'Below Deck's Season 11 MVP Is a Franchise-Best Yachtie (2024)

The Big Picture

  • Fraser Olender emerges as a fan favorite in Chief Stew in the post-Captain Lee era.
  • Fraser demonstrates professionalism and fun in the interior team despite challenges.
  • Fraser excels as the second-longest tenured male Chief Stew, overcoming obstacles.

Below Deck has featured a plethora of deckhands and stewardesses throughout the 11 seasons on Bravo. With the departure of Captain Lee Rosbach after 10 incredible seasons, a new face of the franchise has officially emerged. And that's Fraser Olender. Not since Kate Chastain has Below Deck had such a fan favorite, Chief Stew, on the flagship program. With Below Deck having just finished its triumphant eleventh season and continuing to charter new frontiers in the post-Captain Lee era, Fraser has truly solidified his long-term potential. Between dealing with some divas on his interior team, the nightmare Jill Zarin experience, and working with a new captain, Fraser defied the odds and remained professional, responsible, and incredible at his job. Whether or not Fraser will be back for Season 12 is yet to be officially seen, but being the first male Chief Stew in the franchise has proven extraordinary. Fraser is simply the best!

One of the biggest franchises on Bravo, Below Deck has dazzled viewers for eleven seasons since 2013. Documenting the lives of the yachties aboard some of the world's most luxurious motor yachts, Below Deck captures high stress and high drama on the high seas. While the show has featured a handful of consistent crew members who return for multiple seasons, each season tends to cast a mix of new and old faces. So when they captured casting gold, they continue to return. For Season 11, with the departure of Captain Lee, Below Deck needed to welcome the new captain with a familiar face to allow the transition to flow. Luckily, maintaining the brilliant Fraser Olender on the crew allowed Season 11 to triumph.

'Below Deck's Season 11 MVP Is a Franchise-Best Yachtie (1)
Below Deck



Follows the crew of a multi million dollar charter boat in the Caribbean.

Release Date
July 1, 2013

Mark Cronin

Lee Rosbach , Kate Chastain , Eddie Lucas , Ben Robinson , Ashton Pienaar
Main Genre


Fraser Was the Perfect Blend of Professional and Fun

One of the most fascinating elements for viewers to observe about Below Deck is the gender biases in the yachting business. Often there tends to be gender lines when it comes to certain roles, but the Below Deck franchise as a whole has notoriously tried to break the stigma. Below Deck Mediterranean brought on Captain Sandy Yawn as the first, and to this day only, female captain in the five franchises. She proved that being a yacht captain is not a complete boys' club. For the most part, when it comes to the interior team, stewardesses tend to be a role held by women. Below Deck featured a handful of male stewards. But only one of them was promoted to Chief Stew: Fraser Olender.

Fans were first introduced to Fraser in Season 9 when he was hired as the 2nd Stew under Chief Stewardess Heather Chase. Heather happened to be the second one-and-done hire to fill the role following the departure of long-time Chief Stew Kate Chastain. During Season 9, Heather was a satisfactory Chief Stew, but she only remained for a single charter season. Likely due to her unfortunate situation with deckhand Rayna Lindsey, once Heather used a racial slur, her time on board was over. For Below Deck, it was becoming near impossible to catch lightning twice following Kate's departure, so they tapped into Season 9's new face to try their hand at the position. For Season 10, Fraser Olender was brought on as Chief Stew, marking the first time a male Chief Stew was featured on Below Deck.

Fraser Prepared For Below Deck Drama

Fraser knew the pressure of this role was quite high, but nothing could prepare him for the drama-filled debut as Chief Stew. Season 10 started with Fraser having two stewardesses that just refused to get along. The drama between Alissa Humber and Camille Lamb, who was hired to work on both the deck and interior, despised one another, and it hurt the interior team. With Fraser having a closer bond with Alissa, to remove the working tension, Camille was fired. So everything was going to be better, right? Wrong. Captain Lee was dealing with a major nerve issue and was forced to temporarily leave the motor yacht St. David. He was replaced by Captain Sandy, and it was nothing short of a nightmare. Fans would have thought Fraser and Captain Sandy would have an instant connection being members of the LGBTQ community in roles where they are marginalized. Instead, Captain Sandy belittled and unfairly broke Fraser down. In the process, she decides to drop the hammer and fire Alissa, causing disarray for the interior team. It forced Fraser's hand, but he prevailed. So much so that he was invited back for Season 11. And fans were thrilled.

