Kevin Paul is the captain of sailing superyacht MOONBIRD. We were fortunate enough to meet up with him at the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show which took place in Port Hercule during the last week of September.
Kevin started his career on a 46 foot sail boat and has now progressed to run the highly successful sailing boat S/Y MOONBIRD.
The boat has won most of the supercups and bucket regattas she has raced in. Kevin has completed 32 Atlantic and Pacific crossings, sailed through three hurricanes, and cruised down the Panama Canal to New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti. Kevin invited us onboard this fantastic superyacht to discuss his career, the yacht and his favourite destinations.
Q : How did you get into yachting and why did you become a captain?
A: I started university with a civil engineering degree when I was seventeen, but decided to take a year out early on. My parents live in St. Lucia, so I went home. I was working in a bar one night, and this guy just came up and asked me if I knew anybody who could help him take his boat from St. Lucia to Majorca. I didn't even know where Majorca was, but I said, "Yes," and that was it. I have never looked back.
Q : What was the first sailing superyacht you worked on?
A : I worked through square riggers and then classic boats like El Blanche and America, but the first modern superyacht I worked on was Liberty, a 46m Perini Navi.
Q: Why would you recommend SY Moonbird to somebody looking to buy a sailing yacht?
Q : Do you have any interesting stories about your Atlantic crossings?
A: I've crossed the Atlantic and Pacific 32 times under sail and I've been through three hurricanes on these crossings. The Pacific was way more interesting than the Atlantic. I spent two years in the Pacific and went through the Panama Canal all the way down to New Zealand, through Fiji, Tahiti and beyond.
Q: You have captained both sailing yachts and motor yachts. Which do you prefer?
A: It's a very different sort of thing. It would be sailing for me. There is a real romance to it.
Q: Mediterranean or Caribbean?
A: The Caribbean is better for sailing - I always say it has the best sailing in the world. And the Mediterranean I like for the culture, the food and the wine.
Q: What is your favourite beach in the world?
A: I don't do a lot of beaches. It's probably in the Pacific somewhere - on Fakarava, in the Tuamotu islands. Northern French Polynesia is absolutely stunning. I really love it.
Q: What are the highlights of the Mediterranean for you?
A: I'm a big fan of the Balearic Islands. I like Majorca - I live there. I also have a lot of time for Turkey. I was based there for about 18 months. Lovely waters, very clear, and not bad sailing. They've built a lot of very nice marinas there now, they've really embraced it.
Q: What is your favourite yacht charter destination overall?
A: I'd have to say Gocek, in Turkey. I like Mykonos but it can be a bit too windy at times. It’s surrounded by mountains and magnificent landscape and has an archipelago of stunning islands.
Q: How do you find a great crew?
A: I look for experience, and people who are going to fit in onboard. Everyone's got to pitch in and help out. I find crew generally through connections. For this last short term hiring we went through an agency but generally I like to do it by word of mouth.