Meet superyacht captain Warren Garmany, who we had a chat with to find out what superyacht guests are looking for, how to prepare for their arrival and what destiantions he likes to take them to.
Captain Warren is known in the yachting industry for his good management skills as well as for being a water sports enthusaist. His high energy, determination and positive outlook have helped him progress through the ranks and his yachting experience includes a number of prominent yachts. He is curently the Captain of a Motor Yacht Dopamine.
What are yacht guests looking for?
First of all, I think it depends on where in the world you are.
If you’re coming to the Mediterranean, guests are generally looking to be at cocktail parties and invite their friends over. They want to go to Cannes and Monaco, they want to go to St. Tropez. It’s all about being seen.
Guests in the Caribbean are a little bit more sports orientated. They like beach set ups, they like water, sports diving, fishing, definitely more my kind of scene.
You know, it depends on the age group as well. If you’ve got a bunch of 30 year old crypto geniuses, then they’re all about drinking tequila from lunch time and having parties and throwing themselves off the top of the boat.
And then you have elder people and they wake up late and they go to bed early. I mean, there’s a really huge array of reasons why a guest could be on a superyacht. After all, it’s the ultimate escape.
Charter vs. Private
I like charter yachts because I enjoy having different guests coming on board. I enjoy visiting different places and meeting different people and personalities.
There’s also a much higher energy level on the boat because we have to produce every day. We can’t get complacent with the owners. You can’t take your foot off the gas and you’re always there to impress.
Charter guests are paying crazy amounts of money to come on board and they want the best. And that’s what we try to give them. So, for that, we get paid more money, we get better itineraries, we have more interaction with people and we get to show off our skills.
How to prepare for yacht guests?
To prepare, we first follow the prefernce sheets. So, the preference sheets tell us where you want to go, where you want to eat, what you like to drink, what you like, what time you want to eat? What kind of foods do you want? It also gives us an idea of the activities you want to do.
And then we also reference check a lot of the guests with other boats. So, captains will speak to each other and find out what the guests were like on the last boat, what little idiosyncrasies that they want us to remember that would help us to make it a smoother experience for the guests. We speak to the brokers, the charter brokers. They’re very good. They tell us quite often what the guests are expecting.
So the more we can know the guests before they arrive, the better we can be.
Another thing we do is we go out to sea a few days before the season and we’re taking out all the water sports gear, we’re pumping up the tubes and the trampolines and we’re charging the seabobs and the E-foils and were launching the tenders and we’re getting the whole operation.
We do this to make sure everyone is confident and looks smooth and looks professional when they’re doing it. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a place and the guests all crowd on the back of the yacht (which they do as soon as you get somewhere) and you’re running around trying to get everything organized and the passarelle is out and the lines are all over the place. So, yeah, we try to get a lot of practice.
What is your management style?
I very rarely ask someone to do something that I won’t do myself or if I haven’t done already. You need to encourage the crew. You need to show the crew what they might be doing right or wrong. There’s never one correct way to do something on a boat, and I would prefer not to ever lead in that style and be like: This is the only way you should do it. It’s best to let them make those mistakes if you can, and then show them and show them a correct way to do it. And if they show you a better way to do it, even better.
I’ve had a couple of authoritative captains in the past and I was always scared to make mistakes and scared to ask a question. And that’s definitely not the style that I would like to run a boat by. You know, I like an interactive crew. I want the crew to come and talk to me if something’s wrong.
Important thing to remember is that, in order for crew to do a good job, they need to have sufficient rest. So we use different apps or different systems that we can monitor their rest.
It’s very easy for the crew just to work on and on and on, and you will see productivity go down very quickly. So it’s important that the Heads of Departments and the Captain monitor their crew’s work and rest periods.
Your thoughts on expedition yachts trend?
So yeah, there is definitely a trend for expedition yacht at the moment, and that’s also because experienced yacht owners want to go beyond. They want to go further. They want to go to new places. Most of us who have been working in the industry, have been doing the Mediterranean, for example, every year for the past 15 or 20 years.
So there’s only so many places you can go to. For example, my owner considers a lot of the places here, like gelato stops. You stop at one town, you pick up your gelato, you buy a porcelain mug and you move off to the next place.
And he’s quite an adventurous guy, our guy. He really wants to get out there. He wants to go spearfishing and diving. So for owners like that, they are looking to go further. We can do the Mediterranean for a couple of years in a row, but then you want to go to the Pacific or you want to go to Greenland or you want to go to Alaska, or you want to go to the Indian Ocean, you know, Maldives, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar. These are amazing places to go to.
Does the Med still have something to offer? I think the Med is never going to die out.
It’s always got so many really popular spots. Capri, St. Tropez, Portofino, etc. This season we’re breaking further. We’re going down past Sicily to Malta. And then, of course, you can always go around to Greece and Turkey. So I think the Mediterranean is always going to be busy, but there is a growing demand for people to go further.
But that said, don’t forget, more and more people are buying yachts right now. So there’s not less boats coming to the Mediterranean. In fact, this is the busiest Mediterranean season that I can remember in history.
Just to try and get a berth in a port or a marina is extremely difficult. You know, when we started, we barely used yacht agents. Now, yacht agencies are a huge business. They have the relationships with all the marinas and the ports, and they’re the ones that can try and get a berth in a location.
Because if I try, just off the bat, there’s a good chance that I’ll be denied. So, yes, there’s more room for expedition and to go further, but I think the Mediterranean is always going to be busy.
Favourite spots to take the guests to?
By far my favourite spots in the world to take the guests are the French Polynesian Islands. You can just imagine its deep oceans. You’ve got four or five kilometres of sea and then an atoll is basically an old volcano that used to come out of the water, but it was weathered down over the years.
So you’ve got this ring of land which is only 100 meters wide, covered by coconut trees and palm trees. And then inside the crater part, it’s just coral and fish. And then this beautiful little land spiralling out from the inside. And everything outside of that is just blue water, as far as eye can see. It is just absolutely out of this world.
Favourite water-sports toys?
Favourite water-sports toys I would say for me are the foil boards, kite-surfing foils, although they’re harder to use than normal kite surfing boards. Electric foils are a lot of fun when you get the hang of them. But they’re not always the best for guests because guests are not always water-sports orientated and there is a risk of injury there. So we do a little bit of training sessions and things like that and we have to keep a close eye on them.
There is actually a new jet ski that came out. It’s a 300 horsepower Sea Doo. I got a chance to test it and it was frighteningly fast. I’ve never seen anything so fast like that on the water in my life. I ride motorbikes and that thing would kick my motorbikes butt on a straight race. So I guess they’re just making things faster now.
I also got a chance to test another interestng one. It was a water toy shaped like a U and that comes with a remote control. So, they throw this ting in the water and you could remote control this little device to someone swimming in the water.
They can hold on to it and then you can bring them back to the boat. So, I mean, I guess if the guests are lazy, they can ask you to swim them around and you can just press the button and take them around the boat a couple of times. :)
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