Where Are They Now: Dùghall macLachlainn


Where Are They Now: Dùghall macLachlainn

Dùghall has over 33 years of experience in yacht management. With an excess of 500,000 nautical miles, he has sailed all over the world and has a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in cruising that few could match. For the past six years Dùghall has been the captain of a 78 metre Feadship superyacht. He is responsible for a 31 rotational crew, with a worldwide itinerary.

Q. How did you first start working for Reliance?

A. I contacted Nick when I passed my Yachtmaster Ocean Theory, but he was looking for potential skippers to run as mate initially for expenses only. Later after I had taken a fleet of yachts for Sunsail to the Seychelles Nick contacted me just before New Year 96 with a request to deliver a Moorings 500 (I think), France to Tortola. Short notice but I jumped at the chance and was in France by 7th January. Luckily, I was able to celebrate New Year in Edinburgh before I left!

Q. How long did you work for Reliance, and what work did you get up to? Do you have any highlights?

A. I did 3 years with Reliance and my highlights were delivering a further 4-yacht-fleet to the Seychelles for Sunsail – and as I chose the skippers and was in command, much preferred the more professional operation with Reliance. Also delivered a 106-foot Sloop – France to Thailand – and a Sunfast 39 – St Maarten to New Zealand – where I think the crew were slightly taken aback when after a 24 day crossing from Panama to Marquesas I gave them [only] 36 hours ashore before heading off on a 14 day passage to Tonga. We spent three days there [Tonga] and found out on one of them of Princess Diana’s death. On my arrival in NZ I discovered that Scotland had voted for Devolution. The things you miss at sea – especially in those days of less comms!

Q. What skills did you require and/or develop while working at Reliance?

A. You had to be able to sail for sure, but you also needed patience working with crew who were there for miles-building rather than money; you also needed to be able to drop everything and go when a job came up. Nick knew that if I was not on one of his jobs, I would be available. I personally needed to be able to work through seasickness as it was the bane of my life at the time. But perseverance means that I don’t get it anymore.

Q. How did working at Reliance help you get to where you are now?

A. Working for Reliance gave me a way back into yachting after I had been out for some time. It also gave me the knowledge of a lot more areas than I had been used to and suffice to say that currently in the six years and two world cruises, on my present command I have only visited two new countries.

Q. What influence did Reliance have on your career?

A. Working for Reliance gave me the required sea-time to complete my Masters and progress to where I am now.

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