Profiles

Captains' Club Spotlight: Capt. Marcus Desaunois

14 September 2022By Lauren Beck
M/Y Lars

Written by

Lauren Beck

Editor Lauren Beck has been with Dockwalk since 2006. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox. Email her at lauren@dockwalk.com.

The BOAT International Captains’ Club welcomes more than 130 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. Marcus Desaunois on a 47-meter Sanlorenzo as he shares his yachting story, his family heritage, plus his top crew issue and tip for captains.

How did you end up becoming a captain?

Long story short — I always sailed with my parents. Then add a brother who went from being a carpenter at the famous Jongert Shipyard to successful yacht captain. Add an invitation from him to come on a crossing as a nipper. Hey, presto — life was never the same.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a captain? 

Likely working in the family construction business, now run by one of my other brothers.

Where is your favorite destination for cruising?

After three Arctic seasons, I can truly say that [the Arctic] is where my partner’s [heart] and mine lie. The first time you spot an iceberg or your first polar bear sighting is etched in your mind forever. We have been working as Master/Chief Stew-Purser the last eight years.

Where is still on your yachting bucket list?

Antartica, Patagonia

Where is your top spot for snorkeling/diving?

Belize

iStock/SeppFriedhuber

If you were marooned on a desert island, which crewmember would you want with you?

My partner. No further explanation needed, I guess.

What is your best trick for keeping guests entertained when the weather is poor?

Picking the right crewmembers. Always make sure you have some crew that can keep guests and crew alike entertained. Had some awesome South African crew in the past — they are particularly good at this.

What has been your most memorable moment on board?

Breaching whales in between Greenland’s Disko Bay Icebergs. Also winning a prestigious cup in one of Bucket Regattas as captain of a performance sailing yacht.

iStock/PaulWolf

Biggest crew challenge you deal with as captain?

Finding good crew now is not easy. Keeping them is just as hard. Good budgets and packages do help. Our crew retentions are quite good!

What is your one top tip for other captains?

Knowing where your goal is, keep working on the tickets. I started in a time when a Yachtmaster ticket was all that was needed. Being a little tired of the usual Med and Caribbean, [I’m] now fully focused on the adventure side of yachting, and although currently in the sunny Caribbean, we are on route to other remote destinations.

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 captainsclub@boatinternationalmedia.com.

This article originally ran in the March 2022 issue of Dockwalk.

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