Captain Lee Rosbach: everything you need to know about the Below Deck star

He's the only star to appear on all eight seasons

Captain Lee Rosbach Below Deck

by Nathan Katnoria |
Updated on

If you haven’t seen Below Deck yet, then where have you been? The show, which chronicles the lives of crew members working aboard a superyacht during charter season, provides all the drama you need to fill the Love Island-shaped hole in your lives. It’s the perfect reality TV escapism.

One of our favourite cast members is Captain Lee Rosbach, also known as the Stud of the Sea, who has appeared on all eight series of the show so far. However, earlier this year, it was revealed that he was briefly replaced as captain on the upcoming ninth series.

Ahead of the new series of the show, we thought we’d find out everything there is to know about Captain Lee.

Who is Captain Lee Rosbach?

Captain Lee Rosbach is, you guessed it, a superyacht captain who has worked in the industry for over two decades. He first began his career as a mate on a sailboat delivery to earn extra cash but after obtaining his Captain’s licence at the age of 35, he left the restaurant business to pursue his new passion and has since captained more than a dozen superyachts.

He rose to fame on reality series Below Deck when the show first began in 2013 and has since appeared in all eight seasons.

Captain Lee Rosbach Below Deck

Where is Captain Lee Rosbach from?

Lee was born and raised in Michigan, USA but has travelled the world while working in both the restaurant and yachting industries. He once managed restaurants in Turks & Caicos and has also visited the likes of Antigua, the Bahamas and Tahiti while working as a captain.

How old is Captain Lee Rosbach?

Captain Lee was born on 15 November 1949, meaning he’s currently 71 years old.

Is Captain Lee Rosbach married?

Lee has been married to his wife Mary Anne for 46 years and they’re just as loved-up as ever. The pair met while working together as crew member, with Lee gushing, “She was my chief stew. And the only one.”

Mary Anne added, “My girlfriends knew him. We all went out one night, and I met Lee, and he doesn't even remember meeting me. I made such a good impression."

The couple reside in Florida and have raised four sons and one daughter together.

What happened to Captain Lee Rosbach’s son Joshua Lee Rosback?

Captain Lee’s youngest son Joshua Lee Rosback tragically passed away at the age of 42 in 2019 after a long-running battle with opiod addiction.

“This past Saturday, my beloved wife Mary Anne and I laid our youngest son, Joshua Lee Rosbach to rest. After a twenty year struggle, he finally succumbed to the demons he fought so long and so hard," he wrote on Instagram at the time.

“Addiction is an insidious disease that knows no social status or geographic boundaries. Whether you live in a 10,000 sq ft mansion or a double wide trailer, the path of death, destruction and devastation it leaves remains the same."

He added, “We loved Josh unconditionally and were proud of the man he had become in spite of his problems. There was no one I ever knew who gave more of himself to those in his life. He loved with all his being without expecting anything in return We both feel a hole in our souls that will never be filled."

Lee later revealed that Joshua had been turning his life around prior to his death after struggling with addiction for 20 years.

“He’d been doing well. We thought this time was the time we turned the corner. He had a DUI conviction about 12 or 13 years ago that he finally got off his record. He’d got himself a car. He was working. We thought we might have hit a milestone,” he told Page Six.

Has Captain Lee Rosbach written a book?

Lee released his first book, a memoir entitled Running Against the Tide: True Tale from the Stud of the Sea in 2018. The book recounts his journey from Saginaw, Michigan to the high seas and relives the most exciting moments from his decade-spanning career working on superyachts.

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Captain Lee Rosbach Below Deck

How was Captain Lee Rosbach cast on Below Deck?

Captain Lee revealed his reality TV fame happened “by accident” earlier this year during an appearance on Ellen.

He told host Ellen DeGeneres that his boss called him and said, “Some TV network wants to do a TV show on the boat and they want to charter it for six weeks, and all you have to do is go down to St. Maarten [and] drop the boat off.”

The television team in St. Maarten already had their own captain and crew members before an emergency meant Lee was forced to fill in.

He explained, “But for one reason or another, the captain that they had selected couldn't fulfill his obligations. So they had a conundrum, because we were already late into the game. And they needed a captain, so they said, 'Well, I guess we'll use the old guy.' "

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Why was Captain Lee Rosbach replaced on season nine of Below Deck?

An explosive trailer for the ninth season of Below Deck released earlier this month revealed that Captain Lee was briefly replaced by Captain Sean Meagher, who quickly makes his mark.

“We’re leaving the dock with a new captain, new crew, tensions are high,” admits First Officer Eddie Lucas. However, it isn’t long before Captain Lee returns to his rightful position and restores order.

Speaking about his brief absence, which was caused by an unnamed “condition”, Lee told E! News, “The timing was mainly screwed up. Because we have such a tight shooting schedule, it was imperative that the guests' charters start and end on time so it didn't have a domino effect and impact every charter after that.

“There was just a lot of different things this year, because of the circumstances in which we had to film. A lot of things that we're used to doing, we couldn't do because we had to stay within the confines of our bubble because of COVID, so we had to improvise in some situations, which is not a bad thing. Sometimes you can improvise and get extremely creative, which I like to think we're pretty good at."

He added, “It really felt good to get back on the water. When I finally got onboard, I was the happiest guy in the world."

What has Captain Lee Rosbach said about his crew?

Like any good captain, Captain Lee knows his crew well. Speaking in 2019 when his longest serving steward, Kate Chastain, sensationally threatened to quit, he said, "That really surprised me because I have no idea what prompted it.

"Kate rarely comes to me with an issue, I can probably count on one hand as many times as she’s ever come to me with an issue that she couldn’t handle, because she’s just good at her job. If there’s a problem, she deals with it, I don’t need to get involved, which is one of the reasons I like working with Kate because it makes my job so much easier.

"So if there’s something that’s going to cause her to behave in that fashion, it’s gotta be pretty drastic. I can’t think of anybody that’s capable of pushing Kate’s buttons to the point where that would happen.”

Kate did actually quit her job and the show last year.

And his friendship with Eddie Lucas has been well documented on screen, with the last series ending on Captain Lee promoting Eddie to first officer.

The show's executive producer Courtland Cox said of Eddie's return to the show after a five season haitus, "To be able to have someone familiar like Eddie come back, when he has been like a son to Lee, it got magnified into this kind of amazing but awful coincidence.

“While you’re seeing what Lee went through and seeing what Eddie meant to him, it really puts it in perspective — how you’re making a TV show with real human stakes.”

Does Captain Lee Rosbach have Twitter?

He does indeed. You can follow Captain Lee on Twitter at @capthlr.

Does Captain Lee Rosbach have Instagram?

Yep, he’s on Instagram at @captain_lee_rosbach.

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