The role of a superyacht engineer

With the great variety of systems available on today’s modern superyacht, the role of a superyacht engineer is ever expanding. A superyacht engineer can be required to look after all systems on board, from fixing guests laptops and unblocking toilets to engine and generator maintenance.

Yachting Pages spoke to Roger Trant, an independent maritime professional and previous engineer, who commented, “Commercial vessels and private yachts operate with the smallest crews they can get away with. For example, I have sailed on ferries that carry 2000 passengers with four in the engine room crew. Those four are responsible for the condition of all the equipment on board. This includes the toilets, galley, HVAC, electrical generation and distribution systems, condition of the hull, any boilers, and propulsion machinery to name a few.”

Similarly, today’s superyacht engineer is responsible for all the systems on board and must have an extremely wide skill set to be able to respond to any problems or failures. Engineers on a superyacht will need to look after the carpentry, electrics, engines, mechanics, HVAC, metal works and more. Though they may not have the on board facilities to perform complicated works such as welding and parts manufacturing, knowledge of such tasks is still required, along with the knowledge of more simple tasks ranging from fixing internet connections and a getting a satellite TV signal.

Roger went on to say, “In other words, you have to be a generalist, not a specialist. Who are you going to call when your nearest help is 7 or 8 days away? You're it.”

The skill set required and the lifestyle of a superyacht engineer can also greatly differ to that of a naval engineer.

Roger went on to explain, “I have sailed with a few people who came from navies. They find it a large culture shock, but it is do-able if you want to.”

For more information on superyacht engineering, visit engineering tips.

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