced baby shampoo mixed with water in a spray bottle (always spray directly onto a cloth) it works great. The baby shampoo is a mild detergent, and being pH balanced, it won't damage the marble.

The trick is to get the hair spray or perfume wiped off as quickly as possible, otherwise it will damage the polyurethane coating on the marble. The acids/chemicals in hair spray actually "eats" through the coating and leaves permanent marks on the marble. After you wiped with the shampoo, you can wipe the marble with a mixture of 1/4 rubbing alcohol and 3/4 water, it will remove any streaks that the shampoo left. Or you can buy a spray marble cleaner and clean the marble with that after using the shampoo.  You should always polish all marble on board with GelGloss, it is one of the best marble cleaning products in the world.


Napisan or rub some plain cheap white shampoo over it before washing.

Spanish product called Cebralin.


Use Methylated spirits, dab some on an ear bud and dab over the ink (always work inwards, to not spread the stain)


Removal agent: Borax and biological laundry detergent (like Woollite)
First rinse stain with cold water. Soak coloured item in a solution of borax for 15 minutes. For white linen, sprinkle borax on the fabric and flush with hot water. Wash with biological detergent.


Removal agent: Detergent, vinegar and borax 

Flush with cold water and spot clean with a solution of washing detergent, but not soap. If staining remains, soak in a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water or a solution of borax.


What to use: Bicarbonate of soda and biological detergent (like Woollite)

Add a few drops of water to bicarbonate to make a paste and spread over the stain. Leave for 30 minutes and then wash on warm cycle in washing machine with biological detergent.


Remove the shower head and soak it in white or apple-cider vinegar. If you can't disconnect the shower head, partially fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tape or tie the top of the bag around the shower head so the nozzle end is submerged in liquid. Let it sit overnight. The vinegar should dissolve the mineral deposits. Use a toothpick to clear any debris from the holes so the water flows freely.



Include a few tennis balls in each dryer cycle. The tennis balls not only cut drying time by 25% – 50%, but also fluff the clothes to a delicate softness, and towels with be especially fluffy.


Take a sturdy deepish Tupperware dish. Put a few cotton wool circles in the dish. Pour an entire Tea Tree Oil bottle (10ml) over the cotton wool. Place behind your A/C filters (in the blow-out, not the intake) and put the cover back on. Wonderful smell and it will disinfect the air that blows into the yacht. Replace once a month. Also wipe your "interior" of your A/C down (the hidden parts and drip-pan) with a mix of water and tea tree oil. Do this regularly! Spray the filters with tea tree oil and water after washing them once a month. Ensure that your A/C drip pans are emptied out regularly.


First, blot up what you can with paper towels. Then, with warm, soapy water and a clean cloth, blot the area clean (do not soak the carpet, as wool does not like water); rinse with a little clean water; blot until dry. 

Next, combine 1/3 cup white vinegar with 2/3 cup water and dab it on stain; rinse with clean water; blot until dry. Once the area is totally dry (at least 24 hours), sprinkle entire carpet with baking soda or rug deodorizer; vacuum after a few hours.


Carpet Stains: Always keep baby wipes handy for a quick carpet spill cleaner. Baby wipes are miracle-workers on carpet stains, from motor oil to blood, they remove almost anything!


First, add ½ cup baking soda to 4 liters water and soak for about 2 hours. Then, as you machine-wash them, add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.


When the season is getting long, sometimes our creativity starts running a bit low… Here are some great theme party ideas for your guests. 

Vice Versa 
50’s night or 70’s night or 80’s night 
80’s pop music night 
Hawaiian night 
Fourth of July – for USA guests 
Masquerade (Nice to do in a port like Venice) 
Mexican Night 
Pirate Party (maybe done too often…) 
Autumn or Thanksgiving 
Polynesian party 
Turkish Belly Dancing Night 
Asian – Chinese or Japanese 
Ancient Olympic type dinner setting – Toga party
Tiffany's/Breakfast at Tiffany's 
Godfather – the movie
Phantom of the Opera
Disney themes
Alice in Wonderland
Charleston – 1920's/Great Gatsby
Beach BBQ
Psychedelic theme
Oscars/Movie night
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Grant Prix/Car racing theme
Musicals – like Mamma Mia


Removing cosmetics from clothing, furniture and carpet can be tough to do. 

There are two types of makeup – oily and non-oily. Non oily makeup is such things as eye shadow, blushes, and powdered makeup. Oily types are lipsticks, rouge, mascara, and liquid makeup. Each type requires a specific method of removal.

Removing these stains is easy if common sense is used, and care taken to test the fabric or carpet in an inconspicuous place before proceeding. It is recommended that an area of clothing, such as a seam allowance, be tested before removal attempts to ensure that the fabric is not going to be damaged. If the stains get on carpeting, test your cleaning method on an area of rug that is unseen by you or your yacht guests.

In your war on cosmetic stain removal, have these cleaners or ingredients on hand:

1. Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
2. Hydrogen peroxide
3. Cleaning solvents, such as lighter fluid, turpentine or mineral spirits.
4. Any good all-fabric bleach
5. Chlorine bleach
6. Household ammonia
7. Clean white cloth

Obviously, it is best to attempt to remove the stain as quickly as possible. Fresh stains come out much easier. 

Let's begin with lipstick.

Be sure to read the care label on any garment before attempting to remove the stain. You may find your garment to be "dry clean only." Lipstick, because it is an oil-based form of makeup, can best be treated with a pre-wash stain remover before attempting to wash the shirt or blouse. Don't rub the stain – it may only drive it in deeper. Blot the stain with a clean white cloth, and rinse in warm water. If the stain is persistent, try applying a good liquid household detergent to the stain, again not rubbing the material. 

Often, rubbing alcohol will remove lipstick stains. Dab the stain with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol, then add a small amount of household detergent, and wash the garment per label care instructions.

Household ammonia is another good resource for removing lipstick. First blot the stain with a bit of water to remove as much of the lipstick as possible, then treat with a little ammonia, and rinse and wash per care label instructions. Do not use ammonia on silk or wool! (Also be very careful on colour items!)

Also try the following to remove lipstick: Spray a little hairspray on the stain, let stand a few minutes, and then wipe off the hairspray with your white cloth. Rinse, and launder per label care instructions.

If the garment is a high-priced guest item, a professional dry cleaner is probably your best choice.

Removing finger nail polish is also fairly easy. Simply use an acetone-based fingernail polish remover to remove the stain. You can also place the stain over a small bowl and attach with a rubber band to secure the stain over the bowl. Using a stainless steel spoon, gently drip small amounts of fingernail polish remover over the stain and let the residue drip into the bowl, working it in with your finger. Launder per label care instructions. (Be careful to do this with colour items!)

Removing mascara requires different intervention. Because it is oil based, an oil solvent from a dry-cleaning establishment works the best. The enzymes in the dry-cleaning solvent breaks down the protein glue, which is the substances that attaches the stain to the fabric, and also attacks the stain itself. Let dry, brush off the residue, and launder per care label instructions.

Liquid makeup stains are tough to remove. (Foundation base, self-tan lotion, etc.) You can try using colourless dishwashing soap as a removal agent. As liquid makeup is oil based, this works the best for cutting the stain. As liquid makeup is oil-based, the same method is used as in cleaning mascara stains. Brush or blot off any excess, and use a dry-cleaning fluid such as K2R Spot Cleaning fluid, or Afta Cleaning Fluid to flush the stain. (Be careful not to use on acetates!) Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Removing hair dye stains by blotting the stain with isopropyl alcohol until the stain is removed. You can also use turpentine, lighter fluid, and mineral spirits on certain fabrics. Launder or dry clean per care label instructions. Be warned, though – hair dye is one of the toughest stains to remove.

There are many different ways to remove stains from cosmetics. Many of the processes used work as well on carpet and furniture as well as clothing. Determine if your makeup stain is oil based or non-oily, and proceed from there. Always carefully follow any care label instructions and laundering information.


Condiment stains, such as ketchup and mustard, can be removed by first blotting up the stain as quickly as possible. Then, sponge the stain with cool water, gently work a little liquid laundry detergent into the stain with your fingers, and rinse in cool water. 

Never dry a garment in the dryer until you are sure the stain is fully removed. This will set the stain permanently, and it will never be completely removed. In carpeting, if the stain is fresh, using club soda very often removes the stain. Blot up the excess, being careful not to rub into the carpeting. Soak with club soda, and blot up excess, using a clean white cloth. Keep after it until the stain is gone. 

Here is another great tip:

1. Mix one teaspoon of a mild pH balanced detergent (a mild non-alkaline, non-bleaching detergent) with a cup of lukewarm water 
2. Blot
3. Mix one tablespoon of household ammonia with a half cup of water
4. Blot
5. Mix one teaspoon of a mild pH balanced detergent (a mild non-alkaline, non-bleaching detergent) with a cup of lukewarm water
6. Sponge with clean water
7. Blot

Note: Always test an inconspicuous area for colourfastness, etc. before treating the exposed area. Also note that certain stains are permanent


Getting the stain cleaned up before it has a chance to set, is probably the best thing you can do for things like beer, coffee, and wine. Carefully blot the stain, and use the proper cleaner to remove it. Don't rub the stain – you will only spread it around and drive it in deeper. Chances are that during an evening with guests on board, a stain will get overlooked and you end up the next day with a nice stain dried on valuable clothing, carpeting, or furniture. 

Here is what to do:  Wine stains, especially red wine, can be removed if you follow the correct procedure. For clothing that can be laundered, mix 50ml colourless liquid dishwashing detergent, with 50 ml hydrogen peroxide. These cleansers must be used together, and the mixture should be fresh.  Gently pour over the stain and allow it to sit as a pre-soak. Use a clean towel between the stain and the back of the garment to avoid the stain leeching through. Launder following care label instructions. 

Research shows that soda water will remove red wine stains. Hold the tablecloth over the sink, and pour soda water on the red wine stain. It will disappear. If wine stains get on carpeting, pour a little hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Allow to stand for a few minutes. With a spray bottle (mixture of half water and half of a good carpet cleaning shampoo, such as Bissell Fiber Cleansing Formula), mist the stain, and blot dry with a clean white cloth. This will work well even on white yacht carpeting.  Note: Always test an inconspicuous area for colourfastness, etc. before treating the exposed area.

1. Mix one teaspoon of a mild pH balanced liquid laundry detergent with a cup of lukewarm water
2. Blot
3. Mix one third cup of white household vinegar with two thirds cup of water
4. Blot
5. Mix one teaspoon of a mild pH balanced detergent with a cup of lukewarm water
6. Sponge with clean water
7. Blot


What can you do about a stinky bag?  It is too big to wash, it was stored in the bilge and now smells mouldy and stinky.


Not sure what the bag is made of, but you could wipe the bag out with a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar and let it dry in the sun. After it dried, you could then wipe it with those moist Swiffer wipes for some extra fragrant smell. Dry in the sun again after this.


1. Place 3 – 4 ice cubes on the moss once a week and let it melt into the vase. That is all that is needed. 
2. Do not spray the flowers with water – the flowers will turn brown. 
3. If the leaves get dusty, wipe down with cotton wool dipped in milk, it will make the leaves shiny and feed the plant.
4. Do not position close to an air conditioner or in direct sunlight.
5. The best thing to plant your orchid in, is orchid bark – an orchid should not be planted in soil in the vase, as the roots need plenty of oxygen.

Never over-water your orchid plants, they will die faster.


Any suggestions for candle wax on a teak deck? We have scraped off the worst, now we just have to deal with the wax stain!


  • K2R or you could layer 3 pieces of paper towel on the wax spot, and iron over it with a med iron.  Just don't touch the wood with the iron.
  • Spray starch and a scrub brush … spray the waxy/oily stain and scrub off when it dries


1. Lie down the clothing item on a counter (with a sink nearby) and sprinkle a small pile of baking soda on the oil spot.
2. Use a toothbrush (or a larger cleaning brush for bigger spots), and rub in the baking soda into the spot. The baking soda absorbs the grease. As it absorbs the grease, it will start to ball-up. 
3. Once most of the baking soda has combined together into small balls, sweep the baking soda off the garment into the sink.
4. Repeat this process a few times until the baking soda does not ball up anymore.
5. Now treat the stain with a normal liquid stain remover and let it sit on the stain for 15 minutes.
6. Wash in washing machine as per normal (on warm water cycle if care label allows)


Prevent lint from clinging to clothes by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the wash cycle (vinegar also acts as a water softener, therefore making the clothes softer)

To remove soap residue that makes black clothes look dull use white distilled vinegar in your final rinse.

Get stained white socks and dingy tea towels white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.

Before washing a mustard stain, dab stain with white distilled vinegar.

Attack spaghetti or ketchup stains with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.

Remove perspiration odour and stains on clothing, as well as those left by deodorants, by spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine.

Forgot that you left wet laundry in the machine and it now smells moldy? Pour a few cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and wash the clothes in hot water (if the care label allows). Then run a normal cycle with detergent.

Remove smoky odours from clothes by filling the bathtub with very hot water and 1 cup white distilled vinegar. Hang the garments above the steaming water and shut the door so the steam can penetrate the fibers.

Keep the steam iron clean and in good working order by getting rid of mineral deposits in steam vents and spray nozzles. Fill the water chamber with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and distilled water. Set it in an upright position and let it steam for about 5 minutes. When the iron is cool, rinse the tank with water, refill and shake water through the vents onto an old cloth. Test before using.

Remove scorch marks from an iron by rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn't work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.

Remove musky smells from cotton clothes by sprinkling them lightly with white distilled vinegar and then pressing them.

Get water and salt stains off shoes and boots by wiping them down with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.

Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalis in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.

Remove soap scum and clean the hoses of your washing machine with white distilled vinegar. Periodically run the machine with only a cup of white distilled vinegar in it —nothing else added to the wash cycle.

Bring out bright colours by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Get rid of the tiny holes left along the hemline when you take out the hem of any garment by moistening a cloth with white distilled vinegar, placing it under the fabric and ironing.


This is why it is important to have proper training AND A KILLER WORK-ETHIC when you decide to join the ranks in a professionally run yacht and crew. Realise that you have a lot to learn and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Here are some horror stories of newbie crew questions and attitudes when trying to make a break in the industry: You guys got any advice or stories to share?

"Interviewed a girl for a stewardess position and after giving her a brief overview of our expectations and the boat itinerary, she asked if on the weekends, would the boat be putting her up in and apartment or a hotel. I was speechless. Once I recovered, I informed her that the position was 24/7 when the boss was on board and the captain was always good with giving crew time off whenever possible. Her response was…what?!?!?!! YOU want me to work EVERY DAY!!!"

"We had a crew chef years ago warned to provide better crew meals than he had in recent days. Also new to the industry and he was being given second and third chance. His very next meal was 12 microwaved hot dogs on a plate in the middle of the table….. no salad, nothing else. He was gone by lunchtime the next day. Same guy told the captain he was a non-smoker and when we had a welcome aboard beer an hour after he joined, the guy pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. Captain asked him what was up with that and he said: Oh, I just started, I didn't smoke when you interviewed me."

"I interviewed a girl for an Atlantic crossing, it was unpaid, but a great boat and a great crew. Basically, it was just another body for watch keeping. Within 2 days after leaving the Caribbean, it was apparent that this girl thought she was to be waited on hand and foot, would not get up for her watches and took offense while the crew was working around her. She sunbathed while we polished and did wash-downs around her. When I pulled her aside to ask what the f;():&…, she informed me that she was under the impression this was a free trip because of who her father was!!! My reply, was: who is your Dada?!?!?! Not trying to be condescending, but the girl was 34 years old and I reminded her of her responsibilities that I stated before she boarded. She had been on boats most of her life and knew her way around. I should have left her on the dock, but she looked like she needed a friend and a break… soooo. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when you leave for an ocean crossing and everyone is needed…. We chucked her off in the Azores and did the rest of our trip with a young Portuguese guy who couldn't thank us enough!!" 

"The problem is that so many and too many crew post pictures on Facebook of themselves in the hot tub, jumping off the boat, on jet skis… etc etc… with the caption: "another day at work"…or "my office" with just a nice sunset and all the works… People only show off the perks of the jobs (when you even get to taste those little luxurious moments) and new crew come to the industry thinking that they will be paid (and well paid) to do that all day every day. So when you burst their bubble and ask them to complete the tasks the job ACTUALLY involves, they feel offended. I've even been asked by the female deckhand where she should leave her panties for us to hand wash!!"

"Do these islands go all the way to the bottom!?!?!!!!!"

"This season was my first season, I had to come home before I got permanent position unfortunately, but my first day work experience involved me getting on a boat with my own packed lunch, change of clothes, no earphones and being surprised that they wanted me to go INSIDE the boat to put my stuff down. Four days after I started and had gotten more used to how the boat worked with serving us lunch, giving me work clothes etc, a new day worker guy was brought on to help out. It also happened that it was his first day work job as well, but in comparison, he couldn't stop asking what time lunch was served, worked incredibly slowly and messily and I would have to clean up after him, or my work would look bad as well, he went to get coffee every 20 minutes and had a smoke with the coffee on the back of the boat."

"The problem is that all flip flop people who once worked in a pizzeria try to get a job on a yacht, but another major problem is that they don't want to learn or listen.

I have a stewardess working with me who worked on a 20+m yacht and she thinks she knows everything. Tried to explain, write the jobs what needs to be done, but she does things as she wants. I asked her to start cleaning windows while charter guest are sleeping, but she starts hoovering, ask her to clean bathrooms, she does bed linen. This makes my job more difficult, because I'm tired to explain things to her, so I have to re-do most of her work. Captain is too busy with other things plus he likes her and it is a seasonal position, so till end of Oct I'm stuck with her. She takes a nap after lunch (off charter) because she is `tired and bored`. So guys trust me, better get rid of this type of Stew before it’s too late."

"I had a new stew on board. She was asked go around the boat from the inside and clean all the port holes. She came back 1 hr later and had finished. She then asked me, 'why did you just want me to clean the port holes and not the starboard?' I was in hysterics."


Some older yacht toilets could have rust stains that are hard to remove:

Here are some tips:

Freshen the toilet bowl with effervescent tablets (dentures or antacids) in between scouring. Drop two in the water, let soak for at least 20 minutes, then brush and flush. A can of Sprite dumped in for one hour also does the trick. The phosphoric acid in this mixture removes rust rings and other mineral deposits.

Do not forget to place 2 cups ice and 1 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda (and immediately flush) in the toilet bowl once a week to remove mineral deposits in the toilet and in the pipes.


A while ago someone asked about removing suntan lotion stains – here is another great tip (it also works well on crew uniform collars stained with sweat and suntan lotion)

Draw over the stain with a piece of white chalk (for chalk boards). Let it soak up the grease for a few minutes, then dust off excess chalk and launder as usual.


Just slip on a pair of white cotton gloves, dip fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, then run your fingers across both sides of each slat. Rinse gloves as necessary in a bowl of clean water.


To pair with soups:
Thin and broths: Classic Rhone or modern Languedoc white grape blend New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Thick and Chunky: Dry Italian like Soave
Tomato, garlic, beans: Robust Southern France, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese Red
Seafood (bouillabaisse): Crisp, dry white – Provence or Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish Albarino
Chowder and creamy: Lightly oaked Chardonnay, South African Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris
Gazpacho + cold soups: White Spanish Rioja or White Albarino

To pair with Salads:
Light Vegetable or Seafood: Sauvignon, esp asparagus salad. Rose with Salad Nicoise
Caesar, Chicken or cheese: Unoaked Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc
Tomato, Mozzarella, basil: Dry Italian Whites – Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, White Rioja
Asian spicy dressings: Australian Riesling, Semillon, Argentinian Torrontes
Warm duck, pigeon, livers: Young Pinot Noir – California or NZ, German Red
Grilled Veg, spicy, garlicy: Soft, medium bodied Chilean Merlot, California Zinfandel
Blue Cheese dressing: Intensely rich Australian or Chilean Red

To pair with Pasta:
Spaghetti Carbonara (creamy): Italian Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Soave
Fishy Pasta (a la vongole): Pinot Grigio, Italian Chardonnay
Spaghetti al limone: Languedoc Grenache Blanc
Pasta alla genovese (pesto): Gavi, light Chardonnay, Albarino, Soft bodied Merlot
Bolognese and meaty sauces: Good Chianti, Valpolicella, California Zinfandel
Napoletana (tomato based): Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Barbera
Puttanesca (anchovies, olives): Sicilian or Southern Italy Red
Lasagne, cannelloni (baked): Chianti or Valpolicella
Mushroom based dish: Light Italian Red – Dolcetto
Seafood, lobster, crab pasta: Good Oaked Chardonnay
Truffle based pasta: Barolo, Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir
Noodles – Asian: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Riesling
Chinese meal: Fruity Rose – California Zinfandel
Polenta: Light Italian Red – Nebbiolo or Dolcetto

To pair with Rice and Grains:
Risotto – White: Dry Italian White (except oaky Chardonnay)
Red Wine Risotto: Light Red Dolcetto, Valpolicella
Paella: Spanish Rose, White Rioja, Tempranillo
Biryani: Inexpensive Dry white or Rose
Sushi: Champagne, Red Burgundy with umami characteristics, Chianti (Sangiovese)

To pair with Fish:
Fine fish like halibut, turbot, bass: Chablis, Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Unoaked Chardonnay
Mackerel, Sardines, Oily Fish: Sauvignon Blanc
Tuna and other meaty fish: Australian, Chilean, NZ Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir
Trout: Light Chardonnay
Raw Fish, sushi, raw shellfish: Very dry whites – Muscadet or Petit Chablis
Pickled fish: Beer
Oysters: Champagne or Fine Red Burgundy, Ripe Merlots, Chablis
Smoked Fish: Riesling, Fine or Manzanilla Sherry, Champagne
Steamed Fish: Dry White or NZ Sauvignon
Fried Fish: Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay
Fish Cakes and pies: Chardonnay from Italy or South of France
Fish Stews: Southern French or Italian Whites, French or Spanish Rose
Barbecued or spicy fish: Lemony Whites or Dry Rose or Pinot Noir
Lobster: Premier Cru Chablis, good white Burgundy, Champagne
Mussels: Muscadet or Pinot Grigio
Rich Sauce Mussels: Oaked Chardonnay 
Scallops: Good Oaked Chardonnay

To pair with Eggs:
Eggs Benedict: Oaked Chardonnay or Good Champagne 
Omelettes and quiche: Light Unoaked Chardonnay, Alsace Pinot Blanc
Eggs with ham, bacon, spicy: Chablis, light fruity red like young Bordeaux, Rioja, Merlot

To pair with Meats:
Steak: Red Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah
Raw Beef – Carpaccio, Tartare: Italian Reds, ,Chianti Classico, Rose Champagne
Meatloaf, Casseroles, Stew: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cotes de Roussillon, Sicilian Red
Veal: Italian White – Soave or Bianco di Custoza
Grilled Lamb: Mature, oaky Red – Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja
Lamb Shanks + braised lamb: Cotes du Roussillon, Argentinian Malbec
Pork – in rich sauce: Lightly oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, Alsace, Pinot Gris
Pork – stir-fried: Fruity whites – Semillon
Pork – Spare Ribs: Chilean Cabernet, California Zinfandel
Pork – Sausage: Syrah, Grinache, Cinsault, South African Pinotage
Ham, gammon, bacon: Chablis, Merlot, Beaujolais

To pair with Chicken:
Roasted or Grilled Chicken: Red of White Burgundy, Chardonnay
Chicken Kiev with herbs, or salads: Provence or Languedoc Rose
Mediterranean style tomato based: Corbieres, Rhone Reds, Syrah, Shiraz
Lime, Coriander, Asian flavours: NZ or Australian Sauvignon Blanc
Creamy, or cheese sauce chicken: Unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Gris
Coq au Vin: Red Burgundy, NZ Pinot Noir
Sweet and Sour chicken (fruity): Semillon, Australian Riesling, Merlot
Smoky BBQ Chicken: Zinfandel, South African Pinotage, Shiraz and Shiraz blends
Chinese sweet + sour + mild curries:  Australian Semillon/Chardonnay

To pair with Turkey:
Similar wines to Chicken – Good white Burgundy, Australian, California or South African Chardonnay, Champagne, St Emillion, Pomerol, Zinfandel

To pair with Duck:
Simply cooked: Pinot Noir, Chorey-les-Beaune, Marsanne
Pan-fried: NZ, Oregon, California Pinot Gris, Spatlese Riesling
Orange: Australian Semillon
Fois Gras (as starter): Eiswein or Icewine or Noble Late Harvest or Sweet French Sauterne or German Trockenbeerenauslese

To pair with Pheasant, Pigeon and Game Bird:
Pheasant: Mature Red Bordeaux, Barolo, Barbaresco, Chianti Reserva
Pigeon: Rioja Gran Reserva, Aged Cabernet, Bandol, Bordeaux Crus Classes
Game Bird: Tuscan such as Sassicaia and Tignanello

To pair with Vegetables:
Artichokes: No wine really goes well with this vegetable
Asparagus: Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay if with Hollandaise sauce
Aubergines: Fitou, Cotes du Roussillon, Sicilian Red
Cabbage (like Sauerkraut): Alsace or Riesling
Fennel: Dry Italian like Orvieto, Sauvignon
Mushrooms: Unoaked Chardonnay, dry Italian White – Soave, Lugana
Mushrooms in cream or quiche: Pinot Noir, Unoaked Chardonnay, Chambolle-Musigny
Onions: Tough on wine, but can try Dry White or Rose
Onions – caramelised: Soft Red – Grenache, Tempranillo, Cotes du Rhone
Peppers/Capsicum: Mediterranean wines – dry Italian, South France White and Rose
Pumpkin and butternut: California Chardonnay or Viognier, Valpolicella
Spinach and leafy greens: Unoaked Chardonnay, Dry Italian White – Soave, Gavi 
Sweetcorn: Oaked Chardonnay
Tomato – Raw: Pinot Grigio, Frascati, South France or Spanish Rose, Sauvignon Blanc
Tomato – Cooked, herby, garlic: Southern France or Spanish Red, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

To pair with fruity desserts:
Apple and Pears: Sweet Loire – Coteaux du Layon, Late Harvest Semillon
Peaches and Nectarines: Sauterne, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Demi Sec Champagne
Strawberries: Moscato d'Asti, Late Harvest Semillon, Brut Champagne – Cristal
Apricots: Muscat, Late Harvest Riesling, Bonnezeaux
Raspberries: Late Harvest Riesling, Raspberry Liqueur, Champagne
Blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry: Late Harvest Riesling, German Trockenbeerenauslese
Gooseberries: Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise
Lemon-flavoured dessert: Sweet Riesling
Orange-flavoured dessert: French or Spanish Muscat
Pineapple and other tropical fruits: Riesling or Semillon
Fruit Salads: Moscato d'Asti 
Dried Fruits, Raisins, Figs, Dates: Tawny Port, Sweet Sherry, Sweet Madeira 
Creamy Desserts, crème brulee: Sweet Bordeaux, Sauterne, Late Harvest Semillon
Souffles, Roulades: Demi-Sec or Doux Champagne
Caramel, Toffee, Nutty desserts: Muscat, Liqueur Muscat
Honey Flavoured dessert: Muscat, Liqueur Muscat
Chocolate – dark, rich: Sweet Red wine – Black Muscat, Recioto, French Vin Doux naturals
Chocolate – very sweet: Orange Muscat or Orange Liqueur


Genuine leather is damaged by too much water. Instead, use a dry washcloth and gently rub your shoes to remove any loose salt before you moisten them. Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with a cup of plain water. Dip a cloth into the solution, and squeeze off any of the excess. Buff your shoes in a circular motion to get rid of the salt stains. Once you’re done, allow your shoes to air-dry and you should have shoes that look new. Can also polish the leather with a leather conditioner/cleaner afterwards (find a good car leather seat cleaner at any supermarket).

