Host Academy Syllabus

What you can expect from us:

  • One-on-one mentoring and tuition from our expert instructors
  • Shore based and practical lessons to teach you how to maintain the standard of professionalism that Quarterdeck expects of its hosts
  • Course materials and tools to prepare you for work on the water
  • Crew management training
  • Basic sailing skills
  • Local tours and fun teambuilding activities
  • A great week of sailing and learning with like-minded people in stunning Croatia

What we expect from you:

  • Minimum age: 20-years-old
  • Fluent in English
  • 1 year experience in Service Industry (bartender, waitress, receptionist, Ski host, retail)
  • Culinary experience in a commercial kitchen or proof of successful completion of a week long culinary course. You must be comfortable in the kitchen and be able to cook for up to 12 people and cater to different dietary restrictions
  • Level two Food Safety & Hygiene certificate. Successful applicants must hold this before attending the course (can be completed here)
  • A great attitude
  • Stamina. The course highlights what it’s like to be on a real charter. It will involve long days which can be both physically and mentally challenging
  • Professionalism and willingness to learn. We have exceptionally high expectations from our successful candidates!

If you do not have the required experience please checkout our Training and Partner Schools page. The recommended training will help you gain the experience required to attend Host Academy.

Course description

Quarterdeck has created the Host Academy to produce exceptional hosts that can meet our partners and external companies' staffing needs. The course teaches excellence within the industry; highlighting the limitations that can come with working on sailing yachts and how to not only overcome challenges, but turn them into positives. The onus is to encourage excellence, creativity and problem solving by giving the students the tools to become a QD Host.

This is not a beginners course. Applicants must be comfortable cooking for many people in a domestic kitchen, as we will be training you on how to do the same thing for up to twelve guests, in half the space. A good attitude and an eagerness to learn is imperative!


The course is 8 days long and is based in Split, Croatia. You must be in Split for 10am on the Friday your course begins. Friday will involve theory, group discussions, menu planning and a trip to a local grocery store to prepare you for the intense week ahead. From Saturday morning to the next Saturday morning you will be on a yacht learning the practical aspects of Hosting on a yacht with one-on-one instruction from our expert instructors.

You will share the yacht with other Hosts and Skipper students (see Skipper Academy) who you will treat as your “guests.” You will begin the week by shadowing your Host Instructor who will walk you through an average day as a Host. They will guide you through the course with examples and standards, tips, tricks and situations and give you constant feedback on how to improve. Each Host will have designated days to implement their knowledge and gain feedback from their instructor.

Course objectives

We train and mentor students on 5 key competencies:

Technical skills

How to adapt your current skill level to working in severely limited conditions. As stated above, you must consider yourself a strong cook. We aren’t necessarily seeking professional chefs, but you must be an enthusiastic, versatile and confident cook. You will be asked to cook for different dietary requirements. As part of the course the instructors will demonstrate some of their favourite, go-to, yacht-proof dishes.


Always look good! Keeping a confined space clean and tidy and up to expected standards is essential. Living in close quarters can be very uncomfortable if not well managed. We will train you on the standards of cleanliness that we expect, not only in the galley but in the saloon area and heads as well.


Communication is key when working on a yacht charter. Whether you are communicating with guests prior to the week to better cater for dietary requirements, or with the skipper to ask questions and assist with the yacht or any conflict resolution, you will learn how to perfect this skill towards the smoothest week.


Working as a team with your colleagues is absolutely essential to ensure that your guests have the best week of their lives. We can guide you on questions to ask regarding routes, re-provisioning, and weather conditions. You will learning basic skills on a yacht so that you and your skipper can work in harmony. This will include tying fenders, throwing and catching lines, learning how to pick up and tie a mooring line, how to drive an outboard engine and how to operate the yacht in case of emergency.

Crew Management

The key to a successful charter is preparation. Contacting the guests prior to the trip, finding out their expectations, and dietary restrictions, then planning the perfect menu is the first step to a perfect charter. Part of the host’s job is to be prepared in advance for the guests’ needs. Crew Management psychology is where experience in the service industry is key - knowing how to speak with customers and being able to identify and resolve issues on the ground is vital. We will give you the tools, advice and our experience on how to best manage crews.


At the end of the course the instructors will ask themselves: “Would I feel comfortable sending you out on charter with my friends or family?” This decision will be based on 5 aspects and will determine if you pass or fail the course.

  1. Culinary competencies - We want you to show us your flair and creativity as a chef. You will serve each meal on board to the instructor, and other HA/SA students. Dinners must be a minimum of 2 courses. We will evaluate this based on taste, presentation, timing, and creativity.
  2. Hygiene and Cleanliness - A clean yacht is paramount to a successful and professional charter. Are you using proper food handling techniques in accordance to Level two Food Safety & Hygiene Certificate? Do you clean as you go and keep a spotless galley? Is the yacht shipshape at all times?
  3. Crew management and communication ability - Are you able to deliver a concise and engaging crew briefing that sets the expectations for the week? Are you able to communicate and work with the skipper to deliver an exceptional charter experience through teamwork and itinerary scheduling? Are you able to manage unforeseen events or difficult guests?
  4. A yacht skills exam at the end of the week - We will ask you to display a series of tasks on board from what you have learned that week. Will you be able to assist the skipper when he/she needs help?
  5. Attitude and personality - Will the guests enjoy your company on board and will you add value to their vacation?