IN­TER­VIEW WI­TH CAP­TAIN

Superyacht - - Captain’s Corner - By Mar­ti­no Mot­ti

Whe­re do you co­me from cap­tain? I’m one hun­dred per­cent Ita­lian. Born in Mi­lan then at twel­ve I mo­ved to Cro­to­ne wi­th my fa­mi­ly in Ca­la­bria and I’ve been li­ving Near Via­reg­gio for the pa­st ten years. When did you get ac­quain­ted wi­th the sea? My pa­ren­ts would ta­ke me near Cro­to­ne as a young boy of six du­ring my summer ho­li­days, and from then on we are one. So as my pa­ren­ts of­ten tell me I star­ted wi­th a Ger­man’s wind­surf wi­th whom I ma­de friends wi­th at the cam­pig si­te when I couldn’t ha­ve been ol­der than six. Your trai­ning? I’m one of the youn­ge­st cap­tains not to ha­ve go­ne th­rou­gh nau­ti­cal col­le­ge. My pro­fes­sio­nal ca­reer has al­ways been in re­crea­tio­nal ya­ch­ting. Wi­th the la­te­st (2005) norms whi­ch re­shuf­fled pro­fes­sio­nal ti­tles and they be­ca­me a rea­li­ty in ya­ch­ting whi­ch al­lo­wed me not to go th­rou­gh mer­chant na­vy and from the­re to yachts as ma­ny as my peers had to do to ma­ke of this work in ya­ch­ting a ca­reer. Ob­viou­sly in the cour­se of se­ve­ral years I up­gra­ded wi­th sup­ple­men­ta­ry cour­ses as re­qui­red. Whi­ch are your ear­lie­st re­col­lec­tions of the sea and boa­ts? Among­st the hun­dreds of ad­van­ta­ges the­re are in li­ving in the Ca­la­bria re­gion is the cli­ma­te, I di­stinc­tly re­mem­ber that mo­ving th­rou­gh au­tumn to spring was me­re­ly so­me­thing sym­bo­lic in con­nec­tion wi­th the ca­len­dar and wi­th no great chan­ge at all in the wea­ther pat­tern. I’ve al­ways ‘li­ved’ the sea full ti­me wi­th on­ly brief in­ter­vals asho­re. My world is pre­do­mi­nan­tly ma­de up of a lo­ve­ly blue: star­ting wi­th wind­surfs, sai­ling boa­ts, un­der­wa­ter spear fi­shing. The sub­se­quent shift to mo­tor yachts was for me a na­tu­ral evo­lu­tion of my pro­fes­sion. How was the im­pact wi­th the world of work pro­per? Well I was four­teen when I be­gan my fir­st sea­son as wind­surf sai­ling in­struc­tor in a tou­ri­st vil­la­ge. My re­tri­bu­tion was food and lod­ging. Soon af­ter I mo­ved to crewing as a pro for a li­mi­ted pe­riod, then as skip­per on sai­ling boa­ts and now he­re I am. For­tu­na­te­ly I’ve ne­ver ex­pe­rien­ced what it is li­ke to be out of work. Your ini­tial ex­pe­rien­ces at sea? Wi­th a sai­ling boat by my­self at 16, I sai­led from Cro­to­ne for Tu­ni­sia in Nor­th Afri­ca, ju­st for the hell of it. May­be it was a ra­sh de­ci­sion and no­thing mo­re than ju­st sun and sea. Pre­ce­ding ex­pe­rien­ces in com­mand? I’ve been in com­mand of ‘so­me­thing’ sin­ce I was eighteen. Ini­tial­ly it was sai­ling boa­ts whi­ch got big­ger and big­ger, then mo­tor yachts Sun­see­ker, Azi­mut, and cur­ren­tly Be­net­ti. What are the main fea­tu­res of the mo­tor ya­cht you’re cur­ren­tly in com­mand of? She’s a Be­net­ti Tra­di­tion 105 mo­del na­med Mia­maa. We’ve now been to­ge­ther sin­ce 2012. I was the­re from the pro­ject de­si­gn work and su­per­vi­sed con­struc­tion, sai­led and te­sted th­rou­ghout the war­ran­tee pe­riod and now I crui­se wi­th a tho­rou­ghly te­sted fi­ne tu­ned per­fect mo­tor ya­cht, thanks al­so to a ve­ry di­scer­ning ow­ner who’s ve­ry fond of his floa­ting jewel. This is Be­net­ti’s twen­ty fif­th ya­cht and fea­tu­res se­ve­ral cha­rac­te­ri­stics the ow­ner and his fa­mi­ly real­ly ca­red for. They lo­ve the sea and being on the wa­ter du­ring the summer as if it we­re their summer re­si­den­cy. Na­tu­ral­ly they’ve sai­led ex­ten­si­ve­ly for mo­re than twen­ty years. The ow­ner has ex­ploi­ted his con­si­de­ra­ble boa­ting ex­pe­rien­ce to ma­ke su­re Mia­maa is bo­th wel­co­ming and wi­th good sea kee­ping qua­li­ties. Eve­ry summer sea­son ma­de up of 4 mon­ths we crui­se around for 5,000 nau­ti­cal mi­les. Fa­vou­ri­te marina? I’m glad to say I’ve got one in eve­ry Me­di­ter­ra­nean Coun­try: We vi­sit di­ver­se ports of call in dif­fe­rent coun­tries eve­ry sea­son. In Ita­ly I ado­re Loa­no, Le­ghorn, Vi­bo Va­len­tia...but I could car­ry on for a whi­le. The con­cept that needs to be wei­ghed

