Reminiscent of the Golden Age of Yachting, 55m Marie is a sensation on the charter market and a force to be reckoned with on the regatta circuit. Bryony McCabe stepped on board to speak to Captain Jim Livingston, one of Marie’s rotational captains, to find out the type of crew Marie attracts and what brings them to work on this much-admired sailing yacht.

Captain Livingston’s first command was on board a 50m sailing yacht – and sailing boats are what he is best known for. “I have also worked on motoryachts that are expeditionary in nature and I really love that as well,” he explains. “I enjoyed the adventure of going somewhere I hadn’t been to before and the challenge of the logistics that come with being somewhere new. Getting in the crew, getting the guests in and out, flying in scientists, hiring fishing guides and finding provisions and services in very remote places such as the Pacific and the Indian Ocean was very satisfying.


Captain Jim Livingston

“We were constantly moving and that was really exciting. It was very different to what we have on board Marie. Here, we keep coming back to the same known ports, which is also nice because you know where to get things fixed and where all the good restaurants are, but it loses a bit of the adventure. But then you get the excitement of sailing this [taps Marie] and she goes like a rocket.”


"It is really important when it is just the captains who rotate and not the whole crew ... that we maintain as much consistency as possible so that the crew are not always dreading the return of one of the captains."



Working alongside Marie’s other captain, Captain Wes Cooper, Captain Livingston believes that the yacht has the perfect set-up with regards to a working rotational captain programme and thinks this is down to an important mixture of cooperation and flexibility. “You certainly have to make concessions for the other’s style or method of running the boat so that when the other guy comes back they are not returning to a foreign operation,” he advises. “It is really important when it is just the captains who rotate and not the whole crew, and it’s even more important that we maintain as much consistency as possible so that the crew are not always dreading the return of one of the captains.

“I think there are areas where Wes is stronger and areas where I am stronger; the crew know and appreciate that and know and appreciate our faults too. But they can find enough good in what the returning captain has to offer so they are happy to see either of us. We have slightly different skill sets and I think we complement each other well so that we have a very good collaborative, rotational relationship.” With Marie’s busy itinerary of charters and regattas, a working rotational captain timetable is essential to ensure neither captain burns out and that there is enough home and family time.


Marie under sail. Courtesy of Burgess.

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