Each visit to Rivergate is a coming home of sorts for the captain and crew aboard MY Whistler, with the opportunity to work alongside the craftsmen at Norman Wrights who built the stunning 32-metre vessel some 25 years ago.
There are few people that know the vessel quite like its captain, Craig Hutchinson, who has worked on MY Whistler for 24 years – 18 of those spent skippering.
“I know the boat really well, but still manage to learn new things about her,” Craig said.
Having such an intimate knowledge of the boat and all its systems means Craig wants to work with contractors that know the boat and the owner’s preferences just as much as he does, which is why Rivergate is his premier refit and maintenance destination.
“It’s the contractors that work here that bring us back time and time again – Norman Wrights, Baddileys, MMA, Goodline Trim and of course, the boys that look after us here in the shipyard – Brandon and his team are remarkable at looking after us, so that’s the main reason we keep coming back here, because the quality of work is always top notch,” Craig added. “They know the boat just as well as I do.”
Craig describes Brisbane and the east coast of Australia as the vessel’s “bread and butter”, with the owners opting to cruise this part of the world more than anywhere else.
“The owners absolutely love the sandhills over on Moreton Island and a lot of the other islands nearby,” Craig said.
“They love fishing and there’s great fishing over on Moreton Bay, quite a lot of fish and plenty of crabs and they thoroughly enjoy that.
“The South Pacific in general – I mean, what’s not to enjoy. We do a fair bit in Australia. We cruise anywhere from Tassie all the way through to Cairns. The sites, the fishing and the waterways all make it so enjoyable.”
While Craig has worked aboard MY Whistler for more than two decades, the passion for captaining this 32-metre superyacht is yet to fade.
“The vessel itself, the owners and the itinerary are what keeps me here, it never gets boring… I just love it,” he said.
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