Profiles

Q&A with Chief Engineer Görkem Uzun

9 December 2020By Laura Shaughnessy

Written by

Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy has been the managing editor at Dockwalk since February 2018. Having grown up among the cornfields, she is ecstatic to be among the boats in the yachting capital of the world. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism, 15 years of experience with newspapers, magazines, and the online world, Laura has joined a great crew. When not writing about superyacht crew, she’s hanging out with her husband and their German Shepherd, working on house projects, or binging on Netflix.

Chief Engineer Gorkem Uzun

Name: Görkem Uzun
Position: Chief Engineer
Yacht: private
LOA: 32M/105'
Years in current position: 1
Years in industry: 7
Nationality: Turkish

When I was little, I always wanted to be a sailor or pilot. Maybe I could have been a pilot if I didn’t choose this path.

Before getting my start in yachting, I actually was working on ships. My best friend told me there is a job opportunity to work in the yacht sector, and that’s how I began.

The most challenging part of the job is the job itself because you need to know everything. You can’t get any help in the middle of the sea — you need to fix it somehow.

I have seen a lot of challenging mechanical failures, but if I needed to choose one, it would be when I was maneuvering the main engine shut off and we couldn’t start, as the starting air distributor was not working. We almost hit the dock.

The biggest issue facing yacht engineers today might be dirty seawater: it can clog the pressure of seawater and it’s going to raise the engine temperatures and even affect the A/C. Also, some marinas have low voltage so you always should be checking it because low voltage can damage electricals.

My advice for those looking to get started is to first check how the sea affects you because if you get seasick and can’t do your job, [I] imagine that it’s going to be torture for you.

My advice for those looking to impress on the job is to show your troubleshooting skills and be practical.

I’m 27, so my most significant achievement is being a chief engineer at such a young age. Through yachting, I’ve learned that I really like to fix things.

The best part about my job is many-fold: traveling around the world and touching different cultures; that is to say, meeting new people and learning new things I never knew until I saw these different lifestyles. It’s also earning what I desire — I know that not everyone gets paid enough for their job, so I’m grateful that I do. 

Follow Görkem Uzun on Instagram @grkmuzn.  

This column originally ran in the December 2020 issue of Dockwalk.

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