'O Captain! my Captain!' - Around the world adventuring with Captain Anthony Daebritz
By Georgia Tindale
As the industry’s leading jobs board, at Yotspot we try to ensure that we present a balanced and realistic perspective of the superyacht industry and accurately portray the day-to-day reality of what it is like to work in this often idiosyncratic world.
As even the greenest of crew members will tell you, the lived experience of working on board a superyacht can be pretty gruelling, often requiring you to put in very long hours, spend prolonged periods of time at sea, and, vitally, expecting you to deliver exceptionally high service at all times. In other words, despite the external perceptions of yachting, it’s certainly not all champagne and ocean views.
With all of that in mind, however, a career in yachting can offer opportunities for adventure which are unparalleled by those in any other industry – except perhaps space travel! Here we speak to seasoned superyacht captain Anthony Daebritz, who was previously at the helm of the 48.5-metre 2000-built Alloy sailing superyacht Georgia, (now Kaizen), and discover the most memorable moments from his round-the-world adventuring, as well as answering your burning questions about day-to-day life on board a superyacht.
First off, some basics. How much do superyacht captains earn?
It’s like no other job I know, as the salary does not increase over time. I would be earning the same salary now on a 50-metre yacht as I earned 13 years ago. It is a bit less on sailing boats than motor yachts, but the salary is around 10,000-15,000 euros per month as a ballpark figure.
What does a superyacht captain do?
First and foremost, it is about effective crew management, which only comes with years of experience. You need to know when it is appropriate to listen to crew and even be a shoulder to cry on, as they can get emotional after busy charter seasons, or have personal issues which can get vented out on board. Secondly, it is about selecting a diverse crew that work well together, You don’t want to have a whole boat full of Australians or British people, you need to have a good balance to create the best possible dynamic.
Of course, you also need to get the yacht from A-Z but that's a team effort and in most parts of the world there are lots of shoreside companies available to help with all sorts of things.
What have been some of your most memorable career moments?
There have been so many! One hairy moment was when we got stranded in Madagascar and had to be rescued by a tractor. When we were in the Amazon we also had to deal with some very suspicious vessels that looked like they meant no good approaching us.
The wonderful memories definitely outweigh these though, such as visiting Glacier Bay just north of the Arctic Circle in summer, and seeing everything we could have hoped for. We saw bears feeding off mussels, huge pods of whales and spectacular ice formations everywhere.
The dreaded (but inevitable!) question: How true is Below Deck to yachting life?
It’s not true at all. My old engineer worked for them, and so I know that – at least on one of the boats – they have a professional crew on board that actually run the boat, and then the Below Deck crew acting like they do. It is also worth saying also that the guests that go on board will be paying a massively discounted rate because they are willing to be filmed, so that is not a good representation of a standard charter.
How much does having a crew cost an owner?
In terms of salaries alone, it will cost them between 70,000-100,000 euros, and this will depend on whether a rotation for some crew members is in place. On an 80-metre+ vessel, you would be looking at double that figure. For a 50-metre boat, crew food costs are about 400-500 euros per person per month, with uniform, insurance flights all on top of this.
If you are working on a (real) charter boat, what would be a typical charter tip?
On average, you would look at between 2,500-3,000 euros per week for each crew member.
Finally, what is next for you?
At the moment, I’m currently in Florida and am looking for a new position, so I’m actually using Yotspot in order to do so. I have had positive experiences using Yotspot, as it really does assist with filtering the crew you are actually looking for, rather than being flooded with CVs.
Becoming a superyacht captain can be a fulfilling, challenging and highly rewarding career option for the right candidate. To find out more about the huge range of current yacht crew roles available, check out our Yotspot vacancies here.
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