Many times I am asked by my clients and their families whatever made you get into doing this type of work. Well, the stock answer is ….,” I love the Sea.” Any Yacht Captain will boast about their love of the water, the open air, the smell of the Sea, and the wind in your face while yachting. All the glorious things that make people envious of that lifestyle. However, what’s really in a Boat or Yacht Captain?
The Captain has to be the good guy, even when he/she has to be the bad guy. Why? Because EVERYTHING that happens aboard a vessel is ultimately the responsibility of the captain. Let’s start by defining what a Captain is.
A Captain Is…
- The one that doesn’t have to look up the rules of the road, because a Captain knows them
- A Mother, a father, a counselor, a priest, a chaplain, etc., a friend, an enemy, the one feared, the one respected, the one who is awake when everyone else is sleeping, the one with energy when others are tired. This single individual that EVERYONE looks to, not some of the time, but all of the time.
- A person who commands respect by their actions and tone, not by demand or uniform.
- The single person on board a vessel that is always wrong, or accused of making a mistake if something goes wrong. Remember, the Sea is not forgiving, nor is the United States Coast Guard. Their rules of the road are in place for the safety of everyone at Sea. From the fisherman in his canoe to the passenger on a luxury cruise liner.
- Someone with the ability to task manages, delegate, utilize resources, remain calm under all circumstances. DO THE RIGHT THING.
- Often times, the Boat or Yacht Captain holds the financial responsibility of the vessel as well as fiscal management, records, etc., including maintenance and overseeing repairs.
Those Are Just Some of The Traits of a Boat or Yacht Captain
The important thing to remember is that when any passenger steps aboard your vessel, they are doing so with the thought that YOU, the captain, are responsible and know what you are doing. It is with that confidence that they enjoy themselves and their experience on your vessel, be it for commercial or personal use. Many times I have taken family and friends on my boat, and they say, “don’t be so serious, put it on autopilot and party, have a drink, etc.”
NEVER forget for a single moment, that anything can happen at Sea at any given moment, without warning. The captain’s responsibilities, whether you are working or commanding your vessel, are ensuring the safety and the lives of the people on board your vessel. This responsibility is not one to take lightly because it’s the captain’s job to keep everyone safe. It’s a serious business to be a captain. There’s plenty of time for the party when the boat is at the dock.
To All The Captains Out There
The training we have all undergone, and the years of experience we have all gotten, dictate to us what it means to be a vessel Captain. You get it all, the guts, the glory, the ups, and the downs. Always learn to have eyes all around your head and to be able to see independently out of each. Your mind and actions are one, without hesitation or reservation. You must always be steadfast in all of the tenants described above. When you can do all these things and more, YOU ARE A CAPTAIN. I salute you all.