Meet Our Captain: Manolis Klimataras
Manolis Klimataras captains a 50M luxury yacht, having gained a vast experience on a variety of vessels including containers, bulk carriers and tugs before joining PrivatSea in 2003. During his career, Manolis has worked aboard some of the industry’s most renowned mega yachts. In spite of missing his family dearly, Manolis could not resist the call of the sea and the desire to travel to the ends of the earth which inspired his pursuit to become a yacht captain.
We asked Manolis about his experiences and advice for yacht owners:
What necessary skills must a good captain have?
I believe that being a good leader is the most important skill that a captain can have. Personally, I do not follow a specific type of leadership as all elements of leadership need to be adaptable to meet the needs of each vision, each idea, and each group. I want to promote collaboration that will focus on the team. I used to focus on building trust and a sense of belonging for the group but sometimes this creates significant risk because being particularly forgiving can lead to systematically uncorrected situations and behaviours. A Captain needs to be a figure of authority without being unapproachable.
That is why this is, for me, the most critical element of the Captain’s profile: to be a “Chamaeleon”. “Chamaeleon” etymologically is a union of Greek word “hamai “or “χαμαι» which means stays on the ground and the Greek word “Leon” which means “lion” and in a freer etymology is the land lion. A Leader must stay grounded, like a lion.
What do you enjoy most as a captain?
There are so many rewarding aspects to being a captain, but seeing the joy painted on the face of a guest when we approach a magical beach with crystal clear water and golden sand – the reflection of them feeling that they are in an earthly paradise – that is incomparable.
What is your favourite location to share with your clients?
There are so many wonderful locations to visit, so many islands with each one offering a unique experience, but I would say my favourites are the complex islands in the west part of Greece, in Ionian Archipelago. The Ionian islands are officially constituting of seven islands the “eptánisos” Kerkyra (or Corfu), Zakynthos (or Zante), Ithaca, Kefallonia, Paxos, Lefkas and Kithira.
The distances between these islands makes it easy to offer our charterers a wide spectrum of choices for beaches, diving spots, cultural sights and breath-taking views.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring yacht owners?
Advice I would offer to yacht owners is that the captain and the crew are part of the yacht, part of the experience that the client will have while on board, so as important as the yacht may be, the contact and the interaction with the crew should be just as important too.
Also, the Owners must understand the value of the crew and their work on the ship must be appreciated in every way because this work is very demanding, difficult and comes with many sacrifices.