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.
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.
RENEÉ DRYER | Chef | South Africa
Here she feels that she will be challenges but also be able to impart and utilize her years of experience.
Not only does she love exploring different parts of the world but also experiencing the different cuisines they have to offer. Outside of yachting Reneé is a certified diver and enjoys being outside, she is also a yoga enthusiast. Living in Bali and spending time in South-East Asia allowed her to experience the unique cultures, ingredients and flavors, her time there offered her the opportunity to be more creative in her cooking. She enjoys preparing healthy foods with a creative twist – her style of cooking is Mediterranean-Fusion and therefor enjoys using fresh seasonal produce.
With Reneé’s tremendous talent, she will ensure all your dining requirements are met onboard TOP FIVE.
ROCHELLE IRLE | Chief Stewardess | South Africa
Rochelle was born and raised in the West rand of Johannesburg, South Africa. Not long after leaving School she moved to the UK where she started her career in the hospitality industry, working in top restaurants and Hotels in Central London. After spending almost 7 years in the UK, Rochelle decided it was time to head to warmer climates and start her yachting career in the South of France.
Rochelle has been on numerous yachts ranging from 55m up to 80m, cruising the Mediterranean, Caribbean, US East Coast and Mexico.
In her 10 years in hospitality, she has learned a great deal how to make guests happy and ensure them a wonderful time on board.
Rochelle loves traveling, being active and most of all being near the ocean.
JEAN-MARIE VAN WEIK | Second Stewardess | South Africa
Jean-Marie is from Pretoria, South Africa. She studied teaching after school whilst actively teaching at one of South Africa’s prestige private schools. After obtaining her degree she decided to take a gap year that took her all the way to New York.
She soon decided that being stationary in one place is not ideal and pursued a different avenue that allowed for more traveling and freedom, this avenue ended up being the super yacht industry. She started her career on a 70m yacht but quickly decided that she could learn and be more diverse onboard TOP FIVE.
Jean-Marie is nearing two years in the industry and is very happy with her decision to join. She enjoys the traveling and meeting new people that the yachting industry offers. Jean-Marie enjoys being active and being outdoors.
KATE ARGO | Third Stewardess | South Africa
Katie was born in Durban, South Africa and spent most of her childhood holidays on safari or at the beach (no doubt where her
love of travel started). After finishing school, Katie lived in Cape Town where she worked as social worker while completing her degree in teaching (Bachelor of Education). Kate owns a florist called Bloomfield Bespoke Flowers in South Africa and has a great passion for flower arranging and events. Her hobbies include event coordination, yoga, and interior decorating. She recently started her yachting career before joining Top Five and is thrilled to be working with this incredible team. She looks forward to helping make your time on board a fantastic, and memorable one, with a side of fresh flowers.
LOUIS DE JONG | Deckhand | South African
Louis was born in Pretoria South Africa, he is a very outgoing and active person. Apart from being outgoing Louis cultivates a happy and hardworking environment around him. He played professional rugby in South Africa for his province. Louis decided to give rugby a rest and to join the yachting world, he was quickly convinced that this is where he wanted to be and a mere five years later he hasn’t looked back ever since.
With his experience thus far Louis will be able to assist with any of the outdoor activities or fitness needs you may wish to have. Louis has been cruising the coastline of the United States for the past three years and previous cruising includes the Mediterranean sea as well as the United Arab Emirates.
Apart from anything outdoors Louis enjoys cooking as much as he can and always lends a hand to the chef.
He is very fitness oriented and a avid golfer.
Pick Up Locations
16 US Gall/Hr
Telephone System: PBX Internal each room and VOIP
SSB: Furuno DSC - 60
VHF: (2) Furuno FM8500/(2) standard Horizon
Cellular Phone System: Internal through PBX
Intercom: Internal through PBX