Working as a team is an integral part of being a crewmember, but how does a superyacht captain find the balance between being part of the team and demanding respect in his or her position of responsibility? We put this question to captains in issue 74, and here we bring you a preview.



Anonymous captain, 96m motoryacht

We try to arrange a lot of crew events, based mostly on sports activities, and whenever we are in port we will take part as a crew in various events, including three mud runs last year and various 5km and 10km runs. Social evenings, such as crew dinners ashore, are also good ways to integrate crew. As captain, I find it is important to attend but always leave a bit early so as not to inhibit the crew who are often intimidated by the captain being there. It is always good to give the crew a chance to let their hair down and also keep a bit of distance to allow you to enforce discipline if things do get out of hand. I like to encourage a good, healthy lifestyle and not base everything on socialising and alcohol but it doesn’t hurt to have a few drinks in a controlled manner, especially after a busy period on board.

Captain Mark Stevens S/Y Aglaia, 66m

As a captain, you need to be a leader, a father figure, a mentor, a friend and, most importantly, the glue that holds the team together. This is not something we are trained to do, but we must use intuition and hard work to make it successful.

Be part of the team. Don’t be a captain who disappears at every opportunity. Certain situations during the day present themselves as a great time to bond with your team. Lunchtime is one of the best opportunities to get everyone together and bond. Chat about life, not about work, listen to what people say and remember the details – what people choose to share with you is important.


Be part of the team. Don’t be a captain who disappears at every opportunity.



Captain Tomi Holer, M/Y Polaris, 49m

I have different views about finding a balance on a yacht, as I come from the cruise-ship industry where I worked with 58 different nationalities and more than 1,000 crewmembers on board. Everyone needs to be treated with respect and it is very important that captains earn respect from the crew by showing professionalism because the captain’s particular position as the link between crew, management and owner is very sensitive.

Captain Chris Blunt, S/Y Is A Rose, 50m

Just as there is a well-known line of demarcation that should never be crossed between the owner and crew, there should be a similar distinction between the crew and the captain. This is even more important on larger yachts with bigger crews. First, the captain should gain the respect of the crew and from thereon a good relationship will follow. Having to discipline a crewmember and then eat in the same crew mess on the same day is not easy; however, there are few or no alternatives.

Find the full article in issue 74 of The Crew Report, coming soon.