Q&A with Chief Engineer Jensen Hoffmann

28 March 2022 By Claire Griffiths

Claire Griffiths is Dockwalk’s contributing editor in the Mediterranean. She fled to the sunny south of France from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Claire has a background in journalism for national and regional UK press and a career in political and corporate PR prior to that. Claire’s hobbies include eating, sleeping and dancing at inopportune times. She tries to avoid sheer drops and Olympic bobsled runs. Email Claire at

Chief Engineer Jensen Hoffman

Name: Jensen Hoffmann
Position: Chief Engineer
Yacht: M/Y Grace
LOA: 82M/269'
Builders: Abeking & Rasmussen
Years in Current Position: 1.5
Years in Industry: 8
Previous Vessels: M/Y New Hampshire, M/Y Positive Carry
Nationality: New Zealand

If I didn’t work in the superyacht industry, I’d still work in some form of marine engineering as it really is my passion.

I learned about the superyacht industry through a friend who worked as a yacht engineer. He gave me insight into his role. After chatting, I decided it was something I’d like to pursue, so I quit my job at Air New Zealand and went to Palma where eventually I landed a second engineer’s position on a motor yacht.

This job definitely throws new challenges at you daily. The main challenge would be prioritizing maintenance tasks/breakdown repairs depending on the vessel’s movements and the owner’s plans. I often find that the priority for a job to be completed can change in a short space of time.

My worst mechanical failure was losing the entire Alarm and Monitoring system for six weeks. We had no alarms, indications, or tank levels so we had to revert to physically checking bilges, tanks, and running equipment every hour of every day.

Thanks to the pandemic’s effects, it has certainly become more difficult to schedule contractors and obtain essential parts and services on time. The ability to accurately forecast upcoming maintenance and yard periods is extremely important in these times, but it’s the nature of the job that there’ll always be unforeseen circumstances, which you have to allow for and be ready to come up with robust contingency plans.

Completing an apprenticeship or cadetship is a great way to get started.

Having a good, can-do attitude is essential as you are required to do so many various jobs on board each day. People don’t like to deal with someone who has a bad attitude or is unwilling to help.

I feel really proud about having completed my CoC and then stepping up to the chief engineer’s position.

I really enjoy that yachting pushes you to be your best. Getting to be part of a team, meeting crew from different nationalities, and traveling to amazing locations around the world while maintaining the yacht to an extremely high standard is quite amazing. I also met my partner through doing this!

Follow him on Instagram @jensenhoffmann.

This article originally ran in the October 2021 issue of Dockwalk.


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