Born into the golden age of ‘La dolce vita’, 36m S/Y Tiziana was built at the famous Abeing & Rasmussen yard from the drawing boards of Sparkman & Stephens. Her refit at Vitters Shipyard paid special attention to preserving her original charms. In our fourth instalment of interviews with classic yacht captains, TCR speaks to Tiziana’s captain, Katherine Pennington, about the heritage and tradition that comes with crewing such a boat.

TCR: Are there differences between how a ‘classic’ yacht and a modern yacht should be run?

KP: The main difference in running a traditional yacht and a modern yacht is using certain techniques that are not required on a modern yacht, for example, rope work, leather work, certain knots etc. I think if you have a truly classic yacht, you should try keeping things as simple as possible and using the old techniques that they used all those years ago.

I have never run a modern yacht but I can imagine that things are more simple and technical - more things to go wrong!

S/Y Tiziana

TCR: Is there more of an expectation to keep up with traditional seamanship on board a classic yacht?

KP: I think most people that work on classic yachts like keeping with tradition and they have a real passion for it.

TCR: Do you try and keep up with tradition on board Tiziana?

KP: Tiziana is 51 years old but she did have a major refit nine years ago when they installed hydraulic winches and furling gear for the yankee sail, as well as more modern navigational equipment, but my owners tried to keep her as original as possible. We still have all our old blocks, which have either 1963 coins in the centre or A & R coins - it’s wonderful.

TCR: With the superyacht industry growing and developing so much, do you think that it is getting increasingly difficult to continue with traditional yachting?

KP: No, I don’t think it will be difficult to keep with tradition. There are many classic yachts out there so there will always be people who want to keep to these traditions.

Read further opinions from classic yacht captains in our ‘Keeping up with tradition’ feature, which can be found in issue 70 of The Crew Report here.