Interview with Alex Haubrich – The legend behind YachtieWorld!

Interview with Alex Haubrich- The legend behind YachtieWorld!

With the biggest community in the industry, as well as a well known brand and a source for many people in the yachting industry, we are honored to have interviewed Alex Haubrich- The brain behind YachtieWorld. With over 50k followers on instagram and a big platform that have helped yachties connect for almost 10 years. Alex is not only a true entreprenour himself, but a very intelligent guy with his feet on the ground. The best of all? He loves Scandinavia! And have actually lived here in the passed. Matter of fact, YachtieWorld was created in Sweden.

Here is an interview with Alex Haubrich and his journey, happy reading!

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, and how old are you?

Hi Yachting Sweden, my name is Alex, and I’m from Cape Town, South Africa. I’m 29 years old now, and my yachting career began when I was 19 years old.

Everyone has their story about how they found yachting and how they landed their first job. What’s your story?

I always knew I wanted to make a living by traveling the world to see new places, meet great
people, and hopefully “find myself” in the process.

In 2011 when I returned to Cape Town after having worked at a summer camp in North Carolina, USA I had my first encounter with a Mega Yacht. I started waiting tables at a high-end restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. As my first job in hospitality, I realized that service to others was something that I was good at. However, I couldn’t see myself staying in the same place for too long. While wiping down the tables, getting the restaurant ready for the double shift I had that day, I watched this giant floating palace dock right in front of the restaurant. I was dumbfounded as I gazed at the yacht and the crew on board with the greatest admiration.

A few weeks went by, and I still couldn’t get the thought of that yacht out of my mind. I knew I had to take action, so I started doing research and speaking to people who had skin in the
game. Eventually, I found myself doing courses to become a deckhand. Once I had those
qualifications in place, I had the confidence to practice dock walking, which I did in the City of Cape Town. I provided my free fresh deckhand services to the few yachts at the V&A Waterfront to gain practical experience during my off days. Less than a year later, in March 2012, I headed for Miami, and the rest is history.

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How has your career in the yachting industry developed?

Once I arrived in Florida, I hit the docks. I was soon employed at Miami Beach Marina as a dock attendant. Working at the marina was a great foundation for my career, and it gave me access to yacht owners, crew and an increase in knowledge.

This ultimately led to my first position as a deckhand on a 30m motor yacht. Working on a small yacht with only 3 crew members (83-year-old Captain) meant that I had to wear many hats on board. I was the deckhand, steward, chef, engineer, and everything in between. This experience gave me insight into the roles’ duties and responsibilities onboard and a great respect for each one.

With that being the basis of my yachting career, I knew that I wanted to specialize on deck on larger motor yachts. The following year, I was equipped with the skills necessary to do so.

I have since worked on several motor yachts ranging from 30m to 60m as a deckhand,
deck/engineer, lead deckhand, and mate. I have been all around the USA, Caribbean,
Bahamas, and Mediterranean several times. However, there are still a few places I’d like to
experience, so I am not throwing in the towel yet.

What do you like most about the industry, and what do you dislike most?

What I like most about yachting is the people, places, and experiences it provides. I dislike that your time is dictated by someone else for most of the time, but that is the price you need to pay for all the fantastic experiences you otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s worth it, though.

So, you are running YachtieWorld. One of the industry’s biggest accounts and you were
the first one to actually create a community for yachties. How did you start YachtieWorld, and why?

My first position was challenging and also lonely. The Captain was an 83-year-old ex-military Captain, and the mate was 46 years old who lived off the yacht. I was only 20 when I joined, and with such a large age gap, I was forced to go out solo and meet new people when I had the chance. Luckily, connecting with people came naturally to me.

Being based out in California, there was not really a big yachting scene. There was a period
when I was left alone on a remote Island ( Tinsley Island, Stockton, California) for two weeks. It was exciting to have the yacht to myself, with the jet skis in the water etc. Still, unfortunately, there was nobody there to interact with. The boredom sparked some real curiosity about the yachting industry for me. Is this what yachting is all about? What are other yachts like? Where is everyone else usually during this time of year? Etc.

Instagram was relatively new at the time and was an excellent platform for communities and visual storytelling. However, after some rigorous research, there was nothing for yacht crew! I asked myself, do I wait for someone else to start something, or do I just start it myself and see what happens? I chose the latter, started off slow, but was persistent in achieving my vision of creating a yacht crew community that highlighted what working as a crew member was like.

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How has YachtieWorld changed over the years? Is it what you thought it would be today?

I originally started YachtieWorld as a hobby to understand what yachting from a crew
perspective was all about. In the beginning, there was minimal traction but something in me kept me going. It eventually led to me gaining a vast network of yachting professionals worldwide. Soon, I was faced with a choice to become a Yacht Captain or turn YachtieWorld into something much larger than myself. I tried doing both, but in the end, there is always a sacrifice to be made. I ended my last position onboard in August 2019 to see what I could turn YachtieWorld into.

