Tiffany Copeland from ‘Below Deck Med’ Still Works on Yachts, but She’s Moved Way up from Third Stew
When Below Deck Mediterranean made a splash on Bravo, third stew Tiffany Copeland was the thorn in chief stew Hannah Ferrier’s side.
The first season of the show had Ferrier at odds with Copeland from the beginning. Ferrier ends up having a heart to heart with Copeland about what it takes to be a third stew. But Copeland seems more interested in learning all aspects of yachting rather than concentrating only on the interior.
Copeland expresses her desire to become a captain someday too. But when Below Deck Med debuted she was still pretty green to the yachting industry. So where is she now? Is she still working in the laundry room and doing turndowns?
A love of manatees led to yachting
Yachties get into the industry a variety of ways. From a family recommendation like bosun Conrad Empson to just being keenly interested like Captain Sandy Yawn, yachting careers begin as uniquely as yachties themselves.
Copeland’s love of manatees was her springboard into yachting, according to The Passion Point podcast. She earned her marine biology degree from Florida Atlantic University but ultimately wanted to do manatee rescue.
She realized manatee rescue, while noble, didn’t pay the bills so she found other ways to make money. Since Copeland didn’t want to totally abandon her passion, she concentrated on sea-based jobs. She did kayak and paddleboard rentals to teach people about ocean conservation. But ultimately, she started working in yachting, which can be lucrative and allowed Copeland to be on the ocean.
How’d she end up on ‘Below Deck Med?’
Copeland had been working on yachts for about a year and a half when she stumbled across a casting call online. “I saw that Adrienne from season one mentioned they were casting for Below Deck Med,” Copeland recalls. “I was like, ‘Let’s see where this goes.'” She thought it might be fun to see the Med, which is why she got into yachting.
While on the show, Copeland experienced a variety of dimensions. “It was a lot of different personalities to work with,” she recalls. “A very multi-cultural crew to work with. And then all these people, all these charters. It was a different challenge with everyone.”
But looking back, Copeland says the experience was a good challenge. “It taught me how to deal with a bunch of different personalities. And you know, Hannah and I obviously clashed. Now I just visited her this weekend. I know how to adapt.”
Is she still a third stew?
Although viewers saw Copeland struggle as a third stew, those days are long gone. She’s now a first mate and obtained her captain’s license. She compares getting her captain’s license to getting a driver’s license.
“You can get it, but it doesn’t mean you know what you are doing yet,” she explains. “So you have to practice.” She adds being thrown into the “deep end” with help is the best way to learn too.
Copeland recently tweeted about the kind of money you can make in yachting. But also the struggles many wrestle with in the industry. “I now know why do many yachties try and quit yachting and end up coming back. Just got the largest charter tip to date after ‘quitting yachting’ 2 weeks prior to help out a captain friend of mine.” She’s also in touch with Below Deck alum Adrienne Gang and hung out with crew members from her season too.