In addition to being an active superyacht captain, Brendan O’Shannassy is also a published author. His book Superyacht Captain: Life and Leadership in the World’s Most Incredible Industry released in Europe, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand at Easter, with a U.S. release in June.
“I looked for books telling the story that I wanted to tell and did not find any."
“Making the Amazon best-seller list in Australia was unsuspected and a real early highlight,” the newly minted author says. He has two more books in production.
How It Came Together
His newfound career, which coincides with his active captain’s career, stemmed from a knee injury that he suffered in early 2020 — not only did writing take his mind off the pain and recovery process, but he saw a need: “I looked for books telling the story that I wanted to tell and did not find any. I really wanted to link a humble childhood with a career surrounded by extravagance and show it was the same person in both worlds,” says Capt. O’Shannassy, adding, “I also sought to prompt all those that have an influence over a child — and many of us do — that the smallest bump in the right direction can make a life of difference. It did for me and I expect it will for many.”
Furthermore, the captain says he was annoyed by all the poorly researched or sensationalized stories about billionaires. “I wanted to set the record straight with truthful observations made over decades,” he says.
“Once I started to write, I could not stop,” says Capt. O’Shannassy, detailing that he’d wake up at 0300 needing to get words out of his head and onto paper. This process continued for four to six months. “Looking back, it was one of the most enjoyable times I can remember — maybe not for my wife. I was able to relive in words some of the best times of my life.”
Creating Accountability and How to Make Better Decisions
In one chapter of his book, O’Shannassy spends time expressing the importance of having your own “personal board of directors,” which he expands on: “Whether you call it this or it is ‘your mates from back when,’ it is important to have a reference point that takes you back to your most authentic self — without the yacht, without the lifestyle, it allows you to share for a brief period.”
“Making the Amazon best-seller list in Australia was unsuspected and a real early highlight.”
For the seasoned captain, writing has done something beyond putting pen to paper. “Writing and then sharing makes you very accountable. I wrote my truth, but now I am conscious that I have shared this with, well, many now. I openly exposed my thoughts and justifications for my actions to public scrutiny. If my actions do not match, I will have eroded the authenticity of my writing/my life,” he says.
Though so much of his life is spent aboard yachts, Capt. O’Shannassy stresses the importance of thinking beyond your career. “Never let the yacht, your position in the yacht, define you. Take the effort to think through your own attributes and values and let them guide you more than the size of the yacht,” he advises. “If you are able to confront every challenge and opportunity through the filter of your own values, you will make better decisions.”
Staying True to His First (Career) Love
Despite this budding side career, he will remain a superyacht captain since he loves it. “Try as I do to shake it from my system, I love leading a team and delivering the experience that only yachts can achieve,” he says. “I want to leave a legacy in the yachting community — I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I want to leave the room better than I found it.”
Get his debut book on Amazon for $18 or on Kindle for $9.99 when it releases on June 14. You can also pre-order now.