The Captain's Inside Guide
All of us will remember our early days at sea... discovering new places... heading out on that first ocean passage as Captain - with full responsibility for the vessel, her systems and her crew.
Making a 'landfall' in any new port, one would always have the same two things to consider... a job list, and a time schedule. Dependent upon the time available and one's own personal knowledge/contacts within the port, one would then ask around any other yachts in the anchorage/marina, for their insight as to who to use, for which service... prior to calling them up, allocating the relevant time parameters and getting them started on the work. Beyond that, it would be a question of making a few follow up calls to monitor progress, and keeping one's fingers crossed that they would perform the all too easily spoken phrase and actually... 'do what they said they would '!
Yet how many times have we all contracted a 'new' service, only to find out - as the time slowly whittled away - that they weren't actually going to be able to make it... for whatever imaginative reason they had chosen to come up with!
The one factor that changes this scenario however, as time evolves, is our own 'business card file'/ databank of reliable service contacts... that we have built up through different ports visited worldwide.
For each business card kept, we've probably thrown out two or three other 'contenders' in the same business... making the ones we do keep, extremely useful personal service contacts that we know we can count on the next time we come by.
These quality contacts then, represent a proportion of our ability to perform our own role as Captain of the yacht; for we all know where the 'buck stops' as Captain on a charter or owner's cruise, when the outboard motor on the tender fails... when the generator goesdown... or when the guests specially requested provisions don't arrive in time for the start of the cruise.
This need for a 'database' of reliable service contacts, is something that stays with us throughout our career afloat; for as boats/owners change, there are 'pastures new' for all of us regardless of our depth of experience... new destinations... new cruising grounds... and new ports... each bringing their own, new challenges. This was the very 'raison d'etre' for the books... to collate an 'Inside Guide' of Captains own 'recommended services', for each Captain to be able to access, in order to share the benefits of each other's collective experience.
Every year, we interview as many Captains / crew as possible, in each main yachting region, to determine just who these 'recommended services' are. After receiving enough positive feedback, and being convinced of their suitability for inclusion in the Guides, we research /visit if possible every service to confirm the full extent of the services they offer, and gain an insight into their background and history.
As a 'Captains' Recommended Service' they receive a free editorial write up and are offered the opportunity to advertiseand promote themsleves further.
It is important for Captains to understand the concept behind the advertising; for without it, there simply would be no Guide, as the relatively small number of professionally crewed yachts cruising the regions covered (and buying the Guides), could never support the cost of researching and publishing such a book.
The advertising itself is ONLY made available to services recommended by the personnel we interview (and the many Captains who email us directly).
We are frequently approached by companies who have heard about the Guides and want to advertise their service - but do not have any recommendations - so are consequently politely turned down.
These books simply represent an 'inside' trade Guide... put together by 'time served' professional yacht crew... for the use of professional yacht crew and yachtsmen around the world.
They are your books, made up with your feedback and your 'recommended services'. We, as publishers of the Guides, are only too aware that our efforts can never result in the ultimate 'definitive version' of its kind, for there are always going to be a number of good quality services still unknown to us.
The Guides are updated every year - over the past 17 years they have proved themselves to be incredibly useful volumes of reference for many yacht crews around the world.
If you don't have access to the Printed Guide you need - have a look at the Flip Book version...very popular for those yachts moving around a lot! Our comprehensive website has a a search facility of over 10,000 Captains Recommended Services!
We gratefully invite all yachtsmen, Captains and professional crewmembers alike to send us your services feedback or Recommend a New Service.
We actively receive plenty of positive recommendations (and the occasional negative feedback also) from Captains and crew throughout the year. These comments really do get listened to and 'actioned' accordingly by us at Superyacht Publications... for in just the same way that we follow up all your new recommendations - we have also dropped services (including advertisers) from our Guides, after receiving consistently poor feedback for them.
Do please continue to update us with your 'services feedback' on an ongoing basis... for if there are businesses already written up that give you a particularly good service leave them a review or equally, one that badly lets you down, please do let us know.
Ultimately they are your Guides... and they are only as good as the information you can give us.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Caroline and Andrew Blatter