Invisible Crew initially provided freelance crew. Fons Dorrestijn was the first captain we placed in a permanent position which he still holds today, 4 years later.
How did you get into yachting?
I sailed on boats before I could walk. My parents owned a little bilge-keeled cabin cruiser. They padded the fore peak up to the deck head and left me rolling about there while sailing. It was my dream to make a living out of sailing. But in the Netherlands yachting is not a well known career option. Long after my student years I decided to change things, cancelled my job as a property valuator and moved to the UK to get my certificates. Soon after I made that decision, I received a job offer on a 67ft Colin Archer. I was the only crew and the yacht was shared by 3 owners. We sailed the bits out of that thing, going out daily in any condition. Everybody absolutely loved it.
When did you join Invisible Crew?
Jens and I met on a small dock in Milazzo, (Sicily) run by a family. We spent a few nights reflecting on the past season and talking about future plans. He had ideas, so did I and there was an overlap that left me with the feeling we would meet again. Several years later, I was en route to Holland after finishing a contract on a classic. We met again in Antwerp (Belgium) where Jens had just started Invisible Crew.
The following spring, I started my first job with Invisible Crew and I’m still here!
What has proven to be the greatest benefit in working for I.C.?
When freelancing on yachts, it’s very hard to stay connected and on top of your network. Finding a follow-up job whilst running a yacht is not easy. Jens has an impressive network, is a great communicator and has a longterm vision in mind when placing/proposing crew. After proper assessment this makes for continuity for both owner and crew instead of the often “hit and miss” style of crew placement.
What has been or is your greatest contribution to I.C.?
Staying with them for 4+ year? haha, honestly, you’d have to ask Jens about that.
Which yacht are you running at the moment?
An 85ft Royal Huisman ketch. She’s commercial for all sea areas under SOLAS.
What is the hardest part about working on yachts?
On a more personal level: the long periods spent away from loved ones and (a) home. It really depends who you ask I think. Different people in different roles and a different history in the industry will tell you different things.
What is your favourite cruising area?
Scotland, where we cruised last spring and summer has really blown me away!
(read more about Sailing in Scotland on www.invisiblecrew.com/pocket-superyacht-blog/
Which word of advice would you like to offer (future) Invisible Crew or clients?
Don’t be tempted by the allure of the (very) large yachts, Pocket Superyachts are much more fun! They allow you to explore areas and be sheltered in small bays in a way mega yachts can only dream of. They really connect you more to the new continent and environment you’re exploring. And, go North!