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A day in the life of Mel Thunderbolt - Superyacht Engineer

HEIGHTENED SENSES As a superyacht engineer all your senses need to be totally in tune with your boat.  Constantly watching out for vital signs on every dial and screen, listening for the reassuring hum of the pumps and picking up the scent of anything amiss below deck! Imagine the scene, the sun's just up, you're anchored in Monaco Port. You're one of the first to rise from your bunk and as you grab the first coffee of the day you tune in to the continuous sounds of the boat.  Water pumps running as crew take their morning showers, toilet pumps starting, air conditioning and refrigeration compressors stop and start.  As the vessel's engineer it's Mel's job to know the boat so well she can tell as soon as something's wrong. ...

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Sunseeker founder Robert Braithwaite has died at the age of 75

ROBERT Braithwaite, the man who co-founded Dorset's world-beating luxury boat builder Sunseeker has died at the age of 75. Mr Braithwaite, joined by his brother John, set up the business as a distributor of imported boats but turned it into one of the largest superyacht makers in the world. Sunseeker's chief executive Christian Marti said in a statement today: "Sadly, in the early hours of this morning, Sunseeker's founder Robert Braithwaite passed away. "Robert was an inspiration to everyone at Sunseeker and to the wider marine industry, recognised as a boating pioneer, a true visionary and someone who changed the face of boating forever. "Robert was not only the company's founder but the father of the 'Sunseeker family' here in Dorset, and world...

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Adventure and Opportunity for Female Superyacht Engineers

With a name like "Mel Thunderbolt" you could really only expect great things.  As a superyacht engineer, travelling the globe on amazing vessels, we asked Mel what advice she would give budding female engineers?  "It's great, do it! I'm a freelance, relief engineer and adventurer and I love it!" How long have you been in the industry? 18 years working superyachts, 11 as an engineer. When did you realise engineering was the dream? I did my first season as a Stewardess and found it wasn't for me, I went on to be a Deck/Stew and worked with a great Captain who taught me how to drive. I was then a Captain of a 20m Sunseeker but wanted to learn more about engines so turned to engineering. That's where I found my passion. What di...

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Settle for Luxury. Settle for Dubai.

The Dubai International Boat Show is just around the corner, set to be bigger and better than ever.  Showcasing over 400 of the most amazing seacraft, leading manufacturers will be exhibiting all manner of vessels and accessories from superyachts, sailing boats, fishing boats, even amphibious vessels and catamarans.  You don't even need to be an expert to appreciate innovative engineering and beautiful design. As the largest boat show in the Middle East, the Dubai International Boat Show is the perfect platform for leading manufacturers, designers, owners and innovators from every corner of the industry to come together and celebrate excellence; from sailing, kayaking and kite surfing, to boat accessories, toys, luxury interiors, boat engines and navigati...

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First Superyacht Specific - Proficiency in Designated Security Duties Course

Superyacht crew often go to huge expense and travel across the globe to specifically to take a training courses at an accredited training centre. finding training dates is not always convenient available especially at short notice prior to boarding their superyacht / megayacht.   Online training could be the ideal solution with the first of its kind Superyacht Proficiency in Designated Security Duties course approved by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency specifically for superyacht crew.    Virtual Training Centre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5InBNZOJsQ   So what are the benfits.......... Saves time and money associated with traveling costs to test centres Flexible learning, available 247 - anytime, anywhere (r...

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Tips to my 27-year-old self

When we interviewed ex Superyacht stewardess and cook Jenny Newbery, we asked what advice she would give to her 27-year-old self.  Save money – don't get sucked into the Gucci, Pucci and Prada rat race, you'll be working in an environment where people have beautiful things. It's very easy to get swept away with that and you'll get big tips so you can easily fall into the trap of blowing big bucks on designer names.  My advice - think to the future and save those tips! Take advantage of the amazing places you'll visit.Whenever you're in port, take advantage of any opportunity to get your feet on dry land, get off the boat and look around. Go and help with the shopping, carry stuff.  I remember volunteering to carry water; luggi...

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Superyachts in the 90's

Jenny Newbery was 27 when she landed her first job stew'ing on superyachts.  Fresh faced from a season managing chalets in the French Alps at the end of the 90's, she'd done massage, bar work and waitressing but stewardessing was something she'd only heard friends talk about.  Applying for jobs on board superyachts was very different 20 years ago, with the internet having only just arrived (1990) it still felt quite novel having the ability to get "online" but you had to find an internet café to do it! Once in, you paid for your coffee and your allocated time slot, found a free computer and logged on, listening for that shrill whistle to announce your imminent connection with the outside world.  Jenny told me "back then m...

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Finding a Healthy Balance

Catering for crew on board superyachts gets trickier and trickier with growing trends for different dietary tastes and requirements. It can sometimes be challenging enough for chefs to keep serving up healthy, tasty and varied meals for the crew, especially from the confines of a cramped below deck yachting environment when the primary focus is on pleasing owners and guests with their culinary prowess. Some chefs make a point of requesting that crew refrain from making specific dietary requests whilst they're on charter, regattas or during boss trips. However, if crew are vegetarian, vegan, lactose or gluten intolerant they will genuinely need a more creative diet which can be challenging for a chef to constantly cater for.  Whilst some chefs might ignore crew needs a...

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Let's Talk Technology

Superyacht Charities have just announced their 'Talking Tech' dinner will be held at the Southampton Harbour Hotel in Hampshire on the 22ndMarch 2019, the night before their annual Superyacht Charities Ball.  Working with Pure Technology News' Superyacht Technology, the charity's board members have orchestrated an evening of dynamic and interactive TedTalk style talks, each lasting no more than 15 minutes giving guests the opportunity to meet thought provoking experts and the latest innovators in the field of superyacht technology. Guests will get to mingle with key influencers and representatives from across the industry, areas like; digital media, sailing technology, ambient interior designers, communication technology experts, control system architects a...

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Expedition Yacht Unveiled

If you were wondering where you could store your four helicopters, submarine and a couple of lifeboats then look no further than the planned and recently unveiled Kosatka. A 295-foot (90m), high-spec expedition vessel proposed by yacht designer Steve Kozloff, designed to house a 736-square-metre aircraft hangar as well as storage for those two lifeboats and that submarine. Described as 'one of the most formidable yachts of her size" with aluminium superstructure and steel, ice-classed hull, Kosatka is set to "endure the intensity of driving through moderate multi-year ice conditions." With six decks, large forwards swimming pool with retractable cover and accommodation to suit 14 guests, Kosatka will also be built for ultimate comfort.  Gues...

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