C&NI crew in the spotlight: Captain Jason Pliatsikas
Jason Pliatsikas, Captain of C&NI charter yacht Devotion, tells Camper & Nicholsons more about his background and lifts the lid on what he loves about working in yachting.
- Could you tell us a little about your background: what were you doing prior to yachting and how did you end up working in the yachting industry?
Before yachting I was living in Southwest London as a rugby player and personal trainer working with similar clientele to those on yachts. A friend of mine persuaded me to have a look at yachting: he found me a job as a personal trainer on one of the larger yachts and gave me a weeks' notice! After a few minutes of deliberation I accepted and left. Unfortunately the job fell through the morning before I was due to fly to the yacht, but excited and intrigued I took the flight to Nice anyway. With no idea what to expect, I naturally gravitated to Antibes and did some shore based personal training as there wasn't a lot of demand for personal trainers on yachts. On the beach one afternoon someone offered me some "daywork" - and having no idea what that was when I took up the offer. I then had a job for three weeks cleaning a beautiful yacht, and having a great time building a network of friends in this new industry that I previously had no idea existed. I had grown up with boats, mostly sailing as a kid with my grandad (who was a yacht captain), but really hadn't thought about it at all until I came to Antibes.
- When did you first become a Captain and onboard which yacht?
In 2010 I took the chase boat captain role, but my first actual captain position was in 2012 on board a Mangusta 82 with Arneson outdrives.
- What do you like most about working in yachting / being a Captain?
It's difficult to say what I like most, I still love to drive the yacht, I enjoy the switch of focus and intensity when navigating through a tricky situation, but also the energy and adrenaline of finishing a successful charter. It's great knowing the team have been successful and I love the pride that comes with seeing everyone happy and content with their work!
- What do you think is the secret to a successful charter?
Developing a quick understanding of the client and therefore being able to show them a great time with a personal touch, and always with a smile.
- What is it like being part of the Camper & Nicholsons charter fleet?
Campers sets itself apart with the focus they put on the crew of their charter fleet. There is an emphasis on creating a network between the yachts which I think is very progressive and a step in the right direction. By giving us access to a private leadership coach and an online knowledge bank with additional training they provide a support network and education on the elements of the job that have not really been covered by my standard MCA training. I'm confident in the professionalism and the ethos of the company.
- What is the best thing you ever learnt from another crew member?
My first Captain taught me how to drive the chase boat and I never looked back.
- What is your favourite tool / piece of equipment or resource onboard?
For everyone's sake the galley! Also the stabilisers, they are a real game changer on a smaller yacht.
- What advice would you give a new crew member joining the industry?
Smile, work hard, be polite, and stay positive and it can be great fun.
To charter motor yacht Devotion, please contact a Camper & Nicholsons charter broker.