Q&A with Chief Engineer Slaven Mehic of 38-meter M/Y AWOL

17 June 2021 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 Slaven Mehic

Name: Slaven Mehic
Position: Chief Engineer
Yacht: M/Y AWOL
Builder: Sanlorenzo
LOA: 38M/124'8"
Years in Current Position: 3
Years in Industry: 10+
Previous Vessels:
M/Y Commitment, M/Y H2Ome, M/Y SnowbirD, M/Y Kiss
Nationality: Croatian

If I wasn’t working on a yacht, I’d be working on the farm in Croatia. I bought it in 2013. We have 5,600 square meters of land and my wife and children produce milk, yogurt, and cheese. We have four cows for the cheese, 20 sheep to keep the grass down, eight cats (to keep the snakes away), and six dogs. (Check us out on Facebook at OPG RANCH 4.)

I started off working in the Merchant Navy for 13 years and moved into yachting in 2010 thanks to my great friend Miro Skurla, who also works as a chief engineer on a motor yacht. He’s the one who helped me get my first job in Marina di Carrara.

I’d say the hardest part of the job is remaining calm in difficult situations and being able to handle things under pressure.

The worst mechanical failure for me is when I end up having to call “service.” It’s happened a few times! That’s when there’s no service history book and you can’t figure out why on earth the engines or turbines won’t start. It happened to me on M/Y Ocean’s Seven.

I think the biggest issue facing the industry is the role that agencies play in recruitment. I’ve sent hundreds of CVs to agencies and that has never been the way I’ve found a job. Since 2010, I’ve always found a job by word of mouth in the end.

For anyone thinking of starting out in the industry, I’d advise them to have a lot of patience. And to remember that the only certain thing in life is that nothing is certain! Always be polite and if you don’t know, ask.

The people that impress me most are those that show a high level of respect to all crewmembers, regardless of their position. “Do not do to others what you don’t want to be done to you” would be my advice to anyone wanting to impress on the job. In other words, treat people the way you hope to be treated.

Yachting has definitely taught me the art of being patient.

My greatest achievement has been keeping my family together, which isn’t always easy in the superyacht industry.

The best part of the job is being paid to get to know other cultures in different parts of the world where I can learn and taste new food, see and explore new places, and expand my horizons.

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


More from Dockwalk