With an impressive career working in marine electrical engineering, superyacht refits and on board some of the world’s most advanced superyachts, Ryan Porter is an ETO who can confidently say he knows his stuff. Currently working on board an innovative 90+ metre superyacht, we spoke to Ryan about his journey to becoming an established yacht ETO and how he’s found that the multi-functional safety and communications system VesselWatch is one of the most useful pieces of superyacht tech for advanced safety and security at sea.
Tell us about yourself and your journey into yachting.
I grew up in the south-east of the UK and I left school at 16 to join a six-year apprenticeship scheme with a marine electrical company in Suffolk. I worked on tugs, trawlers and commercial vessels in the ship repair division, learning the trade, and I gained an HND in electrical/electronics. I was looking to expand my horizons, and a company asked me if I would be interested in a refit project on a superyacht owned by Roman Abramovich in Barcelona. I was 21 years old; my eyes lit up, and I went for it. I worked in Barcelona for four years, working on different yacht refits and repair jobs. Believe it or not, it was very similar to my apprenticeship working with greasy, rugged commercial vessels as the same principles applied.
How did you go from yacht refit projects in Barcelona to becoming a seasoned superyacht ETO?
I worked as a sole trader and bounced around for the first couple of years, from complex refit projects to complete AV upgrades. I also worked on some great technical superyacht projects with De Keizer Marine Engineering (ADK). In 2011 I was working on a boat called TITAN when I bumped into the stewardess on board. She’s now my wife, and we’ve been together for nine years! But it was my wife who initially suggested that I consider a position as an ETO. In all honesty, I’d never really thought about it. I looked at some of the guys working on board and the lifestyle that comes with it. I realised that I had the skills and the right attitude, so I decided to go for it.
Was it challenging to find your first ETO job on a yacht?
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