#humansofyachting – Richardo Anderson
The chief engineer on board Lady S talks diving, yacht design and dolphins.
“To be honest, I had very little to do with sailing growing up. I wanted to be an architect as I loved design and after high school, I did work experience in that field. I had plans to do architectural design but it was out of range for me in terms of the financials so my sister suggested the maritime route; she’s the one who pushed me to try it. I am glad she did as I love it and I get a lot out of being on the ocean.
I graduated from the Caribbean Maritime University in Jamaica back in 2014. I actually studied to work on container vessels and did that for about four years, but a friend of mine went straight into the yacht industry and suggested I might like it, too. I decided to give it a shot for two months while I was on vacation from my main job and realised it was very different to what I’d expected. Long story short, that’s how I got started in the superyachting world.
Crew on board Lady S
Crew on board Lady S
I’ve cruised all over North and South America. Looking out and seeing nothing but water gives me a real sense of tranquillity. During my time in commercial shipping, I went to all these exciting places – Costa Rica, Panama, Belize – but I wasn’t there per se – that’s one of the benefits that yachting offers. We went to Panama last year on Lady S and stayed there for two months and I really got to explore. I did some hiking in the mountains, and really got to experience the destination – it was pretty fun. That’s one of the perks of being a yachtie.
More recently, we went to Bermuda and, on our way there, while cruising in the Atlantic, we saw dolphins on maybe three different occasions. We did some diving over there, too. I only tried diving after I joined the yacht. We have an instructor on board so I knew I was in good hands, but I was super scared at first, even though it wasn’t deep. It was a huge thing for me, and it has been one of my greatest experiences.
In terms of toys, the yacht has jet skis, sea bobs, kayaks, wakeboard and jet surfs. A jet surf is like a wakeboard but it’s motorised, so you’re basically surfing on power. The owner is a pretty friendly guy, and, in fact, he has often asked me why we aren’t joining them on the toys when he’s out there having fun! As far as the crew is concerned, I would say we’re an extended family. We’ll all congregate in the crew mess, eat together and have a chat. It would be difficult not to get along with people who you spend so much time with.
Unsurprisingly, given my love of architecture, yacht design still gets my engines going! Looking at the schematics and seeing the work that goes on behind building these yachts is fascinating to me. The use of space is just incredible. I also obviously have an opinion on engine rooms – the equipment might be similar in each one, but no two rooms are ever the same. Some are so compact that they’ve forgotten about needing space for maintenance. Good design takes that into account.
There is new technology coming in all the time on all of these yachts and so much equipment being built with the purpose of caring for the marine environment. I went on a Moonen yacht recently and in terms of tech it was fully computerised – I could do everything by a touchscreen on an iPad. I think eventually there will be automated boats but someone will always be needed to support everything; in yachting, that personal experience is always going to be important.
If I had a superyacht it would be something like Excellence, with an axe bow. Ideally it would be about 45 metres, motor powered and with cool, modern interiors. I’d take it to the Med, maybe for the Monaco Grand Prix?”