For Suede shoes

If your shoes are made from suede, you will need a gentler solution. Too much moisture will stain suede, so it’s best to avoid using a lot of water to clean them. Instead, try mixing a teaspoon of fabric softener with a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent or mild laundry detergent. Mix both into two cups of lukewarm water. Then, grab a stiff-bristled brush and try getting as much of the salt off dry as you can — a toothbrush works well. Once you’re sure you can’t get any more salt off, dip the brush into your fabric-softener solution and shake off the excess. Slowly begin rubbing the bristles over the salt stain in a circular motion until the shoes are clean. Use a dry cloth to soak up any excess moisture on the shoe before allowing them to air dry.


Here are some basics of making beautiful arrangements. 

1. Match the flower arrangement style to the container, for example: A circular vase is perfect for a circular arrangement but a square or rectangular container should be used with more angular and contemporary arrangement designs.
2. Don't feel limited in your design because of the sizes of flowers and stems you have available. Use what you have and trim it to fit the design you want to create.
3. If you have a flower arrangement that is rather bulky on top, put a similar sized base underneath to visually balance it out. The base can be some sort of stand you put the vase on, a large bowl or an ornate plate.
4. For a more stunning design, put various flowers/plants of similar colours together. Even though the same colours will be near each other, the various petal configurations will add levels of interesting texture.
5. For a softer and more flowing arrangement, cover the rim of the vase with material that flows to the table or is gently tucked under the container. You could also lightly twist the fabric around the vase creating a soft wave of fabric. For instance, if you are using a coloured table cloth and napkins, use a similar coloured piece of fabric and wrap around the base of the vase (this also covers an ugly plastic flower tray that sticks out).
6. When you are going to use leaves in your arrangement, be sure to totally cover them in water overnight so they'll look their best. This will ensure that the leaves stay perky and green.
7. Don't make a stiff looking arrangement by forcing the flowers to all stay upright in a vase. Instead, allow the lower flowers to gracefully flow over the edge of the container.
8. Remember to water flowers EVERY day and put fresh water in the vase every second day.

Well, there you have it, eight useful flower arranging tips that will have you making beautiful creations in no time. Whatever you do, don't get frustrated. Creating beautiful flower arrangements is definitely an art and it is also a skill that can be cultivated with time and patience. Practice your new flower arranging skills often and you'll be turning out beautiful, professional looking flower arrangements in no time. Don’t be scared to experiment!!


By Rubi McGrory

If you are new to the world of yachting, you might be surprised by how different the job application process is here. In the corporate world, you may submit a CV and weeks will go by without a phone call. Then, you may have to go through a series of interviews before finding out if you have been hired – often after another long wait.
Things move a bit quicker in the yachting industry. Rare is the boat that hires crew far in advance. Almost everyone in the business has had at least one experience that involved a quick phone interview followed by an immediate flight to meet the boat. Those situations are the exceptions rather than the norm, but very exciting, nonetheless.

Part of being so hire-able is having a great CV (Curriculum Vitae) or resume. If you’re looking for a job, take a good look at your main marketing tool and see if it needs some tweaking. Here are six tips to help you get started:
1. Your photo is the first thing potential employers will encounter on your CV. If that image is not one of you neat and tidy, dressed in a white collared shirt or similar appropriate attire and looking professional, it is the wrong picture. Your next captain does not want to see you at a party with a beer in each fist, nor should you be flexing in a muscle shirt. I can’t believe I have to say this, but no bikinis on the beach, either— women or men.

2. Quit smoking. Now. Among the first, most pertinent information you should list on your CV is your age, nationality, visas, and whether or not you smoke. There’s no point in stretching the truth; if you do, you either will get busted smelling like smoke or get stuck having to quit.

3. Keep it short. No matter who you are or what you've done, your resume shouldn't be longer than 2 pages. The person hiring will be able to spot filler, and frankly, it’s a time-waster. Keep the information relevant—the chief stew doesn't need to know about the filing you did at your temp job, but would love to see that you have extensive experience in the service industry. If your only experience on a boat was as a guest and you feel that gives you a unique insight into the demands of the job, by all means, elaborate on that—and make it easy for the person hiring to pass you over.

4. You may be a witty, charming and intelligent conversationalist in real life, but most captains won’t have the opportunity to see and fall in love with you at first sight. You must first sell yourself on paper. Choose an easy-to-read font, make your grammar precise, then double- and triple-check it for typos and spelling errors. Don’t rely totally on spell-check as it has blind spots, like not knowing the difference between “sea” and “see” or "course" and "coarse". Find someone who knows the ropes and ask them for constructive criticism. Don’t pout when they suggest you remove a half-page entry about your copy-shop job in high school.

5. Don’t lie on your resume. Captains have heard and seen it all and will catch you.

6. Upload a digital copy onto the Internet. It doesn't have to be public, but just storing it on your hard drive isn't enough. When you have a sure-fire CV sorted out, e-mail it to yourself at an address you can always access online. That way, you can be in a position to e-mail to anyone at any time, no matter where you are. Take a backup along on a CD or USB drive as well. Make sure your file is something universally recognized-like Microsoft Word.


If the underside of your iron tends to stick to your clothes when you use it, try this trick. Wait until the iron is cool (very important!), put some baby powder on a cloth and coat the iron's bottom. Once it's coated with powder, turn on the heat and watch the powder disappear. At this point, the iron should no longer be sticky. It should glide over silks and other delicate, catchy, clingy fabrics. To be sure, test the iron on an inconspicuous part of any delicate garment that needs to be pressed.


White t-shirt that got wet with a pack of cigarettes, now has a lot yellow spots on the shirt – what can I do?


It would depend if the shirt has already been tumble dried – once it has been tumble dried, it is almost impossible to get any stain out. It depends on the fabric, how old the stain is, if the stain has been set in by being washed and dried, how dark the stain is, etc. A fresh stain that hasn't been run through a washing machine and tumble dryer, has a much better chance than an old stain that remained after being washed. YOU COULD TRY: Soak the stain in a solution of 1 liter warm water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid laundry detergent, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse with water. Sponge the remaining stain with rubbing alcohol. Rinse well with water, allow to dry, and launder as soon as possible.


Finally found out why a copper coin is great to place in a vase with fresh flowers!

There are molecular mechanisms within copper that can control a wide range of molds, algae, fungi, and microbes.


Coffee stains can be removed a lot easier if not allowed to dry. Blot the stain with a clean white cloth to remove any excess liquid. Mix a teaspoon of a good dishwashing detergent with a cup of lukewarm water. Sponge the area with the dishwashing solution, then blot again with your clean white cloth. Next, mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of lukewarm water. Once again sponge the area with this solution, and blot again with a clean white cloth. Rinse with clean water, and launder as soon as possible, following the care label instructions. Carpeting can be cleaned using the above method and ingredients.

Note: Always test an inconspicuous area for colourfastness, etc. before treating the exposed area. Also note that certain stains are permanent.


Tea stains can be removed by dipping a sponge in white vinegar and applying to the stain. Wash the garment per care label instructions. Don't put the garment into the dryer, as the heat will set any remaining stains. You can also soak the garment in a solution of 3 cups of white vinegar to one cup of water. Place in a large glass bowl and soak. Then, lightly rub the garment to remove any lingering residue and rinse in cold water. If the stain persists, rub with salt. Rinse, and launder as usual.


Removing juice stains can be accomplished by quickly rinsing with cool water. Don't use detergent on the stain – it will set it and make it impossible to remove. Instead, use white vinegar and blot stain to remove. Clear fruit juices, such as grapefruit, orange, or apple can be removed by blotting out as much of the juice as you can, and then rinsing with cool water. If needed, use a sponge and white vinegar to clean the spot, and then use a stain pre-treater, such as Shout or Vanish, and launder per the care label instructions. On dry clean only items, sponge on a little white vinegar, and rinse with cool water. If the stain persists, use a digestant enzyme paste on the stain, and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse. Don't apply a digestant enzyme cleaner to silk or wool. These are best handled by a dry-cleaning professional.

Note: Always test an inconspicuous area for colourfastness, etc. before treating the exposed area. Also note that certain stains are permanent.


Beer stains are fairly easy to remove. If the stain is still wet, blot up as much as you can with a clean white cloth or paper towels. Never rub a stain. Mix a teaspoon of a good dishwashing soap with a cup of warm water. Spoon some of this detergent mixture onto the stain, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Rinse the stain with a little warm water, and carefully blot dry. If the stain is stubborn, mix one part of white vinegar to two parts water, and repeat the previous steps. If the stain is on clothing, always rinse the stain in cool running water from the back of the stain, and treat the stain as you would carpet. Vinegar will bleach clothing, so be sure to rinse right away, and wash according to care label instructions. Remember, the dark beers such as Guinness Lager will cause the worst stain due to its dark colouring.


If a stain has set, removing that stain is going to take a little effort. But with a little know-how it is not impossible. Use these 3 tips to help you remove that stains that have set into the fabric.

Removing Blood

Soak the blood-stained item or fabric in water as soon as possible. Then wash it in the hottest water that you can reasonably manage. For clothing, adding Tide with Bleach will be useful, especially if you have the coloured clothing variety. Items that have blood stains should always be washed by themselves. Be careful with colour items though!!

Removing Chewing Gum

Press down on the gum with ice and rub hard. Once the ice has frozen the gum, making it a more solid mass, you should be able to use a case knife or a spoon to scrape the gum away. Be gentle with the scraping, otherwise you may cause tears or holes. You can also put the item in the freezer for 30 minutes before scraping off the hard chewing gum.

Removing Lip Stick

If you find an old lipstick stain, spray the stain heavily using standard hairspray. Then pre-soak the piece of clothing for at least 30 minutes in your washing machine. Make sure to add a good brand of laundry detergent, especially if your laundry detergent contains enzymes which will help to break down the lipstick stain.


Milk stains can be removed from machine washable garments by quickly blotting them up with cool water as promptly as possible. Soak the garment in cool water for 30 minutes or more. Work undiluted liquid detergent into the stain, and rinse. Launder per care label instructions. If the garment is dry clean only, cover the stain with a sponge, and squirt cool water through the sponge with a medicine dropper. Blot dry with a clean white cloth. If this fails to remove the stain, try working a bit of liquid detergent into the stain and carefully rinse. Finally, sponge with rubbing alcohol to remove the detergent. Dilute the alcohol at a ratio of 2 to one with cool water, and be sure to test this solution on an area of the garment that is not seen, such as a seam allowance.


Always make every effort to rinse a stain while still fresh. To remove tomato-based sauce stains from clothing, quickly blot as much of the stain as possible from the garment. Do not attempt to rub in any fashion, as this only embeds the stain further. 

Run the stain under running water, doing so from the back side. This forces the stain back out through the fabric. Then, rub a little liquid washing detergent into the stain, being careful to do so gently and rubbing inwards. 

If the garment is white, you can use hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar to further reduce the stain. Lemon juice is also known to work. Launder the garment per care label instructions. 

Be sure to check the stain before putting in the dryer. If the stain is still present, don't dry it – the dryer will set the stain further. 

If the stain is persistent, repeat the process. 

Carpeting can be cleaned by flushing the stain with a little cool water, blotting up excess with a motion from outside inwards. Pour a little lemon juice or rub with a slice of lemon to remove stain. Flush with a little cool water or soda water, and blot up excess. If the stain persists, use a carpet stain treater on the stain. Cover with an absorbent pad that is moistened with the wet spotter, and keep an eye on the stain. Keep the pad moist until the spotter has had a chance to eradicate the stain. Blot clean with cool water and a white cloth to remove residue.


Butter stains can be removed by several methods. Remove the excess as quickly as possible. Make a paste of laundry powder, glycerine and water, and work into the stain. Launder per care label instructions. 

Ammonia will also work well to clean grease stains such as butter, but be careful to ensure that it is not going to bleach out the colour of a garment/napkin/table cloth!! Test on an unseen area, such as a seam allowance first. 

You can also remove butter stains with WD40 – but again, test any application in an unseen area before proceeding.

Water sets this stain. Avoid it before using cleaning agent.

Note: Always test an inconspicuous area for colourfastness, etc. before treating the exposed area. Also note that certain stains are permanent.



Once a Captain or hiring representative has expressed an interest in meeting you for a personal interview, he/she will either contact you directly or have the crew agent assist in arranging for a time and place to meet.

Advice: Accept every interview opportunity that comes along. You can use all the practice you can get, and even if you don’t think you’re interested in the job, it is a chance to perhaps make a good connection and build up confidence for the next one. Always be conscious of giving a good first impression. BE PUNCTUAL. Be flexible about the time and the meeting place, and don’t ask a lot of questions. Just go for the interview!

It’s up to you to sell your skills and experience for the job. 

• Do your homework and know with whom you are meeting. If you are told the name of the yacht prior to the interview, Google it. Find out about its features, its size and any other information. The interviewer will be impressed by your motivation and interest, and you will be able to explain what you can offer to the vessel.
• Dress smart and respectably by looking the part. Black long pants, white collared office shirt, black flat shoes, hair neat and tied up, little make-up and a BIG SMILE
• For men: be clean shaven and have neatly cut short hair
• Do not smell of alcohol or cigarettes. No excessive perfumes or after shave
• Bring your Crew portfolio, neatly organized, to the interview (see Starter Pack CD for information on what should be in your Crew portfolio)
• BE PUNCTUAL and bring a cell phone with you in case the interviewer needs to contact you
• Bring prepared questions with you and a pen to take notes
• LISTEN to the interviewer, make eye contact and show your interest in what they are saying
• Don’t fidget, portray confidence in yourself. Open body language. Don’t slouch!
• Don’t waste the interviewer’s time – if you realize you are not interested in the job, be upfront and sincere. Don’t let them think you might want the job and then turn them down later.
• Be willing to talk and be interesting. Don’t just respond to questions by saying “yes” or “no”. Show enthusiasm, friendliness and an interest in the interviewer and job.
• If you are genuinely interested in the job after the interview, express this. Shake hands confidently and firmly, making eye contact and thank him/her for their time.
• If you have the interviewer’s details, send them a “thank you” email the next day for their time and interest in you for the position.


7 Points to become a better crew member to live and work with:
(borrowed and adjusted from Marine Insights)

Every profession is marred with politics, which leads to immense mental stress among professionals, greatly reducing the productivity. However, when such politics take place among crew on board yachts, the results can be extremely dangerous and unpleasant.

This is mainly because a crew member has to deal with the same people every day irrespective of the number of differences, he/she has with their fellow crew. 

They cannot get up one fine day and say “I Quit” (though they can, but with serious negative consequences). He/she has to find a way through all the differences, ego clashes, and professional and personal politics to ensure that her/his work and career does not suffer.

Honestly, it is easier said than done. It takes great determination and mental strength to stay away from all the negativity on board ships and yachts. Respecting others, professionalism and maintaining cordial relationships is something that doesn't come naturally to anyone.

However, developing these qualities is not difficult. As a true yacht crew member, one must make genuine effort to stay extremely professional and disciplined on yachts irrespective of the type of situation.

Here are 7 handy ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your fellow crew members and ensure that you are liked by everyone on board:

1. Do Not Form Groups: 
This is a very common phenomenon on board yachts, especially large ones. If people belonging to the same group or region get together on-board yachts, they tend to form groups among themselves, avoiding everyone else, intentionally or unintentionally. Many from this same group start interacting with each other in their regional or national language even in the presence of seniors and other fellow crew members. This is an extremely bad habit which is not only a grave insult to other professionals on board, but also creates unnecessary tension and misunderstanding among crew members. Therefore, avoid forming groups and involve everyone to form a solid team effort irrespective of colour, region, race, or religion. The senior crew/Captain must therefore ensure that everyone communicates in only one language which is understood by all on board.

2. Do Not Blame Others: 
In case of any accident or mishap on board, it is a common tendency to blame other crew. Technically, as humans, we are programmed to hide our mistakes and shortcomings by default. We are ashamed of them and the consequences they would bring. However, if you are a true professional bound by discipline and grit, you will come forward and accept your mistake, instead of blaming others for it. On the contrary, your colleagues will respect and trust you for honesty if you willingly accept your mistakes.

3. Compliment Others Often: 
Have you ever noticed how many senior crew never miss a chance to shout, insult, criticize or advise when you make a mistake, but they seldom make an effort to compliment you when you do a great job? Complimenting, by human nature, is a difficult task. People tend to get more joy from others failures than from their accomplishments. As a crew member, one must strive to compliment fellow crew when they deserve it. Congratulate them on their great performance, it costs nothing and won't hurt your pride.

4. Shun Your Ego: 
Ego is the reason for most of the professional trouble on board yachts. Some people put more effort into cultivating their own egos than in improving their skill sets. On board yachts, having an ego will only lead to lack of efficiency and massive misunderstanding among the crew. We often hear people on board saying things like: “All Stewardesses are stupid; they don't need any training and years of experience like us Engineers" or something similar. I once had a Chef who, after a successful charter, said: "You know the only reason we got such a big tip was because of my excellent food". Some officers even see it as "below them" to talk or hang out with the junior/younger crew on board. They would restrict themselves to only talking to senior crew and the Captain and avoid any other kind of “after-work” interactions with the rest of the crew. Unfortunately, they fail to understand that on board yachts, no individual rank matters. The only thing that matters is TEAM WORK. Such people forget the fact that when they are in danger, only their crew members and subordinates will be able to come to their rescue. Do yourself a favour: next time before boarding a yacht, leave your ego at home!

5. Help Your Crew Members: 
While working on yachts, one often hears stuff such as “I won’t do it, it’s not my job”,” Washing dishes is a Stewie's job, why should I bother?”,” It’s my break time, I won’t help bring the Chef's shopping on board” and so on… It is a common tendency among crew to avoid every possible job that is not closely related to their duties. When asked for help, they make excuses, act cocky, or just walk away. But in the process, no one will be willing to assist them in the future. Instead, help your crew members irrespective of their ranks. They would go out of their way to return the favour when you need help.

6. Don’t Mix Professional and Personal Life: 
While working on board yachts, differences in opinions and small arguments or debates are very natural. However, many crew members have a tendency to make it a big issue by converting it from professional to personal, unnecessarily spoiling the interpersonal environment. On yachts, one must learn the art of “letting go” professional differences as they can turn out to be a huge problem if allowed to escalate. Leave all the professional differences at the workplace before entering the crew mess. Try to “kiss and make up” before the issue is blown out of proportion.

7. Don’t Indulge in grapevine, negative gossip and badmouthing: 
Being a part of small team of people on yachts, crew need to talk to each other as frequently as possible. However, one must make an effort to avoid grapevine, negative gossip and badmouthing – the three evils on board yacht that can lead to lost productivity, breakdown of trust and morale, and increased anxiety and hurt feelings. With a limited number of people on board, even a harmless negative comment can lead to major arguments and differences. Instead, if you have a problem with someone or something, go to the right person and tell him/her directly and make him/her understand your point of view. If you are badmouthing someone, there is a big chance that someone is also doing the same about you – behind your back.
Working and living on a yacht with only a handful of people and resources is not an easy task. Team effort is the key to solving every problem and tackle difficult situations. Not resolving differences and unsolved issues will do more harm than good. Learning the art of preserving healthy relationships is imperative for ensuring work productivity, maintaining personal safety, and a harmonious crew.

How do you avoid futile arguments, differences, and politics with your fellow crew members? Any handy suggestions?


I have a bag that the zip is covered in salt and has stuck solid (bag material can get damaged just need the zip to work again) tried soaking in vinegar, WD40, hydrogen peroxide and oven cleaner!!! All to no avail, unable to get a commercial product because of my location anyone got any more enlightening ideas. 


  • Try candle wax over the zip.  Works on our dry suits
  • I was thinking rub a dry bar of soap over the zipper, but if you have tried WD40 and oven cleaner, I am not sure if soap or candle wax will help?
  • Rub a lead pencil (HB) over the zipper a few times, this normally works


When using a white vinegar/water spray to clean walls, what percentage vinegar do you use to water? And do you use a chamois or a microfiber cloth or something else?


  • Mix ¾ water with ¼ white spirits vinegar and always use a flour sack cloth to clean your interior – no other cloth comes close!!


Any idea how to get dried superglue from Sunbrella covers?



Having trouble trying to dry a decanter. Any suggestions. Tried rice, but it takes too long and bit on the difficult side to remove. Any suggestions?


  • There is the proper stand for the decanter to dry in Carrefour
  • Use Bottle Cleaner Balls from Riedel ©
  • I used a product called Decanter Drier Crystals – you can find them from this company

They are silica crystals that are blue when dry, red when wet. You dry them in the microwave, then suspend them in the neck of a drained, washed decanter. They absorb the moisture and the decanter dries properly. You can then recharge them in the microwave to use again.


For the fruit basket: Take your bananas apart after you bought them. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

For the cheese platter: Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminium foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.

When a guest broke a glass: Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily. A lint roller or duct tape wrapped around your hand (sticky side outwards) also works great.

Keep mosquitoes away when your guests are having sunset drinks on the beach: Place a dryer sheet in their pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Great tip for when you are detailing the tumble dryer: To get something out from under the fridge or to reach into the fluff holder in the tumble dryer – add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum and secure with duct tape. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling on your Stewie uniform if you are wearing stockings: Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your skirt/pants and it will not cling to your legs.

Another great way to keep Fruit Flies away from your fruit on board: To get rid of fruit flies – take a small glass, fill it 2cm with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid and mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Cleaning the Tumble Dryer Filter: Even if you are very diligent about cleaning the lint filter in your dryer, it still may be causing you a problem. If you use dryer sheets, a waxy build up could be accumulating on the filter causing your dryer to overheat. The solution to this is to clean your filter with a toothbrush and hot soapy water once a month.


Here is some info for you on how this wine is made:

A rosé (from French: rosé also known as rosado in Portugal and Spanish-speaking countries or rosato in Italy) is a type of wine that incorporates some of the colour from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. It may be the oldest known type of wine, as it is the most straightforward to make with the skin contact method. The pink colour can range from a pale "onion"-skin orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grape varieties used and winemaking techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine: skin contact, saignée and blending. Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from bone-dry Provençal rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all across the globe.

When rosé wine is the primary product, it is produced with the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically one to three days. The must is then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the colour of the final wine.

When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and colour to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage in what is known as the Saignée (from French bleeding) method. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must be involved in the maceration becomes more concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.

