OnboardOnline catches up with fitness guru Mark Healy, provider of elite health & fitness professionals to private residences and the superyacht industry.
Mark Healy Fitness Management is also an independent design & consultancy company creating health, fitness & spa facilities throughout Europe and the USA.
How did you get into the yachting industry?
As a Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist in the UK, I was referred on to Tom Perkins. During my time with him, he mentioned about a yacht he was building. Little did I know he was creating The Maltese Falcon. Over the Christmas period in 2005, he asked if I would like to join the programme as the onboard PT and Massage Therapist.
After a quick flight down to Istanbul, I then understood the magnitude of the offer. So, not a bad one to start with I guess!!
Is it how you expected it to be?
To be honest I had no idea, but after a manic summer I realized how different that life was.
What do you love most about your job?
The people – the travel – the stories – the contacts – the adventure.
What keeps you awake at night?
What would you change if you could?
Politics, Religion & Plastic!
What could you not do without?
My computer - my phones – my wallet – my passports. Sad but true!
What is your favourite yacht?
The Maltese Falcon of course, but also Alfa Nero. Both are totally different, but stunning creations.
What’s your favourite port?
Am I allowed two? Here they are anyway! Monaco - just for the sense of glamour, history and the coastline.
Papeete for the experience that French Polynesia gave me.
Anchorages? Moorea and Fakarava. Too beautiful to describe.
What was your greatest experience on a boat?
I could mention how I survived 2 crossings of the Golfe Du Lion in 67 and 69 knot winds in my first season, or passing through the Panama Canal.
However, the greatest thing was encountering a whale head-on whilst swimming on our last day in Moorea. To be close enough to have eye-to-eye contact was truly breathtaking.
What was your worst experience on a boat?
The very same Golfe Du Lion!!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on a yacht?
Crew Members!! Far too many to mention and far too inappropriate to divulge.
Which nationalities tend to be the best charter guests?
You know I can't answer that! But some Norwegian and German guests were some of the best memories for me.
Who do you most admire in the world of yachting?
Firstly, Tom Perkins for creating something extraordinary in The Maltese Falcon.
Some of the designers that we have had the pleasure to work with directly on the gym and spa design side too. The ideas that these individuals/companies have are helping to drive the industry forward, which is a good thing for everyone.
What does the future for yachting look like?
Maybe with the economy and various political situations that are happening right now it may change or slow down, but it’s an industry that seems to bounce back even bigger every time.
With the extremely rich 1% holding 50% of the world's wealth, there will always be a demand for bigger, better and the unusual.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Surviving the 69 knot crossing! Seriously though, I would say the hard-work over the years to get to where I am and my stubbornness not to give up.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Since I now travel extensively and live mainly in hotels, I just like the simple things that life has to offer - friends, family, animals, beaches, long country runs...and the odd Rose luncheon of course!
Which three objects would you take to your desert island?
Suncream, water and a diving mask.
What is your favorite book or film about the sea?
'The Bounty' with Sir Anthony Hopkins. A true classic and set in one of the most beautiful locations – Moorea.
What will you be doing in five years?
Hard to say, but more of the same I would imagine... but with a whole lot more!
What is your motto?
Follow Your Gut Feeling! It's usually right about most things in life.
*Images supplied by Mark Healy