A Captain’s job is a HUGE responsibility and there are many reasons why they are so respected in our industry. In order to be a successful yacht captain, they have to be knowledgeable in every department and knowledgeable of every square inch on a yacht.
A Captain’s job encompasses the knowledge of all of these roles; Safety, Medical training, tenders and toys, exterior maintenance, engines, water maker’s, generators, davit’s, Navigation, weather, instrument reading, plotting courses, understanding maps, tides, Accounting, purchasing, management of crew are just to name some of their responsibilities, and that’s a lot!
In my past experience as being a Stewardess on private yachts, I always worked on yachts with male captain’s. From this, I always viewed this position as a masculine role. However, as we all grow and change, so do the sexes of the Captain’s.
Take for instance Below Deck-Mediterranean-Season 2 and 3, with Captain Sandy Yawn. Sandy is a female Captain, who I have worked with since leaving the life on water (being crew) to working on land (Charter Broker). I, as well as other Charter Brokers, have booked Sandy and her vessel on many charters over the years. I have always thought Sandy has a good reputation in the Charter Industry. Although, being that she is a female captain, she, nor other female captain’s out there, do not get the respect they deserve. But times are changing!
Since, I have never worked for a female Captain, I wondered if a female Captain could be as good as a male Captain. It seems, they not only can do all of the things mentioned previously to be a successful Captain. But, they also have a keen eye for the interior of a boat that I feel is missing from some of the male Captain’s.
Captain Sandy pays strict attention to the interior staff equally, or just as much as the exterior. In my opinion, this is the missing part that most Captain’s lacked. (Not all) The only time a Male Captain, that I worked for, paid attention to the interior crew was if there was a problem or a complaint.
After watching this show with Sandy as a Captain of a 154’ yacht in the Mediterranean, I have never been more impressed with the way she handled herself. I have never seen Sandy in real life, or on the show, conduct herself with nothing but the upmost professionalism. (So, YES, her personality is true to that of the show. She is no different “off-camera”.) She handled the vessel, crew and guests, with a calmness, professionalism, and confidence about her that earns some acknowledgement.
I am very proud of all the female Captain’s in our yachting industry! Not to mention, very glad to see Bravo chose to use a female captain on the show. I hope this opens many doors for all the female crew in our yachting industry who are Captain’s or who desire to be Captain’s one day! Just remember, you do have a lot to offer!
A few additional female Captain’s in our yachting industry that I have a lot of respect for;
Dawn-Marie Rossiter – Owner/Operator of a Charter Catamaran in the Caribbean on 52’ VENTANA
Kim Thomas – 132’ Motor Yacht
When writing this blog, I also discovered several women captains of cruise ships!
Royal Caribbean International’s Karin Stahre-Jansen in 2007.
Captain Sarah Breton P&O Cruises
Cunard’s Captain Inger Olsen P&O Cruises
Serena Melani – Norwegian Cruise Line
Kate McCue – Celebrity Cruise Ship
Very impressed! Way to go girls!!!!