Patrick Wynn – Captain SW82 Ammonite
Patrick you have been Ammonite’s Captain since 2019. Can you highlight the most challenging requirements asked of a charter Captain as regards to bureaucracy, planning and operations?
The most challenging part of the job, especially in the past few years, has been keeping up to date with regulations and the Covid situation. There has been a lot of change: anchoring restrictions in France for example and I’m managing a UK flagged boat so we’re not part of the EU anymore. Making sure that you have ticked all the boxes is one of the most challenging things, it’s very easy to make what could be considered a little mistake but if you fall on the wrong side of regulations it’s never going to have small repercussions. At the same time we’re quite lucky in this line of work because while there are more regulations than there were in the past, online you can find more Q&A platforms and info. You can get assistance from a superyacht Captain’s group, where we have access to more information. But the more you do it the more you become attuned to what’s going on, then it’s small changes more than big ones. By working closely with yachts agent and charter broker we can avoid an unnecessary mistakes.
Being a superyacht Captain nowadays also means being a multi-tasking manager. You have to take care of accounting, budgeting, flag and registration Class compliance while supplying tailor made itineraries and going over Preference Lists. Do these tasks get in the way of the “romantic” part of your job as seafarer, which we assume is sailing?
They don’t have a negative impact at all. Naturally your outlook changes if you’re running a commercial boat, you have to view the project as a whole as romantic or you wouldn’t be able to do the job. It’s business, the romance is the whole task. I get enjoyment out of all of it; it’s so multifaceted. You can’t pick an individual part of the job as being the reason why you do it, it has to be enjoyable, and you have to love all of it, otherwise it’s an impossible task. The individual parts like accounting might not be why you started the job, but it all becomes one. At that point the satisfaction and the romance is when it all comes together and works. There as many moving goalposts as with a successful marriage, but it’s worth it.