What is life like after being the “Big Skipper”? Often people ask, “What do captains do if they want to quit traveling and being away from home for many months out of the year?” Well, I have observed and found that a lot of captains who have been at the helm for 20 or 30 years have changed careers so they can stay home and do things that they never had the time to do as a traveling captain.
Things like spending time with their family and friends, travel, and maybe attend some sporting events. Just being a part of everyday home life, without the use of satellite phones or long-distance communications is different.
There is a lot of sacrifice on the part of traveling captains, but it’s a sacrifice of choice. No one’s arm is twisted. It’s the love of the sport. It’s almost an addiction. To make the decision to step down from the helm is both difficult and huge. It’s a career change, but most captains stay involved in the business.
Captains have valuable knowledge after many years of experience, and that can help jump-start them into another career that keeps them in the loop, but also lets them come home at night. I know captains who have left the helm and are happier than ever in their new ventures. These captains are now doing things like marina managers, dock masters, yacht insurers, yacht surveyors, marine consultants, boat yard managers, boat and yacht outfitters, boat brokers, yacht managers, and marine conservationists. The list goes on. With these new careers, these captains are now more involved in family and community than ever before.
As for me, whenever I needed something done with my boat, I always looked for someone who knows the business. Usually, that guy has spent many years at the helm and knows what I need, and what it takes to get my job done.
There’s a lot to be learned from these experienced captains. These guys have been there and done that, so listen closely to what they have to say and don’t be afraid to ask for their advice. There is a world of knowledge that comes from these “Old Salts.” So pay attention and you might learn something.
—That’s my two-minute warning. Fraz