Book Review Superyacht X – Rated

Book Review
Superyacht X – Rated
By Marc Wilder
Paperback, 307 pages, £7:99, ISBN: 978 1 84454 970 2
Published by John Blake Publishing Ltd.
There is, they say, a best selling book in every one of us who has served as crew aboard superyachts, lets just hope that they are all a great deal better than Marc Wilder’s Superyacht X – Rated biographical exposé recently published by John Blake.
Never, have I read a book with quite so many expletives.  Where the foul language used simply as part of the sequence of dialogue, that may be acceptable, but as descriptive adjectives and adverbs, liberally littering the text, their use makes the book almost utterly unreadable.
Wilder, the author, claims to have served as the First Officer aboard an unnamed 50-metre superyacht home ported in Nice but it is not one that would be recognisable to anyone else in the industry.  He proves his complete and total ignorance of superyachting by referring to a Barbeque Deck and a Jacuzzi Deck, terms simply not used in the superyacht world to describe a sundeck.  His characters are somewhat shallow and totally lack credibility.  The hapless Captain is portrayed by Wilder as a money grabbing, louse, the chief stewardess; a corrupt, deceitful tart, the debauched crew; a bunch of ill-mannered, bad mouthed, dishonest, drunken gits and their first officer is someone who surely could never have been really employed aboard a superyacht.
That Wilder has been to sea, is not in doubt.  In fact he proudly boasts in the book’s opening pages of having served on commercial ships with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary even though, I suspect, they would wish he had not.  His so called, true life explanation of life working on board a luxury superyacht bears little resemblance of real life onboard and suggest that most of his tales come from his having served in the lower decks as a cabin boy on some rusty Greek tramp freighter.  Most of the jokes and pranks he describes have been doing the rounds since Noah first went to sea and savvy superyacht deck crew are highly unlikely to have fallen for them.  He ignorantly talks of a newly joined deckhand being referred to as a Cadet, the crew mess as a crew room and suggests that a new to the industry crewmember takes a navigation watch in charge of the bridge over night on his very first trip!
He talks about a Captain that does nothing to stop the heavy and public use of drugs on board and who, in thick fog, does not even turn up onto the bridge, he speaks of coke snorting, whoring, Russian charter guests leaving a yacht part way through their charter only to be replaced by the yacht’s philandering owner who, when he then leaves, allows the charter guests to return, a quite absurd scenario that would have any reputable charter broker or marine lawyer turning in his grave.
He talks of evacuating hookers over the bow in a tender that is loaded with personnel while still on deck, something possible on a merchant ship but certainly not on a 50 metre superyacht.  He talks of drunken crew, guilty of insubordination, bribery, corruption, drug and alcohol abuse and of superyacht owners calling him Mate, yet he never once accurately describes the yacht itself not even in the most general of terms.  Clearly the author is a fraud.
X Rated? Yes, but only because the book cannot produce a single sentence without employing a string of crude profanities but, Superyacht?  Definitely NO.  This author has clearly never set foot on one and if he has, he did not last very long on board as a real superyacht first officer.  Superyacht X Rated is a disgusting book that does the superyacht industry no good at all and I implore you to leave the publication in the gutter where it belongs.  Lets just hope a superyacht owner never stoops so low as to pick it up.  If he does, we are all sunk.


  1. I’m glad I saw this review. I just discovered the book, now I will think twice before buying. I’m planning a career change into the yachting industry as a stewardess and am only looking for information that will help develop accurate expectations. Thanks for the review!

  2. There are lots of good books on how to do that. Please do not buy this one!

    Check out Crewing Aboard a Superyacht by Kim Davis or Working on Yachts and Superyachts by Jennifer Errico. Neither are great but they will prime you a little better than the other book with is drivel!

    Best wishes

  3. I must admit your review was a good read and much of it had me stitches listening to you wittering on like a man possessed. First things first. You mention that the book contains foul language. Yes it does. Didn’t the title of the book ‘Superyacht X-RATED’ give you an indication of the content? My kid’s hamster would have more sense than to read a book called ‘Superyacht X-RATED’if there was a possibility it would offend. And what about the back page of the book? Does it not say ‘This book is not for the faint hearted’. Don’t play with matches if you don’t want to get burned. Stick too you Mills and Boon novels.
    If you look on the back page it also very clearly states that the book is only BASED on true events (i.e. over 20 years experience at sea) and the stories have been ‘condensed down to one charter.’
    If you want me to spell it out to you (and clearly I have to here) that means that the book is a mixture of my experiences, and other crew’s experience in yachting, cruise ships, and the rest of the Merchant Navy. If you’d actually been in the Merchant Navy and worked for a variety of companies you’d know that some of the things mentioned in the book actually happen….not that you’d know much about that having only ever worked in the limited sea going environment yachting and a cruise ship years ago.

    You harp on and on and on (YAWN!) about misuse of nautical terms such as calling the ‘crew mess’ the ‘crew room’, and the ‘sundeck’ the ‘Jacuzzi deck’ blah….blah….blah……
    I don’t suppose it ever occurred to you that your average Joe Bloggs on the street might not have a clue about nautical terminology so simplifying it to make it easier to read?? Christ….it’s like talking to a child.

    So the characters lack credibility do they? HA! Bullshit! The marine industry is full to the brim of colourful characters, including hapless and unprofessional Captains many of which I have sailed with over the years.

    A lot of them have stories that would make your toes curl. For someone who has your alleged experience I would have thought you’d have met some of them, unless of course you’ve locked yourself away in your cabin for the past decade.
    There again you’ve spent most of your time on gin palaces so you most likely haven’t. Not everything is ‘white and bright’ in the marine industry and you insinuating that some of the stories in the book didn’t /couldn’t ever happen makes you come across as a naïve cabbage. Font of all knowledge in the marine industry you are certainly not!

    I’m getting bored now, but what the hell whilst I’m at it… also moan about new to the industry crew member taking the watch on his first day. NO HE DOESN’T read the book properly! He was present on the bridge on his first day with the Officer of the Watch present also. You also winge on about the yacht’s home port of Nice. WRONG AGAIN!! The home port was Monaco and if you’d read the introduction you’d have seen that.

    The book was written to entertain and entertain it does. It’s probably why the publisher took the book on even before it was finished….without a literary agent. Difficult to do. It’s a cut throat, non PC, edgy book that you can escape in. It was never intended to describe the super yacht industry as a first choice. Its more about experiences of the crew, dialogue and kinship. It pushes the boundaries and will raise a smile to brighten your day if you have a sense of humour……..clearly it’s something you don’t possess!

    So Mr Howarth……..chill out and climb down off your ivory tower. You’ll give yourself a heart attack!!
    You might want to take up knitting or something. I don’t think there is anything in wool that will offend you. 🙂

    Love and kisses

    Marc Wilder
    Author -Superyacht X-Rated

  4. Seems the Daily Express, FHM magazine, and hundreds of Facebook fans did. There are still people out there with a sense of humour!!

  5. I read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t think the book was ever intended to be a yachting text book, but as a damn entertaining read its not to be missed

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