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Captain wanted for the brand you love to hate

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by JustAzimut, Dec 9, 2020.

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  1. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    IL
    Greetings! Now that I've read pretty much every thread posted throughout YF, I figured there is enough collective knowledge kicking around here for my first post:

    Seeking a captain to get me through the hours and experience needed to sit for my 100GT and we figure no better way than on our incoming boat.

    I have hundreds of (undocumented) hours on various boats (all power with a couple of dozen under sail) from 30’ up to 50’ that we have owned and operated. We’re throwing caution to the wind and the incoming vessel will be our home/office and eventual getaway to the caribbean.

    The Vessel:
    2003
    81’ LOA
    18.8’ Beam
    6.2’ Draft Fully Loaded
    MTU 12V 183TE 94s
    2X 20kw Kohler Gensets
    Bow Thruster
    Massive engine room. I'm not a small dude at 6'1" and have little issue reaching any systems and standing up.

    We’re at the survey stage of our purchase and barring any mechanical/electrical gotcha’s, we’ll be pulling the trigger on her.

    About us:

    I am a fully capable and hands on owner. I want to learn all of the systems on this vessel and will only farm out work that I cannot do on my own due to timing and/or access to technical data. I have deep experience in troubleshooting, repairing, replacing numerous mechanical, electrical, plumbing related items on smaller vessels. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding this particular vessel preclude me from leaning on the previous owner(s)/captain(s) for knowledge so it's going to be a educated risk based on extensive surveys of systems.

    So I am interested in a captain that has some pretty deep mechanical/systems aptitude for the following:

    Who I want:
    MTU Experience
    Above Average yacht maintenance chops
    Familiarity with various systems on larger recreational vessels
    You have patience, humor, candor and above all, you enjoy sharing your knowledge and are reliable.

    Who I don't want:
    Yacht management company
    Surly, condescending and flaky individual who pretty much hates life but needs a paycheck.

    This position in the beginning is going to be a lot of button pushing, switch flipping, knowledge dumping so I can compile an extensive library of knowledge to go it alone, eventually.

    Once we have the systems mapped out and brought into spec, we’re going to pilot the hell out of this vessel for the next year doing near coastal trips to build hours and gain confidence.
  2. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF. Good post with pertinent information. Where is vessel? Where are you planning to cruise?
  3. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    Good morning JWY, thanks for the welcome.

    Currently the vessel is in the Miami area but once the proverbial check clears, we'll be moving her. No specific location has been chosen yet as we are researching everything on FL's east coast that will allow liveaboards for the next year.

    I am always hesitant to share the overall 'plan of usage' in a public forum as those posts always garner the: "you can't do this, what's your range, the seas are too big, your waffle maker isn't marine grade and your boat will blow up and sink because of the wrong maple syrup", type of responses.

    Ultimately, this vessel won't be dockside outside of maintenance schedules once we dot our i's and cross our t's and we'll spend a good amount of time in the Bahamas for starters. The caribbean is ultimately calling, hence my desire to know ALL of my systems so when it hits the fan, I know what I need to do.

    Could you all imagine if I posted this over on cruisers or trawlers? The sail boaters would eat me alive...and trawlers would tell me how anything over hull speed & 300hp will cause the world oil reserves to go negative.
  4. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    Love the “Surly, condescending and flaky individual who pretty much hates life but needs a paycheck.” I know that type. Very succinct description. I hope I have your permission to use that. Good luck in your venture.
  5. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    Thanks MYL, permission granted!
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You mention hundreds of undocumented hours. If it amounts to any significant sea days at all, then document it now. Every day adds up as you target 720 days and on half of them tonnage doesn't matter.

    While I encourage it, always curious to hear why you're going for a license.
  7. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    @olderboater - Over the years I have simply not thought about it and have just been running out of the marina, into to the lake, spending the days and sometimes, weeks puttering around, visiting other marinas around Lake Michigan and frankly, never thought about the credentialing around licensures until this jump up in size. Going back and trying to document anything from the past would be a wild guess (outside of cross lake trips that were planned) and frankly, that's not something I need or want to do. I like a clean and accurate log book. Going forward, you bet I'll keep track of everything.

    I have ZERO desire to ever be a charter as the USCG outlines but have always been a knowledge seeker and want to absorb any bits of knowledge I can, which can only help me overcome future issues I'll get myself into.
  8. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    So location of you and/or vessel should not be a deterrent and finding a competent captain should be easy. Not to be contrary, especially to a 1st time poster, but I have found most trawler owners either own a trawler because (a) they aren't in a hurry to get anywhere and (b) they are going somewhere, whenever they get there, that requires the fuel capacity and consumption that allows the range. Not that fuel consumption isn't a bonus, but not usually a sole reason to purchase. I haven't seen many in the group buying buying trawlers because they are tree huggers.

    Judy
  9. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    Thanks Judy,

    By no means did I want to put trawlers in any green category or offend any boater for that matter.

    It was a fairly poor attempt at humor based on a conversation with a dear friend who happens to be a trawler kind of guy, in addition to being a seasonable liveaboard like we are currently. Once he learned of our new purchase intent, he could not get out of his head, the economics behind the amount of fuel we were going to burn to go somewhere (I have little desire to live life @ WOT) and how uncomfortable we were going to be in a *GASP* planing hull as a liveaboard.