In other parts of the world, blending, the simple mixing of red wine to a white to impart colour, is uncommon. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions, especially in France, where it is forbidden by law, except for Champagne. Even in Champagne, several high-end producers do not use this method but rather the saignée method.


By Alison Rentoul 

If you are preparing for an important job interview, remember the 5 P’s!

What are the 5 P's? 
Perfect preparation prevents poor performance! (Some people even like to add another P-word in before ‘Poor’ for extra emphasis, but anyway you get my point). 

The only time it is ever acceptable not to prepare properly for a job interview is when you don’t really care whether you get the job or not… i.e. If do you want to actually be in the running to get the job, you really must prepare properly for the interview!
Being well-prepared will ensure you come across as the great candidate you really are, reassuring the interviewer that you are composed, confident and competent, with a calm and unflappable nature. In other words, it will help you sell yourself, not just with what you say, but with how you are.

Here are my top 8 tips to ensure you prepare perfectly for interviews every time!

1. Make sure you are absolutely clear on how to get to the location of the interview, where it is and exactly what time you are expected. Don’t be afraid to double check this as it is professional to confirm details like this. If you are travelling by public transport, make sure you check timetables well in advance and aim to catch an earlier bus or train than you actually need to, just in case there is a delay. Have a plan B in place for if there is a strike or another problem that delays you. If driving, allow yourself at least an additional 45 minutes to an hour on top of the normal time it takes to get there, which will give you plenty of time to find a park and allow for any unforeseen traffic issues. If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting a taxi right to the venue. This way you are more likely to arrive cool, calm and collected without having had to run or walk too far. If you are very early, find somewhere else to wait and then present yourself at the agreed venue around 10 minutes prior to your appointment time.
2. Find out what format the interview will take, and most importantly, who is interviewing you. Is it the Captain or head of department, or both? And what is their process, will they be doing first and second round interviews or is this your one and only shot?

3. Find out as much as you can about the yacht itself by asking a few trusted sources. What is their reputation, their program and in particular what’s the word on the street about crew turnover onboard? Don’t make any judgments based on what you hear, but being informed will help you ask the right questions and enable you to form a balanced opinion.

4. Prepare answers for the most common interview questions – obviously you need as a minimum to be prepared to answer that pesky old standard question: “So, tell me about yourself” with polished professionalism and confidence.

5. Prepare your documents and bring with you a neatly presented folder or book containing all the originals of your certificates, references and two or three fresh copies of your current CV, in case there are extra people present in the interview who don’t have a copy in front of them. Make sure you have a copy for yourself as you will need to refer to it in your interview.

6. Having thought about the kind of impression you want to make and what they are looking for in you, go through your CV and think of examples you’ll be able to use, to illustrate times when you demonstrated the skills and qualities they are looking for.

7. Prepare two or three questions to ask at the end of the interview, when they ask that dreaded question “So, do you have any questions for us?" This makes you look more professional and shows them you have prepared well for the interview.
8. Lay out your clothes the night before and make sure you are all set to get up and go on the day. If the interview is early, set at least two alarms and if you’re at any risk of sleeping in, enlist a friend to call you as a backup to make sure you are on your way (and give you a moral support boost at the same time!). Do not smell of smoke, alcohol, sweat or too much perfume.


Any ideas on how to disguise/improve small burn marks on fabric?


  • Are they just brown marks, or did it burn holes? What kind of fabric? Where is this? – couch, outside cushions, table cloth??
  • Guests just left some burn marks from cigarettes (no holes) on waterproof cushions outside and on tablecloth, both white and beige.
  • YOU COULD TRY: Soak the stain in a solution of 1-liter lukewarm water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid laundry detergent, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse with water. Sponge the remaining stain with rubbing alcohol. Rinse well with water, allow to dry, and launder as soon as possible.
  • You could also try spraying it with Elnette Hair spray (look at pharmacy), leave on for 30 min and wash in cold water in washing machine with good liquid laundry soap. Check stains are gone before you hang dry, otherwise you must repeat the process. Remember outside cushions (acrylic fabric) cannot be tumble dried. Be careful with the cream ones, test for colourfastness on a hidden spot first, otherwise the hair spray might discolour it.


  • WD 40 spray on a rag first and then wipe the surface and then vinegar and water
  • You can also try 90% rubbing alcohol applied with earbuds or hand sanitizer also applied with ear buds. Be careful not to rub/scrub as the varnish/paint can come off.
  • GooGone


Cuvee – cuvée refers to the BEST grape juice from gentle pressing of the grapes
Blanc de Blanc – White Champagne made from white grapes
Blanc de Noir – blanc de noirs is white wine made from black grapes; the skins are removed before fermentation
Ultra brut – “very raw” Champagne contains no residual sugar. Driest of all Champagnes
Brut – “crude”. Less than 1.5% residual sugar. Tastes very dry
Extra Dry
Demi Sec – “half dry” – 4 – 6% residual sugar. (semi sweet)
Demi Sec – Doux – “sweet” – 8 – 12% residual sugar. Sweetest of French Champagnes
Extra Sec – “extra dry” – misleading, because the taste is slightly sweeter than Brut. 1 – 2% residual sugar
Sec – “dry” – 2 – 4% residual sugar. This is not as dry as a Brut Champagne
Cremant – only sparkling wines made in Champagne region in France may be called "Champagne." Crémants are sparkling wines from other parts of France. Also, crémants can be made of grapes other than the Champagne standards: pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier.


The silence cloth: 

• To insulate against a noise and to protect the table’s surface from moisture, oils, dents, it is advisable to use a silence cloth underneath your table cloth. This can be made from various different fabrics – such as felt, flannel, foam-backed vinyl or a fluffy white fabric.

Storing and Ironing Table cloths:

• A handy way to store table cloths, is by wrapping them around thick PVC pipe (about 1 meter). (Similar to how you buy fabric at a fabric store). If you must, you can fold the table cloths in half and use a shorter PVC pipe. (Depending on storage space on board)
• Whether you are using a roller press or a hand iron, always spray ¼ spray starch mixed with ¾ water in a spray bottle on the table cloth while you are ironing. This will keep the creases out and make ironing easier and faster.
• A table cloth should always be 100% smooth when placed on the table. You must either take it to the laundry and iron before setting it on the table, or open the table cloth on the table, spray Febreze or Downy Wrinkle release on the surface and rub out creases with your hands (clean!!)
• If you are ironing a sheet or table cloth that might be touching a dirty floor, lay an old sheet or towel on the floor while ironing
• It is not advisable to store table cloths in plastic, as they trap moisture within and mildew can develop over time or change the colour of the table cloth
• It is handy to remove the table cloths from the tumble dryer when they are 99% dry and hang-dry on a hanger until totally dry. This will help with wrinkles.
Care and stain treatment:

• Treat table cloths on the dinner table directly after the guests left the table. Make sure that you place a tea towel underneath the stain (to protect the table) and spray/rub on stain treater. Take to laundry room as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting.


• Placemats should be placed in a neat row, 1 inch from the side of the table.
• There should be a MINIMUM of 4 inches between each placemat.
• Never place placemats in the tumble dryer, they should be hang-dried (clipped to a wire hanger)
• Never wash silk placemats – they should be dry-cleaned


• Store napkins folded in a basic square in large Ziploc bags (1 bag for each set). This way, you can remove each set as needed without making a mess in the napkin cupboard.
• Not all napkins can be tumble dried – check the care label!
• Make sure to stain treat napkins as soon as possible after a meal
• Napkins can be centred on the charger plate, on the left of the forks, on the bread plate, under the charger plate, in the centre of the plate, draped over a chair, but NEVER in the glass (glass can blow over in the wind and it is not hygienic)
• The 18 inch napkin is the easiest size to fold into decorative shapes
• For shape retention, spray water and spray starch mixture on napkins while ironing
• Heavy fabrics hold shape well and are suggested for vertical napkin folds
• Soft and lightweight napkins (or Damask) are better suited for use with napkin rings, they do not retain their folds so well when folded


Undiluted cheap normal shampoo (like Palmolive). Remember to take rub inwards, not outwards, as the stain could spread outwards. Use an ear bud and gently treat the stain with the shampoo. Wipe off the shampoo (and lipstick) with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.

OR:  Use:  Dry cleaning fluid, ear bud, bicarbonate of soda, vacuum cleaner

Use dry-cleaning fluid applied with ear bud. This will soften lipstick. Sprinkle bicarb over and start again. Then vacuum.


How to clean Silver:

• Wash sterling silver in hot soapy water, followed by a hot rinse and hand-drying with a flour sack cloth. NEVER in the dishwasher. Soak used silverware in a hot, soapy water Tupperware during service – this will soak off the food and acids before you start washing up after a meal. Because the alkaline content in some detergents is harmful to sterling, a mild detergent without bleach is recommended. 
• Do not wash silver on a rubber mat. Rubber contains sulphur which darkens the surface of silver and leaves black marks on the silver
• Never wash silver and stainless steel together: An electrolytic reaction occurs when silver and stainless steel are washed together. The stainless steel will damage the silver.
• Use a non-abrasive tarnish remover: Such as – nonabrasive metal polish, silver mittens or cloth made of tarnish preventative cloth.
• Rub silver lengthwise when polishing – silver is a soft metal that scratches easily. Do not polish in a circular or crosswise motion, rub lengthwise.
• Always lay flatware on its side in a divided drawer or storage chest. When flatware is stored in a stacked position, the weight of the top pieces scratches the bottom pieces.
• To clean the crevices of silver: dip a soft brush, such as old toothbrush, into silver polish. Wash the article in hot soapy water, rinse, and wipe with a soft cloth that will not scratch the surface.
• Toothpaste is a safe “polish” for silver if you ran out of silver polish
• Do not use silver dip, except between fork tines: silver dip is very handy in certain emergencies, but ideally it should be used very sparingly. The chemical composition of silver dip reacts with the metallic structure of silver and leaves a dull white finish (which is removable with silver polish). It also removes the black tarnish used as a decorative tool to accent the deep recesses in silver ornamentation and engraving (on silverware with a decorative design)
• Remove wax from silver: on silver candlesticks, place in fridge and break off the wax. Any remaining wax should be washed off with hot soapy water.


• Vermeil is gold-plated silver. Both of these are soft metals and easily scratches. Hand wash only and wipe with flour sack cloth. Gold does not tarnish and vermeil is resistant to acid and stains.
• Gold electroplate is a base metal covered with gold, but surface scratches easily. Hand wash only
• Stainless steel is a hard metal that does not rust, stains less and retains high lustre – can be placed in dishwasher
• Pewter is a soft alloy, prone to dents and scratches. Hand wash only and dry with flour sack cloth. Never throw on top of each other.



Black tea is rich, full-bodied, robust, potent with a sweet citric taste. The colour is dark brown with a slight reddish tint. It is taken plain or diluted with milk and sugar. 

Black Breakfast Teas:
• Asam, English Breakfast Tea, Irish Breakfast Tea

Black Luncheon Teas:
• China Black Tea
• Darjeeling
• Orange Pekoe

Black Afternoon Teas:
• Coronation Tea
• Earl Grey Tea
• Lapsang souchong

Black Dinner Teas:
• Keemun
• Prince of Wales
• Kenya


Oolong is a Chinese term for “black dragon”. A blend of black and green teas, oolong was developed in the 19th century in Formosa (Taiwan). It possesses a less potent flavour than black tea, but a taste stronger than green tea. It has a somewhat peachy taste and a dark brown colour.

Lunch, afternoon or evening Oolong (not recommended for breakfast):
• Formosa Oolong
• Jasmine
• Russian Caravan


Rich in Vit C, green tea is a natural antioxidant that aids digestion. It is vegetable-like, with a bitter to sweet astringency. It is harmonious with Asian and sweet foods. Its colour is pale yellowish green, never dark green. It is taken plain with sugar or lemon. When lemon and sugar is added, the sugar is added first, otherwise the lemon will inhibit the dissolving of the sugar crystals.

Afternoon Green tea:
• Gunpowder
• Gyokuro
• Young byson


**Should the milk be poured first or afterwards?? 

In England, WARM milk is put in the cup before tea is poured, a method that promotes a rich flavour and inhibits the discolouration of the cup by straight tea. Furthermore, warm milk tempers ceramic teacups (porcelain) which is naturally cold to the touch and inhibits the formation of cracks (all cups should be warmed before serving tea). Sugar is also added before the tea.

In the USA, tea is poured in before the milk or sugar is added.

In Asia, tea is taken neat – without milk or sugar.


Written by: Mrs Steele

I have always enjoyed being the early stew. My favourite part of the day (apart from breaks & bed time) are those first peaceful hours when the yachting world is just waking up. Few crew are around- there’s a sole deckie chammoising off the capping rail and the chef nods a cheery hello before nipping out on the croissant run. It’s quiet; you can hear the water lapping at the hull and the air is still cool. Hardcore drum & bass is yet to blare out from the sundeck or galley and the guests are dreaming away in soft beds, oblivious that it is 6 am.

I like the solitude of preparing for breakfast, alone with my thoughts and a mug of proper brew, mentally ticking off the jobs to be done throughout the day. It’s a great time for contemplation, for reflecting on the pluses and minuses of the previous day and gearing up for the sixteen hours of work that lie ahead. Because, let’s face it, once the other crew start work and the guests get up, there aren't many more serene moments in an average charter day.

And it’s in this state of calm control that, as chief stewardess, I like to think that I greet the next stew, imparting some positive vibes and a pleasant start to her day. If my timing is right, the kettle would have just boiled and there’d be a cup of tea or coffee awaiting her arrival. Other than the obligatory ‘How did you sleep?’ I try not to bombard her with too many questions, allowing her time to get her thoughts together. (This is especially important if she was working until God-knows what time the night before and is still not quite sure what her name is.)

The chief stew plays a pivotal role onboard- often acting as the link between guests, crew and captain- and in setting the tone for the day she can affect a large part of the team. Hopefully a positive mood has a domino effect and spreads its way through the stewardesses and among the rest of the crew. Now I’m not saying we all sit around just waiting to make tea for each other, complimenting each other’s lipstick and giggling like girlies when a deckhand slides past the pantry window bulging out of his harness (although that’s been known to happen). But nothing is more infectious amongst crew than a good or bad mood and it comes from the top. A captain once wrote me a reference stating that it was my sense of humour that had carried the interior team on “when the strains of a difficult season were starting to tell’. I like to think that was true- I am in a bright mood almost all of the time. I very rarely wake annoyed and usually find humour in the most testing of boat life scenarios. However, like everyone else, it sometimes only takes one or two thoughtless comments at a choice moment to flip that humour 180 degrees.

Joining one yacht as chief stew, I realised in their particular setup, the other stew started first. I was thrown not to be setting the breakfast I was about to serve. Guests were arriving the next day and, not wanting to change too much in my first week onboard, I let the schedule be. You can only imagine my disbelief the first morning to find the stewardess reading her book in the wheelhouse. Without even looking up from her page, she told me that she had set the table but had left me the floors and windows as she didn't want me to start the day with nothing to do! Deep breath, Michelle, and slowly count to ten. When I came up a few days later to find guests appearing on deck and the table bare as she’d overslept, I let it be known that I was seriously miffed and didn't believe that she could be trusted on the early shift. You can imagine that it didn't take long for the news to spread around the boat that the new chief stew was a control freak and a right old bitch to boot!

It is moments like this that unfortunately earn the chief stew bad press. Expressing annoyance, disbelief and anger appear to be acceptable traits for many other heads of department, yet woe betide the chief stew who shows frustration. It is difficult for us to understand how the crew mess duties remain undone despite a full crew mess of people watching TV all night, and it's aggravating in the extreme to find that the ‘missing’ deckhand's uniform, that we’ve just turned the laundry upside down looking for, was scrunched up at the bottom of his bunk. As for teaspoons left in the sink- how can it be so difficult, when the dishwashers are running, to wash up a solitary teaspoon and put it back in the drawer, rather than leaving it (for whom?) in the sink?

In general, everybody aims to please and wants to be liked. However, if the chief stew is to do her job properly, then pulling crew members up when basic standards are falling often renders her unpopular. One friend told me of a captain who, upon joining a new boat, always asks the crew about the chief stew. If he’s met with zero eye contact and uncomfortable shuffling, his response is to say “Good, we’ll keep her, she’s obviously doing her job right!” This is not the way it should be, but it can be difficult for chief stews- especially young ones- to both enforce standards and remain well-liked.

Perhaps it’s because our days are often filled with overseeing what might appear as menial tasks – polishing the toaster, cleaning the fridge, checking the captain’s toothbrush and replacing it where necessary – that if we have to pull a crew member up because said task isn’t done correctly, then we appear to be getting our knickers in a knot over nothing. If we have to ask more than twice for something to be done then we are nagging. Yet we are responsible for this work; it’s part of our job. If we didn’t care about the details then we wouldn’t make good stewardesses. We do have buttons and they do get pushed, so we also shouldn’t be afraid to voice our grievances when crew don’t fulfil their obligations to the team.

However – and this is key – do so at the right time. It is advisable to wait until the captain has finished parking up before going to him about the deckies leaving mugs in the sink. Allow the engineer first to take a shower after he has been up all-night delving about in the black tank before asking him to take better care of his uniform. Don’t tell a junior stew off for something minor five minutes before the guests arrive – or first thing in the morning before you’ve given her a cup of tea and a smile. Don’t store up your irritations and then over-react. It just gives people an excuse to dismiss you as being silly. There is a nice way to get your point across and a way that will make you look like a crazy witch. Where possible, choose the former. Mid-season, exhausted, that can be harder to do than it might seem. I say choose your battles wisely – time them well – and keep the big guns on standby for when all other diplomatic tactics have failed. 

It is only natural to get along better with some crew members than others, so it’s a role that needs to be managed with patience and fairness. Which is perhaps why some chief stews see themselves as ‘mother of the boat’. I’ve never understood that one – didn’t most of us end up at sea to escape our parents? Sorry, but if you’re old enough to be away from home, you’re old enough to be without mummy. I may well appear heartless, but I’m not, I’m just from Yorkshire – we tell it how it is. As for the chief stewardess who does want to play Mum – unfortunately you can’t have it both ways: you can’t mollycoddle and lay down the law at the same time. It’s the nature of the beast, but being good at your job won’t earn you any ‘Mother of the Year’ awards.

Furthermore, all behaviour has consequences, and it is very easy to lose the respect of your team. If you do want to be viewed as the ‘responsible mother’ type, perhaps just bear that in mind before posting those pictures of yourself on that well-earned post-charter night out. After all, when was the last time you saw your mother licking alcohol off a man’s chest, pole dancing a lamppost or draping herself over a deckie on the bonnet of a Ferrari? I suppose it depends on where you grew up…


– Eucalyptus oil removes the gummy residue left by shop stickers.

– To remove furniture indentations from pure wool carpet on the yacht, place a tea towel over the area and then press with a warm iron. (Do not touch the carpet with the iron!!). The heat will lift the fibres. Do not attempt this with synthetic or a wool/synthetic mix carpet.

– To stop bathroom mirrors steaming up, regularly rub a dry bar of soap over the surface and rub in with a clean cloth.

– To remove oil from silk clothing, gently rub cornflour into the area and lightly brush off. Cover the oil mark completely with more cornflour and leave to sit for a few hours. Shake clothing free of flour and then hand wash, or use a gentle machine cycle, using soap suitable for delicates. (Check the care label!)

– To make candles last longer, cover with a plastic bag and place in the freezer for 24 hours before lighting.

– To prevent buttons from becoming loose or undone, dab a little clear nail varnish on the top thread or onto the stem of the thread and leave to dry.

– To remove pollen from the stamen of flowers (especially those lilies!), take a piece of sticky tape about five centimetres long, gently press the sticky side to the pollen mark and lift off. Repeat with clean sticky tape as required. Do not try to brush it off. Always remove the stamen as soon as the lily opens.

– To pick up small fragments of broken glass, press pieces of bread onto the affected area.

– To get blood out of fabrics, use hydrogen peroxide. Apply it directly to the stain and then launder in the washing machine in COLD water. Be careful to use this on delicate fabrics.

– To remove body oil stains from collars and cuffs of coloured shirts and blouses, rub hair shampoo directly on the stains. Rinse out the shampoo, then wash the clothes as usual.

– To stop drawers from sticking, rub a bar of soap across the runners to make them glide smoothly.

– To clean the bottom of the iron, sprinkle salt on the ironing board and iron back and forth.

– To leave a cabin smelling fresh after you have vacuumed, place a few drops of your favourite essential oil (such as lavender or peppermint) near the vent where the hot air is released. The air warms the oil and blows it into the cabin.

– To clean a microwave oven, add four tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Then wipe them with a soft cloth.

– To clean a stainless-steel sink, put the stopper in the sink with two denture-cleaning tablets and half fill with water; leave for several hours or overnight and the next day it should be sparkling.

– To remove fingerprints from stainless-steel appliances, place a small amount of baby oil on a napkin and wipe the affected areas. The fingerprints will just wipe away.

– To remove marker pen off hard surfaces, spray on hair spray and then wipe it off.

– To clean glass windows, add about one tablespoon of corn starch to about one liter of lukewarm water. Wet and a rag or squeegee, remove excessive water and wipe down glass as if using regular glass cleaner. Dry with either a soft cloth or paper.

– To restore toilet bowls back to their shiny best, clean with old, flat Coke or Pepsi. To dissolve limescale, leave the soda overnight to soak.

– Vacuuming a mattress, particularly along piping and crevices, removes dead skin cells that attract dust mites.

– Clove oil (sold in chemists for toothaches) kills mould spores. Mix three drops in one litre of water and then use to wipe down areas on the yacht susceptible to mould. Be careful not to use on delicate fabrics.


For surfaces requiring gentle cleaning, like porcelain or windows, cleaning lime stains is easy. Mix a few tablespoons of dish soap with some warm water. Work up some suds and sponge down gently. If you’re cleaning porcelain, you can just wipe off the soap mix with more water. For windows, wipe off the soap and then follow with a window cleaner like rubbing alcohol and a dry soft cloth.

For surfaces that require a deeper clean, like tiles, make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda. Apply to the stain with a rag or paper towel, and let sit for a few minutes. Wipe off with a wet cloth, making sure to remove all of the paste. The stain should be gone, but if not, apply the paste again and leave for a few minutes longer. Wipe down again and clean with rubbing alcohol and water.

Glass Cleaning:

Another way to clean hard water stains off windows and mirrors is to wipe them down with a cloth you've dipped in white vinegar. This should eliminate any spots you see, and then you can follow up with a cloth to make sure there are no smears.


5 great questions for the end of your job interview

By Alison Rentoul


You know the moment – that awkward silence when your interviewer asks “So, do you have any questions?”– and you can’t think of a thing to say! Well don’t be thrown by it anymore – with a bit of preparation you can turn this to your advantage. Remember, it’s not just an opportunity to find out more information about the position itself, it’s also a chance to show your prospective employer that you are taking your candidacy seriously and are actually very interested in the job.

Here are five questions that will help frame you in the right light and position you as a keen, informed and professional candidate.

1. What is the approximate program of this yacht?

If you haven’t already been told, this is the time to find out whether the yacht is used a lot by the guests or whether you spend most of your time tied to the dock cleaning things that are already clean. You can also enquire as to the usual itinerary of the yacht – where does it go and with whom – is it private only or actively chartered – and what kind of guests do they usually receive onboard, party animals or family and friends?

2. What do you appreciate most about your best crew members?

This will tell you what kinds of behaviour are appreciated and recognised by your interviewer, which will also tell you a lot about their own personal and professional values so you can see whether these are a match for your own values.

3. How does your team celebrate successes?

This will give you a clue as to whether the team like to celebrate together, socialise together or just go their separate ways. Some people want to work in a team that also play together but others have commitments ashore and prefer to leave the yacht whenever they can. Asking this question can ensure your preference matches the team you are potentially joining.

4. How would you know I was the best person for the job?

This is a great question for giving you the opportunity to assess how well you have done in the interview – if you have met all of these criteria you are already doing well, and if there is anything you are lacking now is your chance to make up for it by letting them know how you would fill those gaps.

5. What are the most important results you will expect from me in my new role?

This shows the interviewer you are really thinking from their perspective and are keen to make a good impression by focusing on the key performance criteria as soon as you start. It will also give you a good heads-up as to what is important on this yacht and you can assess whether this meets your own opinion of how you measure your performance as well.

Regardless of the answers you receive to these questions – i.e., even if they make you feel you are not sure you really want to take the job, keep those thoughts to yourself and make sure you maintain a positive stance right through to the end of the interview.

Making negative comments at this stage could come across as judgments that could be taken personally, and you run the risk of offending your interviewer, which is not great for your industry reputation building. You might not be offered the position anyway and it is much better to wait to be offered a position before you turn it down, as nobody likes to be rejected before they've even made their advances.

Asking these intelligent questions shows your interviewer you are keen to make a contribution to your new team and that you are carefully considering your suitability for the role and vice versa.


The importance of hygienic food service, storage and galley safety cannot be overemphasized.  Few things are as detrimental to a foodservice establishment as an officially noted outbreak of a food-borne illness caused by poor sanitary practices.  In addition to providing a sanitary atmosphere and adhering to procures for safe food handling, it is also important to ensure a safe working environment.