“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”

I took that time to travel while developing the ideas I had accumulated throughout my career. When covid struck the world, I was forced to stay put in South Africa, which was supposed to be just a 3 month break at home for the first time in 8 years. I received more requests than ever before from crew members from all corners of the globe. Many were struggling to cope with the few challenges placed on us, and so many questions were left unanswered. I had no choice but to find a solution, and I have since helped more people than ever before. Instead of focusing on the pandemic’s negatives, I chose to make the most of it and do my best to help others succeed even though the world was turned upside down. See yachtieworld.online to see some of the people I have been helping.

Are you working in the industry still? What are your plans for YachtieWorld and yourself for the next 5 years? Where do you see yourself living?

I am very much involved in the yachting industry, even though I am pausing to work onboard. I now serve yacht crew and the businesses that serve them mainly in marketing and advertising, but I also provide mentorship to those who need it most. I am involved with crew training, recruiting, providing valuable information and resources, to name a few things. In the next few years, I would like to make a significant contribution to the yachting industry by giving people the confidence to pursue their dreams and find ways to consistently add value to all involved in the industry. This is a work in progress, and I am nowhere near my end goal. I will persist until I succeed.

You have actually lived in Sweden, and you also speak some Swedish. How come?
What’s your relation to Scandinavia?

I fell in love with a Swede on a 60m motor yacht in 2013. She was beautiful both inside and out, and she soon became my primary focus and number one priority. Due to our forming a strong relationship on board, which was not allowed, I ended up getting fired ( You know how the saying goes…). Still, we stuck together and had several couples positions after that. My curiosity to see the world has always been intense. When the opportunity arose to visit her home country, I did so without hesitation. I fell in love with Sweden and all that it offered. We continued working in the industry together, but eventually, she decided to go back home to work ashore. Sweden became my home base, and I freelanced on yachts for a few months at a time and then continued with the development of YachtieWorld when I was back in Sweden. Ultimately Sweden was where a lot of the growth came for YachtieWorld. I had more time to focus on developing my ideas. I got involved with some tech startups in Stockholm, where some of the most innovative companies in the world were founded, such as Spotify and Skype. This really gave me some perspective as to the direction I wanted to go.

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How would you describe Swedish culture? What do you like/dislike?

One of the Swedish culture’s key characteristics is that Swedes are humble in nature and
find boasting absolutely unacceptable. In many ways, Swedes prefer to listen to others instead of ensuring that their own voice is heard. Swedes tend to be very disciplined and value security. They are kind when you get to know them and generally very helpful.

I found in Sweden that spontaneity is very rare. If you want to go out with friends, for example, it’s best to make a plan well in advance. As a non-native, I really had to hustle to make friends and connections. It can be difficult to enter some of the closed inner circles that Swedes seem to be comfortable with and stick to for most of their lives. In yachting, it is the complete opposite. Things just seem to happen fluidly without any advanced planning, and people tend to be more open to meeting new people. My experience anyway.

Have you worked with Scandinavians in the industry before? How was it?

On my second boat, I worked with 3 Swedes. They were hard-working, intelligent, and friendly. They say Swedes let loose ( in a fun way) when abroad, and I have found this to be true compared to living in Sweden. I have also worked within Sweden from tech startups, nonprofit organizations, restaurants, and moving companies to being a full-time engineer at a prominent hotel in Stockholm.

Do you think more Scandinavians should join the yachting industry?

Scandinavians have a unique culture and mindset, which can be advantageous to the yachting industry. They are often polite and friendly and take their roles very seriously. They don’t tend to look down on menial labor jobs, and many take great pride in what they do. For example, many Swedes work at McDonald’s, which tends to be favorable on their cv’s and shows that they can work in a fast-paced environment. Where I am from, working at a place like Mcdonald’s is not desirable because of the meager wages. The Scandinavian countries tend to take good care of the wellbeing and sense of security of their citizens. They are definitely doing something right, and the rest of the world should consider adopting some of their methods.

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If anything, what do you think makes Scandinavians strong candidates for jobs onboard?

When Scandinavians are given a task, they get it done without hesitation. They are generally
entirely hands-on due to their upbringing. They don’t see themselves as too good for any
particular job. They just get it done.

What do you think are the 3 most important personality traits for someone who wants to succeed in yachting?

  1. Be open-minded to new things. Get outside your comfort zone. Yachting is an
    adventure, so be adventurous.
  2. Be self-motivated. Don’t wait for someone else’s opinion or permission to move forward.
  3. Be resourceful. Develop the ability to find quick and intelligent solutions to overcome
    difficulties

What advice would you give to someone who is considering joining the industry?

  1. You have to be self-aware. Know what you are truly capable of and what you are not.
  2. Do your research. There is more information online about how to get into yachting than
    ever before. Find the resources that resonate with you and reach out to people for
    assistance and guidance.
  3. Be prepared. You are most likely going to work harder than you have ever worked
    before. You will also most likely come upon challenges and hardship, and you may have
    no friends or family members close by to confide in. Flip the negatives into positives, and
    you will do just fine.

Last questions: If you want to connect with YachtieWorld, how can you do this?

We have several online channels of communication. Our websites provide useful information and resources to help yacht crew and aspiring yacht crew succeed in their careers. We are continually working on updates to improve the experience.
Please see yachtieworld.online to learn more and connect with us.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yachtieworld/
Web: https://www.yachtiepages.com/

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Thank you so much Alex! We are so happy to be premium partner of YachtieWorld, and that our participants also can take part of your services.