After a career in the military and a spell instructing RNLI crews, Sam Wolverson headed for calmer seas as a superyacht captain. With Alfa Nero covering 100,000 miles in five years it’s been a busy time for Sam, who’s responsible for managing the vessel and its crew.

A varied role

“My role varies depending on where in the world Alfa Nero is,” explains Sam. “But generally it covers everything from purchasing to the welfare of the crew and the upkeep of the vessel. The engines, AV and IT systems need monitoring continually, and although we have experts to look after them, I need to know what’s going on.”

This responsibility and the complexity of the vessel means Sam’s days aren’t spent, as many people might imagine, behind the ship’s wheel. “I’ve got three people who navigate the boat for me, leaving me free to get on with the work that comes with the job of captain,” he explains.

I get the chance to travel the world, and I see a different view out the window every day. It’s something that still really excites me.

Sam Wolverson - Captain, Alfa Nero

Managing the workload

Superyachts certainly come with a super-sized amount of work for the captain and crew. Where smaller vessels might use time in port to catch up on paperwork, Alfa Nero tends to be entertaining guests. So the work of running the vessel has to keep going in the background.

To stay on top of everything, Sam uses a combination of human and hi-tech support. “Our purser takes care of a lot of the paperwork and I couldn’t survive without internet access,” says Sam, who uses Royale Oceanic’s ON-BOARD system to access synchronised safety management information from anywhere in the world.

Every day is different

With no two destinations quite the same, Sam has to stay on top of changing regulations and formalities – as well as the weather. “If the weather is fine, my life is a lot easier and the guests are happy,” he says. “If the weather’s not good, then the Caribbean is difficult because it’s often windy, whereas the Med is more changeable. I prefer this because you can usually find a sheltered spot to sit out the gale.”

His job might involve a lot of responsibility, but Sam wouldn’t swap places with anyone. “I get the chance to travel the world, and I see a different view out the window every day,” he says. “It’s something that still really excites me.”