Business Lessons from Trans-Ocean Crossings

Posted: 1st Jun 2021

Written by: Lance Mortlock & Tristan Mortlock

Trans-ocean crossings are serious business. They can be carefully prepared and a great experience, but they can also be an encounter that hits you broadside with no prior warning, leaving you scrambling for what to do next. Read More

Considerations for Yachts Over New Anchorage Regulations on the Cote d’Azur

Posted: 13th Nov 2020

Written by: Captain Rod Hatch

With new anchorage regulations on the Cote d’Azur, the whisps of seagrass washing up on the beaches are unlikely to cause a stir, but Captain Rod Hatch outlines some important considerations regarding the potential impact on yacht operations. Read More

Superyacht Captaincy - Myth Busting HELM

Posted: 13th Aug 2020

Written by: Commander Sean O’Reilly (aka Horatio Hardy)

The biggest, single subject in the professional syllabus at most naval colleges is leadership. In the commercial world, it’s rather catchily known as HELM, the purpose (and value) of which is still often misunderstood. Instructor and mentor Sean O'Reilly explains. Read More

Mastering the Art of Shiphandling

Posted: 13th Aug 2020

Written by: Captain Brendan O’Shannassy

After emergencies, shiphandling is a question I am always asked about. Not because it is the most important, but it's a black art to those not in the maritime profession, so I'm going to discuss my own shiphandling journey and the impact that a mentor made to this. Read More

The Importance of a Superyacht’s Vision Statement

Posted: 8th Jun 2020

Written by: Captain Brendan O’Shannassy

Last month on OnboardOnline I talked about the best models of yacht management, and referred to the importance of a vision statement to guide the yacht’s efforts. This generated a lot of reader interest and in response I will unpack this a bit further. Read More

What is Yacht Management and What Should it Be?

Posted: 14th May 2020

Written by: Captain Brendan O’Shannassy

There was a time when I shared the view that yacht management reduces the ability of good yacht captains to deliver their service to yacht owners. Now with more experience and maturity, I see the view that management is not essential was wrong. Captains should not work in isolation. Read More

Yachtmasters: Ship's Captain or Boat Skipper? (Conclusion)

Posted: 24th Aug 2019

Written by: Horatio Hardy - aka Commander Sean O'Reilly

The story concludes with more than a sting... Captain Horatio Hardy is on a mission to find his lost triplet nieces whose parents have been kidnapped by marauding pirates in the Gulf of Socotra. His search leads him to the Cote d'... Read More

Yachting is Safe, Until You Forget it's Dangerous - Conclusion

Posted: 22nd Jul 2019

Written by: Commander Sean O'Reilly

Fishermen Alf and his son have gone to sea for the day, expected home by 16:00. But they aren’t. Three days of angst-ridden searching reveals nothing, until ominously evidential flotsam washes ashore. There is no sign of either Be... Read More

Yachting is Safe...Until You Forget it's Dangerous

Posted: 6th Jun 2019

Written by: Commander Sean O'Reilly

As a ship’s master accrues wisdom and experience at sea, sliding down the proverbial banister of life, there are few rigid questions and even fewer rigid answers. It’s arguably more art than science, for captaincy is surely as muc... Read More

Is the Criminalisation of Shipmasters an Occupational Hazard?

Posted: 8th Nov 2018

Written by: Nautilus Int. - Andrew Linington

It has become so common for shipmasters to be arrested as criminals following an incident that this is starting to deter seafarers from rising through the ranks. Andrew Linington reports from a Nautilus industry symposium set up t... Read More

Managing the Paperwork in the Event of an Accident Onboard

Posted: 7th Nov 2018

Written by: Dave Clarke

What do you tell the judge when it all goes pear-shaped? In the unfortunate event that an accident happens onboard your yacht, as captain or head of department you'll have to demonstrate a good safety culture and responsible recor... Read More

Yachtmasters: Ship's Captain or Boat Skipper? (Chapter 4)

Posted: 9th Jul 2016

Written by: Captain Horatio Hardy, aka Commander Sean O'Reilly

Retired mariner, Horatio Hardy, is on a mission to find his itinerant nieces whose parents have been kidnapped off north-east Africa. The story continues as H is employed as Mate of M/Y Caviare, under the command of Captain ‘Skip... Read More

Going Down With The Ship?

