Capt. John Scullard was born to British parents in Cannes and grew up on the Côte d’Azur. He was born into the industry since his father was the first auto-pilot engineer on the Riviera during the 1960s. “I also have three brothers who are yacht captains, as well another brother who is an engineer,” he says. “As you can imagine, growing up in such an iconic yachting destination, becoming a captain was a natural progression.”
Scullard started dayworking on yachts as a teenager to earn pocket money. After school, he graduated in Electronic Technical Studies and trained as a refit and delivery engineer. “Then in 1993, I decided to step up as captain, passed my Yachtmaster, and took my first command when I was twenty-four. In 1998, I passed my Master 3000grt and built a new 37-meter Dubois design at Camper & Nicholsons.”
Memorable yachts he’s worked on include M/Y Mullion II, S/Y Doriana, M/Y Amalfi, M/Y Princess Nina, S/Y Our Blue Dream, and M/Y Jaaber.
After a break from the industry to start a family, Scullard returned in 2013, taking a couple of years to build up sea time and revalidate his Master 3000 grt. He’s been with Dynamiq nearly three years.
The 41-meter Dynamiq GTT 135 M/Y Stefania was launched from Dynamiq shipyard in Massa, Tuscany, in early February 2021 after two years of engineering and construction. Evolved from the shipyard’s Gran Turismo Transatlantic (GTT), her design is from the desks of Dutch naval architects Van Oossanen. They claim her round-bilge shape allows for low-resistance, low-fuel consumption without affecting high speeds. Exterior designs are by Dobroserdov Design at Monaco and the metallic gold and dark brown interior was dreamed up by Giuseppina Arena from Miami. Scullard followed the build from the beginning. “I was the captain of the first GTT 115 (35 meter) and spent a year on board working in close cooperation with the shipyard,” he says. “The yard always appreciated crew feedback that could improve on any future projects, so it was the natural step to bring my experience and knowledge onto the GTT135.”
The yacht features a beach club, a 120-square-meter sun deck, oversized pool on the main deck, and a real fireplace. All guest accommodation is situated on the lower deck to maximize motion comfort.
Sometimes, Scullard struggled with the switch from “captain vision” and “shipyard vision” during the build project. “Working at the yard could be challenging: I had to learn to be patient for the full process to come full circle,” he says. “Chasing contractors, checking their work, and encouraging them to pull as a team was a job in itself sometimes!”
But he enjoyed the “every day is different” element of the job. “Obviously, the running task list and target was the same each day, but there was always something new to deal with,” he says, adding, “The shipyards exist thanks to owners who come and trust us, so the quality and safety of the vessel and its future users are our main priority — from the engineering stage up to delivery and after-sales.”
The captain is particularly pleased with the sea comfort, quietness, and the considerable expanse of outdoor space, considering she is “only” a double decker. He remembers the launch and maiden voyage fondly: “That’s when I realized that we had built an eye-catching yacht with efficient performance.”
His tip for build captains is this: “Be patient and organized. Bring in your personal experience. Step in when something doesn’t look right, as a contractor/fitter doesn’t usually have the practical experience of using the equipment on a daily basis,” he says. “It took me some time to find my feet,” says Capt. Scullard. “You need to be a moderator between the contractor on board and your client/owner, acting in the interests of the client and intervening promptly on issues to prevent rework.”
With M/Y Stefania now ready to begin her first charter season, Scullard has plans to renew his Master CoC and then get back to the next build project at Dynamiq. “I want to continue on this new-build path,” he says.
This article originally ran in the October 2021 issue of Dockwalk.
- Country of build:Italy
- Delivery year:2021
- Length Overall:41m
- Gross Tonnage:299t