The BOAT International Captains’ Club launched just a few months ago, but now welcomes more than 100 superyacht captains in its ranks. The idea behind the club is to help facilitate contact and the exchange of information and experiences for superyacht captains. This issue’s Q&A features Capt. Francisco Chadinha of the 50-meter M/Y Remember When as he shares how he got his start yachting, his favorite cruising destination, plus his top crew issue and tip for captains.
How did you end up becoming a captain?
On weekends, we would go down to the South of France and walk the docks of Antibes, Cannes, and Monaco wondering what it would be like to work on board one of these most amazing yachts. … We settled down next to the ocean in Port Gallice, Juan-les-Pins. It was from here that we would start doing day work, which then eventually became our first deck positions on yachts. Fast forward from this point, I worked the ranks and climbed the ladder, step by step to being a charter captain today. An incredible dream that has materialized.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a captain?
My dream was always to be a pilot in the Air Force.
Most memorable moment on board?
When Mary J. Blige came on board with the owners and she sang the song she wrote for the opening of the Grammys. One does not often experience this in life.
Favorite cruising destination?
I am an absolute advocate for Croatia. I think the cruising grounds have so much to offer and it is so rich in culture and history. The beauty of Croatia is that it offers thousands of small islands offshore, inland waterways, and quaint exclusive anchorages. It is a true Mediterranean gem.
What destination is still on your bucket list?
Alaska and some parts of the South Pacific.
Where is your top spot for snorkeling/diving?
There are two places that are absolutely more superior in my mind — Kri Island northwest off the coast of Papua New Guinea where we dove on absolutely unspoiled reefs filled with Denise’s pygmy seahorses (named after the late underwater photographer Denise Tackett whose husband, also a renowned underwater photographer, came on these dives and provided us with a mobile encyclopedia). The second and most spectacular dive spot is Palau, with its crystal-clear waters with super strong currents that brings the most abundant schools of fish, [and] historic ship and plane wrecks from World War II. And not to forget the snorkel in 12,000-year-old jellyfish lake, completely filled with small moon jellyfish, on Eil Malk island.
If you were marooned on a desert island, which crewmember would you want with you?
The most positive crewmember.
Biggest crew challenge you deal with as captain?
Keep them motivated and get them to gel. If the dynamics are not right on board, your guests will pinpoint this in a heartbeat. The ultimate challenge is to filter through the good and the bad until you are left with only the best.
What is your one top tip for other captains?
Always look after the owner’s best interests. Make sure you listen to your crew and their needs. If you do not trust the people you hired, then you do not trust your own judgment, so do not micromanage.
The BOAT International Captains’ Club membership is currently open to active captains of sailing yachts longer than 30 meters LOA and motor yachts longer than 40 meters LOA. For more information about the Club and how to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally ran in the November 2021 issue of Dockwalk.
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