Sunday, March 13th, 2022

Superyacht Captain by Brendan O’Shannassy

Superyacht Captain written by Brendan O'Shannassy

Why, as a former superyacht Captain, would I not want to read a book with the title Superyacht Captain?  Especially when it is written by Brendan O’Shannassy one of the industry’s most qualified and well respected professionals.

The name Brendan O’Shannassy stands at the top of the tree among other great names who have commanded some of the world’s most prestigious yachts.  He ranks highly among his equals the likes of Mike Hicks, Malcolm Jacotine, Joshua Garner, Chris Gartner, Graham Bridge, Malcolm Kelliher, John Wisden and even the Below Decks superstar; Sandy Yawn.

So I was highly honoured to be granted preach access to this book that will not be published by Adlard Coles an imprint of Bloomsbury until mid April

Brendan O’Shannassy grew up in Fremantle, Australia, and gained his degree and officer education with the Royal Australian Navy. He joined his first superyacht as a deck hand, and worked his way up through the ranks to command.  Brendan’s yacht racing career has also seen him participate in multiple Sydney Hobarts and the Fastnet Race, amongst others.

Among the many yachts he has commanded was the 96 metre Vava II, built by Devonport Yachts for Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife, Kirsty, a former Miss United Kingdom title-holder and singer.

Expressing his passion for the yacht at the time of her build in 2011, he told me, “It is so pleasing to see a yacht that retains the vision of the designers without compromise”.

The exterior styling of Vava II was by Redman Whitely Dixon and the interior design was by Remi Tessier.

Brendan O’Shannassy is a Master Mariner a Marine Pilot and Board Member of the International Superyacht Society and is truly a professional at the zenith of the world’s most lavish and exclusive industry. 

Here, in Superyacht Captain, he has written a book that gives a rare and honest insight into a career that spans two decades and circles the globe, drawing readers into the real world of superyachts, their crew and. their owners.

It’s the story of life and leadership in the world’s most incredible industry.  It is a tale of stepping out and embracing uncertainty, of failing, learning and repeating, set against the glittering backdrop of seemingly impossible glamour, at the most extravagant edge of the global wealth spectrum.

Brendan weaves into the text, lessons learned as he progressed from deck hand in 2001 to his first command in 2006, managing huge crews, multi-million dollar budgets, and employers as demanding as you would expect from the most powerful individuals on the planet.

This is not the kiss and tell book the industry has been waiting for.  Brendan still has a future in the industry and is clearly intent on not spilling the beans.  In fact the book seldom names, names and certainly never identifies yachts!  That makes the reading of it by an industry insider a little more interesting because we can identify which is which!

It is never the less a fascinating read and will no doubt sell well. The book explores leadership and management techniques from someone at the top of their game, working for those who define the rules of the game.

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