Captain Khalil Bethel
Khalil Bethel recently accomplished the achievement of a lifetime – he became a Captain. Hailing from the Bahamas, he is a calm and charismatic industry professional with more than eight years of diverse experience in yachting, private, and charter. He is a confident leader and motivator with extensive knowledge of yacht and project management, safety, and financial administration. Khalil gives us insight into his career, his home, and what he hopes for the future.
Khalil, you’ve recently completed your Captaincy, which was your lifelong dream congratulations! Tell us how it feels?
The weight of this type of leadership role is definitely not for the faint of heart, this type of job is both dangerous and/or dangerous if the appropriate amount of care isn’t delivered. And it’s something that goes both ways! You have to take care of yourself as a priority, it allows you to think clearly. Captains are constantly dealing with a myriad of moving parts – navigation, owner/management, weather, crew, budgets etc.
I am grateful for the opportunity to work for and alongside some great individuals.
Give us a brief career history – from where you started to where you are now.
2011 to 2014 I worked on an 80m that did the maximum amount of miles, heli-ops and beach missions as physically possible with a live-aboard owner. I’m very appreciative that I did that because everything after seemed easy! I was fortunate to work under a knowledgeable and tactful Captain along with navigating Officers.
2014 I took a break to recoup and stay around home a bit more. I freelanced as an officer and thought it would increase my experience but sometimes the more frequent the job changes the less likely you are to land that dream job in the future. I managed to figure out that three years is the minimum commitment that I like to give. Enough longevity to be respectful but also enough time to not get settled in too much of a routine. Experience in different places with the right frequency is more valuable to me than seeing someone holding a job for 10 years.
After that, I worked on a very extensively cruising 65m which frequented the Indian Ocean, Asia, and the med for just over three years. I thought it was time to get back to my origin, the Bahamas, and settle into a program that allowed me to be closer to family and friends. There is truly no place like home, especially when you’re from one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
What has been your main driving force in achieving this goal?
My main reason for choosing this path is because I love to learn and I think every captain has a different experience, both in the command position and climbing the ranks. Any day on the water beats any day in the office.
How different do you find the yachting industry now versus when you first started?
Yachting in the 2010s is different than now, in my humble opinion because the work ethic and reasoning behind things have changed. I respect everyone has hopes and dreams but you can’t do something for money or the fairytale factor, it fades away and it doesn’t make you feel fulfilled. I decided to get involved in yachting because it afforded me to travel, meet people in different places, truly experience living in places other than my home and expand on what is valuable out there that I can bring back home.
What do you hope to bring to the yachting industry?
I hope I can pass on a bit of my love for the Bahamas, not just as a tourist destination but as a home for many of us, and as one of the world’s favourite yachting destinations.
What is your favourite destination to sail to and why?
My favourite destination to cruise would be the Bahamas. Purely because it’s a challenge due to how shallow it is and also because it’s technical when you get down to requests from the owner/guests, cellular coverage, provisions, and weather routing!
What developments do you hope to see in the next years in yachting?
I hope to see more healthy decisions in yachting. Do what’s healthy for you (the best you can) – choose the best program, choose to NOT let peer pressure put you into situations you wouldn’t normally agree with, choose to stand up for yourself in the most polite way possible when things aren’t necessarily going your way. In summary, take the good with you and find support to get through whatever life and work bring to you.
Tell us what’s next on the cards for you?
I’m involved with a few community projects in my community and I’m also a dreamer. I hope to become a successful charter captain like those before me whom I learned volumes from. I am forever in their debt and I am forever appreciative. Thanks to all that came before me – crew agents that took the time and gave me a chance, all the yachties that took the time to hang out, listen or lend a helping hand and especially all the captains that believed I was true to my goal of becoming a part of the gang!
Kahlil’s passion for yachting is palpable, and his enthusiasm infectious, We can’t wait for another catch-up to see the development and contributions to yachting he has made. Good luck Khalil!