- 56.2m | Oceanco | 1993 (2016)
Born and raised in South Africa, David is one of The Wellesley's two young and dynamic captains, who rotate two months on and two months off, having spent more than 14 years on motor yachts ranging from 32m-90m, including Nero 90m, Apoise 70m, Sairam 52m and motor yacht Jems 44m.
He ran a very successful charter season in 2015 as captain of the first Wellesley (a 32m Falcon). In 2015, he joined the 56.2m Wellesley project and has been in command ever since the launch in 2016.
“We’re a fun but professional bunch,” he says. “Each crew member brings huge amounts of professionalism and enthusiasm to their role on the boat. I love navigating and taking guests to my secret gems of the Med, which is always a special guest experience."
Purchased by Khalid Affara - the owner of one of London’s finest boutique hotels, The Wellesley - the Oceanco yacht was totally reimagined in the same chic style of the exclusive hotel. The second yacht refitted in the distinctive art deco style of The Wellesley in the British capital, the owner combined his experience from the brand’s first superyacht as well as all the client feedback from previous charter holidays into the new and improved The Wellesley. The result? A beautiful, Dutch-built superyacht entirely in line with the sophisticated styling of The Wellesley hotel and, perhaps most importantly, wholly designed with charter in mind.
Learning from the first The Wellesley superyacht, Affara added charter specific features to the yacht during her extensive refit, including particularly large deck spaces, opulent interiors, a Jacuzzi, a 1920s themed cigar room and a whole host of exciting water toys. The new yacht was relaunched in 2016 and has been serving up exemplary yacht charter experiences in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean since.
Here we talk to The Wellesley's Captain David Pott to find out what makes a stay on board this boutique boat as memorable as her London counterpart.
What makes The Wellesley the perfect charter yacht?
The Wellesley is the perfect place for the ultimate relaxing holiday. Originally built in 1993, she is an old girl but elegant and in fantastic condition following her rebuild and refit. There are a lot of great yachts in the 50-60-metre category on the charter market, but what differentiates The Wellesley is her extremely large deck spaces as well as charter-centric design and amenities.
What kind of guests are most suited to a charter holiday on board The Wellesley?
We welcome a lot of different groups of charter clients on board The Wellesley, from families with children to professional business associates to close groups of friends. So this vessel is suitable for all types of guests! We’ve got an extremely strong team, with all of our 12-strong crew having been on board between one - four years. Each crew member brings huge amounts of professionalism and enthusiasm to their role on the boat - from our fantastic Chef to our dedicated Chief Stewardess.
How would you describe the overall atmosphere on board?
We work to make guests feel immediately at home and are determined to deliver on even the most challenging of requests. We’re a fun but professional bunch. A charter experience on The Wellesley strives to create a fantastic experience for every guest. The whole crew keeps the yacht running smoothly, and thrives under pressure to go above and beyond to make everyone’s stay a memorable one.
What are some of the most special guest experiences you have provided?
We’re all big fans of theme nights, and we’ve thrown a few amazing celebrations for many of our guest's special events. From birthdays to anniversaries, there really is no request too big! I love navigating and taking guests to my secret gems of the Med, which is always a special guest experience. Our yacht crew is motivated and energetic, ready to jump on a tender and take guests to discover hidden coves, or set up the water toys and jet skis for magical afternoons in secluded anchorage spots.
What’s the best thing about chartering a superyacht in the Mediterranean and Caribbean?
What I love about both of these destinations is that there are so many options. Not only does that give charter guests lots of choices, but it means that in the case of bad weather, we can easily alter your itinerary last moment to avoid it and make sure the sun keeps shining on The Wellesley. Being an experienced charter yacht, we have a well-established group of agents all around the world that helps us to achieve the unexpected in any of the Mediterranean and Caribbean yachting hotspots we visit.
What are some of the crew’s favourite destinations?
We all really love the Mediterranean. For me, it’s particularly a handful of the best-kept-secrets along the Côte d'Azur, including Plage Mala just across from Beaulieu-sur-Mer, as well as the small but beautiful town of Èze, only a few kilometres from Nice and one of my favourites in the French Riviera.
How is the boat and the crew prepared to accommodate children and teenagers?
We treat each charter individually. Guests provide us with a preference sheet ahead of each trip, and we accommodate the charter to the group’s needs. We have all the toys to keep both adults and children entertained. All the crew are trained and experienced and put safety first. The crew are fantastic with children, and often keep the kids entertained with fun games and competitions around the boat.
Where do guests tend to gather on board?
The main deck aft is extremely large, so this is one of the most popular areas on board. Guests usually enjoy dining at the large table most nights, and then go up to the bridge deck aft, which has a large outdoor cinema and a comfortable lounge area which is a beautiful way to wrap up a great day on the water. During the day guests tend to spend time on the upper deck, lounging in the sun or enjoying the large jacuzzi.
Tell us more about the toys and tenders on board.
As a successful charter yacht, we’ve got a wide range of great toys and tenders on board for the perfect charter holiday. We’ve got two SeaBobs, two wave runners, one standup jet ski, a bunch of inflatable tubes for towing behind the tender, SUP boards, fishing gear and lots of snorkelling gear. The pièce de résistance for many of our charter guests is the giant inflatable slide where kids and adults can fly into the sea from the sundeck!
Are most charter clients familiar with The Wellesley brand?
Yes, quite a lot of our charter guests have visited The Wellesley hotel in Knightsbridge. The Wellesley yacht looks exactly the same as the chic, 1920s-inspired interior of the hotel, and our talented chef serves a few of the hotel’s specialities. The close and capable crew, however, is what really offers clients on board The Wellesley yacht that special X-Factor!
What are some of the main issues clients can experience when chartering a superyacht and how does The Wellesley’s crew prevent them?
Weather is usually a concern of some guests on a charter holiday. Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather, and sometimes bad weather can force us to change the itinerary. We’ve got a lot of great equipment on board, and we always do our best to detect any weather that could potentially disrupt the trip way ahead of time. We’ve always got a Plan B, so we’re ready to make sure everyone has a great time on their yacht charter holiday.