Food-borne illness:

Food can serve as carriers for many different illnesses.  The most common symptoms of food-borne illnesses include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, possible accompanied by fever.  These symptoms may appear within a matter of hours after consumption of the effected food, although in some cases several days may elapse before onset.  In order for a food-borne illness to be declared an official outbreak, it must involve two or more people who have eaten the same food, and health officials must confirm it.

Food-borne illnesses are caused by adulterated food (foods unfit for human consumption).  The severity of the illness depends on the amount of adulterated food ingested and, to a great extent, on the individual’s susceptibility.  Children, the elderly and anyone whose immune system is already under siege generally will have much more difficulty than a healthier adult in combating a food-borne illness.

The source of the contamination affecting the food supply can be chemical, physical or biological

Chemical:  Insecticides and cleaning compounds can accidentally find their way into foods.

Physical includes such things as bits of glass, rodent hairs, nails and paint chips.  Careless food handling can mean that even an earring or a plastic bandage could fall into food and result in illness or injury.

Biological contaminants account for the majority of food-borne illnesses.  These include natural occurring poisons, known as toxins, found in certain wild mushrooms, rhubarb leaves, green potatoes and other plants.  The predominant biological agent, however, are disease-causing microorganisms known as pathogens, which are responsible for up to 95% of all food-borne illnesses.  Microorganisms of many kinds are present virtually everywhere, and most are harmless, if not essential; only about 1% of microorganisms are actually pathogenic.  

Food-borne illnesses caused by biological contaminants fall into two subcategories:  intoxication and infection. 

Intoxication occurs when a person consumes food containing toxins from bacteria, molds or certain plant or animals.  Once in the body, these toxins act as poison.  Botulism is an example of intoxication.  

In the case of an infection, the food eaten by an individual contains large numbers of living pathogens.  These pathogens multiply in the body and generally attack the gastrointestinal lining. Salmonellosis is an example of infection.  Some food-borne illnesses have characteristics of both intoxication and an infection. E. coli 0157:H7 is an agent that causes such an illness.

Food pathogens:

The specific pathogens responsible for food-borne illnesses are fungi, viruses, parasites and bacteria

Fungi, including molds and yeasts, are more adaptable than the other microorganisms and have a high tolerance for acidic conditions.  They are more often responsible for food spoilage than for food-borne illnesses.  Fungi are important to the food in the production of cheese, bread, wine and beer.

Viruses do not actually multiply in food, but if through poor sanitation practice a virus contaminates food, consumption of that food may result in illness.  Infectious hepatitis A, caused by eating shellfish harvested from polluted water (an illegal practice) or poor hand-washing practices after using the rest room is an example.  Once in the body, the viruses invade a cell (called the host cell) and essentially reprogram it to produce more copies of the virus.  The copies leave the dead host cells behind and invade still more cells.  The best defences against food-borne viruses are good personal hygiene and obtaining shellfish from certified waters.

Parasites are pathogens that feed on and take shelter in another organism, called a host.  The host receives no benefit from the parasite and, in fact, suffers harm or even death as a result.  Amoebas and various worms, such as Trichinella spiralis, which is associated with pork, are among the parasites that contaminate food.  Different parasites reproduce in different ways.  An example is the parasitic worm that exists in the lava stage in muscle meats.  Once consumed, the life cycle and reproductive cycle continue.  When the larvae reach adult stage, the fertilized female releases more eggs, which hatch and travel to the muscle of the host, and the cycle continues.

Bacteria are responsible for a significant percentage of biological caused food-borne illnesses.  In order to better protect food during storage, preparation, and service, it is important to understand the classifications of patterns of bacterial growth.  Bacteria are classified by their requirement for oxygen, the temperatures at which they grow best, and their spore-forming abilities.  Aerobic bacteria require the presence of oxygen to grow.  Anaerobic bacteria do not require oxygen and may even die when exposed to it.  

Bacteria produce by means or fission – one bacterium grows and then splits into two bacteria of equal size.  These divide to form four, the four form eight, and so on.  Under ideal circumstances, bacteria will reproduce every twenty minutes or so.  In about twelve hours, one bacterium can multiply into sixty-eight billion bacteria, more than enough to cause illness.  Certain bacteria are able to form endospores, which serves as a means of protection against adverse circumstances such as high temperatures or dehydration.  Endospores allow an individual bacterium to resume its life cycle if favourable conditions should recur.

Bacteria require three basic conditions for growth:

A protein source, readily available moisture and a moderate pH.  The higher the amount of protein in food, the greater the potential as a carrier of a food-borne illness.  The amount of moisture available in a food is measured on the water activity scale.  That will mean food with a high water content, supports bacterial growth.  A food’s relative acidity or alkalinity is measured on a scale known as pH.  A moderate pH is a value between, 4.6 – 10 on a scale that range from 1 – 14, is the best for bacterial growth, and the most foods fall under that range.  Adding acidity with ingredients such as vinegar or citrus juice, can lower the pH level and extend its shelf life.

Many foods provide the three optimum conditions for bacteria to thrive and are therefore potentially hazardous.  Meat, poultry, seafood, tofu and dairy products (with exception of some hard cheeses) are all potential hazardous foods.  Foods do not have to be animal based to contain protein, however; vegetables and grains also contain protein.  Cooked pasta, rice, beans and potatoes are therefore also potentially hazardous, as are sliced melons, sprouts and garlic-and-oil mixtures.  

Food that contains pathogens in great enough numbers to cause illness may still look and smell normal.  Disease-causing microorganisms are too small to be seen with the naked eye, so it is usually impossible to ascertain visually that food is adulterated.  Bacteria that causes food to spoil are deferent from the once that causes food-borne illnesses, and that is why adulterated food will still not have off odours and you will not pick it up by smell.

Although cooking food will destroy many of the microorganisms present, careless food handling after cooking can reintroduce pathogens that grow even more quickly without competition for food and space from the microorganisms that causes spoilage.  Although shortcuts and carelessness do not always result in food-borne illnesses, inattention to detail increases the risk of creating an outbreak that may cause serious illness or even death.  Many restaurants and Chefs/Service Stews can never recover from negative publicity and loss of prestige of related food-borne illness outbreaks.

  1. Avoiding cross contamination:

Many food-borne illnesses are a result of unsanitary handling procedures in the galley.  Cross contamination occurs when diseases causing elements or harmful substances are transferred from one contaminated surface to another.

Excellent personal hygiene is one of the best defences against cross contamination.  A crew member with a contagious illness or an infected cut on the hand puts everyone at risk.  Every time the hands come in contact with a possible source of contamination (the face, hair, eyes and mouth) they must be thoroughly washed before continue to work.  Food is at risk of cross contamination during the preparation stage.  Because of the closed environment on a yacht, contagious illnesses can quickly spread and become an outbreak.

Ideally separate work areas and cutting boards should be used for raw and cooked foods.


Red=raw meat

Yellow=raw poultry

Brown=cooked meats

Green=fruit and vegetables

White=ready to eat food (bread, cheese, pastries)

  • Equipment and cutting boards should always be cleaned and thoroughly sanitized between uses.
  • All foods must be stored carefully to prevent contact between raw and cooked items.
  • Place drip pans beneath raw foods (blood from raw meat)
  • Do not handle ready to eat food with bare hands (use suitable utensils and or gloves)
  • Food handlers must wash hands regularly and correctly using soup hands and forearms for 20 seconds.  Beginning of shift and before every new task.

  1. Keep food out of danger zone:

An important weapon against pathogens is the observance of strict time and temperature controls.  Generally, the disease-causing microorganisms found in foods need to be present in significant quantities in order to make someone ill, with the exception of E. coli 0157:H7.  Once pathogens have established themselves in a food source, they will either thrive or be destroyed, depending upon how long foods are in the so-called danger zone.

There are pathogens that can live at all temperatures, but for most of those causing food-borne illnesses, the friendliest environment is one that provides temperatures within 5°C to 57°C (the danger zone).  Most pathogens are either destroyed or will not reproduce at temperatures above 57°C or below 5°C will slow or interrupt the cycle/ reproduction.  It is also important to know that intoxicating pathogens may be destroyed during cooking, but any toxins they have produced are still there.  

When conditions are favourable, pathogens can reproduce at an astonishing rate.  Therefore, controlling the time food is at the danger zone is critical to prevention of food-borne illnesses.  Food left at the danger zone (5 – 57°C) for a period longer than four hours are considered adulterated.  You should take note that the four hours are cumulative, meaning that the meter starts running again every time that food enters the danger zone.  

Therefore, once the four-hour period has been exceeded, heating, cooling and or other cooking methods cannot recover food.


  1.  Receive and store foods safely:

It is not unheard of for food to be delivered to a food service operation already contaminated.

  • Inspect all food items on arrival the condition of item and the delivery trucks and yacht suppliers or chandlers
  • Check temperature received by and temperature inside delivery trucks
  • Check the expiration date
  • Know and trust your suppliers – are they reputable yacht food suppliers?
  • Verify that food have the required government inspection and certification stamp or tag
  • Randomly sample items and reject any goods that do not meet your standard
  • Move item immediately into their proper storage conditions
  • Refrigerators and freezers should be regularly maintained and temperature checks done daily

  • Meat and poultry         =0°C – 2°C
  • Fish and shellfish                 =-1°C – 1°C
  • Eggs                         =3°C – 4°C
  • Dairy products                 =2°C – 4°C
  • Produce                         =4°C – 7°C

  • Separated refrigerators for the above are ideal, but a single unit or section is good
  • The front of the unit will be warmer and the back coldest in a refrigerator
  • Before storing food, it should be properly cooled stored in clean containers wrapped and labelled
  • Store raw below and away from cooked to prevent cross contamination
  • Use the principle of first in first out (FIFO)
  • Dry storage used for canned food, spices, condiments, cereals and staples like flour, rice and sugar and for some fruit and vegetables that do not require refrigeration
  • Dry stores must be clean, with proper ventilation and air circulation
  • Store cleaning supplies in separate area

  1. Ready to eat foods:

Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.  On a buffet it is important to keep food out of danger zone or take note of time food sits in danger zone (4-hour limit)

  • Cold food ready to eat keep at or below 5°C (use equipment ice or refrigeration)
  • Hot food ready to eat keep at or above 57°C (use hot holding equipment steam tables, bain-marie, double boilers or heat cabinets or drawers)

  1. Cooling food safely:

Cooked foods that are to be stored need to be cooled to below 5°C as quickly as possible.  This should be completed within four hours.  

  • Cooling liquid in metal container in an ice bath and stir liquid for rapid cooling
  • Semisolids or solids should be stored and refrigerated in single layers in shallow dish for greater surface area to cool quicker
  • Large cuts of meat should be cut in smaller pieces cooled to room temperature and wrapped before refrigerated.

  1. Reheating foods safely:

When food are made ahead of time and reheated, they should move through the danger zone as rapidly as possible and be reheated to at least 74°C for a minimum of 15 seconds.  As long as all proper cooling and reheating procedures are followed each time, food may be cooled and reheated more than once.

The proper equipment to hold foods above 57°C should be used like steam tables.  Temperatures should be checked regularly to make sure food is at the right temperatures.

  1. Thawing frozen foods safely:

Frozen foods may be thawed in several ways:

  • Best way and slowest is under refrigeration, the wrapped food placed in a shallow container on a bottom shelf of refrigerator to prevent cross contamination
  • If time is a problem wrapped food in container under running water at 21°C – not hot water
  • Individual portions that are to be cooked may be thawed in microwave
  • Liquids, small items or individual portions may be cooked without thawing

Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)

This is a scientific state-of-the-art food safety program originally developed for astronauts.  HACCP takes a systematic and preventative approach to the conditions that are responsible for most food-borne illnesses.  It is preventative in nature anticipating how food safety problems are most likely to occur, and taking steps to prevent them from occurring.  The HACCP system has been adopted by both food processors, restaurants and yachts; there are no particular mandates that all foodservice establishments must use HACCP.  However, instituting such a plan may prove advantageous on a variety of levels.  

Seven principles of HACCP:  

  1. Assess the hazard: analysing the hazards of the menu items or recipes in every step in the process must be looked at by designing a flowchart.
  2. Identify the critical control points: Identifying the critical control points (CCPs) where you have the ability to prevent, eliminate or reduce a existing hazard or to prevent the likelihood that a hazard will happen
  3. Establish critical limits and control measures:  Each CCP must have critical limits or general standards to control measures for each point.  Control measures are what you can do ahead of time to facilitate the achievement of your critical limit.
  4. Establish procedures for monitoring CCPs: You must establish how the CCP will be monitored and who will do it.  Monitoring helps the system improves by allowing for the identification of problems or faults at particular points in the process and help with traceability to the problem.
  5. Establish corrective action plans: If a deviation or substandard level occurs for a step in the process, a plan of action must be identified.  Specific corrective actions must be developed for each CCP.
  6. Set up a record keeping system:  Keep documentation on hand.  Recording events at CCPs ensures that the critical limits are met.
  7. Develop a verification system: This step is to ensure that the HACCP plan is working correctly.  

Serving food safely:

The potential to transmit food-borne illnesses does not end when food leaves the galley.  Steward/esses should also be instructed in good hygiene and safe food-handling.  Hands should be properly washed after using restroom, eating, and smoking, touching one’s face or hair, handling money, dirty dishes or soiled table linens or flatware that comes in contact with food, and handling glassware by the stems or base only.  Carry plates, glasses or flatware in such a way that food contact surfaces are not touched.  Serve all food using the proper utensils.

Cleaning and sanitation:

Cleaning refers to the removal of soil or food particles, whereas sanitation involves using moist heat or chemical agents to kill pathogenic microorganisms. After equipment or tools are sanitized, it must be allowed to dry by air. Take the necessary steps to prohibit the potential harbouring of various pathogens caused by pests.  Stews should always provide hygienically cleaned cloths, aprons, jackets, etc. to the Chef – daily.

Galley safety:

General safe practise:

The Yacht is always moving, so the general rule is: one hand for you and one hand for the boat.  When the yacht is underway, always let a crew member know where you are on deck outside.  It is very important to stow everything to prevent if from moving and falling in rough weather.  Secure all loose items on NON-SKID.  Make sure all doors to cupboards are closed and locked and all loose bottles, appliances and tins are in storage bins and secure.  Make sure you always put bilge cover boards back after you have been inside the bilge.  A crew member could fall down into the whole and hurt themselves.  If the bilge is at the bottom of stairs, put a sign up at the top of the stairs to warn crew members. To prevent injuries, always keep floors clean and dry and cupboards fridge/freezer closed and locked.  Keep loose items in the fridge in large plastic bins to prevent from falling around.

In addition to the precautions necessary to guard against food-borne illnesses, care must be taken to avoid accidents to crew and guests.  

  1. Health and hygiene:  
  • maintain good general health and personal hygiene
  • do not handle food when ill
  • keep any burns or brakes in skin covered with proper bandage
  • cover face with tissue when coughing or sneezing and wash hands afterwards
  • wash hands regularly
  • keep hair clean and neat
  • keep fingernails short and clean with no polish
  • keep hands away from face and hair when working with food

  1. Fire safety:
  • a complete fire safety plan should be in place
  • crew must be trained in fire safety and awareness (STCW and Regular drills)
  • equipment maintained regularly
  • premises must be free of fire hazards
  • exists of yacht should be clearly marked and easy assessable
  • your guests rely on you and the crew for guidance

  1. Dressing for safety:
  • chef uniform plays important roles in keeping workers safe
  • jacket bubble breasted for steam and spills
  • sleeves long to cover arms
  • long pants cover legs
  • hats to ensure hair does not fall in food
  • neckerchiefs for absorbing sweat
  • apron protect jacket and pants
  • side towels to protect hands from hot pans and dishes
  • steal-tip non slippery shoes protect feet or from falling
  • when steward/esses assist in galley or with cooking, they should also adhere to these dressing rules
  • Stews are responsible for hygienic cleaning of Chef jackets, aprons, cloths etc.  Wash at high temperatures

  1. Regulation, inspection and certification:
  • Government/MCA/IMO regulations must be followed
  • New build yachts must contact regulatory bodies in advance to requirements
  • Certifications to be obtained

  1. Drugs and alcohol in workplace:
  • The right of all crew to be free from the hazards posed by fellow crew that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Abuse of substances are a serious concern and hazardous

Cooking and preparing food when you are moving, could be challenging and your safety is always a priority, never use a deep fryer underway.  Always use fiddles when there are pots on the stove underway.  Always put unused items back in a cupboard and securely lock the cupboard door.  Remember that sometimes the locks on the cupboards are not strong enough to hold the weight of heavy olive oil bottles, etc.  Take these out of the cupboard and store in a bin on the floor for the duration of the trip.  Close all cupboards and fridge/freezer doors properly.  Always use the latches on the fridges and around the galley – EVERY time you opened the door!

Use Plastic storage bins in your fridges/freezers and cupboard it makes life easy and there is less chance for items to move around.  Wear protective clothing, like aprons, protective clogs or closed shoes and a long sleeve chef jacket.  

Secure anything not bolted down on non-skid.  Know the exact location of all the fire extinguishers, first aid kit and fire blankets in the galley.  Know where the emergency shut-off for the ventilation system is to ensure the fire does not spread.  Know how to use all the equipment.  Store all knives safely, and NEVER in a sink!!

General information-cross contamination, storage temperatures, personal hygiene

  • Store all food sealed with cling wrap, in Ziploc ® bags or in a plastic container
  • Do not serve any food that smells or looks suspicious
  • If food has expired according to the date on the pack, throw it away.
  • If the crew or guests catch fresh fish or shellfish in the Bahamas or Caribbean, make sure the fish does not have the disease Sagittaria. It is very dangerous and could make you very sick.  Common name is:  WORMS
  • Clean your knives after each use and pack away securely
  • Always use a good food-safe disinfectant on all services
  • Clean the galley floor after breakfast, lunch, dinner with a broom and mop
  • Detail the galley regularly
  • Clean up any spills and messes immediately
  • Wash all pots, pans and utensils with warm soapy water and sterilize your cutting boards at least once a week in a dishwasher or with bleach

Galley Cleaning (and general cleanliness in the Steward/ess pantries)

  • General rule: clean from the top down
  • Clean the headliner
  • Start with the top cupboards and work your way down
  • Unpack all cupboards and clean them out once a week and pack everything away securely!
  • Wipe down all the content of the cupboards and refill once a week – check expiry dates
  • Clean counter tops every day – as often as possible
  • Clean out fridges and freezers once a week and wipe out with bleach
  • Keep an open box of Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) in the fridges to eliminate smells
  • Polish all stainless surfaces once a day
  • Detail oven and microwave once a week
  • Clean the ventilation duct grills at least once a week with a degreaser
  • Clean the inside of the ventilation ducts with a degreaser once a month
  • Clean out dry stores and bilges at least once a month and inventory
  • Clean the bottom of your pans thoroughly especially when you are cooking on a glass top stove, so you do not scratch the surface
  • Use a marble polish on the granite or marble tops once a week
  • Disinfect the rubbish bins once a week inside and out and spray with a disinfectant spray like Lysol

Office of Environmental Health

Safe food storage times and temperatures

List of foods and their optimum storage temperatures:

Dry goods like rice, flour and pastas should be sealed in Ziploc bags and checked for weevils.  Check all the food fridges and freezer temperatures onboard once a day to make sure they are running at the correct temperature.  If food was defrosted, never refreeze it again.  If perishable food has been in a fridge longer than 2 days you should consider throwing it away, it could make someone sick.    Only use bleached tea towels and cloths that have been washed at 95 degrees Celsius.

ALWAYS wash your hands before handling food.  Personal hygiene is important at all times, clean fingernails, clean hair.  Always try to wear a clean shirt, jacket, long pants and apron.  You are judged by your appearance and galley neatness and cleanliness.  Don’t lick your fingers while prepping or cooking!!

Good rules to follow

  • Use a thermometer to measure food temperatures. Cook Hamburgers to 155 degrees F. for 15 seconds.  Cook Poultry to 180 deg. F.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs
  • Thoroughly cook all foods of animal origin – unless making tartare dishes, sushi or sashimi (use very fresh produce for this)
  • Thoroughly wash produce before eating or cooking

Shelf Storage

Store foods in the coolest cabinets or pantry as far away as possible from appliances which will generate heat.  Many staples and canned foods have a relatively long shelf life, but buy only what you expect to use within the time recommended for each product.  Put dates on the food packages that are not date coded and use the oldest first.  

Geographic area affects storage time.  Warm and humid areas shorten shelf life of food.  Buy packaged food in fresh looking packages, with the packaging/wrapping still in tact.  Dusty cans or torn labels may indicate old stock.  Also check the “use before” dates.  Check dented cans for leakage or rust before buying.  Do not buy dented or bulging cans or Tetrapaks.

Refrigerator Storage

Store food in a home fridge at 1 – 3 deg C

Food spoils rapidly above 3 deg C

The temperature in frostless and self-defrosting fridges is fairly uniform throughout the cabinet, including the storage area in the door.  In fridges that are defrosted manually, the coldest area is outside.  The freezer unit is the chill tray just below it. The area at the bottom of the cabinet is the warmest.  The door and the hydrator’s storage area are usually several degrees higher than the rest of the fridge.  When air circulates in the fridge, the cooler air moves down and forces the hot air up. The air motion dries out any uncovered or unwrapped food.

In most fridges, with the control set for normal operation, the temperature in the general storage area is below 3 deg C. You can check the temperature in the fridge by placing a fridge thermometer in a fridge at different locations in the cabinet.  If the temperature is above 3 deg C, regulate the control to lower the temperature.

Frequently opening the fridge door, especially on a warm humid day or an accumulation of thick frost on the freezing unit raises the temperature of the fridge.  Use food stored in the fridge quickly. Do not depend on maximum storage time. Clean the fridge regularly to cut down on food odours.  Throw out spoilt food immediately to prevent decay from spreading to other foods.

Freezer Storage

The best temperature for frozen food storage is at -17 deg C.  The temperature should not reach higher than -15 deg C.   Check the temperature with a thermometer, or use this rule of thumb:  If the freezer cannot keep ice cream brick-solid then the temperature is above the recommended level.

The level compartments of some home fridges are not designed to give a temperature of -17 deg C, the temperature needed for prolonged storage of frozen food…  Hold frozen foods in these compartments only a few days. In fridge/freezers where temperatures can be maintained at -17 deg C in the freezer cabinet, food may be kept for the same storage period as in a freezer.

Date food packages with an “expiration date” according to the maximum storage time recommended if they are not date coded.  Longer storage is not dangerous, but flavours and textures deteriorate. Package frozen foods in moisture-vapour-proof (MVP) packages or freezer containers.

Holes in freezer packages cause freezer burn. When shopping, pick up frozen foods just before going to the check–outs.  Take a freezer bag (specifically made with a foil lining).  Purchase only the foods that are frozen solid.  Place them in the freezer as soon as possible.  Cook or thaw according to the label instructions.  Place foods to be frozen in the coldest part of the freezer.  Freeze no more than three pounds/cubic foot of freezer space within 24 hours.  Keep the freezer full for best results. Also keep a written inventory of freezer content.  It is better to separate bulk meats into smaller portions and then vacuum pack the portions.  This would make it easier to use if you only need smaller portions of meats.


This is an important step because it removes the dust, dead skin cells and other debris that lands on your mattress and which accumulates over time. Be sure to wipe the vacuum attachment with rubbing alcohol before using, as the attachment could transfer germs onto the mattress.

Deodorizing the Mattress:
With all that sweat, dust and other fun stuff your mattress handles, it can start to smell mildewy or plain stinky. Sift baking soda over your mattress, leave for thirty minutes and then vacuum up with that upholstery attachment. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer so it will definitely help neutralize any odours. Note however, that it won’t really clean any stains in this ‘dry’ cleaning method. If you like essential oils, add five drops to the baking soda pre-sift and you’ll get to enjoy that lovely scent for a few nights thereafter.

Spot Cleaning And Stain Removal:
Stains come in 3 varieties (protein, tannin and grease), but only one usually ends up on your mattress – and that would be a protein stain (from bodily fluids) – and the reason we’re only going to cover protein stains here is because blood, sweat, vomit, urine and other bodily liquids are what we usually have to contend with on a mattress.

As with any stain, it’s best to tend to it as soon as possible to avoid the stain setting in. Liquid stains need to be blotted up first with a cool, wet cloth and then excess moisture blotted up with a dry cloth. Remember to use a a pressing motion, rather than a circular motion to lift the stain to avoid further rubbing the stain in. Also remember that heat sets protein stains so only use cold water when handling these.

Fresh protein stains can usually be removed with a mixture of salt, baking soda and water. Create a paste, rub it on the area and brush off 30 minutes later. Then, use some cool water on a damp cloth to remove the excess and allow to dry. If that doesn’t work, upgrade your solution and try a mixture consisting of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dish soap. Gently apply the stain remover to the area, gently brush in with a cleaning toothbrush and wipe up five minutes later with a cool, damp cloth. This should also help with any unsightly discolouration.

Just remember to use as little liquid as possible and to ensure your mattress is completely dried before using it again to avoid growing your very own mold spores. Placing fans in the room can speed up the process.

