Meet Chief Officer: George Papafaklis
George Papafaklis takes pride in being Chief Officer aboard luxury vessels of the highest standards. With 15 years of maritime experience, George has developed efficient team leadership skills and proficient knowledge of safety and security regulation and implementation which will be key in his future transition to captain. His passion to learn and for the sea is deep-rooted in fond childhood memory having been raised surrounded by water. George aspires to become a captain, enthused by the delight seen on the faces of captains as they recount stories of their time at sea.
We asked George about his experiences and advice for yacht owners:
As an aspiring Captain, what characteristics do you believe are important to fulfil the role?
The yachting industry is very demanding and constantly changing. The skills needed, in addition to profound maritime knowledge, are various. Managerial efficiency and leadership are paramount as the captain must maintain control of all departments while leading, inspiring and helping colleagues achieve the best possible results. A good captain needs to be adaptable and decisive, always one step ahead to reduce and navigate risk to ensuring not only the security of guests and crew but also the enjoyment of the guests during their time on board. Discreet communication is essential to ensure that everything is according to client standards.
For this, knowledge and experience for each position on a vessel is invaluable. This is obtained by understanding the day-to-day lessons and difficulties of working abroad and, of course, from cooperation with each captain one has worked with. Listening, watching and learning from them is a solid foundation to build on.
What do you enjoy most about being Chief Officer?
Being Chief Officer has large responsibilities but, of course, there are many more aspects of the job I very much enjoy. Getting to work with people of different origin, learning and advancing my skills and experience, achieving goals, and the feeling of being surrounded only by the water and the sky. Truth be told, the best moment for me is when, after a hard and demanding day, both guests and crew are satisfied and pleased.
What location would you recommend to those planning a trip?
My favourite location can be no other than the Greek Islands. The shimmering Aegean Sea, the variety of beauty one can discover, the simple people who still teach us the true meaning of hospitality, the architecture, the history, the food. When you visit Greece, the possibilities are endless and cover all tastes. Having an experienced captain and crew who are familiar with the location can lend to you finding the richest experiences a location has to offer.
What key advice would you give to a yacht owner?
My advice to yacht owners would be to ensure that the crew is pleased by the working conditions and the environment onboard. The most important aspect of impeccable service on a yacht is the crew. Giving them a stable, healthy work environment will lead to them working to their full potential, will keep them driven and willing to offer the owners and guests the level of service that is expected on a super yacht.