With three seasons under his belt, Fraser has officially become the second-longest tenured Chief Stew in the flagship franchise. Sometimes there is a misconception that yachting is all work and no play, but Fraser defied that. He has wonderfully balanced being professional with having fun. As far as a television character, Fraser is such a delight. In his talking heads, Fraser's quick wit and dry sarcasm provides meme-worthy sound bites. The British Chief Stew is a great leader. As long as you are dedicated to your job. If he believes in you, he will champion you. He will be there to build you up. But if you think you're better than you are, he has no time for you. Once taking on the Chief Stew role during Season 9, he had an exceptional relationship with long-time castmember Chef Rachel Hargrove and 3rd Stew Hayley De Sola Pinto. His relationship with both women, who just so happened to be fiery redheads, gave fans a reason to want him back for more fun.


‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht' Season 1 Almost Sank the Series

The first season of 'BDSY' traveled some rough seas.

Fraser Grew Immensely for Season 11

Season 11 of Below Deck was a bit of a rest season. With Captain Lee gone, a new captain came on board. Captain Kerry Titheradge transferred over from the short-lived Below Deck Adventure to take over the helm. Those who did watch that series knew how exceptional Captain Kerry was, but he was not that fatherly figure they knew Captain Lee to be. By having back Fraser, in order to redeem himself from the Captain Sandy debacle, he was an incredible choice to be on his welcome committee. Fraser wasn't alone as a returning crew member. Ben Willoughby came back as Lead Deckhand before his promotion to Bosun following Jared Woodin's necessary firing.

While some may believe Fraser didn't shine during Season 11, they unfortunately would be incorrect. For all the things that made Kate Chastain a staple, Fraser displayed as well. Many fans accused Fraser of being too emotional when it came to dealing with his chief stews. But if you look back at Kate's six seasons, her emotions often dictated how she handled her problem children on her team. Yes, Captain Kerry had to intervene and remind Fraser to separate his feelings when dealing with his team, but Captain Kerry didn't witness that Barbie Pascual was just a whiny baby from the moment she stepped foot on St. David.

With a team of three stewardesses under him, something rare for the show, Fraser dealt with each stewardess in a manner that worked for them. Delegation was key. He didn't have to worry about the self-proclaimed witch Xandi Olivier. She was self-sufficient and exceptional at her job, which is why he made her 2nd Stew. During her short time, Cat Baugh needed coddling as she was mentally checked-out and simply could not handle the personality of Barbie. For Barbie, Fraser was forced to treat Barbie more sternly because she would push back on him and question his authority. There's a reason that the crew didn't care for her, causing her to walk off the ship with less than 12 hours left. For those thinking Fraser was unprofessional with his team, just look back at Kate's run. Both brilliant Chief Stews had a management style that allowed them to handle each individual in a manner they needed to be treated.

Fraser Overcame Major Headaches

Aside from his headaches with Barbie, Fraser was put to the test in the galley and with a certain famous charter guest. The charter season started with Chef Anthony Iracane. The French chef was a great chef, but working on a yacht wasn't quite his forte. It's a fast-paced world and Chef Anthony couldn't quite cut it. Fraser really did his best to uplift him and encourage him, but even he couldn't help to save the day. Even trying to help with his time management and reminding him of guests' preferences, Chef Anthony just couldn't cut it. Fraser didn't want to see him go from a personal place, but Fraser knew for the good of the boat, and the crew's tips, it was time for Chef Anthony to leave. But sometimes it's better to have the devil, you know, because Chef Anthony's replacement, Chef Nick Tatlock, was not much better. As an almost invisible player when not making food, Chef Nick was just boring. Once again, Fraser couldn't help the situation.

It's typical on Below Deck to have an assortment of charter guests. Sometimes they're just a delight. Other times, it pushes the crew to the breaking point. In Season 11, Fraser had to deal with an infamous Bravolebrity. And she wasn't even the primary charter guest! When The Real Housewives of New York City's Jill Zarin came aboard St. David, she made Fraser's life a living hell. The moment when she requested a primary bell to call for service because she had one on her yacht, Jill went into diva mode. She wanted things her way, even if it went against the preferences of her friend, the primary. Sushigate anyone? Jill Zarin was high maintenance, even after she received heat following her appearance on the show. Fraser didn't deserve the onslaught he received, but he did keep a level-head and remained professional.