Here Are A Few Other Helpful Mattress Cleaning Pointers

Flip it
If possible – turn and/or flip your mattress so it will wear evenly, do this at the turn of every season and rotate clockwise. 

Dry Times
No water on your mattress – mattresses really don’t like water, and memory foam mattresses can’t actually handle liquids at all. With memory foam or Tempurpedic mattresses, liquid gets trapped in the cellular structure and has nowhere to go. On that note, never, ever get your memory foam mattress wet. If you need to spot clean, be super stingy with the liquid and blot like a mad man or woman.

Fan Club
Use fans to dry the mattress so if that mattress gets wet, use fans to assist in dry time and if you have access to a wet dry vac, use that to help extract moisture. Don’t think about sleeping on mattresses until they are completely dry.

Bed Bugs
This is a serious issue and should not be a DIY project. Act fast and call a professional. Have them treat your mattress, cabin and any other affected areas of the yacht immediately. If you get – them you want them gone, and these guys know how to do it. REMEMBER BED BUGS CAN COME ON BOARD WITH SUITCASES THAT WERE IN A BED-BUG INFESTED HOTEL PRIOR TO ARRIVING AT THE YACHT. 

Cover Up
A mattress protector is one of the best investments for your mattress 
It’s important to note that many mattress manufacturers strongly recommend using a mattress protector – because stains on your mattress will void your warranty.


Answer:  We once had that problem and the only thing that eventually helped, was professional leather cleaners – we tried everything, but we were scared to damage the leather, so we contacted leather cleaners and they were able to remove it.


Answer:  Oil is a worry in more ways than one. Not only is it rapidly rising in price and taking more each week from our budgets, oil is also the source of one of the toughest stains to remove from clothing, fabrics, concrete, and more. But it doesn't have to be.

Armed with these handy tips, you can at least bring down the oil stain in a fight. Bringing down oil prices, well that’s another matter entirely.

Note: The key to all of these tips is to treat the stain as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the tougher it is to remove.

1. Corn starch and Dish Soap — Fabric

Lay your item of clothing on a flat surface and liberally sprinkle corn starch over the stain. Let that soak in for at least 30 minutes, but one hour is preferable. Next, rub dish soap into the stain (use a nail brush if you want to get into the fibers). Finally, wash using the directions on the care label. Air dry.

2. Hair Spray — Fabric

I have no use for hair spray on my head, but for years I have used it as a cheap fixative for charcoal drawings. However, it’s also a fine stain-removal tool. Spray the oil or grease stain liberally with hair spray; it should take quite a lot of it out instantly. Then, wash and air dry.

3. Cheez Whiz — Fabric

Really? Yes indeed. I saw this one on "The View," and the stain guru swore by it. You don’t even need to let this one sit. Just apply some of the goopy Cheez Whiz (or a generic version) onto the oil or grease stain and smear it in. Then throw your garment in the wash, and it should take the grease right out.

4. Shampoo — Fabric

It makes sense. Shampoo is designed to get grease and natural oils out of your hair. So why not your clothing? Just grab a little of your usual shampoo (or go out and buy some for greasy hair if you, like me, don’t have any hair) and rub it into the stain like a pre-treatment. Then wash as directed. It should work like a charm.

5. WD-40 — Fabric and Concrete

Among the thousands of uses for WD-40, stain removal is up there as a very effective use for this versatile product. And most of us have it in the garage, a place where oil is more likely to get on our clothing. Just spray the stain with WD-40 and let it soak for around 30 minutes. Then rub in a little dish soap and wash as directed.

6. Corn starch and Dry-Cleaning Solvent — Fabric

Once again, lay your item of clothing on a flat surface and liberally sprinkle corn starch over the stain. Let that soak in for at least 30 minutes to one hour. Next, place some kitchen towels on a counter, and place the item of clothing, stain-side down, on the towels. Proceed to blot or pat the back of the stain with a rag soaked in dry-cleaning solvent. Replace the paper towels frequently as they absorb the oil. When you have removed as much of the stain as you can, apply a little laundry pre-treatment solution. Then wash as directed, and air dry.

7. Waterless Mechanics' Soap — Fabric

There are several brands available, including Kutol, Gojo, and good old Lava. Rub the stain with the dry soap for several minutes, allowing it to penetrate the whole stain. The grease-cutting properties of the soap will help to break down the oil stain. Leave it for 30 minutes, then repeat. Finally, wash as directed and air dry. Simple Green is also good for this.

8. Coca-Cola — Fabric

I have covered the many uses of Coca Cola before, and stain removal is a great one. There is actually some caramel food colouring in Coke, but not enough to do any staining damage. At least, not if it’s left on for just a few hours. Simply pour some Coke onto the stain and let it soak for an hour or two. Then wash as directed and air dry. Your oil or grease stain should be completely destroyed, and there will be no sign of the Coke, either.

9. Coca-Cola — Concrete

The first step is to soak up as much oil as you can. Use old shop towels, rags, holey tees, or socks you plan to throw in the garbage; it’s all good. Next, take a 2-liter bottle of room-temperature Coke and pour it all over the stain. If the stain is well-covered and there’s plenty of Coke left, save the rest for another day. Now let the Coke sit on the stain overnight, at least 8–10 hours. The acidic properties will help eat away the oil stain. Soak up the Coke with more towels, and use pressure with a blotting movement to help pull the oil from the concrete. Then, using a stiff-bristled brush, apply some dish soap and hot water to the stain. Now, rinse with warm water. The stain should be history.

10. Lestoil — Fabric and Concrete

Oil to fight oil? Absolutely! Manufactured by Clorox, Lestoil is used to fight grease and oil stains on contact. It’s usually found in hardware stores and has a very strong smell, not unlike paraffin. Simply pour Lestoil onto the stain and let it soak for 20 minutes before washing. Or, if you’re washing a huge greasy load, add some to the wash. It’s also good for removing stains from fabric on sofas, chairs, carpets, and concrete driveways. As always, test in an inconspicuous spot before applying to a place in full view.

11. Aloe Vera Gel — Fabric

Let it soothe away your stain-removal headaches. Soak your soiled clothing in water, then vigorously rub aloe vera gel into the stain. Wash as directed, and air dry.

12. Dishwashing Detergent — Fabric

You see ads all the time boasting the grease-fighting power of dishwashing detergents. From the tablets to regular liquids, they are formulated to cut through the grease and get your dishes and cutlery free from stains and residues. So take some dishwater detergent to the stain, rubbing in the liquid or powder. You can also add a tablet to your wash; this is very effective for oily mechanics' clothing.

13. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) — Concrete

You can find this at any good hardware store. It’s a chemical, so please use gloves and safety glasses (although believe it or not, TSP is an approved food additive).

Mix 1 oz. of TSP with ½ cup of talcum powder and 1 cup of warm water. This will make a good paste, which you should apply to the oil stain with a trowel or other spreading tool. Wait for the paste to harden, then brush it away. If the stain is still there, repeat with a diluted TSP mixture of 1 gallon of to warm water with 1 cup of TSP. Scrub it into the stain, let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

14. Pressure Washer — Concrete

If all else fails, a good solution is a high-pressure washer. These can be expensive, but there are alternatives. There are nozzles you can buy for regular hoses that convert them to high-pressure sprayers, but these will never be as effective as a washer with air compression. So, consider renting one from a local hardware store. They are cheap, and you can get a lot done with them, including removing other dirt and stains around the home.


Answer:  GelGloss © makes a product called “No Streek” glass polish. Apply with damp sponge, let dry to a haze and buff with micro fibre cloth. Great on mirrors, windows and chrome too. No need for glass cleaners after this has been applied! Just use dry microfiber cloth.


Answer:  Gel hand sanitizer or Elnette hair spray might also work – just make sure not to scrub/rub the vinyl, as the colouring might come off, or you could rub off some of the vinyl.


Removing Antiperspirant:  Combine 1/2 teaspoon colourless dishwashing detergent with a few drops of vinegar and 1/2 cup water.  Press into the stain with a clean cloth.  Flush with water and repeat a few times.  Launder item as per care label.

Blood:  One of the best removal tricks is to spit on it (yes it sounds gross!!).  Or:  Soak in water mixed with a few teaspoons salt.  Or:  add 1 teaspoon colourless dishwashing detergent to 1 teaspoon ammonia and 1 teaspoon water – apply the paste, let it sit on the item and wash as normal (do not use ammonia on delicate or coloured items).

Gum:  Freeze the clothing in the freezer for a while, the gum will harden and break off

Ink:  Spray Elnette aerosol hairspray on the stain and run under cold water.  If stain not removed, repeat process.  Launder as per care label afterwards.

Coffee:  Mix 1/2 teaspoon vinegar with 2 cups cold water and sponge onto the coffee stain.  Repeat if necessary.  Wash as per care label.

Make-up:  Treat stain with rubbing alcohol and then use colourless dishwashing detergent and blot onto the make-up stain.  Wash as per care label.


1 cup water

1/2 cup peroxide

1/2 cup baking soda

Mix together and soak white laundry in it for 20 minutes or even overnight and wash afterwards as per care label.


  1. Use a mild soap or specially formulated silk shampoos
  2. Soak silk in lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes.
    (If silk is dark or printed, do not let it soak. Just quickly wash it in cold water.)
  3. Gently move the fabric during soaking from side to side. (Do not wring dry!)
    Handle wet silk with even greater care as it is very delicate.
  4. After a maximum of 5 minutes remove silk from water and rinse the fabric with cold water adding a tea spoon of vinegar to completely rid it of the soap.
  5. Wrap silk in a dry towel to remove the remaining liquid. Use several layers when using dark or printed silk.
  6. Roll out the silk and straighten it gently at the corners
  7. Iron it.
    Silk should always be ironed from the backside.
    It should always still be slightly moist. Check your iron's setting!
    Don't iron silk too hot!
    Always remember that silk is a protein structure much like human hair. Heat will damage it.


Many owners with valuable art collections (paintings) on board, will have them in special humidity, lighting and temperature-controlled rooms.  If they have glass over the painting, it would be UV protective glass, to protect from sunlight. They will also arrange for Art professionals to regularly visit the yacht and renovate/care for the frames and paintings.  However, you will still need to regularly dust the painting – and the only way to do this without damaging the frame, is by using a soft, dry, large make-up brush and lightly brushing the frame.  Never touch the actual painting inside if there is no glass over it.

There is a good chance that no matter what size yacht you work on, there are several original works of art adorning the walls or flat surfaces.  One yacht I know of, had a $ 78 million Renoir painting hanging in the Master suite.  

Oil paintings, if properly treated, should have a coat of clear varnish to protect them from the elements, but this does not mean they cannot be easily damaged.  Sunlight, artificial light, dust – even the oils on your fingers, contribute to destruction of fine art. But by far the worst enemy in the Marine environment is humidity, especially salt air.  Art behind glass is prone to humidity damage.  If not framed or cared for properly, microscopic particles of moisture can sneak into the material creating mold growth or bacteria, and can, over time, destroy the piece.

Exercise great caution when cleaning and dusting the paintings on board the yacht.  Nothing beyond a soft make-up brush should ever be used.  If ever in doubt about how to clean and care for, call a professional art restorer.   One bad swipe of a cleaning cloth or product can create thousands of dollars of damage.  It is important to have art professionals remove, move and store the valuable paintings in special controlled environment vaults when the yacht goes to the shipyard.

You may be surrounded by some of the finest art on the planet and not know it!  Even if you don’t have to dust/clean it, educate yourself about the artwork on board, it will only make you sound more intelligent if ever asked about it (which guests do all the time!).  Maybe your yacht owner just bought the Edvard Munch “The Scream” – recently became one of the most expensive artworks ever sold ($120 million) and brought it on board! (Hopefully not, because my face would certainly look like the painting if I had to even come near it, let alone touch it!).  

Over the years, I maybe did not always love the artwork on board the yachts I worked on, but I felt lucky to have the chance to see it every day and learn more about it.  I loved the opportunity to experience it and be near it…


QUESTION:  Any tips to get rid of a fresh food stain (let's say tomato and coffee, but not on the same pullover) on a Cashmere fabric? Also how about dealing with a fresh oily make up stain on a Cashmere fabric?

Answer:  Here is some information about how to clean and care for your cashmere collection. *****SUPER IMPORTANT: The following applies to KNIT fabrics, not WOVEN fabrics found in many suits and blankets.*****


I do not recommend dry-cleaning your cashmere sweaters unless you need specific stain removal treatments.

– Wash your sweaters in your PRE-CLEANED sink or a large plastic square bucket.
– Be cautious with bulky, large pieces. They become extremely heavy when they are filled with water.
– Do not hold up a wet piece of cashmere by the shoulders, this will stretch your sweater. Keep your sweater in a lump when you go to pick it up when wet, fully supported by your hands. Think: BLOB. Let it be a blob.
– Wash your cashmere in cold water. NEVER use hot water, it will cause your sweaters to shrink.
– Use hair shampoo (after all, cashmere is goat hair…) or a mild detergent made for fine fabrics (like Woollite). 
– Agitate the water and detergent before you put the sweater in. You want it to be as evenly distributed as possible.
– Press and squish the soapy water through your sweater. Do not wring, twist, or rub. SQUISH!! 
– Drain the sink/tub and rinse with the same temperature of water that you used for washing. A sudden change in temperature will cause your cashmere to shrink. So, if you used warm-ish water to wash, use warm-ish water to rinse. 
– After rinsing, squish and squeeze as much water as you can out of your sweater. DO NOT wring or twist. I keep my sweaters in a ball and press it in between my hands. 
– Lay out your semi-wet sweater onto a towel and roll it up. Press out as much water as you can with the towel.
– Remove the sweater and lay it out on a fresh towel or drying rack, making sure to put the sweater back into its original shape. 

(Tip: if you want to shrink or stretch a sweater, now is the time to do it – see my other post about this).

Keep your sweaters away from heat sources and windows.

Air Dry

QUESTION:  If you were allowed ONE characteristic that a Steward/ess MUST have, which one would you choose?


  • A Sense of humour!  When things go wrong, you have got to be able to have a laugh, it is the only way to stay sane!
  • A thick skin!  Don’t take things personally
  • Calm demeanour at all times
  • Very flexible and adaptable
  • Passion
  • A team player
  • Initiative, eager to learn, common sense


Some handy ways to treat light-coloured stains on varnished wood.

You can try to rub the area with an oily furniture polish, mayonnaise, or petroleum jelly (Vaseline).  I have often tried this, and it normally takes care of light stains on varnished wood.

You can also try the following tips:

– Put a little toothpaste on a wet cloth and lightly rub the stain gently until the spot disappears.  Toothpaste sometimes contains a mild abrasive that will help get rid of the stain.

– If the stain is still there, mix equal amounts of baking soda and toothpaste together to make a slightly stronger, yet still mild, abrasive and rub that mixture on the stain.  Depending on the size of the stain, 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of each should do the trick. Apply a little pressure.

If it is still not gone, you can try the following:

– Thoroughly clean the area.

Dip a soft cloth into a mild solvent, such as mineral spirits or paint thinner (odourless). Squeeze excess moisture from the cloth, and then rub gently until the stain is gone.  To make sure you won’t harm the surface, test the solvent on an inconspicuous area first.  If the solvent doesn't dissolve your finish, then it’s safe to work on the stain itself. If it does dissolve, don't use it.

– After the water mark is gone, wax the surface with paste furniture wax.  Paste wax takes a little more work to apply, but it leaves a nicer, longer-lasting finish than a liquid or cream wax.

After the paste wax thoroughly dries — give it half an hour — buff the piece with another soft, clean cloth until you have a rich, smooth look.



Answer:  Our rule normally was that NO ONE on board could tough silk carpets, we always took it to silk carpet cleaning professionals. Silk can be damaged by many many many different cleaning products, even rubbing alcohol is too harsh for silk. Therefore, I would suggest you look for a silk carpet cleaning professional near you.


Want to see those sweat marks disappear from shirts and other garments? Just pour a bit of vinegar directly onto the stain, and rub it into the fabric before placing the item in the wash. You can also remove deodorant stains from your washable shirts and blouses by gently rubbing the spot with undiluted vinegar before laundering. 

White socks look dirty no matter how many times they're washed? Try this:
– Soak in a solution of 4 litres water and 180g bicarbonate of soda.
– Soak in hot water in which you've dissolved 5 aspirin tablets (325mg each). Add 240ml white vinegar to the washing machine's rinse cycle.


Make a soggy blanket fresh from the washing machine look warm and welcoming again in no time. First, put two large towels in the dryer and let them heat for 20 minutes. Now throw in the blanket and let the towels soak up the moisture. Take the blanket out when it's still damp and drape it over the backs of two chairs (ideally, lawn chairs out in the sun) or two parallel clotheslines to air-dry.


LOUIS ROEDERER – CRISTAL (established 1776)
The flat-bottomed bottle fashioned from Baccarat crystal with a gold label was first created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Distinguished by its elegance, creamy nose and palate, biscuity aromas and buttery textures. Subtle minerality develops into an almond/pineapple character as it ages.

MOET & CHANDON – DOM PERIGNON (established 1832)
A prestige cuvee (blend) named after the monk credited with the creation of champagne, who famously proclaimed at the moment of conception: “come quickly, I am tasting the stars!”. It has a deep palate with complex layers of flavour and a touch of minerality. It develops yeasty and meaty flavours, with hints of toasted almonds.

KRUG – KRUG GRANDE CUVéE (established 1843)
Owner of the famous Clos du Mesnil vineyard, this house has a cult following and commands some of the highest prices in Champagne, certainly for its non-vintage. When young, it is taut, linear and delicate, it develops a rich, earthy taste with flavours of toast, brioche and lemon zest.

RUINART – DOM RUINART (established 1729)
Regarded as the oldest Champagne House in France, Domaine Ruinart produces Champagne of superb elegance and balance. With notes of almonds, toasted brioche, citrus and dried fruits, these champagnes are about mouthfeel, balance, intensity and elegance for people who enjoy champagne with fine character.

Madame Clicquot and her champagne became famous in the 19th century after she invented a disgorgement technique, still used to this day, enabling producers to sell clear, brilliant champagnes sans the yeast particles. Expect typically bright, fresh and floral wines with intensity and vibrancy.

Champagne Vintages:

• 2000 a non-vintage year, rather than a vintage year
• 1999 quality ripeness, but low acidity only good through extreme selection
• 1998 another vintage by selection
• 1997 not a top champagne vintage
• 1996 typical good year and better than 1995
• 1995 typical good year turned out to be superior
• 1994 bad vintage
• 1993 it turned out to be superior year for some
• 1992 a good quality vintage
• 1991 not a good vintage
• 1990 one of the greatest vintages of the century

Only 3 grape cultivars/varieties allowed in a real Champagne:
– Pinot Meunier (black grape)
– Pinot Noir (black grape)
– Chardonnay (white grape)

Most of the Champagne produced today is "Non-vintage", meaning that it is a blended product of grapes from multiple vintages. Most of the base will be from a single year vintage with producers blending anywhere from 10–15% (even as high as 40%) of wine from older vintages. If the conditions of a particular vintage are favourable, some producers will make a "Vintage" wine that must be composed of at least 85% of the grapes from vintage year. Under Champagne wine regulations, houses that make both vintage and non-vintage wines are allowed to use no more than 80% of the total vintage's harvest for the production of vintage Champagne. This allows at least 20% of the harvest from each vintage to be reserved for use in non-vintage Champagne. This ensures a consistent style that consumers can expect from non-vintage Champagne that does not alter too radically depending on the quality of the vintage. In less-than-ideal vintages, some producers will produce a wine from only that single vintage and still label it as non-vintage rather than as "vintage" since the wine will be of lesser quality and the producers have little desire to reserve the wine for future blending.

A cuvée de prestige is a proprietary blended wine (usually a Champagne) that is considered to be the top of a producer's range. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Laurent-Perrier's Grand Siècle, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, Duval-Leroy's Cuvée Femme and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill. Perhaps the original prestige cuvée was Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, launched in 1936 with the 1921 vintage. Until then, Champagne houses produced different cuvées of varying quality, but a top-of-the-range wine produced to the highest standards (and priced accordingly) was a new idea. In fact, Louis Roederer had been producing Cristal since 1876, but this was strictly for the private consumption of the Russian Tsar. Cristal was made publicly available with the 1945 vintage. Then came Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne (first vintage 1952), and Laurent-Perrier's Grand Siècle 'La Cuvée' in 1960, a blend of three vintages (1952, 1953, and 1955) and Perrier Jouet's 'La Belle Epoque'. In the last three decades of the 20th century, most Champagne houses followed these with their own prestige cuvées, often named after notable people with a link to that producer and presented in non-standard bottle shapes (following Dom Pérignon's lead with its 18th-century revival design).

A French term (literally "white from black" or "white of blacks") for a white wine produced entirely from black grapes. Black, or red, grapes have a white flesh and grape juice obtained after minimal possible contact with the skins produces white wine, the color of which is offset by the small amount of red skin pigments and turns into lighter shades of yellow, often described as white-yellow, white-grey, or silvery. It is often encountered in Champagne, where a number of houses have followed the lead of Bollinger's prestige cuvée Vieilles Vignes Françaises in introducing a cuvée made from either Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of the two (these being the only two black grapes permitted within the Champagne AOC appellation).

Champagne "white of whites"
A French term that means "white from whites", and is used to designate Champagnes made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes or in rare occasions from Pinot Blanc (ex. La Boloree from Cedric Bouchard). A famous example is Ruinart. The term is occasionally used in other sparkling wine-producing regions, usually to denote Chardonnay-only wines rather than any sparkling wine made from other white grape varieties.

The rosé wines of Champagne (also known as Pink Champagne) are produced either by leaving the clear juice of black grapes to macerate on its skins for a brief time (known as the saignée method) or, more commonly, by adding a small amount of still Pinot Noir red wine to the sparkling wine cuvée (blend). Champagne is typically light in colour even if it is produced with red grapes, because the juice is extracted from the grapes using a gentle process that minimizes the amount of time the juice spends in contact with the skins, which is what gives red wine its colour. Rosé Champagne is one of the few wines that allows the production of Rosé by the addition of a small amount of red wine during blending. This ensures a predictable and reproducible colour, allowing a constant Rosé colour from year-to-year.

Each size bottle has a different name:

• Split – 187 ml
• Half bottle – 375 ml
• Bottle – 750 ml
• Magnum – Two bottles (1.5 liters)
• Double Magnum – Four bottles (3 liters)
• Jeroboam – The name means large bottle – Four bottles (3 liters)
• Rehoboam – Six bottles (4.5 liters)
• Methuselah – 6 liters
• Salmanazar – 12 bottles (9 liters)
• Balthazar – 16 bottles (12 liters)
• Nebuchadnezzar – 20 bottles (15 liters)


Hi, anyone who knows how to remove water stains on marble?

Answer: I would say it is time to have the polyurethane coating professionally removed and replaced and then use GelGloss ® to clean your marble – nothing else.


1. Shrunken Sweaters
It may seem hopeless, but there is a tiny glimmer of a chance that you can still wear that sweater. It’s worth a try to attempt to reshape a wet sweater to its original size. Add 2 – 3 tablespoonfuls of hair conditioner to a bucket of room temperature water. Put the sweater in the bucket to soak for about 5 minutes. Lay the sweater on a clean dry towel and slowly and gently try to stretch the fibers and reshape the garment before allowing it to dry on the towel.

2. Dried Stains
Once a stain has been tumble or air dried, it is very hard to remove, but it is possible. Try repeating the steps for the individual stain. More than likely you’ll need to soak the stain, or use a more aggressive stain remover. (just be very careful of delicate fabrics!!) On white clothes, try using lemon juice and placing the garment in the sun. Both the lemon juice and the sun will work as bleaching agents. Be sure to rinse the clothing thoroughly before rewashing.

3. Dingy Whites
White fabrics can become yellowed or greyed and dingy. For grey and dingy whites try the triple soak. Soak the whites first in a solution of a bucketful of water and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap (not dishwasher soap). Next rinse out the whites and soak in a solution of 2 tablespoons of ammonia and a bucketful of water. Next, rinse out the whites, and soak in a bucket of warm water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and dry. This soaking method will leave your whites bright and clean.

4. Wrinkled Clothes
If clothes have been neglected in the dryer for too long, they are probably wrinkled. To smooth out the wrinkles, put the load back in the dryer with a damp towel (for a medium sized load) or a damp sock (for a small load).

5. Discoloured Whites (from washing colour clothes with whites)
A red or black sock in the washer with your whites can leave you seeing rose-coloured or grey laundry. To try to fix this problem you’ll need Rit Color Remover. This product works wonders on white laundry that had dye transfer on it. The Rit Color Remover can also be effective at removing dye on some coloured or patterned backgrounds, although you run the risk of having the original colour or pattern of the garment damaged.

