‘Below Deck Mediterranean’: Is Katie Flood Ready to Leave Yachting Forever?

Chief stew Katie Flood said her last year of yachting and Below Deck Mediterranean was so grueling, she may be ready to leave the industry forever.

After several years on boats, Flood said the long hours and missing out on birthdays, weddings, and big events wore on her, so she’s considering a career change … maybe.

Is Below Deck Mediterranean’s Katie Flood going to leave yachting?

Flood got into yachting via a close friend who happened to be a chief officer on Lady Michelle. She had finished college and wasn’t thrilled with her job. So she decided to become a yachtie upon her friend’s convincing.

Katie Flood from Below Deck Med may be ready to hang up her yachting stripes for good
Katie Flood from Below Deck Med may be ready to hang up her yachting stripes for good |Laurent Basset/ Bravo

“Seven years later I’m still here, hanging on by a thread,” she added on the Dear Reality, You’re Effed podcast. “The thread’s very thin [laughs]. It is very thin right now. I feel like for so long I sacrificed so much. Like yes, yachting is amazing. And OK we make great money, we travel the world. Like you meet so many amazing people. But f**k we sacrifice everything for that. Our friends, our family. Weddings, babies, funerals. Mental health. Like your mental health suffers.”

Katie Flood from ‘Below Deck Med’ might return to yachting for the right gig

“And this last year’s been so hard for me,” she continued. “I just had no work-life balance. And I’m just realizing my happiness means so much more to me than working like a dog basically. So that’s why I’m having a bit of a breather right now. I’m traveling a little bit. I’m cruising. Having a bit of me time.” She recently spent time in South Africa with Courtney Veale and Mzi “Zee” Dempers.

“Catching up with myself,” Flood added. “I don’t have a lot left in me so it would have to be a pretty good gig or rotation and then … but otherwise I don’t know.”

She wanted prospective yachties to understand that the job is not easy and it can impact your mental health. “It’s so nasty as well,” she remarked. “Like I’ve been very fortunate with the boats I’ve worked on. The captains I’ve worked for. The chief stews I’ve worked under. I’ve been blessed. But I also my friends haven’t had the same experience as me. Like there’s no way I would have still been here if I had the experience they did.”

She described some of the degrading aspects of yachting

Flood said yachties can be fired simply for their weight. “It is a fickle industry,” she said. “Like you can get fired for your looks. You can get fired for being overweight. I can be absolute bullsh*t.”

Other yachties shared Flood’s sentiment, especially when it came to race. Below Deck stew, Simone Mashile told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that yacht owners want a certain look. “It is truly mostly a homogenous industry,” Mashile said. “And I feel that people who aren’t Caucasian or have a certain look of like blond hair, blue eyes, which is incredibly favored, by the way, just don’t get equal opportunities.”

She shared a story of working for a captain who refused to hire someone who was Filipino. “He wasn’t sure if the owners would like the Filipino or he’d say things like, ‘Oh, he can’t hire a Filipino as another second stew because they’re not really front of house material.’ People are so biased and prejudiced against people of color. It is just crazy. But that is normal in yachting.”

RELATED: Hannah Ferrier From ‘Below Deck’ Shares the Heartbreaking Way She Learned Captain Mark Had Died (Exclusive)