The only knock against Fraser was he broke a cardinal rule of getting with a charter guest. Though it would not be the first time this has happened throughout the franchise. Who can forget Below Deck Med's Kyle Viljeon and the adorable charter guest Frank Fay! Regardless, Fraser Olender left Below Deck Season 11 as the MVP of the season and official face of the flagship series today. With rumors that Fraser will be joining Captain Kerry for another round, the decision feels correct. Fraser is the perfect balance of television character and working professional. Below Deck is in capable hands with Fraser. Here's to many more charters!

All episodes of Below Deck are available to stream on Peaco*ck.

Watch on Peaco*ck

'Below Deck's Season 11 MVP Is a Franchise-Best Yachtie (2024)


What is Captain Sandy's salary? ›

But the mega bucks go to the top dogs, Captain Lee and Captain Sandy, who on a 185-foot superyacht make between $150-$210,000 a year. Then you have to add on the tips, reportedly average at around $15,000 per person for about six weeks of work.

Is Kate Chastain still a yachtie? ›

Kate Chastain, well known and beloved for her role as Chief Stew on Bravo's “Below Deck,” retired from yachtie life after six seasons as a star and fan favorite on the show.

How much does Bravo pay the cast of Below Deck? ›

According to a report by Business Insider, the Below Deck cast salaries fall somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000 a month—that's $60,000 to $72,000 a year, which is about what the average American earns (according to Forbes, the average salary in the United States in 2023 was $59,428).

How much do yacht stewardess make on the Below Deck? ›

The Below Deck Crew Makes A Salary & An Appearance Fee

For example, on a yacht the size of the My Seanna from Below Deck, a second and third steward makes about $5,000 monthly, while a chief steward brings in around $5,500 to $6,000 monthly.

What is the highest paid tip in Below Deck? ›

And while the Below Deck Season 10 crew has seen a few tips at $30,000 this season, Jake Clopton and guests set a new record, leaving a $40,000 tip.

Do Below Deck guests pay? ›

Guests pay for the charter

The charter guests you see on the show are genuine charter guests. They pay their own money to secure a space within the six weeks of filming time each season. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to charter any of the superyachts featured in the series.

Who makes the most money on Below Deck? ›

The head of the boat, Captain Kerry Titheradge, is, of course, the highest earner with the most responsibility. To captain a vessel of that size, Captain Kerry would be looking to be compensated at $228,000 annually.

Do Below Deck guests get a discount? ›

Guests get a discount

Being filmed while enjoying a sailing trip isn't everyone's idea of a good time, so the rich and famous have the cost of their charter slashed by 50 per cent. Their airfare is also covered.

Do below the deck crew get a salary just tips? ›

The cast earns money working on the boat, which is supplemented by tips from guests and their involvement in the reality series.

Do the engineers on Below Deck get tips? ›

Tipping is crucial on Below Deck charters, and crew members can expect to receive anywhere in between $1,000 and $2,000 from each guest on average. Typically, the primary charter guest gives the Captain an envelope with tips for the entire crew, which are then split up among them evenly.

What is a bosun salary? ›

A bosun salary generally ranges between $3,500-5,000 per month, starting at $3,500 for those with minimal experience. Factors that might lead to a higher bosun salary include watersport certification, such as those all-important diving or kitesurfing credentials, and engineering experience or qualifications.

Is Below Deck scripted? ›

All in all, while Below Deck is an entertaining reality show, and despite the fact that it's unscripted, we believe it's not an accurate representation of what life working on a superyacht is like. Ultimately, as with any other TV show, the production team will be mainly interested in increasing viewership.

What is the net worth of Sandy on Below Deck? ›

As a yacht captain, Yawn has dealt with several crazy situations out at sea. According to The Things, Captain Sandy has an estimated $400,000 net worth.

What is Hannah's salary on Below Deck? ›

The crew members are pretty well compensated

Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier from Below Deck Mediterranean confirmed this in a tweet announcing that she earns around $106,000 on the show. But then there are the tips. According to Screen Rant, the crew can earn up to US$15,000 per person in tips over about six weeks.

How much does the cook make on Below Deck? ›

Below Deck Salary

The chef, arguably the most temperamental on the ship, yet most needed to feed the hangry guests, makes about $7,000-$10,000 a month. Still, all is dependent on their particular training and experience. While the deckhands usually are pocketing $4,500 per month, the bosun earns $5,000.


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