The Below Deck franchise has ballooned into three separate shows, each with it’s own flair and character. From the gorgeous locations, to the crew, to the incidents that happened onboard, the franchise has something for everyone. Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht all bring the drama. Viewers can expect crew hookups, galley disasters, and drunken fights.
Then there are the specific situations that defined each show. Former bosun Ashton Pienaar almost lost his life on Below Deck. Captain Sandy Yawn made a grown man cry after terrorizing Chef Kiko Lorran and fired Hannah Ferrier in a vindictive manner. After a charter guests supposedly brought drugs onboard, Captain Glenn Shephard made the decision to search their bags.
Chief Stew extraordinaire Kate Chastain quit Below Deck and the yachting industry after a volatile season filming with bosun Ashton Pienaar. The environment was so toxic, that she walked away from a fantastic job and adoring fans to pursue a life on land. Kate always called Fort Lauderdale home while in between yachting seasons, but decided to give a new location a try.
New York City did not suit Kate. Or rather, the vibrant city under strict coronavirus lockdown did not suit her. Chalk it up to bad timing, but the former chief stew was in her West Village apartment in March of 2020. She quickly evacuated to Florida to self-isolate as the pandemic began, but returned to New York in January 2021. Kate is now back in Florida. Perhaps on a more permanent basis, because she got a new place. And she has a very very charming new neighbor.
Nothing like a little chlamydia scare to add insult to injury, huh? This season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht just has everything. Love triangles! Ships crashing into the dock! Filming during a global pandemic! Sailing! Truly the only thing we’re missing is another Deloris jumping overboard to cap off the season. And hey, there are still two charters left, so there’s still time. But before we jump into the venereal-seeming elephant in the room, we need to talk about the boat. You know, the one that crashed into the dock at the end of last week’s episode?
Yes. So. Parsifal’s stern rather regrettably smashed right into the dock. And Captain Glenn Shephard is mad. No, more than mad. He’s furious. This is by far the most angry we’ve ever seen the laidback Canadian cap on either season. And for good reason. Because realistically, this is one of the worst accidents in Below Deck history. It’s worse than anchors getting tangled up. Or the tender breaking down. Frankly the only thing worse that’s ever happened was the time Ashton Pienaar nearly died. At least with this accident no one was injured.
Unfortunately, the sexism is rampant throughout the Below Deck franchise. Yes, that statement isn’t applicable to every single person on the boat. However, it’s an issue that the cast encounters practically every season.
Bosun Eddie Lucas promoted Izzy Wouters to the lead deckhand position with Captain Lee Rosbach’s blessing. Instead of congratulating Izzy on the promotion, acknowledging her hard work/aptitude, or just giving her any modicum of respect on deck, James Hough and Rob Phillips joked at her expense, making it clear that they didn’t take her seriously as leader.
Many Below Deck alums disappear into post-reality TV obscurity. Ashton Pienaar could have been remembered as the deckhand who entertained his castmates with outrageous Smashton moments and narrowly escaped death when his foot got tangled in a tow line and he was dragged overboard.
Unfortunately, Ashton returned for season 7 as a newly appointed bosun. His zeal for the job was quickly dampened by lack of management skills and being triggered by Chief Stew Kate Chastain. Smashton became downright scary and threatening towards Kate and deck hand Rhylee Gerber. He had quite a bit of damage control to do at the reunion, and revealed that he had started counseling to deal with issues he identified after watching himself on screen.
Watching Izzy Wouters blossom on the deck team has been like viewing the formation of a diamond. Since moving out of interior service on Below Deck, Izzy has stood out on her team. She is very competent and professional, looks out for her colleagues, and has a hilarious personality too.
If it seemed like Izzy and chief stew Francesca Rubi were about to but heads, bosun Eddie Lucas is encouraging and appreciative of her. If only “sunshine” crew member Shane Coopersmith could evoke the same feelings. And while Izzy’s transformation could be the simple result of better skill placement, it is important to have good management.
We are excited to announce a collaboration with S’More, which recently started a weekly show called S’More Live Happy Hour, which includes interviews with celebs and reality stars dishing on dating stories, playing hilarious games, and spilling some tea.
Ashton Pienaar gave Below Deck viewers two seasons of incredibly charged behavior and infamous moments. As a deckhand, Ashton nearly lost his life after a mishap with tow lines. Last season Ashton was the misogynistic bosun who couldn’t apologize enough to Kate Chastain, Rhylee Gerber, and Captain Lee Rosbach.
Ashton did have some tender moments as well. He often talked about “planting seeds,” which more times than not were fruitless attempts. But Ashton did manage to hook up with Laura Betancourt in season 6 and the two remained friends after filming ended.