6. Crayons in the Dryer
I’ve got quite a bit of experience with this one. I’ll never forget the first time I looked in the dryer to see streaks of red crayon melted around the drum. To get rid of it, start with scraping off as much of the wax as you can. I like using a credit card because it doesn’t scratch the drum, but does a good job of removing dried on wax. Depending on how tough the wax is to remove, you might need to use a blow dryer to remove the wax. Hold the dryer 6 inches away from the drum. It will heat up the wax, allowing you to wipe it away. Next, you’ll need some WD-40. Spray it on a cloth and wipe at the waxed areas until the wax is gone. For your final step, use a mild detergent like dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner and warm water to do a final wipe down of the drum.

7. Stickers Washed and Dried
Sometimes a “Good Job” sticker gets left on clothes as they go through the laundry cycle. A sticker that has been washed and dried, congeals and becomes very difficult to remove. Use an ice cube to freeze the stained area, and try to scrape away as much of the sticker as possible with a spoon. Apply baby or cooking oil to the sticker area and try to scrape away more of the stain as it loosens. Rinse the area thoroughly with a little dish soap and warm water before applying a stain remover gel and rewashing.

8. Mildew Smells or Stains
Did you forget about the clothes in the washer and now they have a sour smell? If the clothes smell, but aren't stained by pinpoint sized dots of mildew, you may simply be able to rewash them with a helping of bleach for whites, or colour-safe bleach for colours. If you indeed have mildew stains, washing with chlorine bleach will remove the stains from white clothing. For coloured clothing use a mixture of colour-safe oxygen bleach (1 teaspoon) , and hydrogen peroxide (1 cup) to sponge the stained areas before rinsing thoroughly and rewashing. Clothes may also benefit from soaking in a borax solution.

9. A Pen Explodes
If a pen found its way into your laundry, it can wreak a lot of havoc before it’s found. Whether you realize there are ink stains after clothes are washed, or after they are dried, the steps are the same.

The first solution to try is rubbing alcohol. Place the clothing on top of a clean white towel. Be sure to test in a hidden spot before applying rubbing alcohol to the permanent ink stain. Blot rubbing alcohol onto the stain. The towel underneath will become wet and discoloured from the ink. Be sure to move the garment to a clean dry section of the towel as this happens. Continue until no more ink stain can be removed. Make sure you rinse the stained area completely free of the rubbing alcohol. Next try fingernail polish remover. Blot in the same way as you did with the rubbing alcohol, moving the stained area to a clean dry section of a towel as the ink stain is removed. Rinse thoroughly.

Honestly, this will work much more effectively if the clothes haven’t been dried, but it can still work on set in stains, it will just take a lot of hoping and patience.

10. Washed Tissues
If a tissue has been inadvertently washed, leaving shreds of tissue all over your clothing, the easiest solution is to pick out the biggest clumps you can see before putting the clothing in the dryer. The smaller clumps will get caught in the lint filter where you can remove them after the drying cycle. The more clumps you can remove before the clothing goes into the dryer, the better. Once the clothing is dry, shake out the garments to remove any loose pieces.


You accidentally tossed in your white towels with a red sock or black T-shirt and now are faced with blotchy stains on your expensive yacht towels…. Repairing clothes/towels dyed by accident is often a hit or miss proposition.

Factors such as heat applied after the dyeing process, utilization of incorrect stain removers, or even just the application of a complete dyeing process only to realize that the colour came out all wrong, can determine the failure or success of your repair efforts.

Not every piece of clothing or linens can be saved – however; there are several distinct steps to take when learning how to repair items dyed by accident. By following these easy steps your odds of saving your linens are a lot better.

Step 1
Take white clothes or towels that may have gotten dyed by accident during a washing cycle and do not dry them. Instead, immerse them in a bucket with concentrated pure lemon juice and let them stand overnight. After 24 hours you may wash them as you normally would and put them through the dryer as well.

Step 2
Add Rit Color Remover to the water when washing whites dyed by accident. Depending on the depth of the stain, you may need to repeat this process as the first wash may lighten, but not completely remove the unwanted dye spots.

Step 3 (for items stained with rust)
Rinse white clothes under cold water until the stain changes from an angry red to a tan or yellow discoloration.

Step 4 (for items stained with rust)
Use Rit Rust Remover on such clothes and also for whites dyed accidentally due to exposure to clay and rust contained in water. This product only works on white clothes and will remove the yellow discoloration usually within one washing.

Step 5 (for items stained with ink)
Blot with a white paper towel any white clothes dyed by accident with ink. Spray hair spray on a clean sponge and gently rub the ink stain. Rinse the garment completely. Finally, wash as usual, adding OxyClean stain fighter.

Step 6
Soak any white garments that do not respond to your dye removal attempt overnight in hot water and OxyClean. This is a matter of last resort and should this step fail, unfortunately the towel might be irreparably damaged.


It is important to keep your manufacturers manual on board.  This would explain to you how to clean the specific brand of icemaker.  Most companies also post their instruction manuals online these days, so check there first.  

A safe cleaning tip:  A mixture of baking soda and vinegar will work just as well as the manufacturer’s cleaning product. If the manual has a description on how to flush the machine (with their product), just do the same process with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Just ensure that you rinse the pipes well afterwards with fresh water.


  • Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallows
  • Use nail polish to mark/label different boat keys.
  • Deodorize sponges in the microwave. Soak in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice and put on fill power for one minute. Use tongs to remove as it will be hot!
  • Hang onions in cut-up tights or old stockings to make them last for months!
  • Remove pet and human hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee or lint roller
  • Hang a bundle of chalk in the closet to keep everything fresh and dry. The chalk absorbs excess moisture – a thrifty alternative to an electric dehumidifier!
  • WD40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface, but don’t use this trick on fabrics
  • To get rid of the musty smell on old towels, wash using 1 cup of white vinegar on a hot cycle, then repeat with 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda
  • Put a dry towel in with a wet load to reduce the drying time
  • Use hairspray on the end of your sewing thread to help it slide through the eye of your needle
  • To clean a wooden chopping board, sprinkle on a handful of Kosher salt and rub with half a lemon. Rinse with clean water and dry to ensure it is clean and germ-free
  • To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper
  • Place a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube of a toilet roll to make your bathroom smell wonderful – be careful, don’t use this on gold plated toilet rolls!
  • Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets into the toilet bowl at night to clean off stubborn stains.
  • Take a bunch of bananas apart to prevent them from ripening too quickly
  • Use chalk (for blackboards) to remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub white chalk on the affected area and wash as normal – the chalk will absorb the grease and be washed away in the cycle
  • Use fabric shoe holders and hang up in laundry room for more space to store laundry products


Most of the following ALBUMS are lounge music: Café del Mar, Campari Lounge, Shirley Bassey (dinner). Pink Martini. Hotel Costes, Lounge Lunch, Mersserli, Midnight Lounge, Midnight Soul, Slow Motion-Minus 8, Sylt Finest Lounge, Wave music, Café del Mar


Flour sack cloth.  Soft, fluff free and super absorbent.  Also dries very quickly.  Available at Walmart ® in the USA


It would depend if the stained duvet cover has been washed and dried. After tumble or sun drying a fabric, the stain becomes very difficult/almost impossible to remove. If it is a fairly "fresh" stain, you could try using Antibacterial Hand Cleaner Gel or Elnette Hair Spray. Put it on the stain with an ear bud and lightly rub inwards, let it sit for a minute and then was as per normal. If you take it out of the washing machine and it is still visible, repeat the process. HOWEVER, BE VERY CAREFUL IF IT IS A COLOURED DUVET COVER, test it on an inconspicuous area first.



Removing Soot Stains

Soot stains from a fire or smoke or from a variety of other factors in your home, can appear as ugly streaks on carpets, upholstery, your walls, or even your clothes.

For soot or smoke stains on clothing, first take the clothes outside to try to shake and beat as much of the soot out as possible. Dab at the stain with a liquid detergent and a clean white cloth. Sponge the detergent into the stain until the area is saturated, and try washing it normally in the washing machine. Wash the item alone, since soot can spread to other articles of clothing in the load. Also, do not put the clothes in the dryer without checking the stain.  You could also try sponging at the stain with a stain remover product and some vinegar.

Do not wet soot stains on carpets or furniture upholstery with water. Start by vacuuming the stain, working from the outside edges of the soot stain towards the centre. Next, apply a spot remover—read the bottles to find a stain remover that will remove grease and tar, as this kind of spot remover will work best on soot and smoke stains.

Do not forget to test the product on an inconspicuous area first. Apply the spot remover to the centre of the stain, and let it sit for five to ten minutes or according to the directions on the spot remover. Blot the stained area with a clean white cloth, being careful to move to new spots on the cloth as areas of the cloth become dirty. Once you've blotted as much as you can, sponge cool to cold water onto the stained area. Blot again, lifting as much soot as possible. Dry the area with a fan and by pressing the area with towels. If the stain is still there, try using the spot remover product again.

You could also try using rubbing alcohol on any remaining grey marks after vacuuming. Rubbing alcohol should also be tested on an inconspicuous area before using. Put the rubbing alcohol onto a clean white cloth and dab at the soot stain.

Remember not to rub, and do not pour the rubbing alcohol directly onto the soot stain.

Another process you could try is to rent a carpet steamer and steam your carpets clean. If this does not make your carpet free of stains, wait until the carpet is completely dry and try hydrogen peroxide (Test this on an inconspicuous area first!). Put a bit of peroxide onto a clean white towel and dab it at the remaining stain until the stain comes out.


Using a damp cloth or toothbrush, scrub with one of the following then wipe off with a damp cloth and buff to a shine with a piece of flannel or other soft material. If the piece has a lacquer coating for protection, simply wipe with a damp cloth then dry with a soft one.

For Brass:
– Worcestershire Sauce
– Tabasco Sauce
– Ketchup (allow to dry then scrub off with a cloth or soft bristle brush)
– Tomato Juice Soak: Cover the piece with tomato juice and allow to soak for a few hours. Rinse off with clear water then buff dry.
– Milk Soak: Mix two parts milk with one part water, soak pieces for a couple hours then rinse with clear water and buff dry with a cloth. If you’re out of milk, try plain yogurt (undiluted) or sour milk instead.
– Vinegar Soak: Mix two parts vinegar with one part water, soak pieces for a couple hours then rinse with clear water and buff dry.
– Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice: Make a paste then scrub into piece. Rinse off with clear water and buff.
– Vinegar and Salt: Pour vinegar on a cloth, sprinkle with salt then gently rub into piece.
– Lemon Juice and Salt or Baking Soda: Sprinkle salt or baking soda on a wedge of lemon, this will provide a gentle abrasion for removing grime.

Old-timers Tip: Rub piece all over with olive oil then with a dry rotten-stone (tripoli), remove with a cloth and buff to a shine.

Protect From Tarnishing: Keep things shiny by polishing with olive oil.

Lacquer Finish: Some pieces have a lacquer finish to help prevent tarnishing. If you wish to remove it, boil piece in a large pot of boiling water with 3 tablespoons baking soda and 3 tablespoons washing soda. Polish dry with a soft, dry cloth once the lacquer has been successfully removed.

Why do things like Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce & Lemon Juice work? It’s the acidic content that eats away at the tarnish. Milk also contains a lactic acid and that’s why soaking a piece in milk will help.

For Copper and Metals:
Kettle1 TBSP Flour
1 TBSP Salt
1 TBSP White Vinegar

In a small bowl, combine salt and flour. Stir until well blended.
Make a thick paste by adding vinegar to the salt and flour.
Using a damp sponge or cloth, smear on the paste. Rub gently.
Allow polish to dry for approximately one hour.
Rinse piece well with warm water.
Buff dry with soft cloth.

These tips are suitable for: Brass, Bronze, Copper, Pewter



  • Most make-up stains can be removed by blotting the stain with isopropyl alcohol until the stain is removed. If you're not sure what type of make-up stain it is, it's easier to sent to the Dry Cleaners.
  • Cheap, colourless shampoo – put the shampoo on the make-up and leave on for a minute or so and wash as per care label instructions.
  • Lotion-type make-up remover


Clothes:                        Hand sanitizer

Walls:                          Toothpaste or hair spray

Wood:                        Rubbing alcohol

Carpet:                        White vinegar

Dry Erase board:                Dry erase marker



  • Museum gel, as long as you don’t accidentally wipe it everywhere with a cloth
  • It is important that you frequently replace museum gel, as it tends to leave stains on certain surfaces if you leave it on for too long


  • Try vinegar AND baking soda together? It will fizz when you pour it in together, it might work to try that a few times.
  • Dissolvable effervescent dentures tablets


QUESTION:  I need some help and advice. Just arrived back in warmer climates and the house flies have taken a keen interest on board. It is a new boat and there is no bad smells, so not sure what is going on. I have tried spraying, but they just seem to laugh at the stuff and continue to leave marks on the white headliners and blinds. Does anyone have a natural remedy for killing these buggers without getting spray all over the furniture and upholstery?


  • If they are fruit flies you need peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil, a few drops in a spray bottle they hate the stuff! Can be used on fruit too.
  • Around food – something that works wonderfully – do the following: cut lemons in half and stick full of cloves and pour some citronella oil into the lemon – the flies HATE it! We tried it recently on a very hot summer's day here in SA and it worked like MAGIC!


1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon dish detergent
1 cup water
1 piece aluminium foil

1. Heat water in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.
2. Cut a piece of aluminium foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl (like a cereal bowl).
3. Pour hot water into bowl. Place salt, soda, and dish-washing liquid into bowl. Place jewellery on top of foil and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse jewellery in cool water and dry jewellery completely with soft cloth. Discard solution after use and make a new batch next time.
4. According to, "this works well for gold-filled, brass, German (nickel) silver, and sterling silver. I have even cleaned jewellery with freshwater pearls, shell cameos and mother of pearl with no problem.


  • Treat a pollen stain as soon as possible. The older it is, the harder it will be to remove.
  • Avoid rubbing or brushing off pollen. This will only cause it to ingrain even more deeply, making it much harder to remove. In addition, do not place your fingers direct on a pollen stain. The oil from your fingers will cause the stain to set.
  • Do not dab or rub a pollen stain with water, ever! This will cause it to spread by dissolving the pollen particles.
  • Shake the clothing or fabric first to remove as much pollen powder as possible. This might even be adequate to remove the pollen stain if it hasn't penetrated too far.
  • Use adhesive tape. After shaking the clothing or fabric, if you haven't shaken off the pollen, try using tape before washing. Place the adhesive (sticky) tape over the pollen-affected area. Place it down gently, and do not press hard in case you press the pollen into the garment. Lift it up gently and quickly and hopefully a lot of the pollen will come up with it. Repeat a few times to see if this is sufficient.
  • A hand-held vacuum cleaner can be used in place of tape; just be sure to hold it close to the stain and not actually touch the stain.
  • Wash or soak the garment or fabric item. At this point, if the pollen hasn't come up, try the following method. Even if you intend to take the garment or item to the dry cleaner, at least shake and use the tape to remove as much as possible of the loose pollen, as it can rub in through friction when transported.

Water method:

  • Follow the initial shake and tape instructions above first.
  • Place the garment in cold water.
  • Leave it to soak for half an hour.
  • Rinse thoroughly once the half hour is up. Repeat twice to remove as much of the stain as possible.
  • Apply a spot stain remover. If the item is washable, wash it at as high a temperature as possible; if not, rinse again.
  • Check that the stain has gone before drying. If not, repeat the stain and washing treatments to remove it.


  • Cordless Dyson
  • Miele Canister
  • Roomba
  • Bosch and Rowenta


Answer:  A thick long PVC pipe would work – fold the tablecloth in half, roll around the pipe and store somewhere where it can stand up straight or lie flat.



  • Pour high concentration vinegar in bowl. Let it sit a couple minutes
  • Add baking soda with the vinegar and leave in toilet to fizz for a while. No way you can prevent it, because the water contains calcium and minerals, and that forms a white deposit, especially on something black. Also try Alka-Seltzer or Steradent in the toilet bowl to remove the white calcification.
  • It may be a good idea to turn the water off between seasons too if you have this option. Check with your engineers, some toilets have a little valve at the back which you can adjust. This can be useful during the crossings to stop the water splashing about too when its rough.



  • Be practical, most of the time it will be warm and the majority of the time you will be in uniform, which is given to you when you join the yacht
  • Take a soft, foldable suitcase, not a hard square one
  • Most yacht supply you with basic medicine and toiletries, so just carry travel size toiletries until you get there.  Leave behind your hair dryer and GHD and towel, because towels and linens are supplied.  A good idea might be to take a microfiber travel towel (available at camping stores) – it dries quickly and saves space.  Make sure your bag is light enough to carry yourself and to move around at airports, taxis, busses, trains.
  • Take as little as possible – pack, then take out half of it, then repack.  Then take out another 20%.  You will spend most of your time in uniform.
  • Take one outfit that has many purposes – interviews, dinner out with the boss (if he invites the whole crew) – a pair of neat black pants go a long way.
  • Your suitcase should have wheels or straps that can go on your back. DO NOT take a hard, square suitcase.


  • Mix 20 drops tea tree oil in a full spray bottle of water and clean A/C handlers with this. Pour a full (small) bottle of tea tree oil over a few cotton wool pads in a small Tupperware container and place behind air con vent (blow-out) – air will be disinfected as it blows over the tea tree oil.
  • Gelair disks, they work great, but not all yachts want to be the exorbitant costs involved…
  • We always used Kanberra but have a budget conscious boss so now make our own using tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, menthol and gelatin to set in empty pots. You can search and find recipes and method to make your own online. Initial cost is around $60 we bought our oils on amazon and they have lasted for ages.


Have you ever wondered what causes the ‘legs’ of wine that you see forming on the inside of a wine glass? We asked the ‘Wine Guy’ for an explanation…

On occasion you see someone swirl their glass of wine, raise it towards the light and watch with bated breath for the wine's legs to appear, a mythical indicator of wine quality. These legs, or tears as the French refer to them, are the streaks and drops of wine forming on the inside of the wine glass.

So, what does it really mean when a wine is said to have ‘legs’ or possibly someone refers to ‘tears of wine’?  Wine legs or tears of wine are the droplets that form in a ring on the glass above the surface of a glass of wine. The drops continuously form and fall back down into the wine; you can see the effect in the shadow of the glasses of wine shown below.

So, what causes these 'wine legs' – some think wine legs are related to the quality, sweetness or viscosity of a wine. They are really indicative of the alcoholic content of the wine in question – and are caused by the interplay between adhesion, evaporation and surface tension of water and alcohol.

The alcohol crawls up the glass as it evaporates, but since there is a film of water on top, it is pushed up in an arch. Eventually gravity wins, the water's surface tension is broken, and down runs the water, in tears. The effect is called the Marangoni or Gibbs-Marangoni Effect, in reference to Carlo Marangoni's investigations into the effect in the 1870s.

Wine legs work as capillary action draws a small amount of wine up the surface of the wine glass above the liquid surface. Both alcohol and water evaporate, but alcohol has a higher vapour pressure and evaporates much faster, producing a region of liquid that has a lower concentration of alcohol than the rest of the wine. Alcohol has a lower surface tension than water, so lowering the concentration of alcohol raises the surface tension of the liquid.

The water molecules are cohesive and stick together, forming droplets that eventually become heavy enough to fall back down the glass in streams into the wine. If you cover the wine glass and swirl it, wine legs eventually will stop forming because the alcohol will be unable to evaporate – no evaporation, no legs or tears.


  • Lemon juice will remove the rust, but should not be used on marble, because it will stain it, leaving dull marks. I am afraid marble polisher might be your only option. You might try Gel Gloss too, but I am not sure if it will be effective for rust stains.
  •  Anything you try to remove the stain on rust remover, can remove the polyurethane coating on the marble. Therefore, a marble specialist is your best option.
  • There is a product called Flitz granite and marble cleaner in USA. Good marble cleaner and an eco-safe Green product. May be worth a try. I use it often in the marble bathrooms and walk in showers.


I’m being inundated with CV enquiries at the moment so I thought it might help if I put together a list for you of the top 10 mistakes I see in CVs and how to avoid them. First and foremost, remember how important Your CV is – it’s like a salesperson out there in the job market selling you to prospective employers. It’s going to get bundled up with a lot of other CVs and it probably won’t get a lot of time to make its sales pitch. Get it right and you’ll end up in the maybe pile with the other potential interview candidates… but get it wrong and you could find yourself filed in the bin faster than you can say “Hi, my name is…”.

Follow these 10 tips to make sure your CV has a fighting chance of making it into the ‘maybe’ pile:

1. Spelling and grammar  
Get someone else to proofread your CV. Spelling and grammar mistakes make you look sloppy and unprofessional and this doesn’t bode well for your alleged ‘attention to detail’. (True story, I once saw CV that boasted: Excellent attention to detail.)

2. Too Long
Don’t exceed 2 pages. If you have held five positions or less you should try and get everything onto one single page. Don’t make the font too tiny though, be clever with the layout and margins instead. If you have considerable yachting experience you should still keep it to 2 pages max – summarise earlier experience into a paragraph to give your more recent and relevant info more room.

3. Wrong Content
In the work experience section make sure you relate the experience back to yachting. Think about the skills and attributes required in the position you are going for and demonstrate this in your other experience.

4. Waffling Profile Statement                                                                        Employers want to know what you can do for them and why they should consider you, they don’t want to read your entire autobiography. Focus on what’s in it for the person hiring you. Make it so punchy and attractive that by just reading the first line they are already thinking they should interview you.

5. Wrong Order                                                                                 Separate your yachting experience from other relevant work experience and detail the yachting experience first so it is the first thing people see. Within each section list jobs in order of most recent first.

6. Unprofessional Photo
A silly profile photo might be fun for your Facebook friends, but not for your CV. Keep it simple – a head and shoulders shot with your hair neat and a nice big smile works best.

7. Layout
Stick to black and white and use standard, sans serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica. This will keep it looking really neat and professional. It might work in other industries but in yachting bright colours and fancy fonts, pictures and other distractions actually detract from your CV and make it look like you’re trying to compensate for weak content.

8. Hobbies
Don’t list travel as a hobby – it’s pretty boring and the chances are you won’t get to see much while yachting so this tells people you don’t know much about the industry. Hobbies can actually get people called for interviews because they reflect a unique side of your personality and give people an idea of what you are like as a person, so make them genuine and interesting.

9. References
Ensure your references have the correct contact details and make sure those people are prepared to speak on your behalf (and that they will say nice things about you!). If possible prime them with the sorts of things you’d like them to say about you – think about the kinds of attributes you need for the yachting position you want and ask them to talk about these. If people don’t expect the reference call or if what they say doesn’t relate to the jobs you’re applying for, they could do more damage than good.

10. First/Third Person 
Lastly, always write your CV in first person. 3rd person in a CV can sound pretentious, as can the use of lots of Big Words. Keep it professional but use the normal kind of language you would in person interview, rather than hoity toity CV-speak.


GooGone or leave a few drops of dishwashing liquid on the sticky paper – leave it on for half an hour and it should come right off. Cif on a rag would be a disaster for the treatment lacquer on the wood.


You can try this: 1. Cold to lukewarm water, never hot 2. Mix one teaspoon of a mild soap (Woollite, Joy, Ivory, Fairy, or Tide powder) to a pint of cold or warm water. 3. Pure white vinegar mixed 50/50 with water. Use vinegar full strength for stubborn stains. Do not scrub Novasuede – ever!!


I recommend a professional interior/upholstery cleaner only.  It is not advised to attempt to clean silk yourself, as it can leave stains.


From experience I do not think anything will work, because once clothes have been dried, any stain has been set. You could try treating the stain with aerosol hair spray like Elnette or gel hand sanitizer, but this normally only works on ink stains that have not been tumble dried.


I've just learned this lesson the hard way, and thought I would share with you, although I'm sure most of you have already thought of this. ALWAYS close the drain before moving jewellery that is around the bathroom sink. You never know what small, hidden earring or clasp that has fallen off might be lurking in that pile of jewellery, just waiting to fall down the sink!!


QUESTION:  I am in the process of cleaning crew cabins and I'm faced with incredibly smelly mattresses. I have sprayed them with vinegar and left them out to air, but to no avail. Any suggestions as to what I can use to get the smell out?


  • Sprinkling Baking soda on the mattress might be a good solution.  Leave it on for a few hours and vacuum the mattress.
  • Geranium and lavender essential oils diluted in water. the geranium is really strong in scent but will fade with time. The perk to using both of those is that they and anti-microbial and bacterial so in will get down into the mattress and kill the bacteria. The lavender helps balance out the strong scent of the geranium.  For some anti-bacterial purposes, also add a few drops of tea tree oil to the geranium and lavender oil.
  • FEBREZE the heck out of it really does kill any smell. Quick solution!
  • Professional cleaners! Do it right the first time, otherwise it will just get worse and worse. They will probably need to be sanitized with a UV light and steam cleaned to get rid of the odour.



