Interview with captain
Martino Motti interview with Massimiliano Frazzetta
Where do you come from captain?
Let’s say I’m Italian from several places of the Country. I was born in Liguria, grew up in Milan and I’m now living with my family in Viareggio. But the wish for Sicily is strong and every time I get to Palermo I feel at home.
How did you get involved with the sea?
I’ve always been fascinated by it. As a child I used to live in Varazze a sea port town and my grandfather was a fisherman who had spent many years in the Navy. My parents often took me down to the harbour and along the sea shores. I think my passion for the sea comes from there.
I went to naval school and then on to naval Academy in Leghorn to become an officer. After that I qualified as deck officer for Costa Crociere Spa.
Which are your earliest recollections of the sea and boats?
I seem to recall a day’s outing with my father and mother in my grandfather’s wooden boat I must have been about two and a half and I was really disappointed because my mother wanted to return almost immediately.
How was the impact with the world of work proper?
My first job was at fourteen, little occasional things. I was schooled to do things, so I never really felt any impact later on in the real sense of the word. I grew up working and reaching pre set goals which was often demanding which is something few young people are prepared to do today.
Your first experiences at sea?
My first professional one goes back to 2001 as Executive Officer on one of the Navy’s ships. We were assigned to patrolling the Adriatic sea and the Albanian coast to monitor immigration. When I was done, I continued on passenger ships and worked my way up to first officer from midshipman.
After having served on passenger ships for about seven years and thanks to the Crew Network in Viareggio I began my career in yachting and after about four years as first officer I got my first command in 2012. The yacht was a 40 metre named Sophie Blue. Two seasons later I moved on to Nanook a Codecasa 50 metre and after four seasons, here I am currently Oasis’s captain.
Which are the main features of the yacht you are skippering?
Oasis is an incredible ship. She’s a Lürssen superyacht built in 2006 to very high qualitative standards and impeccably maintained by her crew and Adrian O’Neil her former captain who’s recently passed away. I wish to remember him because in the course of the few days I spent with him to get the drift of things, he gave me a lot more, as a captain and as a man.
Oasis is all of 60 metres long and displaces 1,213 tons. She features huge spaces and outstanding headroom which are difficult to find on ships of the same size. Very low noise levels, the total absence of any vibration and her degree of stability are her main features. As for manoeuvrability thanks to independent rudders and a powerful high performance bow thruster she responds readily also in restricted waters. Finally even if I haven’t been here long I can say she’s a fantastic yacht.
Your favourite marina?
I simply adore South Italy and surely Siracusa is one of my favourites from a cultural view point and for the atmosphere perceived.
I don’t have one, every route can potentially add to your know how. I’d be fascinated by Norwegian fjords though and the Baltic sea as well as the Caribbean but finally I’d go for the Mediterranean. From Spain to Turkey, it’s incomparably beautiful. I want to mention Seville a fantastic city that hosted me, my crew and my guests with unexpected warmth summer last.
Which innovations have struck you most of the yachting world and why?
I’m very interested in the development and use of new materials and technologies aimed at yacht maintenance in all its aspects, from engines to fine wood veneers and paints. For example nanotechnologies are set to revolutionise our future. The employment of modern products and new solutions for interiors fascinate me in a special way. Currently we’re looking at ever evolving new devices and technology applied to the yachting world, but I believe yachting is a step behind the world of passenger ships. I am convinced crew coaching and upgrading courses as in large firms and in sports teams are surely useful: the concept of team work is universal and TCN’s are the forerunners in this.
Your worst experience as captain?
We were lying to an anchor on a very windy day and because of a negligent crew member fire broke out in one of the crew cabins. It was an unpleasant situation, but we were all well drilled and readily faced the emergency acting quickly. The end result was a burnt blanket and mattress but the intensity of the acrid smell lasted longer than I thought and I dreamed it for a few days.
What do you think about your role as captain and of the yachting world you work in?
I am still young and at 38 I’m skippering a 60 metre superyacht. My opinion could be only very personal and relative as I’m still learning. I believe a captain’s role is surely satisfying, but nothing comes free. The responsibilities are many, to the owner and crew who place their trust in the captain. The captain must be of support but more so should lead by example. ”You can’t become a good captain if you have not soldiered in moral schooling”.