Place of birth Portsmouth
Current yacht Quattroelle
Number of crew 28
Previous yachts Capri, Sabbatical, Stargazer, Paradise Found, Kasu
What was your first taste of the sea?
My first association with the water was on the River Thames at the local sailing club where my father sailed regularly. I was duly thrown in and told to get on with it, and I have fond memories of families mixing and picnicking together on the riverbank and having fun. The dinghy fleet would venture to various seaside racing meets and we would congregate and watch from the beach.
Which destinations do you most look forward to visiting?
Being tied to Germany for the past three years on this fabulous build project, I have actually looked forward to visiting what we all call the ‘milk run’ in the Mediterranean this season. What I have seen so far has not disappointed: nothing has changed and the coastline, with its sporadic small towns, is as enchanting as ever, even more so as the sun sets. On the other side of the Atlantic, I always look forward to entering Port Antonio in Jamaica. I enjoy passing through the narrow cut between Navy Island and Titchfield peninsula, watching it open up to a large natural harbour full of natural beauty and colour. It’s rumoured that Harry Belafonte wrote his calypso song ‘Day-O’ sitting here on the banana dock.
What’s the one place in the world that you’d like to cruise to?
I briefly touched on the fjords of Norway while taking delivery of Quattroelle, and the Baltic is an area I would love to cruise. From what I have read and seen of it, I’m sure it would be very beautiful and interesting too.
What do you like most about your current yacht?
The fact that it was built by Lürssen. The level of professionalism I saw from the shipyard during the build was exemplary, from the engineering capabilities to the logistical expertise. I also enjoyed working with the design team from Nuvolari & Lenard – witnessing their thoughts and concepts transform from idea to illustration to reality was an incredible process to be a part of.
Which is your favourite toy on board?
With the regulations concerning PWCs, we opted to also get a See-Doo Speedster 150, which is not classed as a PWC. It’s as good as one though, if not better: just as manoeuvrable, just as fast and you can seat four. It’s great fun.
What’s the most stressful part of your job?
Stress levels are always high before a new charter guest arrives on board at the beginning of a trip. Waiting for them to step on board is nerve-wracking, and right from that first dining experience, the trip means constantly working very hard to meet every aspect of the guest’s expectations. This includes the fact that many guests demand internet access 100% of the time, which can be a challenge.
What is the biggest change you have seen in the industry?
It has to be the evolution of the ISM and the ISPS codes. Although at the beginning I was a sceptic I am now a great fan of the system and
I believe we as an industry should have started using it sooner. I am looking forward to the day when MLC will be accepted just as readily as the ISM and ISPS codes.
What would you change about the superyachting industry?
I would like to be able to afford time and funding for crew training and improvement – it would minimise risk and liability for all parties.
What’s the most curious request you’ve had from a guest?
I was asked to find beautiful anchorages around a particular French island. It would have been easy, except that the guest also asked me to keep in mind that we needed to be no more than 20 minutes away from the nearest football pitch. Needless to say, a very difficult task!
What’s the next big thing in yachting?
With the amount of technology available to wealthy clients I’m not sure what’s next – maybe it’ll be a superyacht that is also a submersible! We are always looking for new and exciting unchartered areas for guests so perhaps that’s the answer.
Any advice to an aspiring captain?
One word: patience. I’m a great believer in what will be will be. Just good old-fashioned hard work and due diligence will get you noticed, but success doesn’t come overnight.
Who would be your top five fantasy charter guests?
James Hunt, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Caine, Marilyn Monroe and Jenson Button.
What is the worst cock-up you’ve seen a captain make?
Reversing a big sportsfishing yacht into a Mediterranean port, the captain was not aware of the bowsprit on the classic yacht next door. He ended up taking the port railings and pulpit clean off!
It was many years ago on a smaller yacht, when I damaged a set of props in the Bahamas.