up he­re is ano­ther: to me what is im­por­tant is what ser­vi­ces are avai­la­ble, is the staff pre­pa­red pro­fes­sio­nal­ly, the struc­tu­re, and the as­si­stan­ce, all of the­se things a marina can gi­ve ma­ke the dif­fe­ren­ce. For­tu­na­te­ly in so­me ways the con­cept of sa­fe­ty lin­ked to wea­ther fo­re­casts in the Me­di­ter­ra­nean is not su­ch a de­ter­mi­ning fac­tor as in other areas in the world as ra­re­ly are the con­di­tions so se­ve­re, ri­sky and pro­hi­bi­ti­ve. Pre­fer­red rou­te? The Ita­lian ones for their co­lours, peo­ple and food. Whi­le of Croa­tia I pre­fer the beau­ty of the islands, cli­ma­te and peo­ple. Wi­th no sha­dow of doubt the­se are my fa­vou­ri­tes. Whi­ch in­no­va­tions ha­ve struck you mo­st in the world of ya­ch­ting and why? I was born in the age of com­pu­ters, GPS and elec­tro­nic na­vi­ga­tio­nal aids; by com­pa­ri­son wi­th my mo­re ex­pe­rien­ced col­lea­gues, I feel I ha­ve an ad­van­ta­ge in the mo­re na­tu­ral ap­proa­ch I ha­ve wi­th elec­tro­nic gear that fills the helm con­trols sta­tion. Sa­fe­ty has al­ways been a ma­jor the­me for me and one of my top prio­ri­ties and tech­no­lo­gy has li­te­ral­ly lea­ped for­ward at lea­st from this spe­ci­fic view point. I’d ve­ry mu­ch li­ke to be con­ti­nuou­sly sur­pri­sed in this field, and I en­joy te­sting and using new gear. The wor­st thing that has hap­pe­ned to you as cap­tain? In De­cen­ber 1999 bet­ween the 4th and 5th I was trans­fer­ring a sai­ling ya­cht from Bar­ce­lo­na Spain to Ro­me wi­th two friends of mi­ne: We got caught out in 109 kno­ts of wind in the Gulf of Leon (about 200 km/hr). That was so­me­thing I wi­sh to no one. They we­re the mo­st in­ten­se twel­ve hours of my life to da­te. La­dy luck was on our si­de and the con­clu­sions I drew up la­ter hel­ped me to ma­tu­re and grow. What do you think of your ro­le as Cap­tain and of the ya­ch­ting world you work in? I and se­ve­ral other col­lea­gues are mem­bers of the Ita­lian Ya­cht Ma­sters So­cie­ty. It is ma­de of cap­tains of­fi­cers from the ya­ch­ting world brought to­ge­ther by our sa­me pro­fes­sio­nal ca­nons and bo­dy of ru­les whi­ch al­so com­pri­se trai­ning and ho­ne­sty. We share the sa­me pas­sion for what we do, and we’re proud to be con­stan­tly up­da­ted pro­fes­sio­nal­ly. This is gra­ti­fy­ing and helps the Ita­lian Ya­ch­ting world. My ol­der col­lea­gues are about 65 and are about to re­ti­re, they’re among the fir­st to do so from the ya­ch­ting bran­ch. This means that In Ita­ly the­re has ne­ver yet been a ge­ne­ra­tio­nal chan­ge yet for pro­fes­sio­nal Ya­ch­ting cap­tains and of­fi­cers. In a nu­tshell we’re still the pio­neers of a pro­fes­sion in­tro­du­ced in the cour­se of the 50’s. The way we be­ha­ve, how and what we do and say will be use­ful to the ones that will co­me af­ter us for a bet­ter ya­ch­ting world. I’m not ju­st tal­king about cap­tains, but about eve­ryo­ne in­vol­ved in this field, in the broa­der sen­se too su­ch as ma­ri­nas, de­di­ca­ted ma­ga­zi­nes and shi­pyards.

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