Capt. Thilo Bürcks began his seafaring career more than 30 years ago as a cadet in the German merchant fleet. He made his way up the ranks on container ships and a cruise vessel, before making the move to superyachts in 1999, when he joined the 139-meter M/Y Al Salamah as chief officer. Four years later at age 32, he took over her command, serving as captain for 10 years before moving to the 70-meter M/Y High Power III. His next command was the well-known 140-meter Ocean Victory until 2018. More recently, he completed two and a half years as captain of the 101-meter M/Y Symphony. He joined M/Y Moskito at the end of summer last year.
Moskito is the latest delivery from the Heesen yard. Launched in April 2021, this 55-meter steel fast displacement hull form (which ensures performance and power) made her debut at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show. With naval architecture by Van Oossanen and exterior design from Omega Architects, the yacht offers 760GT volume with an interior designed by Bannenberg and Rowell. She has a top speed of 15.5 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 13 knots.
“When I stepped on board the first time, I liked the swimming platform with the beach club and the cozy outdoor seating area on [the] main deck right away. A great place to spend the day with watersports and for lounging,” says Capt. Bürcks. “On a hot summer day at anchor, there’s always a nice breeze up on the sun deck so it’s also a great place for aperitifs at the bar and for dinners under the stars.”
For its size, Bürcks is impressed with the yacht’s interior volume throughout, and the ceiling height that gives a feeling of space that can normally only be experienced on bigger yachts. “The huge master stateroom with its beautifully curved woodwork and the calm color scheme is amazing,” he says.
The interior atmosphere created by Bannenberg and Rowell makes particular use of glass and an abundance of natural light. You’ll find full-length windows in the skylounge, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors also lead to outdoor seating, dining, and chillax areas from the main salon. The owner’s stateroom — a whopping 82 square meters — also benefits from maximum natural light offered by full-length windows.
“As the captain, I am of course always concerned about the technical aspects of a boat. That’s why I was impressed by the reliability of this well-proven technical platform. It’s another masterpiece of Dutch engineering that gives me and the crew a lot of confidence. Now, after almost a year of operation, we only had a few warranty issues, which is evidence of the high level of build quality. The boat has a very efficient fuel consumption due to the fast displacement hull form, but this is only the economical part of it. I fell in love with the beautiful appearance of her lines that really stand out against most other boats in this size range.”
He gives a thumbs up to the crew quarters with its well-designed crew mess and “huge table that creates a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere below deck.” The crew/service areas have a separate staircase that connects the pantries and provides easy and discreet access to guest cabins and public areas. “All guest service and dining areas have their designated pantries, which makes service and back-of-house duties very efficient,” he says. “A huge dumbwaiter delivers food from the galley quickly and goes all the way up to the sun deck.” He’s also pleased with spacious passageways, wide enough to move toys around, and the beach club that has the space to store toys during the day and maintain/charge them at night.
Moskito will cruise the Caribbean until April 2022 and then there are plans to head back to the Med for a brief maintenance period before a busy charter season in the West Med — the yacht is already almost fully booked.
As for Capt. Bürcks’ own career plans, he’s very happy on board Moskito and has no plans to jump ship any time soon.
This article originally ran in the March 2022 issue of Dockwalk.