Meet Our Captain: David Butler
David Butler captains the 56M motor yacht, a ship he has worked aboard since 2004 and captained since 2015. He has navigated the yacht through the waters of the Greek Islands, France, Italy and Ibiza. His career in yachting was inspired by childhood memories of being mesmerised by the white super yachts that anchored off the French coast where he holidayed as a child. He began as a deckhand, gaining experience from his fellow crew members while pursuing his captaincy qualifications to continue the legendary name of Rio Rita as Captain.
We asked David about his experiences and advice for yacht owners:
What characteristics are required to fulfil the role of the captain?
The role of a captain is so diverse; we require a varied range of skills and experiences to fulfil the role. Maritime experience, training and seafaring knowledge are obviously paramount but as a Captain, there are many other aspects of the job that require additional skills. Problem-solving, administration, crew counselling and support, accounting and budgeting, project managing shipyard projects, and good communication with the crew and guests are all paramount for being a good captain. Local knowledge of the area always comes in handy.
Why is it beneficial to have a captain native to the locations you wish to visit?
Having an experienced captain with local knowledge lends more than an understanding of how to navigate the waters; it offers the benefit of knowing the hotspots for each location. For example, the Greek Islands offer so much choice. You can find quiet and secluded bays with beautiful clear waters, busy towns, lively bars and restaurants and amazing sunsets. It is a place you can party the night away into the morning or simply relax on a beach and sample the local fresh cuisine. Each island has its own character and gems to offer. My personal favourite is the Island of Milos and its surrounding island owing to its amazing beaches and crystal-clear waters with plenty of options to rock line and spend the night. Exploring the caves and rock formations never gets old.
As a captain, what makes you feel fulfilled?
The aspects of captaincy I enjoy most are researching and planning a cruise and drawing upon the knowledge onboard to show the owner and guests what each location can offer. Taking the vessel to secluded bays and seeing the surprise and enjoyment of the guests when they wake up in their new environment is always a winner. Also, as a captain, sharing knowledge and experiences with the crew and watching them develop and progress is very fulfilling.
What advice would you offer to yacht owners?
Advice I would give to yacht owners looking to hire a captain is that the weather dictates your movements…trust the forecast and your captain to take you to the most suitable places to maximize your enjoyment. That, and a happy crew is a happy boat with happy guests.