Captains’ Club Spotlight: Captain Steve Osborne of M/Y Slipstream

11 April 2024 By Staff Report
Captain Steve Osborne

M/Y Slipstream's Captain Steve Osborne on recruitment, entertaining and a special homecoming.

How did you get into yachting?

After graduating from university in 2002, I came to France to visit a good friend who was working shore-based in Antibes. It was only meant to be for a few weeks, but I ended up getting some daywork and really enjoyed it, so I extended my stay. Later that year, I managed to secure a deckhand position on a yacht headed for the Caribbean and that was that! After gradually working my way up, I got my Master 3000GT in 2014. I was the chief officer at the time, and soon after was offered a rotational captain’s position on Slipstream.

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

I always wanted to be a pilot but never quite managed to make it. I’ve ended up being a yacht captain instead which is great — it just takes a lot longer to get from A to B!

Where is still on your yachting bucket list?

Last summer we cruised the Norwegian fjords, which was on my bucket list. It was incredible: the scenery, the remoteness and the experience we all got from it was so rewarding that I’d love to go somewhere similar next time. The Northwest Passage is top of my list now.


Where is your favorite destination for cruising?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have cruised some incredible locations over the past few years including Norway, the Maldives and the UK, as well as extensively through the Med and Caribbean. Cruising in each location, and the logistics involved to get there, brings its own unique challenges and rewards. I don’t think I can single out one specific location, as I would happily return back to any of them.

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

It would have to be the head chef. We have worked together for a similar amount of time and get along very well, even after all this time. There would be some decent banter and it helps that he’s an excellent chef. We would definitely have to stumble upon a treasure chest full of rum to keep us going!

What is your trick for keeping guests entertained in poor weather?

If you are in a port or anchored near a location with cultural options such as museums, galleries and live shows, sending guests on excursions ashore, indoors and away from the elements  always works. If on board, getting out the board games, some cooking lessons and karaoke always goes down a storm (no pun intended).

What has been your most memorable moment on board — good or bad?

I grew up in Africa but was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I hadn’t been back to visit for a few years. But last summer we were chartered to be in a movie production being filmed in Belfast! I got to take Slipstream up the River Lagan and berth in the center of the city. My family were there to see us come in and we made the local news. My mother was made up. That was a special moment for me which I won’t forget.

What is the biggest crew challenge you deal with as captain?

Recruitment. The crew dynamic is the most important and sensitive balance to maintain for the successful operation of a yacht. High turnover is undesirable, ineffective and expensive so you want to make sure you get it right first time and recruit to fit the dynamic you have. We tend to have good longevity on board, so something must be working!

What is your top tip for other captains?

Never assume you know everything and don’t hesitate to seek advice. The rules and regulations captains must abide by are constantly evolving. Keep an active interest in following these developments and, if in doubt, ask. There’s a great network of other  captains and professionals who you can bounce ideas off.

The Captains’ Club is a unique group that brings together 250 like-minded active superyacht captains for world-class luxury events and networking opportunities in venues and on yachts around the world. For more information, email


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