How does all this equipment work?

After the search, purchase, and relocation of the Papagallo, we were ready to begin our special event charter business.  The most important question prior to getting here, one that should always be asked and answered honestly before opening any business, is:  “WHY.” 

My WHY was asked long before buying and owning a yacht became a reality.  It began with a small boy’s dream, a boy who knew nothing about the practical aspects of owning a yacht, but didn’t let that stop him from dreaming about one.  And as he continued to dream, and later to focus on achieving that dream, his personal “why” came true.  That boy was me.

I did not have enough money to buy a yacht, nor did I have any concrete idea of what, exactly, the right vessel might be.  

Not to worry!

My WHY, my personal dream, was of paramount importance.  And so is yours.  Your WHY question needs to be answered first, well before the “what” and the “how” of starting a business or any new endeavor.  Because if the WHY is not strong or big enough (it’s good to dream big), your how and what will make little difference in achieving success.  They will just be words.

And along with the need to answer WHY, we will focus on some very important key words like desire, passion, enthusiasm, commitment, visualization, thought, and faith in future posts.  For now, I encourage you to visualize and personalize a strong, unwavering Why and then prepare yourself for success.  It will happen!

I know what I’m talking about, because it happened to me.

When we docked the Papagallo and tied her securely in her new berth, I looked around and took a deep breath.  “Now what do I do?” I asked myself, not at all sure that I knew the answer.

Then I remembered what most yacht owners agree on – the single most important compartment on the vessel is its engine room.  Most of a yacht’s operating systems rely on a well maintained and properly functioning engine room.  This being my second day of ownership, that seemed like the best place to begin.  I would start familiarizing myself with all of the systems housed there.

After opening the dogged hatch to the engine room, I stepped in on the deck plates.  My first impression was one of amazement.  How can so much equipment be squeezed into such a small space, I wondered.  The more I surveyed this compartment, the more my feelings went from utter amazement to being overwhelmingly dazed by the complexity of it all.  And to think, I was the proud owner!

Ask me to prepare a chocolate soufflé, lobster thermidor or fresh abalone dish.  Duck soup.  I’m in familiar territory.  Cater a wedding reception for 200 – not a problem.   But try to understand or even pretend to have the vaguest idea of how all this equipment crammed into the engine room worked and, more importantly, what it operated?  Totally Greek to me.  Obviously, the limited training we received at the boatyard fell short.  As a new yacht owner I needed to know more than where the stop and start switches were.

YIKES!  I knew I would have to learn the systems.  I needed to get a handle on how these systems worked before I could ever leave the dock with future passengers onboard.  Making a quick management decision, I realized I would have to hire someone in order to gain a working knowledge of how everything was supposed to work.

Living one’s dream is not always smooth sailing. You can expect doubt and fear to be constant companions in the early stages of a new business.  When in doubt, call someone. Failure is not an option. 

In next week’s blog, I will introduce two new players, “Nick the Wrench and Captain Cool,” to the cast of characters as the Papagallo Yacht Charter startup gets underway.

Stay tuned.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Credited as a Buddhist Proverb.


Miss our post from last week? Catch up here! Just joining the journey? Start here!

Chef Len


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