We go behind the scenes of the unique M/Y Gene Machine. In this interview, we chat about general Gene Machine adventures, their unique onboard Lab, the crew’s favourite parts and Nikki, the samoyed dog!

M/Y Gene Machine and it's support vessel
Image by M/Y Gene Machine

The Gene Machine specifics: 

  • Size & Build: Amels 180 (55m) 2013
  • Crew members: 15
  • Guests: 10
  • Private/Charter: Private
  • Owner: Dr Jonathan Rothberg (developed next-generation DNA sequencing)

 Where has M/Y Gene Machine been this year, and what is the itinerary looking like for the rest of 2022?

This year started in St Barths; then March/April was spent in the Bahamas, followed by some standby time in Miami. We then crossed to The Med, where we cruised Ibiza, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and Monaco. The Gene Fleet is currently crossing back to Miami with possibly one more Bahamas trip before ending the year in St Barths. We have some exciting plans for 2023 up our sleeve, where the Gene Fleet will possibly be spending most of the year off the beaten track!

What does a typical guest day look like on M/Y Gene Machine?

A lot of time is spent relaxing, and meals are of utmost importance for bringing the family together. It all depends on location and the guests on board, but the kids are really into wake surfing at the moment and would spend 4-5 hours in the afternoon behind the Fjord or Nautique.

Could you tell us your crew’s favourite toys and gadgets onboard?

The crew does not use the guest toys, and when we do have time off, it’s generally spent away from the vessel and its equipment. Starlink RV has been a game changer for our crew and guests, and finally, a high-speed, reliable internet service. We can run without any restrictions on our internet access, allowing the crew to make video calls home and watch as much Netflix as their work schedule allows. We plan to upgrade to the Maritime SL this fall. The coolest toy we have would be the self-playing piano in the main salon that Kygo played when he visited last year in St Barths!

What is the most exciting discovery which has been made within your onboard Lab?

One would be that we can use natural genetic diversity to evolve proteins to clean up the world’s oceans. Secondly, we can have all the capabilities to create and test the world’s first scalable home lab quality test for covid, monkeypox, or any pathogen.

Which features do you have onboard make you stand out from other yachts? 

Our custom beach club with Bruce and Nemo is unique! It’s fully decorated using a mosaic to depict a scene from Finding Nemo.

Can you tell us the main reasons why the owner bought Gene Chaser?

Allowing the owner to separate work and family time was the driving factor. It also means the family can spend more time onboard Gene Machine. The main reason was to extend the scientific research efforts. Gene Chaser has a laboratory on board and cabin space for scientists, allowing the boss to hold regular conferences for his ongoing projects.

Can you tell us how Gene Machine and Gene Chasers crew work together? 

Having two crews working as one has taken some time to refine. Overall, we’re at a stage where both crews work well together, regularly switching between boats to offer a helping hand and sharing the workload.

What is the Captain’s favourite destination he has taken Gene Machine to?

The Northeast US, specifically New York, and up the Hudson River to Kingston in the fall of last year.

What is the chef’s signature GM dish onboard; for both guests & crew?

The guests love sushi, and the customised Gene Machine sushi boat is always a crowd pleaser! Chef Chris’ signature dish is sesame crust seared yellow tail, jalapeño, yuzu marmalade, ponzu, lime avocado purée, and cucumber.

What’s the engineer’s favourite part/gadget in the engine room?

Automatic Monitoring System (AMS) brings all of the Electrical & Mechanical System Parameters to one place. It allows us, as engineers, to be able to monitor machinery, tank levels, power levels, and usage. It also lets us know of any problems with machinery and will alarm us if it needs to do so.

What would it be if the GM deck team could only choose one watersports toy to have onboard?

Although we have some awesome motorised toys such as a Lift Foil and Jet Surfs, the guests learned to wake surf behind the Fjord from a young age, and it was used pretty much every day on the trip, so it would have to be our Hyperlite Wake Surfboards.

How does the GM interior team manage to have dogs onboard?!

They try to limit their usage of larger guest areas such as the main and bridge salons. The first time Nikki came on board, she nibbled on a few things (there are still a couple of teak steps with puppy marks), but we try and entertain Nikki, on deck as much as possible. The crew loves having them on board, and we’re never short of crew members offering to walk them ashore!

What is your Chief Stew’s favourite bit about GM interior?

The owner’s balcony opens up the master cabin beautifully. We try an anchor the vessel with the best views on the port side so the owner can enjoy the view!

Thank you to Gene Machine’s crew! To check out more of their adventures, click here

For more Superyacht Content crewmess articles, click here 

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