    I do appreciate the knowledge the captains here possess and definitely have NO desire to alienate anyone here, including myself.;)
  10. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Good one, too many sour grapes on the various forums.
    Someone/somebody always needs to put people down and indirectly pump sunshine up their own arses, because they know more and have been there, done that.

    I don’t have experience with the Azimuts, but I have been all over South East Florida and the Near Bahamas numerous times, but I don’t need the paycheck.
    (Got my own little charter business: www.odincharters.com)
    I recommend you hire Captain J from this forum, he knows a lot about boats in that size range and he is an excellent driver. (We worked together half a dozen times the last 3 years, he has the touch as far as backing down to a slip in a strong current, and more.)
    He also has a sense of humor, but he may come across as rigid on this here Yachtforums.
    Send him a PM, or contact me on PM and I will forward his phone #.
  11. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    Thanks @Norseman , I appreciate the response. I've read a ton of your posts along with @Capt J , both of you have a ton of experience and are pretty much no BS type of guys, right up my alley.

    I'm a big proponent of people surrounding themselves with those they can learn from. I'll never have as many helms or NMs under my belt as 90% of the people here, I just want to be the best I can be with my vessel.

    I would definitely enjoy chatting with both of you regarding my needs as the Mrs and I go through the motions of the purchase and ultimately, bringing on a Captain.

    Although, I am not sure that @Capt J wants another Azimut to deal with. Feel free to shoot him a message on my behalf, I'm willing to talk with anyone serious about being hired on. This is probably a fairly hybrid type of position for someone with flexible scheduling on the front end and a little more structure once we start putting NMs on the hull.
  12. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I can't understand what that friend of yours has against planing boats used as liveaboard.
    I owned a trawler for 17 years, and I lived aboard her for the second half of that timeframe.
    Three years ago, I moved to a planing boat, and I'm living aboard her since then.
    Very different animals in many ways of course, but when it comes to comfort as a liveaboard, the change was definitely for the better, even if the size increase was marginal.

    Very different story for cruising, though: I would rather make 50 hours non-stop at 8 kts with the trawler, than 16 hours at 25 kts with the planing boat, to cover exactly the same distance.
    And that's without even considering that the latter would burn 4 times the amount of fuel of the former.
    But part of my reasons for the change was that I'm not interested anymore in long distance cruising, so these differences are neither here nor there from my viewpoint.

    On the other hand, if as I understand you are, and if your friend was actually suggesting that a planing boat isn't the best tool for the job, then I think he has a point. But not because she's an Azimut, mind. The same would be true for ANY planing boat.
    Lspec3 likes this.
  13. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    HAHAHAHAHA! I have been waiting for the Azimut reference. I know they aren't for everyone and I'll likely have many days where I'll be very unhappy with what I have to repair, but as the saying goes, there is a butt for every seat.

    I am with you regarding the hull type differences. While we have always owned planing hulls of various sizes and weights, I have a pretty great group of boating friends that has allowed me to pilot all sorts of boats for extended periods. I like trawlers...they just aren't 'my' boat. I like sailboats...they just aren't 'my' boat.

    We'll definitely be doing some long distances, within the range allowed, but we aren't trying to set any navigation records and we don't have any timetables. We'll motor for a few days then sit for a few weeks/months, wash rinse repeat. The layout and size are what we wanted, the range is there within responsible arm action. The rest is up to us.
  14. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    JA - good posts. You haven't stepped on any toes (yet). Your knowledge, experience, and humor are appreciated. Keep 'em comin.

    JW
  15. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I just cannot invest in threads that utilize the wrong type of syrup.

    You certainly chose the right forum.
  16. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    We all have to draw a line in the sand or syrup, somewhere.
  17. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I can understand your desire expressed here, but I'll toss out another consideration. Time spent aboard with a quality mechanic as opposed to a captain. Not to say that time with a captain is time poorly spent. Perhaps a bifurcation of time spent, with the mechanic aboard early and often to visit and educate you on all systems. My time spent aboard with, let's say, staff of any kind is most frequently with a mechanic who also happens to have skills for handling the boat from the helm. It has been a very valuable investment in support transitioning into a larger and more complex yacht.
  18. Kapn

    Kapn Member

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    Along the lines of looking for a quality mechanic, your search could be for two different people to meet your needs at different times over the coming months.

    Someone who has spent time as an Engineer would know the mechanical side of so many of the systems as well as knowing the deckwork and boat handling.

    The south Florida area has a lot of Captains and Engineers that could be put on contract for a few months but would enjoy commuting to the boat and sleeping in their own beds until it's time for a trip.
  19. JustAzimut

    JustAzimut Member

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    Kapn & rtafford;

    That was my initial thought on what we are trying to accomplish but I talked myself out of that, simply because I assumed that was like searching for a unicorn. Now that I see I’m not the only one with that idea, I think that is the best scenario for me.

    You both hit the nail on the head here, with the exception of a trip or two the first year, the individual(s) we choose aren’t going to be expected to do any overnights.

    Time to rethink the process!
  20. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I'm afraid you might be correct in fearing that a quality mechanic could be hard to find, because your engines are the very last evolution of the 183 series in MTU lineup, just before they phased out the block completely, and they are (relatively) rare.
    Back in those years, MAN and/or Cat were much more popular choices, in that power node.