JOHANNES BUYS | Captain | South Africa
Joe Is the longest serving crew member with over 10 years on board Top Five. He was brought up on a farm in the Free State where he was drawn to the alternative lifestyle of the yachting industry and thus started his yachting career in 1996. Joe first became an engineer on yachts and then ranked up to Captain in 2002. Being a natural at navigation, mechanics and good seamanship, Joe flourished in his career with his hard work and dedication to the industry, with a Y3 chief engineer license and a Dive Master (PADI) qualification under his belt as well as being one of the youngest Captains in his time. After 17 years of Captaincy with a Master Y4 3000 GT MCA Captain’s license, Joe has travelled through the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Bahamas and United States Coastal waters extensively.
Joe’s enthusiasm and attention to detail to meet the needs of his guests will ensure that their stay on-board motor yacht Top Five is not only safe but unforgettable and enjoyable. Joe now lives in Canada and is a proud father of three beautiful girls.
FANTA SCHRAGE | First Mate | South Africa
Fanta joined Top Five in 2016, coming from a strong farming background. Born and raised in Hartswater, Fanta has extensive knowledge working on cattle farms and game reserves in South Africa. He has also worked on various farms in the United States for two seasons over a two-year period. Whilst in the States, Fanta had heard about the thriving yachting industry and saw this as another great opportunity. Now, nearly 15 years later in the industry, Fanta has travelled the world and has a great deal of qualifications under his belt. His innate love for farming has never left him, which led him to invest in his own pecan farm back in South Africa.
During his time in the States, he fell in love with an incredible American woman, Anna, whom he married in early 2016 in the picturesque Cape Winelands of South Africa, and they are now have 2 boys.
STEPHANUS du PLESSIS | Chief Engineer | South Africa
Born in the small-town farming community of Heilbron, South Africa, Steph grew up working closely with the land. An avid animal lover, he had always imagined himself to become a vet. However, as time passed, he began to work with various machinery on the farm and found that it was the engines that truly intrigued him. Before long, he was consumed by the engineering world and his passion and drive to pursue it as a full-time career outgrew farm life. He travelled across the world to the United States where he obtained his Y3 chief engineer’s license allowing him to travel while pursuing his passion. Steph has a calm and collected nature, which allows him to thrive in high-pressure situations.
During your time aboard, you’ll most likely find him in the engine room, ensuring everything is in perfect working order. Stef offers a wealth of knowledge as well as engine room tours, don’t hesitate to request one! When not at sea, Stef lives in sunny West Palm with his wife and two dogs.
TYRON HARDIE | Chef | South Africa
Tyron was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. He grew up and attended one of south Africa’s finest boarding school establishments. He then decided to travel abroad and studied his undergraduate in business management and sciences in Barcelona Spain where he furthers his degree in New York completing his degree in finance. His love for food was established in the Amazing Mediterranean markets where he began experimenting with techniques and foreign produce. Tyron Has since worked as a yacht chef and in numerous restaurants continuously pushing his boundaries and passion in every dish he creates. Tyron Was awarded the 2017 Bluewater yacht chef of the year after competing against the industries best. Tyron is constantly looking to leverage my knowledge in a variety of cooking styles and techniques. Guests look forward to Tyron’s internationally inspired cuisine just as much as he loves creativity cooking for guests around the world. He is continuously furthering his cooking knowledge by doing courses far and wide.
NOELENE DE JAGER | Purser / Stewardess | South Africa
Noelene was born and raised in a small town in South Africa. She has had a love and passion for service since she was a little girl. She left her hometown at the age of 19 to travel and pursue her passion for adventure. She has worked on the Cruise Ships for 2 years.
Noelene is an internationally qualified household manager, and has worked in the yachting industry for the past 6 years, including private villas. Guests satisfaction is Noelene’s number one priority on-board Top Five. Her attention to detail and positive outlook allows her to provide great quality service. She always strives to exceed guest expectations.
Noelene and the team are here to make sure you fully enjoy your stay with us.
ALBERT VAN ZYL | Bosun | South Africa
Albert, also known as Albie, was born in Pretoria, South Africa and spent his childhood growing up in the heart of the bush, the wild countryside. Following the completion of his degree in Industrial Sociology, Albie immigrated to the States 3 years ago and has fallen in love with his new country. Albie has been on Top Five since beginning 2018. Albie dreams of becoming a captain in the future. He currently holds an Approved Engine Course and 200 ton Captains license.
A love for travelling, the ocean and interacting with guests has led Albie to his dream job! In his free time, he loves experiencing new cigars and collecting his favorites as well as a keen interest in watches. On the weekends, he enjoys watching and playing soccer.
CASSIE THIBEAU | Chief Stewardess | American
Cassie was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She grew up on the water and spent much of her childhood summers on boats with friends and family.
By the age of 19 Cassie had settled into a dental career working in oral surgery and dental cosmetics. She was happy in her career but it did not fulfill her desire to see more of the world. So at 21 years old she left small town New England and began her new journey to South Florida. This is where she found her first job on board a luxury motor yacht in October 2008.
Cassie has become a master of her trade over the last decade working on vessels ranging from 80 to 200 ft. She has an incredible eye for detail and can definitely throw the impromptu party! She’s here to help lead the team and create an amazing experience on board Motor Yacht Top Five. Please do not hesitate to speak to her about any request you may have.
During her time off Cassie enjoys diving, free diving, skate boarding, camping, beach time, fitness, travel, animals, food and new adventure!
CIERRA SLOATE | Stewardess | American
Cierra was born on the coast of California in the city of Huntington Beach. She got her undergraduate in Phoenix, Arizona in Business Management. She used this to open and run a hotel bar for two years before she decided staring at the ocean was not enough. She was introduced to the yachting industry at a very young age by her father who has been a captain for 40 years. Her love for the ocean, traveling, and serving others has brought her here!
In her spare time if she is not outside running or doing yoga you can find her making DIY crafts!
ZACK STELZNER | Deckhand | American
My name is Zack Stelzner and I was born and Raised in Centralia Washington! I went to school at Washington State University pursuing a bachelors degree in Business Management. I got into yachting through my girlfriend, whom of which came down to Fort Lauderdale the summer of 19'. I have lived close to the ocean and have always loved the water which helped motivate me to get started in the yachting industry!