“I love coming back to Kiss”

Meet Faye Dufton, chief stewardess on Feadship Kiss. Faye explains how it feels to live and work on a Feadship, how she always sleeps best on board and why male stewards are few and far between on superyachts.

Tell us how it felt to join the crew of Kiss… 

Having worked on several other types of superyacht, I was very excited to join the crew on the brand-new Kiss. I instantly discovered why it is every crew member’s ultimate ambition to serve on a Feadship. 

Kiss is so well built that you can’t even tell when the engines are on; you have to look out to see whether the yacht is moving. The interior is immaculate and the outside paintwork is stunning, particularly with the sparkle in the black metallic coating. Whenever we come into port, people are genuinely wowed. And so am I, to be honest, even after living on board for over a year. When I’ve been away from the boat visiting people or staying in a hotel, I love coming back to Kiss. I sleep much better in my bed here than anywhere else and the shower is frankly the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

You actually worked at the yard in the months before the launch… How was that?  

Yes! Another reason why I am proud to say I work on this Feadship is that my husband {Captain Oliver Varley} and I were also involved in the build process. I was able to give input on some of the interior positioning, the cupboards… details that I’ve learned during my experiences over the past eight years. We were able to choose where certain things went within given parameters, teaming up with the designers and carpenters to find the best spaces.

The Feadship builders were very helpful. When you have two sets of crockery and two sets of cutlery, say, space is limited. You need advice and guidance on where and how to take air ducts and the like into consideration. There is so much more to a superyacht than you eventually get to see and it was all a fascinating experience.

Is working on a superyacht the dream job some landlubbers believe?  

Yes, I feel very lucky to be where I am and the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Being a stewardess can be tiring, of course, but I’d rather be working on a boat than in an office. You get the privilege of seeing different countries and working on a beautiful yacht. I’ve also had experience of working on deck during this time and am more than capable of bringing up an anchor, for instance. 

I do lots of hiring on board as well and look to bring new people into the industry. It’s good to have the eagerness and excitement of a greenhorn on board as they’re enthusiastic about everything. Plus they can’t believe how gorgeous the yacht is, and that passion is infectious.

Why are stewardesses still predominantly female? 

They need not necessarily be. I recently hired a steward who was our crew chef in the winter. He had experience serving in restaurants and it worked out quite well. The main thing that holds men back in general I think is that they’re not so good at the cleaning part!

You must have some crazy stories to share? 

Yes, but privacy is key and things stay on board. I can tell you about the time on another yacht, though, when we had big waves and the owner was sliding from one side of the deck to the other on his chair, holding on to the table. It was funny to watch and he found it amusing too. Having a good owner is an important part of making this job so attractive. You get to know them well and they know they can trust you. You take care of each other: that is the essence of a successful crew.