Military Commando To Yacht Captain

Bluewater recruitment specialist Sharon Rose spoke to Dimitri Patrikeeff, a former military commando and now a superyacht captain, about his role onboard and how he got started in yachting.

How did you get started in yachting?

In my previous life I had a short military career as a Commando, I was also a professional driver for an offshore boat racing team and we won many Grand Prix in France, and I’ve played professional rugby. Following my military career, I made the move to yachting.

What does a typical day look like for you?
It depends on the clients onboard, but we enjoy the sunrise at a good anchorage spot for breakfast, and then I’ll navigate to another amazing anchorage for a swim and lunch and whatever activity the clients want. Then I’ll find a great spot to anchor for the sunset. My pleasure in this industry is making sure my clients are having the best time on our yacht.

What’s your favourite part of being a yacht captain?
We’re lucky that we get to enjoy travelling to beautiful places, I love cruising round.

What’s the toughest part of your job?
After more than 10 years as a captain, I can definitely say that managing the crew is the hardest part of the job. 
It is a daily challenge to motivate the team and keep them focused. My role as captain is to get the best out of them.

Is there anything you know now about working in yachting, that you wish you had known before starting?
If you do all your research beforehand, and talk to other crew, you will feel better prepared. It’s what I did, and it meant there were not too many surprises when I started.

What do you enjoy doing outside of yachting?
Rugby is my passion! I was a professional ruby player at LOU (Lyon) and I played for the French Army Rugby team. I also loved being a professional driver for the offshore racing team, it’s a thrilling sport.

Thanks Dimitri and good luck with your summer season!

Want to feature here?
If you’re onboard and would like to feature in our crew interviews, send us an email and we’ll be in touch with some interview questions.
Don’t forget, our global team are here to support you with all your yachting needs, whether it’s courses or refreshers, last minute crew requirements or if you’re looking for a new role onboard - get in touch and see how we can help.