A profile of Ryan Green - from shark attack to superyachts

Published 26 octobre 2021

Burgess Partner and Head of Yacht Management tells us how an encounter with a shark started off a career on superyachts that has led him to where he is today, with a few Boys’ Own adventures along the way...

Ryan Green

Tell us how you came to work in the superyacht industry

My first job on a superyacht came about because of a shark attack. I was sailing through the South Pacific as a crew member on a 40ft sailing yacht. As a keen spearfisherman finding a bunk on a cruising yacht was easy as ‘spearos’ are always sought after as we can catch dinner.

'Spearos' dive for the crews' dinner
'Spearos' dive for the crews' dinner

Our route took us from the Bay of Islands, via the Kermadecs, a remote chain off New Zealand, along to Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.  Early into the journey while the Captain and I were spearfishing he was attacked by a shark – we were 300 miles from the nearest piece of dry land and ten days into my first blue water adventure – quite the baptism.

To cut a long story short, the New Zealand Navy lifted the Captain off and we were left to make our way to Tonga. Thankfully another yacht was nearby and leant us a crew member. The injured Captain made a full recovery and after four weeks in Tonga and we were back on our way.

Ryan began sailing as a deckhand
Ryan began sailing as a deckhand

Sometime later, on our return to New Zealand, the Captain said, 'What about crewing on a superyacht?' I heard that Tom Perkins’ yacht, ANDROMEDA LA DEA, which was undergoing a refit in Auckland, was looking for a deckhand/Divemaster with knowledge of the Kermadecs – and I got the job. I stepped aboard and never looked back.  

How did you wash up in Yacht Management?

I had a 13-year career on superyachts, during which I worked up from deckhand to captain. I came ashore when my first child was a baby – it was time.

My word of advice to those coming ashore would be: Have a plan and don’t underestimate the transition, it is challenging. I winged it and fell on my feet by luck - I sent my CV out to everyone I could think of, and there was an opening at Burgess.

You say luck – we say impressive CV!

Perhaps! In Yacht Management we’re part of the service industry. I have been involved in service my entire working life, I started working in restaurants as a teenager in South Africa then studied zoology and entomology, which led to working as a game ranger at one of the most prestigious lodges in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve – this was my first experience delivering to UHNWI.


The superyacht industry represents the pinnacle of the service and Yacht Management is a major part of that. Collectively, our job is to ensure clients are on the water – safely, happy and ideally, wanting more.

Working as a ranger at Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Working as a ranger at Sabi Sands Game Reserve

You have brought your knowledge of the sea to the job

We all have – the depth of the Yacht Management team at Burgess covers all bases. Between us we have many hundreds of years of combined experience from Master Mariners, Chief Engineers, Naval Architects, HR Specialists and Regulatory Professionals to name but a few. We’re all passionate about what we do!

Our combined skills cover any eventuality
Our combined skills cover any eventuality

There is always a situation that needs us to put our heads together and work it out – and that is what keeps the job interesting. Across all disciplines of Yacht Management – safety and security, crew, technical, financial and operational – we need 360-degree vision, because every detail has a knock-on effect.

Can you describe Yacht Management at Burgess?

Yacht management is about taking care of everything back-stage, so that the owners are left with the pure enjoyment of the asset. There’s an art to it - it’s about understanding how an owner is using their yacht and their vision. It is incredible seeing our team at work – the collaboration, communication and dynamic approach to aligning with the owner’s objectives is phenomenal.

Every detail is equally important
Every detail is equally important

I tripped up early on when I underestimated how passionate yacht owners are about every detail of their yacht. Let’s just say - the piping on a cushion can be as important as the piping in the engine room - I was a bit naive that time!

Any regrets?

I left the game reserve in 1999 on a two-week holiday to visit my parents in New Zealand. I still have the return plane ticket because I never went back. I was captured by the beauty and excitement of the sea – sailing, diving and exploring led me to a career on yachts.

So no, no regrets – it’s all been an adventure.

The superyacht adventure started here, on board ANDROMEDA LA DEA
The superyacht adventure started here, on board ANDROMEDA LA DEA

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.

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