Posted: 8th Dec 2015

Written by: Alison Rentoul

Welcome to the working life of a superyacht captain, a leadership role unlike any other. With anywhere between five and 50 employees and a legion of suppliers and contractors, running a superyacht is like being the CEO of a large,... Read More

Yachtmasters: Ship's Captain or Boat Skipper? (Chapter 3)

Posted: 18th May 2015

Written by: Captain Horatio Hardy, aka Commander Sean O'Reilly

That Yacht Masters routinely refer to their 3000 tonne vessels as ‘boats’ is not unique – Admiral Lord Mountbatten habitually called aircraft carriers ‘boats’ but not without a hint of irony, not least because he knew the differe... Read More

Yachtmasters: Ship's Captain or Boat Skipper? (Chapter 2)

Posted: 8th Apr 2015

Written by: Captain Horatio Hardy, aka Commander Sean O'Reilly

Curious thing, fate; what is ‘meant to be will be’ pondered H; I don’t believe in fate, but even if I did what could I do about it? Such thoughts were forged from a lucky opportunity presented to Claude, a consequence of which led... Read More

Continuous Professional Development for Yacht Captains

Posted: 13th Mar 2015

Written by: Ian Bone

A reasonable amount of information and discussion is beginning to emerge in the yachting media concerning the development of an unlimited yacht specific Masters certificate of competency. Read More

Inspire to Lead

Posted: 14th Feb 2015

Written by: Simon Harvey

As yachts get ever larger and regulations increase, the role of a superyacht Captain, Officer, or HOD can seem less about the vessel and crew and more about admin and paperwork. These things are important, but don't let them rob y... Read More

Yachtmasters: Ship's Captain or Boat Skipper? (Chapter 1)

Posted: 12th Feb 2015

Written by: Captain Horatio Hardy, aka Commander Sean O'Reilly

What can yachties teach crusty old Master Mariners? What can yachting learn from the wider shipping industry? Captain Horatio Hardy and Yachtmaster Skippy Brewster embark on a journey of discovery, from which both emerge wiser me... Read More

Transatlantic Delivery - Are You Prepared?

Posted: 18th Dec 2014

Written by: Ted Street

The Med season has ended and it’s time to deliver your boat. These days in yachting that could be absolutely anywhere! Owners are keener than ever to head off the beaten path and explore new cruising grounds while the standard sea... Read More

Leadership at Sea - Closing Words on an Abused Topic

Posted: 17th Oct 2014

Written by: Shawn Engbrecht - CASS Global

If every article on Leadership in the Maritime world was represented by a toothpick, most of us would agree that we would require the services of a chain saw for a very long day to cut through all the dead wood out there. Read More

Haystacks and Beanbags: Where do all the sails go?

Posted: 21st Aug 2014

Written by: Richard Donkin

Racing sails aren't cheap, only lasting three years at peak performance. So what happens to them after they're replaced? A new industry is reconditioning sailing history for a new life. Read More

Reckless Jetski /Tender Handling Crackdown

Posted: 18th Aug 2014

Written by: Camper & Nicholsons

Following a recent fatal jetski accident in Porquerolles near St Tropez, French authorities are cracking down on tender and jetski operation in the South of France. Read More

Thunderstorms on the Horizon

Posted: 8th Aug 2014

Written by: Captain Rod Hatch

As the Mediterranean yachting season hits its peak, Captain Rod Hatch alerts us to some regulatory inspections, visa issues and possible dangers that yachts should be aware of. Read More

Hours of Rest Inspection Campaign

Posted: 7th Aug 2014

Written by: Paris MoU and Toyko MoU

An Inspection Campaign on STCW Hours of Rest will be carried out by Port State Control Officers between the 1st of September and the 30th of November 2014 in the Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU regions. Read More

Classic Yachts: Dumping Money for Love

Posted: 4th Aug 2014

Written by: Richard Donkin

If you love yachts, and I mean really love yachts, then you have to love classic yachts. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a motor yacht, a tender, or a sailing yacht; for sheer head-turning elegance there’s little to beat the classi... Read More

Six Ways to Help Your Crew Go Above and Beyond

Posted: 24th Jul 2014

Written by: The Crew Coach

As the summer warms up, the heat is on and you’ve been very busy with guests, by now your crew’s desire to go above and beyond the call of duty could be starting to wane. Read More

Communicating with Captains

Posted: 18th Jul 2014

Written by: Ian Bone

This article isn't about a watch-keeping function or whether there is a risk of a collision.It's about how you communicate as captain, which reveals much about your leadership style. Read More

The 'F' Word: Extreme Sailing in St Petersburg

Posted: 4th Jul 2014

Written by: Richard Donkin

In St Petersburg last week, the River Neva and its historic backdrop of palaces and museums was plastered with triangular advertising billboards that you and I would identify as sails. Competition sailing is big business. Mark Tur... Read More

Do Your Crew Share Your Vision for Success?

Posted: 25th Jun 2014

Written by: Alison Rentoul

As a leader one of the most important skills you can master is the art of making your crew want to do what you want them to do. Not only do you not have time to personally crack the whip continuously or micromanage every single cr... Read More

The Vulnerable Captain: Making Better Hiring Decisions

Posted: 20th Jun 2014

Written by: Simon Harvey

Vulnerability is often seen as weakness, but is in fact a valuable building block in good leadership. If you challenge your hiring habits, you will have a better crew dynamic- and a happier owner. Read More


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