“I just like the simplicity of older boats. They’re not plastic fantastic. They’ve still got knobs and buttons – not a sliding screen,” explains Captain Brad Baker, sitting on board Picchioti’s 1982 46.3m Golden Compass. “I love the classic lines. I mean, the varnish work is a nightmare – it’s labour intensive – but it looks amazing. When it’s all done well, like now, it’s really rewarding to see it this way.”

Part of the captain’s love of older yachts is keeping the technology and systems new – the refits of older vessels are always exciting, he says, and have always appealed to him. The importance of this was something, he adds, the owner was aware of in the hiring process. “I had three interviews with him. It took some time, as he was very thorough. He knew the importance of someone who could get hands on with the boat and the repairs that had to be done.”

Captain Brad Baker on board M/Y Golden Compass. Credit: Brad Baker

Captain Baker’s love for yachting doesn’t just stay with the older boats, however. This captain gets real pleasure by opening up opportunities to Golden Compass’ owner. “It was my idea to go to New England. The owners had never been up there, apart from in New York on business, and I said to him, ‘Look, this is a magical part of the world. You’re American and you’ve never been.’ So I talked him into it.”

“I just like the simplicity of older boats. They’re not plastic fantastic. They’ve still got knobs and buttons – not a sliding screen."

The captain also paved the way for the owners of Golden Compass to attend the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. “We did a long Caribbean season. I was in a bar with some sailors and they were raving on about the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, which I’d never heard of. I was just talking to the boss matter-of-factly about it, and when I got back from my wedding he was like, ‘Right, let’s go to Trinidad and Tobago now.’ We did the carnival around the clock – all day.”

If as a captain you’re lucky enough to work for an owner who is happy to take your suggestions, the job title expands significantly. Not only do you have the opportunity to realise an owner’s dream of ownership, but you have the opportunity to expand the yachting world before an owner’s eyes.

M/Y Golden Compass. Credit: Brad Baker

Find an interview with one of the owners of M/Y Golden Compass in issue 16 of The Superyacht Owner.

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