WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Episode 17002 -- Pictured: (l-r) Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo)

Captain Lee Rosbach Dishes On Kate Chastain’s Exit From Below Deck & Kate’s Replacement

One of the most important crew relationships on any Below Deck show is the dynamic between the captain and the chief stew. Everything that occurs on the boat, from charter guest parties to personnel issues flows from the camaraderie between the two positions.

Of all the Below Deck shows, the closest captain-chief stew relationship has been between Captain Lee Rosbach and Chief Stew Kate Chastain. Through six seasons of sailing the Caribbean and South Pacific together, the two have had each other’s backs through stormy seas, out-of-control guests and unhappy crew members. When Kate announced she was leaving the show, many people were surprised. Count Captain Lee among them.

In an interview with HollywoodLifeCaptain Lee shared his reaction to Kate’s departure. He admitted, “That was out of left field. I did not see that coming at all. I was totally blown away.” Many viewers were also shocked by Kate’s announcement. It isn’t often that one of the stars of a successful reality show leaves on their own terms.

Not surprisingly, Kate let Captain Lee know personally she was leaving after she made her decision. He went on to share, “Kate called me and it was a bittersweet thing. She let me know that she wasn’t going to come back, but she thought it was time to move on.” Captain Lee added, “She’s got bigger and better things to do and I was happy for her. But, I was sad in the same breath because she’s a valued member of my team and she’s a valued member of ‘Below Deck’ and the show, so, big shoes to fill for somebody, or try to do it, yeah. I miss Kate.”


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Below Deck will certainly be a different show without Kate. Love her or hate her, she made sure that the guests had a good sailing experience. And unlike Below Deck Mediterranean’s Hannah Ferrier and Below Deck Sailing Yacht’s  Jenna MacGillivray, Kate was not averse to hard work. Sure, Kate could be tough on her stews and sometimes played favorites, but she undeniably knew how to bring hard work and humor to the franchise.

So, what qualities is Captain Lee looking for in Kate’s replacement? He stated, “I’m looking for somebody that has that work ethic [like Kate’s], that has the proper attitude towards sub-ordinance. Someone who isn’t on a power trip.” With those prerequisites, it is safe to assume snarky Jenna won’t be doing double duty on Captain Lee’s yacht! What other requirements does Captain Lee have for a chief stew? “Quick witted, can think on their feet and [someone] that I don’t have to babysit,” he went on to explain.


RELATED: Kate Chastain Hints At New TV Venture Following Below Deck Departure


“Here’s your job, here’s your tools, now go get your job done. If you keep coming to me for every little thing. And if I have to do my job and your job then I obviously don’t need you, so I’m looking for somebody who can stand on their own and function well,” Captain Lee added. I guess Hannah need not apply!

Although Captain Lee and Kate developed a close friendship, it wasn’t always that way between the two. He revealed, “Kate and I didn’t hit it off on season 2. We didn’t hit it off at all. We had some rough spots, but you have to give it a chance to mature and grow, and the rest is history.”


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Does Captain Lee think Kate will make a return to Below Deck? He stated, “I really couldn’t say. I think she’s grown past that, I really do. As much as I would love her to come back.”

However, Captain Lee does not rule out a return, sharing, “But who knows, maybe we’ll see her in some form or another. I really don’t know. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been surprised.” After last season’s misogynistic and bad bruh behavior from Ashton Pienaar and crew, it is not surprising Kate chose to leave. It is always better to leave on your own terms when the time is right.


RELATED: Andy Cohen “Can’t Get Over” Captain Lee Rosbach Getting Mad At Ashton Pienaar For Relaying Below Deck Gossip, But Not Kate Chastain


Many fans would love to see Kate come back. A chief stew who is witty, entertaining, and hard-working is not easy to come by. I have a feeling that if Kate wanted to return for another season of yachting, Bravo would jump at the chance.


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[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]