To say that Capt. Paul McWilliams (above left) of Latiko is a fun-loving character is an understatement. (If his outfit doesn’t hint at his vibrant personality, we don’t know what will.) Of course, he’s a polished professional, too, who has further worked for the same owner for more than a decade. These are among the many reasons why McWilliams was an honoree at the Fraser Captains’ Dinner & Awards last week, along with other fellow charter captains and crewmembers.
Each year during the Monaco Yacht Show, Fraser honors charter captains and crew in its fleet who go the proverbial extra mile in their duties. Understandably, Fraser draws upon commentary from brokers who book yachts for clients. Furthermore, it weighs in feedback from the charter guests themselves. In addition, for the Fraser Captains’ Dinner & Awards, it considers the number of bookings a yacht attracts. Just as important is how well the crew turns the yacht around between bookings. Yet another factor: the number of repeat bookings within the current and/or upcoming year.
McWilliams, of the 145-foot (43.6-meter) Latiko, received recognition as the Best Charter Captain of the Year. Besides his above-mentioned 10-plus years of service with one owner, he’s helmed a number of yachts for that owner, in the Fraser fleet, too. At the awards ceremony, Fraser shared that “his charismatic character, energy, and sense of humor is the soul of the boat.” What’s more, most charter guests are repeat clients. Particularly noteworthy, this year’s sole new clients barely wasted a moment before booking Latiko again for next year—for two weeks. (On a side note, perhaps McWilliams can show off one of his award gifts, a new UJET electric foldable scooter, to them. He’s pictured next to one, which formally debuts in January.)
The Fraser Captains’ Dinner & Awards additionally recognized full captain and crew complements. Capt. Scott Barsin and the crew of Lady Sara received the Best Charter Crew in the over-50M (164-foot) category. Meanwhile, Capt. Massimiliano D’Arliano and his crew aboard Lady Dia won the Best Charter Crew in the under-50M category. Talk about teamwork: With Lady Sara, most of the crew has been aboard since her launch (as Lady Linda) in 2012. Charter guests also reportedly regularly sing their praises. Lady Dia, meanwhile, had bookings from June through last month, with “seamless changeovers from charter to charter,” Fraser says. And, some of those clients want to come back next year. All they need is the green light from the owner on the calendar.