We managed to catch up with Marcela De Kern to discuss how she’s helping yacht crew all around the globe thrive in the Superyacht Industry.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am Marcela, originally from Guatemala and a long-term Monaco resident. In 2013 I was the founder and first president of Young Professionals in Yachting Association (YPY) in Monaco. I started in the industry as a supplier, then moved into yacht management then I represented a shipyard and now, I am a business development consultant, I own a consulting firm in Monaco called Onboard and a Marketing and PR agency. My aim is to help yacht crew and businesses succeed in the industry.
I am the author of the first textbook ever written about the Superyacht Industry which comes with a forum, amongst other yachting publications such as the yacht crew basics e-book, and founder of the Superyacht Academy at La Belle Classe Academy of the Yacht Club de Monaco.
I’m a sailor and love sailing with my husband, who is a fund manager and crypto advisor, and our adorable three-year-old daughter.
What is your job role within the Superyacht industry and how long have you been in your current position?
I develop businesses and support companies by improving their corporate strategy, helping them nail their marketing, and increasing their sales. Currently, I’m developing Genoa Superyacht hub which includes two marinas: Marina Molo Vecchio and we launched a brand new one called Waterfront Marina where we focus on crew village and lifestyle. I also teach luxury marketing at the International University of Monaco and teach the yachting Masterclass at the Yacht Club de Monaco. I started doing social media for fun and now it has also become my business, creating content for yachts and companies on a daily basis. On top of this, I am also building a library of yachting/yacht crew books and e-books to make the industry more professional in a casual and fun way.
My strategy is B2C and B2B. Onboard with Marcela is a platform to promote the yachting lifestyle to attract new yacht owners or invite newcomers to charter a yacht. I don’t like the word “influencer” but I am proud to be the first female content creator in the Superyacht Industry, creating high-quality videos (to another level!) to show what the Superyacht life is all about! Business to Business is also a platform for people to learn all about yachting. It is very approachable and fun, but a very insightful and professional space. Creating educational materials such as books, e-books, masterclasses, marketing calendars and sharing insights, and providing value to the industry. Overall it is about helping yachties thrive in this industry!
What inspired you to write the first Superyacht industry book’, followed by ‘Yacht crew basics’ and now your most recent children’s book ‘Sail away with Anna Cabanna’
Superyacht Industry Book:
I come from a very academic background, all my family hold very high titles, I have an MBA and my husband has a PhD from Harvard. If I want to learn something I always buy books, and I was shocked that in the yachting industry there were no resources to learn from! Whilst working as the commercial director of ICON Yachts, I wanted to learn about yacht building, refits, engineering, naval architecture, yacht design, etc, and there was absolutely NOTHING out there to help me! Following on from this, when I started in yacht management I wanted to learn about ISM, ISPS, maritime laws, etc.. and again we all have to learn through experience and asking around but I wished there was a source I could learn from. Where do we learn about class, flag, VAT, family offices, registration, charters, management, etc?
The book started as my own personal notebook. I was asking top designers like Espen Oeino and Tim Heywood to teach me the basics of yacht design. Then, I went to the top Naval Architecture firms and engineers and asked them to teach me the basics I needed to know (or every broker or commercial director in the industry should know). I began working with Oceanco, Feadship, Lurssen where they shared with me all the yacht building process, and techniques. I all the ket points down, turning them into a type of “Yachting for dummies”, followed by turning that into a textbook. It has super valuable content but is all written in an easy-to-digest way and fun way to learn.
The superyacht industry book is perfect for crew who would like to move to land-based jobs in yachting or who would like to understand “the other side” of yachting. This book is a celebration of knowledge offered by some of the most influential people in yachting.” – Jonathan Beckett, CEO Burgess
Crew basics e-book:
The most frequently asked question I get on my social media is “how do I get a job onboard yachts”? I noticed that I was always answering the same thing over and over again. This then encouraged me to write a long blog about it, followed by partnering up with Alex from yachtieworld. Alex and I wrote down the e-book with all the tips, advice, recommendations about how to get a job onboard yachts, salary expectations, life onboard, the do’s and don’ts onboard a yacht. You’ll find that there are valuable nuggets of information that you can’t get anywhere else.
I had the honour to meet with Pierre Casiraghi during an event at the yacht club de Monaco. Pierre told me about the “Vendee Globe”, the sailing tour around the world solo. Pierre was spreading the message about sustainability and climate change. I was so inspired that I went home to my 3-year-old daughter and told her the story. I narrated it (like you do to a young child) full of imagery of sailing adventures and sea animals. That evening I decided to write it down on paper. I wrote a beautiful story, where I was teaching her also the basics of sailing: weather, wind, waves, sailing terms, etc. More importantly, I wrote about important life values. Not only does the book teach children about adventure but it teaches them about protecting our oceans.
It took me months to put the story into rhyme! After working with various illustrators I finally found one that was able to draw exactly what I had in mind and we managed to create the most beautiful book in the world (ok I know I am biased but I am totally in love with it and you will be too!)
What do you hope yacht crew take away from your book – ‘Superyacht Crew Basics’?
Superyacht Crew Basics is a book that explains the basics of superyacht crew. The guide is ideal for anyone starting in the industry.
- Different departments
- Services by area
- Specialty roles
- Salary expectations
Relationship with owners:
- Owners profiles
- Private vs charter
- Life onboard
- What to expect
- Crew mess etiquette
- working hours
- Crew relationships
- Dock walking
- CV help
- Crew Agencies
- Life after yachting
- Mindset, motivation, and career advice
Do you have any current projects in the pipeline you would like to share with your readers?
I’m starting a YouTube channel where there will be a “learn yachting” playlist, and a yacht walkthroughs playlist where I show different yacht models, a water toys review, and a Monaco lifestyle playlist so make sure you subscribe to my channel: Onboard
Your top 5 tips for anyone trying to succeed in the Superyacht industry:
1. Network, network, network, because your network is your net worth! Make friends with brokers, lawyers, surveyors, shipyards, sales reps, etc. Believe me, you never know when you will need them. The industry is so small you will bump into each other eventually!
2. This leads me to tip No.2 keep, your reputation. Stick to your values and work with integrity because again, the industry is so small and you don’t want to have enemies (because you will bump into each other eventually).
3. Invest in knowledge. Read books, attend masterclasses, and get to know as much as you can so you can gain enough confidence to know what you are talking about.
4. Read this blog: Tips to Succeed in yachting
5. And Watch this video
For a consistent stream of content to help yacht crew thrive in the Superyacht Industry then follow me on Social Media:
Linked in: Marcela de Kern Royer
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