Name: Gerald Millington
Position: Chief Engineer
Yacht: M/Y Golden Eagle
Years in Current Position: 1
Years in Industry: 6
Previous Vessels: M/Y Gladius, M/Y Justa Delia
If I weren’t working on a yacht, I’d be in the Coast Guard, working on a research vessel or volunteering for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
I started in the industry after working on various vessels. A former chief engineer recommended me for a position on a superyacht. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of forwarding that honor to someone else.
Sometimes being the only engineer on board means the workload of an entire vessel can be very demanding physically. Time management, multitasking, and planning are crucial abilities to have. Imagination and forward thinking are handy talents to practice. Get to know your vessel and always have a plan.
My worst incident was a shaft-seal failure while underway on my first voyage in a new position. Add to that the emergency inflatable seal also failing...
For engineers, constant regulative changes are a big issue. Early engineering seafarers regularly have a plan in place, only to scrap it because of something missed or a regulative change, increasing the risk of mistakes for prerequisites of certification and examinations. Professional advice is recommended for this minefield.
My advice to newbies is take the best experience available, but don’t be picky or overestimate your expectations. Any experience is better than no experience. Think of what you can offer rather than what others can offer you. This mindset has led me to be very lucky in working with impeccable captains.
To impress on the job, take your job seriously and take responsibility. Have a hunger to learn and never be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. The yachting industry is built on constant personal progress, learning, and success. Have respect for your fellow crew and don’t create drama. Do your best to understand the ramifications of your action.
I’d say the thing I’ve learned since I joined the industry is that I’m only limited by my own imagination.
My proudest moment so far has been singlehandedly managing the upkeep, maintenance, and successful sale during the annual commercial and flag surveys of a 37-meter commercial charter superyacht.
The best part of my job is that I love it every day!
This article originally ran in the July 2021 issue of Dockwalk.