Name: Vladimir Krupenko
Yacht: M/Y Fleur
LOA: 35.2M/115' 6"
Years in Current Position: 1
Years in Industry: 1
Previous Vessels: M/Y Bel-Ami II
If I wasn’t right here, right now on this yacht, I would be learning English! It is very important, I think.
Before I joined the superyacht industry, I was working on cargo ships. There’s not much difference between them and the superyachts, in the engine room at least!
I hate conflict of any kind and that is one of the things that I find most challenging on board. If I have a conflict with anyone on board, I can’t work. The space is too small to not get along. Last year, I was working with Croatians and they spoke their language instead of English and I didn’t understand them, and that was complicated. I think it is very important to be competent in English.
The worst mechanical incident that I can remember as an engineer was when I was working on the cargo ships and there was a fire in the engine room. We still don’t know exactly how it happened and the incident is still being investigated. Something happened to the safety valves and oil started pouring out everywhere. It was a terrible mistake and I feel as if I stared death right in the face. Luckily, no one was hurt.
I don’t feel I have been in the industry long enough to know what are the biggest issues facing yacht engineers today. But to anyone looking to join a yacht, I would say, gather as much practical information about the yacht as you can. Understand the size of the boat, the cabins, the engine room. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to work on board this boat?” And you need to have the right kind of personality to work on a yacht. You will get a job if you really want one. And learn English! If you want to impress, always be keen and ready to learn.
The thing I have learned since joining the industry is that there are a lot of good European people. In Ukraine, there is sometimes propaganda against the Europeans and Westerners, but in fact the people are very nice, and I am so impressed with the professionalism of everyone. It has changed my global view of people.
My most significant achievement is having the chance to work on this yacht. I had a Zoom interview with my captain for two hours and then the next day he called me back and offered me the job. The best part of the job is the people. I especially like working with professional people.
This article originally ran in the February 2022 issue of Dockwalk.