  • It is important to first find out what the carpet is made of – is it wool, polyester, silk, nylon?
  • Citrus Solution is a carpet cleaning franchise in the U.S. with a phenomenal service. Google it to see if they're in your area; they're definitely in Ft. Lauderdale. They'll have to service your stairs, but they'll leave you with a bottle for spot cleaning that you can then use for all types of carpet and upholstery cleaning. Far better than other products.
  • Use a professional carpet cleaning service
  • It is also possible that the carpet pile is damaged from walking on it and repeated cleaning and vacuuming. It might be time to change those carpets…


  • Try face wipes
  • Turns out the yellowing is what happens to patent leather finishes after a while. There hasn't been much of a response here but in case anyone has read this and is interested in the solution, I rubbed a lemon wedge on the discoloured areas and popped it in the sun for a while and the yellowing went away! There are special (and expensive) products for patent leather out there but this did the trick beautifully!
  • Patent leather can be very difficult to deal with once it gets dirty or damaged. There are handbag specialist companies such as The Handbag Spa who deal with cleaning and repairs on luxury handbags.


  • Do you know what type of leather it is? This will make a difference in its ability to be cleaned and what you use. It's important to use products that work rather than using more elbow grease as this can be very damaging.
  • I would be hesitant to use anything abrasive, perhaps try vinegar and water solution. Soak a cloth in the solution and hold it on the stain for a few minutes, then gently wipe. Follow with leather conditioner/cream after the stain comes out, as vinegar tends to dry leather out.
  • Best to use products that do not dry the leather out as 'conditioning' products should only be used on specific types of leather – most modern leather can be 'conditioned' with moisture from water-based products.


  • Even though this is not homemade, but it is non-toxic – Simple Green
  • 1) Boil 2-3 cups of white vinegar and pour over orange peels packed into a quart sized canning jar.  2) Let sit for several weeks OR to speed up the extraction process, water bath can the jar for 20 minutes, just as you would pickles.  3) Strain the infused vinegar well using a mesh strainer.  Pour approximately 1 1/2 cups of the vinegar into an empty, clean spray bottle.  4) Add water to fill the bottle.  5) Use cleaner just as you would use any all-purpose surface cleaner. Safe, effective and CHEAP!
  • My favourite not so chemical-laden oily remover is GooGone


White talcum powder (baby powder) will work, and it won’t be visible on the white carpets


If you have Napisan on board, soak the item for a few hours in Napisan and water in a bucket and then wash as per care label.

If you have Vanish on board: Mix ¼ scoop of Vanish Oxi Action Powder with ¾ scoop of water (max 40°C) into a paste. Gently rub the paste on the stain as required using the base of the scoop. Leave paste on stain for max 10 minutes. Wash as usual with laundry detergent plus 1 scoop of Vanish Oxi Action Powder.


  • Keep the menus simple and healthy or you will burn out quickly.
  • I started in the industry as a Stew/Cook/Deckhand on a 30 m yacht (live-aboard owner and his 4 kids and extended family on and off the boat all the time). It certainly has its challenges, however the biggest thing I learnt was time management and planning – crucial survival skills. No time to waste on unnecessary things, plan your days and get in a routine – that was my survival.


  • Spray on a good amount of K2R powder spray.  Let it sit for a while and brush off with a dry toothbrush.  This should do the trick.
  • Don’t use Museum gel on board, it is evil!
  • Spray it with lighter fluid, then spray over that with K2R and the then Hoover it up and repeat until it's gone. It worked on our cream silk couch.
  • Rubbing alcohol


  • You might have to get a professional marble cleaner/ polisher in if none of those products you tried have worked
  • It is very possible that the Polyurethane coating has been damaged (acids, perfumes, long standing water, fruit juices, sodas, toothpaste, etc. damages it) and the marble underneath became stained. This is probably a job for professionals.


  • I think you might struggle with that…SPF chemicals can react with many fabrics when washed, leaving yellow marks. I ended up changing our deck towels to a grey colour and this has helped. Also avoid sprays, tan maximisers, any of course anything tinted. If I notice a guest using their own products that will damage towels/cushions, I ask guests not to use these and have had to confiscate on a couple of occasions!
  • I learnt that all sunscreens leave some sort of mark but those that contains AVOBENZONE in don't leave such a dramatic mark like a significant orange or yellow. If it is free of this product u can easily add stain treatment to the load and it washes out.
  • A fantastic product for soaking white sunscreen-stained towels is NAPISAN ®
  • In general, those with spring water don’t stain towels. From Avene, Uriage or la Roche Posay, Lancaster…. They are usually fine. But not the cheapest!
  • The orange stains on the towels can also be a chemical reaction between a certain sunscreen ingredient and the iron in your water. That's why they don't show up until after you wash the item. The culprit is avobenzone (aka Parsol 1789). It is an oxidizer, and it oxidizes the iron in your water. So, the stains are basically rust. You never had this problem before because avobenzone just started showing up in run-of-the-mill sunscreens in the last year or two. Water temp, detergent type, etc. don't matter. It's all about the iron in your water. As for the stains, they'll probably be a challenge to remove. Find a rust remover that's safe for the fabric, and use that. I've had good luck with a product called Magica. You spray it on and the stains just disappear. However, you aren't done. You have to make sure you have removed ALL traces of avobnezone, otherwise the stains will re-appear with the next wash. Sometimes it takes an aggressive hand scrubbing to get everything out. And of course, you're scrubbing with…. your iron-rich water, which makes the stains re-appear as you're scrubbing. It's frustrating! It takes a few cycles of apply rust remover then scrub like crazy, but they can usually be removed. Although, depending on the shirts, it might be more trouble than it's worth.


  • Call in the professionals!!  It is also very important to know what type of carpet it is before any cleaning procedures are attempted!


Guests just got up from the breakfast table – and those dreaded Blueberry stains!!! Knowing how to remove blueberry stains can become very important when there is the almost inevitable mishap with that slice of blueberry pie on a clean white shirt, or, even worse, on the carpet.

Never fear, these stains can be removed if you act quickly.

The first rule of stain removal is to act as quickly as possible to remove the stain. This is especially true of berry stains, such as from blueberry juice.

Blueberry juice, with its blue or almost purple colour, will set into fabric, upholstery, or carpet fibers very quickly.

This is not to say that you cannot remove old stains caused by this fruit, but just that it will take much more time, effort and patience.

How To Remove Blueberry Stains from Fabric/clothes:

Step 1: Scrape off any excess blueberry from the fabric.

Step 2: Run the fabric, inside out, under the cold water to flush out as much of the blueberry juice as possible.

Blueberry stains on clothing:
Step 3: Apply liquid laundry detergent to the stained area and let it soak in cold water for 15-30 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse with cold water.

Step 5: If no visible spots remain, wash as normal with either oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach IF safe to use on the fabric. If not, proceed to Step 6.

Step 6: Apply hydrogen peroxide to the blueberry stain, if safe for the fabric. Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse well. Then, follow Step 5 above.

Hint: Make sure the stain is gone after washing BEFORE you place in the dryer or hang dry or you may set the stain. Repeat stain treatment if not entirely gone BEFORE drying.

Blueberry Stain Removal from Upholstery:

Step 1: Scrape off any excess blueberry from the upholstery.

Step 2: Mix a solution of two cups cool water and one tablespoon colourless dishwashing liquid. (Not dishwasher liquid)

Step 3: Using this solution, sponge the stain from the blueberries with a clean white cloth.

Step 4: Next, blot at the stain until the liquid is absorbed.

Step 5: Rinse with white vinegar, and blot with a clean white cloth.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 until the stain is removed from the upholstery.

Step 7: Now that the stain from the blueberries is removed you should get plain cold water and a new white cloth and sponge the area to remove the cleaning solution, and then blot dry.

Hint: Be sure to get the upholstery only as wet as necessary to remove the stain from the blueberries.

Removing Stains from Blueberries From Carpet:

The instructions for removal of blueberry stains from carpet is the same as for upholstery.

However, if you don't have luck with this stain removal method above, you can also do something additional with the carpet stain, which is to mix a solution of one tablespoon ammonia with two cups warm water, and use this as a stain removal solution.


  • Ferrero Rocher – they also make individually wrapped pieces of Kinder Bueno, great for children on board
  • Godiva.  They make pretty boxes that you can package the unwrapped Godiva into to make it look pretty on the nightstand.
  • Godiva Truffles
  • Jeff de Bruges
  • Valrhona


Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.


  • Try nail polish remover (acetone), soak it for a while (wrap a rag soaked in it around the stem) or apply with an ear bud.  Museum gel creates a vacuum, so once you break the seal it should come away easily.
  • How to prevent this from happening – REGULARLY REPLACE MUSEUM GEL to prevent it from hardening
  • I once soaked toothpicks in acetone and gently shoved them under an item (took few toothpicks and two girls at the same time). The acetone dissolved the gel just enough to break the seal. Do not use a sharp blade – it can scratch the glass.
  • Try slipping a thing metal wire or fishing line under it


Found a few wonderful new tips on the use of VINEGAR!

White Vinegar:

Mildly acidic white vinegar dissolves dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces, yet is gentle enough to use in solution to clean wooden flooring.

White vinegar is a natural deodorizer, absorbing odours instead of covering them up. (And no, your yacht won't smell like a salad! Any vinegar aroma disappears when dry.) With no colouring agents, white vinegar won't stain grout on tiled or varnished surfaces. Because it cuts detergent residue, white vinegar makes a great fabric softener substitute for families with sensitive skin.

Try these recipes to harness the cleaning power of white vinegar:

Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipe:
Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
In the crew mess and galley, use vinegar-and-water spray to clean counter tops, lightly soiled range surfaces and backsplash areas.

In the heads, use vinegar spray cleaner to clean counter tops, floors, and exterior surfaces of the toilet. NEVER USE VINEGAR ON MARBLE AND GRANITE, HOWEVER!

For really tough head surfaces such as shower walls, pump up the cleaning power by removing the sprayer element and heating the solution in the microwave until barely hot. Add some baking soda to the mix for a wonderful fizzy cleaning agent. (But do not use on a marble shower!!)

Spray shower walls with the warmed generously, allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub and rinse. The heat helps soften stubborn soap scum and loosens hard water deposits.

Undiluted White Vinegar

Undiluted white vinegar–straight from the bottle – makes quick work of tougher cleaning problems involving hard water deposits or soap scum.

Use undiluted white vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. Before you begin, dump a bucket of warm water into the toilet to fill the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and add some baking soda and scrub with a toilet brush to remove stains and odour. Use a harder brush to remove any remaining hard water rings.

Clean shower heads that have been clogged with mineral deposits with undiluted white vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic Ziploc bag, and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture to a shiny finish. ONLY USE THIS TRICK ON STAINLESS SHOWER HEADS, NOT GOLD FIXTURES!!

Add 75ml of undiluted white vinegar and 75ml baking soda to the laundry instead of commercial fabric softener. White vinegar softens clothes and cuts detergent residue – a plus for crew and guests with sensitive skin.

Baking Soda

Baking soda's mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders. It works great in combination with vinegar and creates a lovely fizzy cleaning agent.


Clean and Deodorize Garbage Disposal:

  • Make sure the unit has been turned off.
  • Look down the drain for any large, stuck items. Don't stick your hands in the disposal. Use tongs or another tool to fish items out.  
  • Prepare a mixture of ice cubes and salt (or vinegar) and pour it down the drain. Run cold water over it for 10 seconds and then turn the unit on.
  • To deodorize, place a handful of citrus peels in the disposal, run cold water and turn it on.


Check out these 5 tips:

1. Let the dishwasher dry out

Since the fungi do survive well in warm and moist places, letting things dry out would be a good preventative. After the dishwashing cycle is done, get the clean dishes out and leave the door opened all day/night to dry out and cool down. (Do this in port)

2. Make sure the water is getting hot enough

Although fungi do survive in warm temperatures, putting your dishwasher on a long sanitation cycle should, well, sanitize. Some dishwashers even have a steam clean option. Just make sure to let the dishwasher dry out afterwards to prevent any new growth from occurring.

3. Use a cup of vinegar

If you want to add a little bit of extra death to your sanitization cycle, add a cup of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher before the cycle begins.

4. Spray on some Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, unlike bleach or bleach-based detergents such as Cascade, is the most effective, natural anti-fungal and antibacterial. Tea tree oil is harmless to people and pets and a small amount goes a long way in fungi-killing power. You can buy tea tree oil for about $5 for a small bottle from most natural food stores/pharmacies. The technical name for the tree is the Melaleuca Alternifolia, so make sure the brand you buy is made from this tree (not all of them are).

To use tea tree oil, mix a teaspoon per every cup of water in a spray bottle. You don’t even have to wipe it away – just spray it in your dishwasher or other surfaces of your home as a cleaning solution. Leaving it on the surface will kill fungi and bacteria and will prevent it from returning.

Tea tree oil has a strong smell but will go away after some time.

5. Rinse before you use

If it has been a few days since you last used your dishwasher and you forgot to let it dry out, give your dishwasher a quick rinse with a vinegar or tea tree oil solution before you wash your dishes.


Egyptian cotton sheets generally have a higher thread count, which ensures quality and comfort making these sheets a great investment. Due to the higher quality, Egyptian cotton sheets are required to be laundered with care to ensure that they last for many years. Though these sheets do need special care when washing, there are 6 simple steps that will make cleaning these sheets seem effortless.

The first step to cleaning your Egyptian Cotton Sheets is to make sure that you wash your Egyptian Sheets and your Egyptian cotton pillowcases as a separate cycle in the washing machine.

Washing your sheets as a separate cycle will ensure that your Egyptian cotton sheets and pillowcases do not tangle with your other laundry causing damage to the delicate fabric. This is especially true the under garments since these are small and contain small hooks and clasps that easily tangle.

Make sure that you are using a gentle laundry detergent to wash your sheet set. Using regular detergent can be too harsh on the fabrics causing damage, and completely avoid chlorinated bleach.

Along with gentle laundry detergent, you will also want to set your washing machine to a gentle cycle for your sheet set. A regular cycle on your washing machine may be too harsh for your Egyptian cotton sheets. The temperature will need to be a moderate temperature since extremely hot water temperatures are detrimental to the cotton.

Keep an eye on the spin cycle; since your sheets and pillowcases are the only items in the machine, the full extended spin cycle will likely not be necessary. Check halfway through the spin cycle to see if the majority of moisture is out of the fabric. Do not wash sheets on a very hot water setting – most you should do, is 50 degrees C.

If most of the moisture is gone from the fabric, transport the sheets from the washing machine to the dryer. While drying the clothes you will either want to dry them on a low heat. It is critical to check before using the dryer that the sheets are suitable for the dryer and not required to be air-dried. Never leave the sheets in the dryer until super dry, but keep checking until it is JUST dry.

Avoid fabric softener and drying sheets since the liquid in these clogs the cotton’s pores causing the sheet set to lose its comfort.

As soon as the sheets are dry, promptly remove them from the dryer and proceed to either fold them or use them to make the bed.

Do not iron cotton with a super-hot iron. A medium setting will not cause the fibers to be damaged.


  • Use undiluted vinegar in the bowl, let it sit for a few hours.  If this does not work, try popping a Steradent (dentures cleaner) tablet into toilet bowl, leave to fizz for 30 min and then brush with toilet brush.
  • Pour a cup of vinegar and a cup of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) in the bowl and let it sit for an hour.
  • Marine bright metal polish. Came recommended by our engineers, works a treat! Empty the bowl, rub on, polish off. Smooth as a baby´s bottom and clean off all marks, even stubborn black rings.
  • Just remember any chemicals we put into the toilet will eventually end in the ocean… Also consider whether you have regular or Microphor toilet systems – chemicals can kill the 'bugs' that are needed to break down the sewage.


  • Never use any products on gold plated fixtures. Only wipe with a wet chamois and then dry with a soft cloth.
  • Many to most chemicals can harm the gold fixtures in your bathroom, but I am going to post a basic trick that I researched. However, if that does not work, it might be time to look into finding a professional who can re-plate the fixtures for you.


A common mistake made when cleaning gold plated faucets and bathroom fixtures, is to use harsh chemicals. Not only will these chemicals potentially damage the gold surface, but it’s possible they will remove the thin layers of gold from the surface. To reduce your chance of causing this kind of irreparable damage, give this gentle, effective method a try. (clean with a wet chamois and then buff dry with a soft cloth)

You Will Need:

White vinegar
Soft cloth(s)

Steps to Remove the Dirt:

Mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a clean bucket.
Dip a soft cloth in the cleaning solution.
Drape the wet cloth over the fixture. Wait 15 minutes.
Gently wipe the faucet with the cloth. Do not scrub or you may damage or remove the gold.
Repeat as needed until clean.
Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Buff dry with a clean cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice:

Gold faucets should be wiped dry after every use (with a wet chamois), then buffed with a clean soft cloth. Weekly, wash with a mild dishwashing detergent and water, then dry thoroughly.

Never use harsh chemicals on gold plating.


The basic rule most yachts have – private and charter (no matter what size): Pillow cases – wash every day. Face cloths and guest towels – wash every day if used. Guest sheets and duvet covers – wash every 3 days unless guests requested more frequent laundering.


  • You can place our Culti sachets in the AC units, which pushes the fragrance into the cabins, so less diesel odour, and more Italian fine fragrances.
  • Tea tree oil on cotton wool pads behind the air con blower vents.
  • Clean your A/C filters regularly
  • Try placing open trays of grounded coffee in secured out of the way locations. i.e. so that people don’t trip over it or that it doesn't fly all over the place.  The coffee absorbs the diesel smell like baking soda in a fridge, and the coffee smell dissipates over time.
  • Place a bowl of white vinegar will absorb 90% of odours in any area
  • You can also buy or rent air purifiers/filters and run one or two of these depending on the size of the area? But it would be good to find the original source of the smell as mentioned before.
  • Do a proper cleanout of the bilges and make sure there is no stale/stinky water there.  Place cat litter in containers in the bilges


  • Make a cream from vanish oxy and hot water. After that just rub the collar with a toothbrush and the cream you created. Leave it for 5 min. After just wash it on a normal programme as per care label.
  • REMOVE OILY SUNTAN LOTION STAINS:  A while ago someone asked about removing suntan lotion stains – here is another great tip (it also works well on crew uniform collars stained with sweat and suntan lotion).  Draw over the stain with a piece of white chalk (for chalk boards). Let it soak up the grease for a few minutes, then dust off excess chalk and launder as usual.
  • Magica rust remover and distilled/ pure water and a good bit of scrubbing, don't use tap/boat/dock water. Yellow sunscreen stains are caused by a chemical reaction with the lotion and iron in the wash water creating a rust stain. Magica is safe on clothing but unless you get out all the lotion residue the yellow will come back with the next wash.


  • Most essential tip – it should be done as soon as possible. Once the nail polish dried, it is much harder to remove.
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover with a little bit of hot water
  • Before you try anything, first try the tip on an invisible spot of the shirt (like the hem) to test if it is colourfast.
  • First, try to scrape off as much of the nail polish as possible. Then you can try acetone free nail polish remover, try a spot that is hidden first to make sure the nail polish remover doesn't have a negative effect on the fabric. Also, when working with removing stains with nail polish remover, it is not unusual for the stain to get worst (or bigger first) just because you are diluting the colour of the stain and spreading it, but don't give up because it will take it out eventually… I suggest using lots of cotton balls and nail polish remover to dab the stain.


  • It should be fine; those brass rings are made for harsh marine exterior environments. Maybe try to contact Sunbrella and ask them for advice? 
  • A very important tip for Sunbrella fabrics – NEVER TUMBLE DRY!


  • Get some special turndown things for them. Also ensure you have something to write messages with on their bed like … “Just married” or “congratulations”. We just had a wedding on board and I had mugs for breakfast drinks with Mr and Mrs on, cushions for the bed with “bride” and “groom” on and wine glasses with their names on. Depends what country you are in – might be hard to find this in a small little Island in Italy…
  • Throw some red rose petals and rose heads into the ocean before they go for a swim. Very romantic!
  • Have a “just married” banner made for the transom.  And a “do not disturb” sign for the cabin.
  • Get a small round table – hire one possibly? Set up a romantic, intimate dinner on the sundeck with roses, Champagne, candles, romantic music, maybe even a violinist/guitarist (depends on where you are) and set it all up one night for dinner. Of course, romantic food – Chef knows best! Or do something similar on a small private beach somewhere (again, depends on where you are).  Whatever you do – DO NOT put rose petals in the cabin or on the bed!! Those buggers make such a mess on the fabrics, sheets and carpets!!
  • Put a different romantic poem on their bed every night with turndown.
  • Try the wine glasses that don’t have a base, only stem and glass. They float in the water, great for a post-swim romantic drink.


  • Try using number 7 Carbona Stain Devil for motor oil and lubricant. 
  • Make a paste with colourless dishwashing liquid, glycerine and water. Put the paste on grease and let it sit for a minute. Scrape off and wash as normal in washing machine.


QUESTION:  I've just finished my first ever charter as Sole Stew on a 30m yacht and I've been told I need to get faster at doing the cabins – specifically the guest heads. Anyone got any time saving tips? It's mostly water marks on showers, cleaning the bath and all the mirrors (lots of them!)


  • Sprayway for the glass, and pre-treat your showers with RainX
  • 1/4 Rubbing alcohol and 3/4 water mixed in a bottle for your mirrors and glass. No streaks and it evaporates quickly.
  • Squeegee your wet showers before you start cleaning them.
  • A drop of dishwashing soap in really Hot water Works Magic!!
  • Undiluted vinegar is MAGIC on watermarks. Just don't let it touch marble!
  • Dry flour sack cloth works best, clean smart, not hard – sometimes mirrors/glass don't need to be sprayed, but just buffed dry
  • You will get faster with more practice and experience
  • Use non-printed newspaper for cleaning windows/mirrors
  • Before trips I prep the shower with Venco clear or RainX so the water can slip off – during turn ups/downs I use a chamois and squeegee for showers. Saves you so much more time.
  • Sanytol is good for water marks, then alcohol for the mirrors and polishing! Those are two products I couldn't live without!
  • When you have some time without guests, wash all glass and mirrors with extremely hot, but very mild soapy water and then dry off with clean flour sack cloth. Then use a solution of about 1/8th white vinegar and distilled water (clear of impurities) in a spray bottle. Wipe this off with another clean flour sack cloth. Next step is to use either another clean flour sack cloth and buff it until you have every little streak and mark off (check from various angles). Once you have put this effort in it should be much quicker in future to clean as the horrible residue that causes streaks should be gone. Just continue with vinegar and water and a dry clean cloth to buff after.  Remember if the rags have been used before, there could be residue from other cleaning products, even if washed, there can be laundry soap residue. Best to start with new rags and keep them separate from your other rags, hot wash at 90'c and ad white vinegar to the rinse cycle which will help to remove contaminants. Viacal is the best product I have ever used for calcium build-up. Just be careful as both are extremely acidic and can ruin gold plating, marble and granite seals. 
  • Squeegee wet shower gee first, then chamois then alcohol and water on a flour sack cloth for the glass. It will also get faster when you're in a routine, so try to do things in the same order (blinds, bed, bathroom, wipe cabin, vacuum)
  • Squeegee and chamois – two must-have items!




  • Mix one part baking soda and 3 parts water, leave it overnight and then give it a gentle rub with a baby bottle cleaner brush.
  • Vinegar and water and boiling water.  Let it sit for a while.
  • Steradent or Alka-Seltzer dentures tablets is the BEST for this! It is gentle enough to not harm the fine porcelain or bone china.
  • Do not use bleach, as it can damage the porcelain or bone china, be very careful with using bleach on expensive chinaware.


  • First of all, check that they can be washed in a washing machine.  Some are dry cleaning only and should be sent to the dry cleaners.
  • Make sure you have mattress covers and pillow covers on your beds, as these protect them from sweaty, oily heads and bodies and bodily fluids.
  • If you need to wash pillows (some are machine washable), check the care label on the pillow and wash one pillow at a time.  If you want to tumble dry them, check the care label first.
  • It is better to have your pillows and duvet inners professionally cleaned, they will last longer and not start smelling in case they were not dried properly in the tumble dryer.


  • Try the following: Make a paste of: 1 part ammonia, 1 part colourless dishwashing liquid and 1 part water. Put the paste on the stains for a minute or so and scrape off and wash as normal. However, this trick only really works well if the stains are fresh. Old stains have been air dried or tumble dried and that would set the stain in the fabric and there is not much you can do about an old set-in stain unfortunately…
  • Try to soak it in K2R spray, don't leave on for more than 30 minutes, worked for me
  • Lemon juice and water. Also, bicarbonate soda works for me.
  • Use an enzymatic cleaner like Napisan or Steri Nappi. Cold water wash but won't work if clothes have already been dried in dryer. Heat sets stains.
  • Try Eau Ecartare Blanc Intense – great product!


QUESTION:   I have a charter coming up, and I was wondering if you could share what you give your guests – the 'little something extra'.  Welcome cards? Goodbye cards? Dinner invitations? Theme nights? What giveaways do you give? Are they tacky? DVD with photos from the trip?  Recipes from their favourite chefs’ dish?


