Most people assume, when they think of Captains, that they could sail before they could walk. That they grew up knowing how to tack, jibe and splice the mainbrace, and knots, don’t get me started on knots. Most of these Captains could tie a rolling hitch and hoist themselves out of their cots before Mum and Dad was a word on their lips. But, as with most things in life there are always exceptions to the rule. And one of those exceptions is sat in front of me as I settle down to a coffee in Daniel’s local Mojo Beach.
It turns out that until Daniel turned 25 and headed for Australia, pretty much the only boat he had been on was the ferry over the Rhine close to the place where he grew up. But bored of wearing a suit and tie to work every day he decided to fulfil his wanderlust and head to the other side of the world. It was here, after numerous different jobs picking fruit, waiting tables, that fate, as is so often the way, chose to intervene and set Daniel on a course that would indeed change his life to the one he has today.
First taste of sailing
A friend got in touch with him asking if he wanted to join him on a trip to see his sister and her university friends on a boat that they owned. And as most of us do he obviously jumped at the chance. After a few days aboard he got chatting to the Captain and crew and discovered that the Captain was five years younger than him and was travelling the world and having an amazing time and it got him thinking.
It suddenly became clear to him that this Daniel’s calling and where he was meant to be. So he waved farewell to his fruit picking days and instead set his sights on the world of the sea.
Learning on the job
At this point Daniel knew nothing of boats, let alone the names of all of the different functioning parts of them, but the Captain took him under his wing and quickly he began to learn every part and how it worked.
For two years he stayed with the yacht having the absolute time of his life, sailing on the seas, hanging out with his friend and his sister and her friends. They spent the weekends sailing and diving and exploring everything that the Australian coast had to offer, at the same time as literally learning the ropes.
He says it was some of the happiest sailing days of his life. Not only was he learning to sail and to navigate, but he also spent time working for several marine companies from yacht painters in the yard to mechanics where he was taught a big part of other aspects that the industry had to offer.
From Australia to New Zealand
From there he moved to Chapman Yacht Management in Sydney Harbour, where he learned all the perks of regular cosmetic maintenance and detailing of boats for the various different boat shows. However, as is the way with a lot of these things, the issue of visas came about. Thankfully during one of the boat shows he ran into Don Salhouse of Salthouse International Yacht Brokers, from New Zealand who convinced him to go over and try his hand on their soil instead.
It was whilst at the Auckland Boat Show that Daniel realised that there were plenty of boats but no companies set up to look after their day to day running when they weren’t in use. So borrowing his yacht broker friend’s wife’s car, buying a polisher and hose, he went out to ply his trade and do what he was good at – the cosmetic maintenance of boats.
So in demand was he that he quickly went from looking after a few boats to a bespoke maintenance company with clients including Emirates Team New Zealand & Luna Rossa, which were preparing in Auckland for the Americas Cup at this time, in under 2 years.
Unfortunately, once again, the issue of visas raised their ugly head and New Zealand wouldn’t grant a business visa, despite his flourishing company. All was not lost however. During his stint in NZ Daniel had started to garner the tickets he needed to be able to work on yachts, starting with his STCW and Eng 1 and his innate knowledge of how to clean a boat.
These starting points gained him employment as a deckhand on a 50m yacht in Tahiti – life could definitely be worse.
From there he gained his yacht master and worked on an Nordhavn explorer as the Mate/Engineer, where they spent most of the time fishing and exploring the amazing sea of New Zealand.
Back to Europe
It was at this point that he decided that it was time to take a break from the other side of the world and a trip back to see family and friends was in order. During this time he bumped into an old girlfriend from his school days and they quickly relit the flame and Daniel decided to stay in Germany rather than look at the Med season.
Back to the sea
However, two months in, after numerous jobs that he didn’t love, he quickly realised that the sea was very much still in his blood and a land locked life was just not for him. So he persuaded his wife with their now young daughter to up-sticks and move to Sardinia where he became captain/engineer of a 28m Jongert.
Sardinia was not to be however, the down season is rather quiet, and so instead, four years ago, they settled on the island that we all know and love – Mallorca.
However what Daniel quickly (unfortunately that wasn’t quick:) it took a few years and jobs as first officers on larger yacht and captain jobs up to 35m) came to realise was that the Mallorca unicorn of running a boat here and being able to maintain a close family life is a dream that is hard to fulfil and so instead he has decided that it is time to take matters into his own hands and set up a business here on the island doing what he does best – keeping yachts in pristine condition and giving owners a great time on their yachts.
So it was with real pleasure and passion that Daniel introduced me to his new company Reinschiff. ¨Reinschiff” is the German captains command to get the yacht in ship shape. Basically it pulls all of his skill sets as a Captain, Engineer and Project Manager and lover of all things beautiful on a boat under one roof.
The aim of the company is to help yacht owners and captains to support where support is needed. From a turn-key service for owners of uncrewed yachts, establishing yacht specific technical maintenance plans or just helping out a big yacht with a washdown, Daniel and his team know what they are doing, even to a superyacht standard.
It’s clear to see that the combination of Italian flair for all things aesthetically beautiful and the German side of ensuring that everything is as excellent and efficient as can be, are actually a perfect combination in this new business venture. Perhaps the Mallorca unicorn isn’t such a wild dream after all.
By Victoria Pearce
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