I started working for M/Y Domani’s owner when his first Azimut|Benetti yacht, hull number 24 of the Azimut 100’ series, was almost completed. The owner’s wife was pregnant with their first child. We decided to name the boat Domani in joking homage to what they’d always tell us at the yard: we got there a couple of weeks before delivery and every day would ask when it would be ready. At the yard they’d always say ‘domani!’ For that boat I hired two engineers, a bosun and a deck hand. That crew of four is still with us today.
“The second M/Y Domani was also hull number 24, this time of a Benetti Classic 115’. The third, the 45m FB246, was a hull number one and the Benetti Classic 121’ BC124 Domani was again a hull number 24.”
Which brings us to today and the 45m Benetti FB701 M/Y Domani, a hull number one. The owner now has a fam- ily of four children, the length of his yacht has grown considerably and his crew from the original four now counts eight.
“We hired two people for the new M/Y Domani, a deck hand and a stewardess. The owners spend a lot of time aboard, two months straight in the summer and other vacations during the year, so we needed the extra help.”
With owners who get such intense use out of their yachts how does Berra manage to find the right people?
We all know that nobody’s prefect and that living aboard has its limitations. We call Domani our Big Brother, you just don’t get much privacy. But we love the life we live aboard as do the owners and their family. We cruise beautiful spots: M/Y Domani will be in the Med this summer then we’ll cross the Atlantic and tour the East Coast and the Bahamas. By Easter we’re planning on being in the Sea of Cortez and then M/Y Domani will mostly sail around Baja. It’s a wonderful life with people who love the ocean and everything that has to do with it.
But surely Berra’s crew must miss seeing friends and family?
We work on a rotation: I work five months on and one month off and the rest of the crew works three months on and three off. It’s not bad at all, you always know when vacation is coming up even though at times it seems like vacation aboard.
Does Captain Berra have a secret for keeping his crew?
I really don’t think there’s a secret. My crew knows they can trust me and they know that I work as hard as they do. We all work, and we all work together. If there’s any secret that’s it.