Does Captain Lee Hire His Own Crew For ‘Below Deck?’

Below Deck Med | Below Deck Instagram

Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck seem just as surprised with who is working on deck as the audience. Sometimes the captains are giving a pretty green (or super dramatic) crew, which often doesn’t seem to be the captain’s choice.

Thankfully for Rosbach, his trusted partner, chief stew Kate Chastain seems to always be by his side. And Yawn has been partnered with chief stew Hannah Ferrier on Below Deck Med.

But other than those constants, the crew seems to change faster than their ability to turn over the laundry. So what gives? Do the captains hire their own crew? Or are they given a team based on who might bring the drama for Bravo?

How it’s done in real life

Some yacht owners turn hiring decisions over to a management company, according to Power & Motor Yacht. “Yacht-management companies such as Northrop & Johnson and Luxury Yacht Group have divisions dedicated to making sure owners find the perfect crew and crew find their ideal boat.”

But according to the “Yacht Ownership 101: The basics of yacht ownership,” you should spend 95% of the time hiring the right captain. ” A good captain will hire a good crew for you.” That includes staffing positions like the first mate, chief engineer, chief stewardess, and chef. Then those professionals will staff up for their individual division.

Bravo seems to follow this advice

BELOW DECK — Pictured: Kate Chastain — (Photo by: Greg Endries/Bravo)

The captain should hire immediate staff based on previous experience when it comes to staffing a superyacht. “A good captain who changes yachts will have a chief stewardess, first mate, and chief engineer all ready from previous jobs, and an owner who finds a good chef will try to keep him onboard at any cost,” Duncan Bray, crew services manager at Northrop & Johnson told Power & Motor Yacht.

Some of the same cast of characters appear to accompany certain captains. In addition to Chastain, Rosbach often had chef Ben Robinson on board. He also had a few familiar deckhands and bosuns. Also, in addition to Ferrier, Yawn went with chef Adam Glick for both seasons.

But this is where reality television branches off

While the captains seem to retain a few solid crew members, the rest is beyond their control. One fan recently asked Rosbach, “Captain Lee, are all the crew members really certified and trained and do u personally hire all your crew or does @Bravotv do? I really love the show been watching since the beginning.”

Rosbach responded, “Bravo does the hiring, but all have the necessary certificates to be on board and are qualified for the job in which they are placed. I would not have it any other way.”

Want to be on the show? Below Deck Med job application asks for a video audition, plus wants to ensure the cast member has the right credentials and certifications. Crew members should also have an updated resume. But don’t lie unless you want to be outed on national television (Kasey Cohen).  Also, you must be at least 21 years old. And “legally authorized to live, work and participate in the Program in international ports of call and/or the United States.”

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