Part of a series of interviews with captains at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show in December, The Crew Report speaks to Captain Shane Quinlan, rotational captain on board 67.2m S/Y Vertigo about his view of the industry, and what it takes to crew on board such a prominent charter yacht.

S/Y Vertigo, image courtesy of Y.CO

“We have brokers I have never spoken to before come on board, and the first thing they comment on when they get to the top of the gangway is how cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable the crew greeting them are,” says Captain Quinlan proudly. TCR is sitting on board Vertigo at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show with her rotational captain and asking what makes her such a special charter yacht.

“The crew are so personable and lovely that it’s so hard not to interact with them,” he adds, explaining that personality plays a big part in what they look for in crew for the boat. “The first thing we look at is qualifications but longevity is also very important because we want someone to come and stay.”

This mantra is definitely working because, in a difficult economic climate where the charter market is suffering, Vertigo has proved to be incredibly popular. “The boat was very busy in the Med last season and we were doing quick turnarounds,” Captain Quinlan explains. “I think another part of that is the fact that the yacht is very realistically priced. You could charge a lot more but by setting yourself towards the lower end of the spectrum for a boat like this, you can charge a bit less and be completely busy throughout the season. So you are better off being a bit more affordable and as a result a bit more attractive."

Captain Shane Quinlan at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show

Speaking about how the industry has evolved in recent years, Captain Quinlan believes that size has been the biggest impact on the crew sector. “Go back ten years and the [85.6m] Kingdom and [104.8m] Lady Moura were immense boats at the time,” he explains. “Have a look at them now and they seem so dated and are no longer the biggest. In terms of sizing, 50m was a huge boat, then it just became average and now 60m is the norm.

“So everything is getting bigger but the good thing is that legislation has come in. When I first started, guys were running around driving 50m boats with just their Yachtmaster tickets. They might have had the experience but they didn’t have the necessary qualifications and they hadn’t been formally trained. I think formal training is definitely the only way to go.”

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