For Captain Olivier Gamberini, it’s all about sailing. Captain Gamberini began a career in yachting in 1996, in Monaco, and aside from a five-year break working as an offshore rigger, his career has focused on the sailing portion of the superyacht fleet. Having worked only in the sailing sector of yachting, and never yet having made the move to what Captain Gamberini jocularly describes as “the dark side” (that is, motoryachts), he has had plenty of experience with sailing yacht-specific crew, and tells The Crew Report why getting the right crewmember on a sailing yacht is pertinent.



Captain Gamberini joined Roxane just over a year ago, at which time half the crew he was joining on board had already been on the boat for three years, something that can be problematic for a new captain and an existing crew. “I made a few adjustments because I have my way of doing things, but it was good because they are a good crew.”

The 47m sailing yacht has notable longevity when it comes to its crew, but it’s only natural that Captain Gamberini has to play the recruitment game at some point. “I mainly find my crew by friends’ recommendation – I prefer that than crew agents. It’s not that crew agents don’t do their work, but if I have the opportunity of finding someone through a friend I have a different relationship with them, and I know he will know the person very well. Going through my friends I know exactly who I’m talking to and they’re going to tell me frankly about the person.”

But finding a crewmember for a sailing yacht can throw up a few additional questions and, for some, there is more criteria and the process more complicated. “I need more qualifications. I need them to be good crew, as on the motoryacht, but I also need them to be seamen and to know how to sail, how to use the rigging, the sails and all that stuff,” explains the captain.




"When we are sailing I call all my crew on deck. The boat is leaning so the stew or engineer can’t really work inside, and then I make them participate in the manouvres and then you create a good team spirit."



When it comes to the interior crew, however, Captain Gaberini doesn’t look for sailing yacht-specific experience, but he expects them to learn on the job. “ I don’t pretend that my chief stew will be part of the manouvres when we are sailing, so I don’t mind hiring a stew with no experience in sailing. But what I do when they’re on board is I teach them, and slowly they become part of [the manouvres]. Because that’s also a difference. When we are sailing I call all my crew on deck. The boat is leaning so the stew or engineer can’t really work inside. They have to be outside anyway, and then I make them participate in the manouvres and then you create a good team spirit. On the motoryacht you go sailing and you’ve got the bridge officer on the bridge and all the others, they carry o washing, the stew carries on in the interior. Here you see them share together; it gives a different spirit to the boat.”

Join our debate on whether you believe there is a difference between the crew on a sailing yacht and a motoryacht here.