Superyacht - - Captain’s Corner - By Mar­ti­no Mot­ti

Whi­ch part of the world do you co­me from cap­tain? I co­me from Ca­sa­ra­no a small to­wn whi­ch is ju­st 18 ki­lo­me­tres from Gal­li­po­li and 35 from Otran­to the next clo­se­st sea port to­wn whi­ch means being clo­se to the Io­nian and Adria­tic seas. What about your fir­st ap­proa­ch to the sea? It was thanks to my mo­ther who took me the­re, she lo­ved it and pas­sed the pas­sion she had on to me and taught me how to swim. Trai­ning? I went to the nau­ti­cal technical in­sti­tu­te “A. Ve­spuc­ci” in Gal­li­po­li to be­co­me a cap­tain. Af­ter gra­dua­ting from the­re and af­ter mi­li­ta­ry ser­vi­ce I went back to “school” to get a li­cen­ce to skip­per Ita­lian and Bri­ti­sh re­gi­ste­red ya­ch­ts up to 3,000 tons. What are your ear­lie­st re­col­lec­tions of the sea and boa­ts? I was 14 when my fa­ther bought a 4.30 me­tre boat po­we­red by a 5hp out­board in whi­ch I would of­ten go fi­shing along the coa­st wi­th a friend. We co­ve­red on­ly a few mi­les at a ti­me but to us it felt as if we we­re cros­sing oceans. When I tur­ned 18 I got my fir­st wind­surf. How was the im­pact wi­th ac­tual wor­king li­fe? My fir­st com­mand was on a Mo­chi 42 for the sea­son on­ly, but it was ne­ver­the­less al­rea­dy so­me­thing to me. Af­ter ano­ther two of the sa­me sea­so­nal con­trac­ts I met a cap­tain who in­tro­du­ced me to the ya­ch­ting world pro­per. Your fir­st ex­pe­rien­ces at sea? I spent ten mon­ths on board of a coa­st guard ves­sel in Ri­mi­ni, and af­ter that I cap­tai­ned the Mo­chi 42 I men­tio­ned ear­lier. Pre­vious ex­pe­rien­ces of com­mand? Well I cap­tai­ned se­ve­ral Fer­ret­ti mo­dels for whom I de­li­ve­red ya­ch­ts and al­so for the brand’s clien­ts. Af­ter that I lan­ded a good con­tract on a Per­shing 88, the se­cond one of the se­ries, whi­le the fir­st one spor­ted a lo­ve­ly me­tal­lic grey co­lour. Then I skip­pe­red a Fer­ret­ti 80 for four years, a Ri­va 80 for ano­ther four then fol­lo­wed a Te­che­ma 95 for 8 years. What are the fea­tu­res of the yacht you are in com­mand of cur­ren­tly?

It is a 43 me­tre Co­de­ca­sa Vin­ta­ge se­ries, po­we­red by a pair of 1650 HP Ca­ter­pil­lar en­gi­nes. The yacht’s top speed is 16.5 kno­ts, the fuel tank ca­pa­ci­ty is of 65,000 li­tres wi­th whi­ch I can co­ver 4,000 nau­ti­cal mi­les. The gue­st ca­bins are two dou­bles whi­le the ow­ner en­joys a full beam sui­te. Your fa­vou­ri­te ma­ri­na? One I ha­ve ne­ver been to. But if we are crui­sing sou­th I’d choo­se to ma­ke a stop at Ma­ri­na Car­me­lo in Vi­bo Va­len­tia. The wel­co­ming is sim­ply uni­que, they ha­ve a spe­cial way of ma­king you feel at ho­me. Eve­ryo­ne seems to be avai­la­ble to sa­ti­sfy your eve­ry re­que­st and should you ha­ve a pro­blem on board as has al­rea­dy hap­pe­ned they will al­ways find a so­lu­tion. Pre­fer­red rou­te? Li­ke for the fa­vou­ri­te ma­ri­na, the rou­te I pre­fer is the one I ha­ve not co­ve­red yet. This too is part of the beau­ty that goes wi­th the job as it gi­ves you the chan­ce to get to know new pla­ces, peo­ple and di­ver­se cul­tu­res. What in­no­va­tions in the ya­ch­ting world ha­ve struck you the mo­st and why? Tech­no­lo­gy pro­gres­ses at the ra­te of kno­ts in eve­ry field and su­re­ly it had to com­pri­se ya­ch­ting. It is not ea­sy to fo­cus on ju­st one aspect be­cau­se ya­ch­ts ha­ve evol­ved in eve­ry single sec­tor, from en­gi­nes to na­vi­ga­tio­nal aids. To­day no­thing is li­ke ‘be­fo­re’ not even the re­mo­tes de­ployed to chan­ge chan­nel on a te­le­vi­sion set. We’ve got I-pads whi­ch co­ver se­lec­tion, beyond chan­nel se­lec­tion, areas in whi­ch sound can be shut off for exam­ple, vi­deos, on board mu­sic li­bra­ries. Thanks to do­mo­tics we can mo­ni­tor eve­ry­thing hap­pe­ning on board on di­splay chan­nels si­tua­ted on the brid­ge and mo­re pre­ci­se­ly in the helm con­trols sta­tion. We find sta­bi­li­zers in­stal­led on smal­ler ya­ch­ts too as well as a lot of other in­for­ma­tion and tech­no­lo­gy whi­ch ha­ve chan­ged the way we crui­se. Your wor­st ex­pe­rien­ce as cap­tain? The ya­ch­ts we skip­per are ge­ne­ral­ly ma­de as re­crea­tio­nal boa­ts for the en­ter­tain­ment of their ow­ners and guests and so­me­thing wi­th whi­ch to ma­ke a real suc­cess of their ho­li­day. I think that fa­cing pro­hi­bi­ti­ve seas wi­th guests on board is foo­li­sh. The ri­sk is that you run is that the crui­se be­co­mes un­for­get­ta­ble for the wrong rea­sons. A good cap­tain will fa­ce up to a storm in a sa­fe port eve­ry ti­me he can, as good ti­mes and en­ter­tain­ment are rea­di­ly avai­la­ble on land too and when the storm is over we can car­ry on crui­sing. What do you think of your ro­le as cap­tain and of the ya­ch­ting world you work in? A cap­tain to­day mu­st be able to hand­le ef­fi­cien­tly a who­le lot of dif­fe­rent re­quests whi­ch ha­ve be­co­me part of his func­tions and re­spon­si­bi­li­ties well beyond skip­pe­ring a yacht at sea. Eve­ry year the­re are up­gra­des and cour­ses we mu­st at­tend whi­ch ran­ge from na­vi­ga­tion to te­le­com­mu­ni­ca­tion, li­fe sa­ving, and fir­st aid kno­w­led­ge. Ad­di­tio­nal­ly a cap­tain is not on­ly an ex­pe­rien­ced sea­man, but he mu­st al­so deal wi­th bu­reau­cra­cy, ad­mi­ni­stra­tion, and forms to be fil­led con­cer­ning the crew and yacht.

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