Seafarers Awareness Week is taking place from 20-26 June, 2016, a week focused towards raising awareness of careers within the UK maritime industry. We are taking part by sharing your stories of working within the superyacht industry.
Here we bring you the story of Annie Norledge, engineer on a 90m motoryacht.
I have just bought a small classic 1967 sail boat to live on and restore in Palma, while I am studying for my Y4 modules; and, as a hobby I am doing a diploma in plant science).
I have been working on a large 96m private motoryacht as the third engineer in a team of five engineers for the last two years.
I have recently taken six months off to have some well-deserved travel and relaxation time, as I haven't really stopped working and learning over the last six years on which I have been working on yachts.
I thoroughly enjoy learning engineering, and I'm currently studying for my Y4 modules and oral. I have had so many amazing mentor and chief engineers who have helped me and supported my work and progress through all the years.
I have worked from the bottom on the job, with studying and attending courses in my time off, and have worked as fourth, third and second engineer. I have also seen through a five-year survey for three months alone on a 45m motoryacht.
It has been hard at times as there is so much to learn, and there always will be with engineering. But I have had some amazing men to thank in the very start of my career, who gave me the first few stepping stones, helping me and teaching me what they know, and making my knowledge grow quickly, to be able to prove myself through the amazing boats I have been blessed to work on.
The chief engineers have never been easy on me; they have treated me the same as if I wear a boy, with no favoritism. I'm a good laugh with a good sense of humour, and have always worked well with my chief engineers this way.
I haven't really had any problems being a female engineer. In fact, I have had an amazing amount of support, and still receive it.
I have also had the pleasure, and the valuable learning curve, of working with a fourth engineer when I was third engineer. I like working in a team, so this was a nice working environment for myself and the fourth; I liked to look at us as equals and pull together.
In the last couple of years, I have seen and met more girls coming into engineering on superyachts. It’s nice to see this is happening, and more doors are being opened to let the girls in. I know that all my chief engineers have always appreciated me helping with all their paperwork, inventories and maintenance cleaning, and in turn have been very happy to teach me and help me progress. I think girls have to try a little harder working in a man’s environment, which I know I do, and I do think that we are pretty organised, hence helping with paperwork and so on has always been very much appreciated by our chief. I haven't really had any problems being a female engineer. In fact, I have had an amazing amount of support, and still receive it.
I am looking forward to furthering my career when passing my Y4 exams and moving on to a smaller boat as sole engineer within the next year.