  • I've always done a little goodbye pack with some fancy cookies, chocolates or pastries along with a card that goes down well especially for those with onward travel.
  • A recipe of their favourite dish from the trip. Include a little bit of the main spice or hard to find ingredient (if possible) from the dish. A new shirt or cap with the boat's name embroidered on it, if you have spares – a big hit if you have those ones who got involved in sailing.
  • Cute little quotes at turn-down. Translate it into other languages if your charter group is not English speaking.
  • Postcards from the places they visited on a particular day placed on the beds for turndown.  
  • It's quite a lot of work, but we make each couple/family a memento folder that contains a brief description of the highlights of each day, a colour copy of the dinner menu and some photos of both the destinations and the guests (jet skiing etc). We would put a great photo of the boat on the front cover and the second page contains a sheet with the guest names with a trip cruising map below it. The greatest challenges whilst doing this is getting the photos without making the guests feel uncomfortable. It was a LOT of work but we shared it. The Chief Stew gave the used menus to the Purser who photocopied them, Deckhands took photos, Chief Officer did the map, Purser did the writing and put the books together.  We did them for every trip, because the boss wanted them and had a collection at home to refer to, so it wasn't optional and we had to find a way to deal with the workload. When you're doing it for charters, you can scale back to fit the time and manpower you have available.
  • A one page “newspaper” printed every morning describing the activities/places to visit/itinerary for the day – given to guests at breakfast each morning.  Also containing funny/interesting photos of the guests from the day before.  It helps if the Captain/Purser does this, as the Stewies sometimes do not have the time to put this together every morning.
  • Photos – you can never go wrong. People love captured vacation moments!  No matter how rich and famous they are!   Put the photos in a turndown card/booklet, etc.
  • A lot of boats will give a photo disc to all guests when they leave. I have actually made TONS of photo albums. Of course, I do this between trips and sometimes it takes months for the guests to receive them. I don't rush. They are hard cover, with magazine-like pages. Something they can leave on a coffee table, as opposed to having friends gather around a computer and stand & look at each slide. I have professional photos of the yacht that I include also. Guests LOVE them; it’s a once in lifetime trip for many of them. I have A LOT of repeat guests. There is a feature on some photo sites where you can click "auto flow" and this will avoid you from placing all the photos yourself. Makes things easier. Additionally, I collect the guest’s camera cards the morning of departure, copy them and give it back to them. I can't always go on excursions, so these pictures are included as well. YES – it’s very time consuming. But so worth it. Nobody prints photos anymore. Depending on the number of pages – they can range from about $45 and up., are just a few sites to use. And take advantage of your iPhoto on your MAC computer. That is the program I use the most.


  • Colouring, painting, make jewellery, paint toenails (girls)
  • Print out a colourful fun picture on cardboard paper and cut it up into rough puzzle pieces and hide them around the boat – they hunt out all the pieces then come back together and piece it together. Some sort of prize for completing it.
  • Toilet paper fashion show? Get available crew members involved to and have runway judges by other guests/crew?
  • Treasure hunt, scavenger hunts. Pop quizzes.
  • We enjoy playing pirates games with flags. Is funny and all you need is just courtesy flags and fantasy.
  • Tissue paper or plastic bag flowers – have them decorate the table or help make a surprise food dish or cupcakes – check with the chef first!
  • Let them assist with folding the table napkins for lunch – each kid gets a different napkin fold to do
  • Knot tying classes, no language needed just demonstrate until they get it then they can practice tying up their siblings/parents/captain
  • Buy a little paddling/plastic swimming pool and make mini sail boats so they understand how boats work.  
  • Pirate nights are always fun. Also try a trick-night, when after the dinner they get to solve riddles and puzzles, math tricks, etc. If any boys, get them involved in some kind of engine checks, which usually works (normally for older boys). Teach them the phonetic alphabet and flags
  • Design an onboard treasure hunt
  • Make your own board game and get all the crew to play it with them!! Colour dye old t-shirts.


  • A dab of foaming shaving cream can help remove many red-wine spills from carpets.
  • When plastic storage containers start to smell like the food that was in them, wash them with hot water and two tablespoons of baking soda.
  • The vacuum attachment doesn't always work on cloth lamp shades, so dust the shades with a lint roller.
  • Use an old, unmatched white sock on your hand when you dust wooden blinds.
  • To remove stubborn price tags from items like dishes and glassware, use a cotton pad or Q-tip soaked with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol dissolves the sticky glue.
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean discoloured teacups and teapots. It's gentle enough for most fine china, and it's easy on the hands and environment.
  • Keep your dishwasher extra clean with white vinegar. Pour ½ cup into the detergent cups and run the empty machine for a complete cycle. Cleaning tips: you can also use a few tablespoons of powdered laundry bleach, Tang or lemon-flavored Kool-Aid (it must be lemon) for the same results.
  • To keep bacteria from taking up permanent residence in your stew pantry, crew mess and galley sponges, rinse them with water at the end of each day, squeeze, then put in the microwave for three minutes. Let cool before touching. Do the same with your cutting boards, if they are microwaveable.
  • Use lemons to clean your microwave. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze juice into a small bowl of water, add both lemon halves and place in the microwave for five minutes. The fresh scent eliminates cooking odours, and condensation from the steam loosens random splatters that have hardened. Wipe away the loose stains with a damp cloth.
  • Polish tarnished brass with this natural solution. Fill a 16-ounce spray bottle with white vinegar and 3 tablespoons of salt. Spray onto the brass, let sit briefly, then rub clean.
  • Freshen the toilet bowl with effervescent tablets (for dentures) for good in between cleaning. Drop two in the water, let soak for at least 20 minutes, then brush and flush. A can of cola dumped in for one hour also does the trick. The phosphoric acid in this mixture removes rust rings and other mineral deposits.
  • Get rid of lime build-up on stainless steel taps by soaking an old rag in vinegar, then wrapping it around the faucet and clasping with a hair clip. Let sit for an hour, then take off rag and dry faucet.  Don't do this on gold plated faucets.
  • For venetian blinds:  Just slip on a pair of old white cotton gloves, dip fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, then run your fingers across both sides of each slat. Rinse gloves as necessary in a bowl of clean water.
  • To wash a narrow vase, pour in 2 tablespoons of dry rice and ½ cup warm water, cover with the palm of your hand, shake vigorously, then rinse.
  • To remove marker from wooden, plastic or Corian surfaces:  Mist the marks with hairspray and wipe immediately to remove coloured marker. For crayon, scrub with a toothpaste-covered toothbrush, or gently massage with baking soda and a damp microfiber cloth. Try whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush to lightly scrub away crayon and scuff marks. Do not use these tricks on fabric.  
  • Shine brass using a dab of Worcestershire sauce or ketchup. Squeeze the condiment onto a cloth, rub the item, then rinse with water and dry with a towel.
  • Put 2 or 3 clean tennis balls in the tumble dryer with your wet laundry.  The tennis balls will "open up" the laundry and it will dry quicker.  Replace the tennis balls when they start losing their fuzz.
  • To remove the "sweat" ring around crew shirt collars, draw over the stain with a piece of white chalk. Let it soak up the grease for a few minutes, then dust off excess chalk and launder as usual.
  • To make drain de-clogger, mix 1 cup hot vinegar with 1 cup baking soda and pour them down (or on) a clogged or slow-moving drain. Cover the drain with a washcloth for 15 minutes, then follow with a boiling hot kettle of water. Repeat if necessary.


By Kelly Sanford

Want to stand out in a sea of professional crew? Here are some quick tips to improve your performance, your personality, and your professionalism while enjoying and growing in your crew career.

Choose Wisely – Before you take a job, have a clear idea of your priorities and how realistic they are. If the thought of six consecutive 80-plus-hour work weeks makes your knees buckle, then you will not be happy on a busy charter boat no matter what it pays.

Be prepared to ask questions. Insist on meeting the rest of the crew. Make sure you are given a detailed job description, so there are no surprises on your new job.

Don’t assume that just because a close friend thinks a job will be right for you that it will be. You must evaluate every option for yourself. 
Once you accept a job, be prepared to do the job you were hired to do. Gunning for another crewmember’s job or shopping around for a better offer will have an adverse impact on your performance.

Take Pride in Your Work –Whatever your job description is, take ownership of those responsibilities. Always try to do your job better than you did the week before, and show a genuine interest in being the best at what you do.

Once you feel you have mastered your job, seek to raise your game. The key is to do your job at a level where your efforts are noticed.

Be Reliable and Loyal – Professionalism and reliability go hand in hand. If the captain says the on-deck time is 7 a.m., then that means you’d better be finished with your coffee and breakfast and ready to work before that time.

Be consistent with your work ethic. Everyone will make mistakes. The key is not to let your mistakes or waning motivation consume you. No one expects you to be perfect, but you will be expected to learn from your mistakes.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Minor details should not become major issues. Working long hours and living in close quarters can magnify the most minuscule of problems and make even the simplest request seem totally unreasonable. You must learn to keep a rational and positive perspective.

Be Discreet and Professional – Keep your personal problems out of the boat’s business. A desirable crewmember will not let personal problems or habits affect the rest of the crew or the guests. Drug use, drinking problems and cigarette dependency have no place among desirable crew. Keep your love life, your financial woes, your family dramas, car problems, and crew rivalries to yourself.

As for boat business, keep that private. No matter what happens on the boat, it should stay there, especially if you are not directly involved. 
Take an Interest in Your Clientele – The better you know your clients, the more effective you will be in seeing to their needs. The first and most fundamental goal is to learn names. Write them down if you have to, but learn them. This is the first step in developing a sense of familiarity with anyone. Then learn to recognize what they enjoy. Connect with your clients.

Become Indispensable – Make the owner feel like life is easier, better, and more fulfilling when you are around. Be entertaining. Be informative. Be very good at saying “yes.” Remember always: Yachting should be fun, and so should you.



• Always read garment labels before laundering. DO NOT tumble dry if the label says so, and DRY CLEAN only means exactly that. 
• Bleach can cause serious damage and should rather not be used. It ruins clothes, eats marble, wood and the gold on plated fixtures.
• Check the laundry for objects inside pockets (like pens, lipstick, ChapStick, mobile phones and lighters)
• Don’t mix colours and whites – EVER!
• Don’t put more than one bottle of wine in the freezer for a quick chill – as you might forget about it and there will be a big mess to clean up. It also damages the wine.
• Be careful not to kill the “bugs” in the black water tanks of Microphor toilets, find out what toilet cleaner to use on each boat you work on
• Agents/chandlers can take care of a lot of things
• Always spray cleaning products on the cloth first, not the surface that you are cleaning
• Be careful closing mirror closet doors, as they can crack
• Blue coloured cleaner should not be used (in the laundry)
• Check the voltage of an appliance before plugging in (USA 110V and EUR 220 – 240 V)
• Bleach on a White carpet can make it PINK!
• Collect business cards – contacts are everything in this industry – keep sorted into different countries and different sections: florists, transports, provisioners, etc.
• Communicate every detail that you know – share your info as someone else may need to know
• Don’t allow food or lemon juice, vinegar etc. to touch marble, the acid will etch it 
• Don’t leave soap (like liquid hand wash soap and soap bars) on marble, it will damage the marble
• Don’t open the door (even after knocking) unless someone has invited you in
• Don’t overload the washing machine (esp. with big heavy towels) – it will break or leak
• Don’t reuse Museum Gel – it does not hold
• Carrying cleaning products in a caddy prevents drips (from bleach and blue Windex, etc.) on your white carpets!
• Don’t use heavy duty steel wool to take hard water marks off mirrors – it will scratch
• Don’t use razor blades on plastic mirrors
• Don’t use Scotch Pads on INOX galley surface
• Don’t use Scotch Pads on Lexan Shower doors to clean off soap scum
• Don’t use vinegar and water on marble, granite or onyx surfaces – it will damage the surface
• Educate, then delegate
• Put the “runners” back on the carpets as soon as the guests leave
• Put drop towels or protective covers down at entrances throughout the boat that is used by crew – their feet are often wet when they come from outside or some don’t even take off their shoes!
• If soaking items in bleach, put a lid on the bucket and label!!
• If you make a mistake, own up immediately, as someone may know a quick solution
• Just use water and vinegar on wood surfaces, not Pledge or Mr Min, as all those other products attracts dust
• Keep track of your $$$$$€€€€€!
• Milk gets rid of ink marks on leather (don’t ever RUB HARD to try and remove a stain off a leather couch)
• NEVER leave an iron unattended!!!!!
• Santa Margarita Red wines come from different regions
• Scented sprays stain silk, brass and marble (does it make sense to spray an oily scented spray over clean surfaces that you just detailed?)
• Scotch Guard all clean carpets and upholstery to prevent staining
• Set the glasses for the table while at anchor at the last minute, a bad wake can topple them
• Stain removers on carpets can make the carpet attract more dirt
• Make sure you always securely stow items inside cupboards (like vases, candle holders, wine). If not, they will roll around when the boat moves and break
• Trust your instincts when interviewing for a job – if the Captain seems disrespectful in the interview, he probably is always like that
• Varnish work on interior is softer than exterior varnish, it nicks very easily
• When ironing in a cabin, make sure to put down a towel or protective cover underneath, so if/when the iron falls over, you don’t ruin the carpet
• Wink rust remover stains Stainless steel


A few years ago, an online study was done involving Steward/esses – do you have any magic tips to add?

• Always have everything ready – silver polished, napkins folded, etc.
• Fold napkins and sheets while ironing to save time later
• Febreze/Downy Wrinkle Release spray for sheets on bed or tablecloth on table to “hand iron”
• Iron linens on bed when making bed
• Set up breakfast items the night before (do not actually set table, but fill jam pots, pull cutlery, table cloth, etc)
• RainX shower doors prior to guest visits
• Store garbage bags underneath the bag inside the bins
• Always carry something with you when you walk from one part of the boat to another, to save on trips
• When detailing, start at the furthest point and work your way out the door, top to floor. Mark your place with a cleaning rag if interrupted. Leave the room and re-enter to see any places you may have missed.
• Pull linens from dryer and iron while still just a slight bit damp
• Fold towels lengthwise for storage (not in half first)
• Add Ginger Ale, or a capful bleach, or a teaspoon sugar, or a copper penny to the water in your flower arrangements to make them last longer
• Be systematic – always do things in the same order, so you get in the “groove”
• Clean wax from the storm candle holders with GooGone and then wash with soapy water
• Let your candles cool down on the table after use, this way you can carry them without making a mess from runny candle wax
• Clean wine glasses with steam from hot water and vinegar mix
• DRIFT method – Do Right First Time – saves time not having to re-do it later
• Dry stainless immediately
• Have a good iron with a reservoir
• Have accounts set up with vendors, suppliers, chandlers and pre-set invoices with each purveyor so you can email or fax the order in and they will have it ready for you
• Heat water to boiling temp in the microwave to loosen dried food
• Keep cleaning supplies in a caddy/carrier so that you know when it is running out (instead of checking lots of storage places)
• Keep fridges stocked
• Keep folded and ironed napkins in Ziplocs (all same colours in one Ziploc). This keeps your storage space tidy and it is easy to access the napkins you want without messing up the cupboard 
• Make lists – always have a pen and paper in your pocket
• Stick inventories in your wine storage cupboard, bar cupboard, drinks cupboard, cleaning product storage, crew toiletries, etc etc. This way you can always quickly assess what is running low and needs to be restocked 
• Place orders (flowers, etc.) on the phone while ironing
• Put oranges in microwave for 30 seconds – this gives more juice when squeezing
• Re-make beds as soon as guests leave
• Soak white napkins and white table cloths or white sheets and pillow cases in bucket of Napisan immediately after use – this keeps stains from setting
• If your tea cups or teapot has tea stains, put a Steradent tablet and water in the cup/pot for a while, swirl around and wash with warm soapy water afterwards
• Squeegee showers or wipe with Chamois before cleaning to get rid of excess water (do not use guest towels for this!!)
• Use flour sack cloths for drying silver, china and crystal – no fluffies will remain in your crockery
• Use silver dip instead of silver polish for a quick silver tarnish removal – keep the polish for detail cleaning after the guests have left for the season
• If you are out of time, use double sided tape for a quick fix instead of sewing a hem
• Vacuum walls, shelves, etc. with a brush fixture on the vacuum before dusting 

• Wrap silver in plastic/Saran/Glad wrap after polishing to keep them from tarnishing


  • Febreze is a great odour eliminator
  • Air our as much as possible, then use lavender essential oil mixed with diluted vinegar or diluted vodka. Other than that, bowls of baking soda with a few drops of essential oils around the cabin and in the cupboards
  • Cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil and put it in the air conditioner and make sure the air handlers, air con vents and air con units are regularly cleaned.
  • Dip bread pieces in apple cider vinegar and place all over the cabin for a minimum of one day – it should get rid of the bad smells in the cabin
  • Put some BBQ charcoal in a bowl in there for a few days. It will absorb the smell. It has worked so well for me before with fishy/pungent smells on board.
  • Fill the cabin with cat litter and ground coffee
  • Cut a few onions, put on saucers and place around the cabin for a day – it will get rid of odours


  • Probably best to have them re-polished by a professional repairer.  For Silver trays, Christofle does silver repairs, for the stainless, try a metal/steel factory in your local area
  • Christofle cleaning liquid


Inks of all kinds can quickly ruin a beautiful piece of clothing. Whether it’s a simple swipe from a ball-point pen or more permanent inks, it will be possible to remove them. There are many different methods, all with different levels of stain removing power. The sooner you can attack the stain, the better luck you’ll have removing it.

BE CAREFUL when using these tricks on colour fabrics – always test and inconspicuous area first!!

Follow these steps to lift the stain for good.

You Will Need:

Hair spray
Rubbing alcohol
Baking soda
Acetone nail polish remover
Cotton balls
Cotton swabs
Clean white cloths

Steps to Remove the Ink Stain:
Prepare the shirt by placing an old towel inside under the stained area. As you are working on the stain, some of the ink will be transferred to the towel. Use a thick enough towel so the stain is not transferred to the back of the shirt.

Start by spraying the area with a good amount of hairspray. The chemicals in the hairspray are often enough to loosen and lift the stain.
Allow the hairspray to set for a minute and then blot (don’t rub) the area with a clean cloth or cotton ball.

If the stain remains, moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and gently blot the stain. Repeat using a clean cotton ball each time until the stain is removed.

If the stain still persists, mix together a small amount of baking soda and water to form a loose paste. Apply the paste to the stain with a cotton ball or soft towel. Blot to lift and remove the stain.

If the above steps show no success, a last resort is to apply acetone nail polish remover. Cotton fabrics should be able to tolerate the acetone, but check by testing a small hidden area first to ensure there is no damage to the colour or fibers of the shirt.

Moisten a cotton ball with the nail polish remover and blot the stain.
Repeat with fresh cotton balls until the stain is removed.

Once the stain is gone, launder the shirt as normal to remove any cleaning residue.
Allow the piece to air-dry first to ensure that no marks remain.

Additional Tips and Ideas

White shirts can also be cleaned by dabbing a small amount of bleach on the ink stain with an ear bud. Be sure to rinse immediately and wash as normal. Leaving bleach set on the fibers will damage them.

Really tough stains, including those that have already been washed and dried in the dryer, need a tougher solution. Oxy-clean is a commercial cleaner that is readily available at most stores and has been successful in removing many types of tough ink stains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the package.


If you’re wondering how to get nail polish out of carpet, here is one solution that you can try:

– Upon discovering any nail polish stains on your carpet, wet the stain with cold water.

– Spray 15-20 pumps of hair spray, followed by three to five small splashes of rubbing alcohol. This is the best approach when you’re wondering how to remove nail polish from carpet.

– Using a small scrub brush, scrub the nail polish stain directly for about a minute. While you’re scrubbing, keep pouring clean, cold water onto the stain throughout the process.

– Repeat this process until the nail polish stain is no longer visible.


– Before you panic when considering how to remove nail polish from carpet, give this at-home process a try:

– As soon as you've spilled the nail polish stain, try and absorb as much of the stain as you possibly can with a paper towel or clean dish towel. – – Do not scrub the stain, as this may cause it to set it even faster.

– If you’re using a dish towel, continuously switch to a clean side of the dish towel to avoid smearing the stain. If you’re using a paper towel, do the same thing.

– Using non-acetone finger nail polish remover, gently apply a bit directly onto the nail polish stain. This should begin to lift the stain off of the carpet.


– Depending on the type of carpet you have, and the size of the nail polish stain, you may need to try a few methods before you find one for getting nail polish out of carpet.

– Window Cleaner – After discovering the nail polish stain, blot as much as you can to remove any excess nail polish. Using a sponge or dish cloth, apply a small amount of window cleaner to the stain and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse the affected area with water, and let dry. The stain should disappear.

– Hairspray – Get the stain wet by adding a generous amount of water. – – Using household hairspray, spray directly onto the stain about 15 times. Scrub the affected area with a toothbrush for two to three minutes. Repeat this process three to four times, or until the nail polish stain has disappeared.


  • I usually end up putting my feet in buckets of ice at the end of a long day. Or strapping ice packs to my feet and falling asleep like that.
  • Arnica cream helps
  • Get the anti-fatigue mats for the laundry and the pantries when you end up standing in one place for longer periods i.e., ironing and washing dishes. They are brilliant!
  • Gel pro mats are great for the laundry and pantries.
  • These pills called "Antistax" – they are amazing!!! I take one every day during charter season and they are helping loads!
  • Peppermint foot cream
  • I wash my legs and feet with very cold water and that helps me.
  • Yoga toes
  • Place a few large objects, like rolled up towels, books, or a spare pillow, underneath the foot-end of your mattress to elevate your legs while you sleep.
  • Try a foot bath with Epsom salts.
  • If you girls are able to get the following: cayenne pepper capsules help your circulation, if you drink a lot of coffee, it might also be the cause to worsen tired feet due to the acidity and dehydration.
  • I find that a big part of tired feet on charter is your shoes. Shoes that are not supporting your feet, WILL kill them after a 20-hour day… If the captain allowed, I used to buy the Stews Sketchers sneakers for day and Aerosoles black flats for the evening. Comfortable, supportive shoes make a HUGE difference and will eliminate those knives in your feet at the end of the day. Definitely also sleep with your feet elevated, as it really helps. I once listened to the Stews who asked for black ballet pumps for evening shoes, bought them and after a week they were BEGGING me to buy Aerosoles, because their feet had no support and it was killing their feet! I really like the idea of supportive mats in the laundry room and Stew pantry!


  • Get very good tomatoes! Russian guests are mad for them!
  • Good quality dried fish
  • Any Russians I've had on board liked lots of platters of food in the middle of the table, served silver service first, then placed for them to help themselves. They do like to change their mind a lot and they also want things quick quick, so if they ask for anything, drop everything and do what they want first.
  • Loads of fruits – grapes, cherries, etc. but must be fresh. Grappa and good quality Russian Vodka for sure. Lots of coffee and fresh tea served with single pots
  • Plenty of fresh squeezed juices – especially watermelon
  • Fresh fruit platters, morning, lunch, dinner – all the time
  • Be very flexible and if they ask for something, they want it immediately
  • If you think a certain amount is enough, put even more food out. Timing is key, as they do not like to wait. Be available and in view at all times.  They like to be aware you are there in case they want something.  Lots of fruit in the fruit bowls with a different variety.  Make sure the fruit bowls are filled frequently and the fruit is absolutely fresh and without blemishes. They love exotic fruit.  Aim for a lot of stone fruit, but don't cut short in the lychees, rambutans and mangosteens.
  • A lot of cherries in bowls all over the yacht
  • They love fresh berries
  • Super fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, cream crackers, a good selection of cheeses and quality chocolates
  • Consult someone who speaks the language and understands the culture, like the guest’s personal assistant, charter brokers who know the group/family, butlers, etc.
  • If the charter will allow it, hire a Russian speaking Stew for the trip.  But be sure to check with them before they come if this is something they want.
  • Lots of fresh veggies like carrots, oranges and grapefruit (they like fresh juices every day so hope you have a good juicer), Russian Vodka (have a chilled bottle prepared, as well as room temperature).  Lots of good quality snacks and lots of loose teas – black and greens.
  • Our Russian guests wanted a lot of seafood (fresh and dried) and good quality Champagne
  • They enjoy buffet style service and service in general must be quick
  • A lot of cottage cheese, as they eat bowls full of this with jam in the morning.
  • Room temperature beer – they often drink this in the morning during breakfast. Russians don't really like "Western' Vodka – we served litres of Russky Standart Platium Vodka – kept in the freezer and also some room temperature. Be very careful of your fancy crystal glasses, as they get up every 2 seconds during a meal to "toast" something and after the first day, you might have some chipped crystal glasses. If they ask for something, they already wanted it yesterday. I once had a Russian charter on board for guess what – SIX MONTHS!! Yes, you read correctly! It is not about discrimination or being prejudiced, these things that everyone mentioned seem to be the norm for Russian guests. It is certainly correct that Russian guests sometimes prefer not to have Russian crew on board, so check before you simply hire a Russian Stewardess. They like a lot of exotic fruit, especially CHERRIES and watermelon, but not apples and oranges. Chivas Regal 12 years is another popular item. All the Russian groups I dealt with preferred family style/buffet style meals, rather than American style. IF THE ASKED FOR SOMETHING, DROP EVERYTHING ELSE AND TAKE IT TO THEM IMMEDIATELY!! Don't take things personally!
  • Lots and lots and lots of teas – large selection – herbal and regular.

Also feel free to read more Steward/ess related articles written by Isobel Odendaal on…-get-cleaning/…/