10 questions with superyacht Chief Engineer Ruairidh Macrae
As a Chief Engineer, Ruairidh has been involved with exciting big new build projects where his wide engineering knowledge has earned him an adviser spot on the owners team.
We’ve asked Ruairidh what his ideal team would look like, how he would describe his management style and what advice he would have for young Engineers starting in the industry.
1. How do you see main tasks of a Chief Engineer onboard a yacht?
It’s the responsibility of a Chief Engineer to make sure that all of the equipment onboard the yacht is maintained and running properly in order to ensure the safety and comfort of the guests and crew. The role also involves a people aspect. Being a sympathetic ear for people’s woes and giving them back impartial advice.
2. What is a particular aspect of yacht engineering you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about engineering in general. Anything mechanical that makes something happen and I’m happy.
I must say I’m looking forward to future technologies with regards to propulsion and power generation. Having sailed with the majority of propulsion and power system arrangements it will be nice to get experience on something new.
3. You have been involved in a recent 90m+ new build project as a member of the owner’s team. How does participating in building a yacht compare to serving on an already operational vessel?
Being a part of the building process allows you to gain an intimate knowledge of all aspects of the yacht, for example the reasons behind why things were built the way they were from the contract and specification drafting and the previous experiences from the build team and the yard. All of this knowledge allows for greater confidence in the operational role.
4. What would your ideal yacht and engineering team onboard that yacht look like?
The Yacht: A go anywhere explorer vessel with complete onboard equipment and support to allow for full World cruising.
The Owner: Adventurous and passionate about their yacht and the well-being of the crew.
The Engineering Team: An energetic, dynamic and quick-witted engineering team who are hungry for knowledge and new experiences and who can go to bed at night knowing that they’ve done their job and it’s all working. The Engineering team is just one facet of the whole team. The whole crew should be the same.
5. What are 3 personality traits that would be essential for a Chief Engineer to have?
Common Sense, Patience, leadership (Bonus one, OCD!)
6. What is your management style when it comes to leading your Engineering department?
To employ people whom know what they’re doing who make my life easier and let them get on with it and to only intervene when necessary. It’s important to be fully approachable as Chief Engineer so that there’s never a worry in reporting an issue or mistake. Hiding small things only leads to larger problems.
7. How do you encourage your junior Engineers to progress? Do you serve as a mentor to your junior engineers?
I mentor anyone who wishes with career advice, training, allowing them to shadow me or other engineers and to fill them with anecdotes of times of old. This way they will gain the confidence in their role and look to progress and know that it’s all happened many times before.
8. Engineering department is sometimes not fully understood by the other crew. What is something that you would like them to know or be aware about?
We aren’t all grumpy Ogres.
9. Did you have any situations when things went horribly wrong?
My selective memory prohibits me going back to the worst ones (Fires, flooding’s, prolonged blackout in hurricane force winds in the screaming 60s) but knowledge was gained and they won’t happen again! Training and training and training.
10. And lastly, what is your advice for the young Engineers working towards becoming successful yacht Engineers?
Nose to the grindstone and listen to the old boys. It won’t be long till you’re sat down with a cup of tea in the ECR knowing that everything around you is working well whilst writing one of these interviews. 😊
Are you ready to find your new dream job onboard a yacht?
Become a member of YPI CREW through a free registration and let us connect you with the next step in your career.
Each of our recruiters is specialised in recruitment for a particular department; and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise qualified crew how to best present their CV and prepare for a yacht job interview.
Are you looking for yacht crew for your yacht?
Get in touch with us and our recruiters will connect you with suitable, available and interested candidates, each of which will be checked, certified, pre-interviewed and ensured to be a perfect fit to your existing crew.
You can get in touch with us today by clicking here.