On Water: Captain Raymond Seet
On Water: Captain Raymond Seet
Captain Raymond Seet first fell in love with the seas in the ’90s—when, shortly after his National Service, he bought a second-hand speed boat from his friend for $7,000.
He had the opportunity to meet people from the marine salvage industry during his time out at sea and “was fortunate to join them on certain assignments”. Raymond adds that the experience widened his horizons and deepened his knowledge of Singapore waters.
Little did he realise then that his sense of adventure would eventually lead him to be at the helm of an Azimut Grande 32 Metri 20 years down the road.
Raymond is not new to water or water-related activities—he has previously worked as a wakeboarding instructor, swimming coach and is also a certified PADI open water scuba diving instructor. Yet being on a boat presented a whole other experience.
He replaced his speed boat for a second-hand 20ft cabin cruiser, so he could explore further up Malaysia. Although, he sold it to fund his PADI Instructor Development Course in Phuket, Raymond managed to clock some memorable experiences on his cruiser, including a magical night to Sebana Cove Resort and Nongsa Point Marina & Resort with only the sounds of waves and stars as his companions.
Raymond has been involved in the yachting industry for close to two decades. He has his own shipping agency, handling migration and port clearance for foreign yachts entering Singapore, and has also taken on ad-hoc assignments as a yacht delivery captain.
From fixing a cracked exhaust manifold to removing tangled fishing nets from the yacht’s propeller during rough weather conditions at night, Raymond has had his fair share of risky encounters as a yacht delivery captain.
“Anything can happen during the delivery. The worst-case scenario is being stranded at sea in adverse weather due to an engine failure with no immediate help for days,” he elaborates.
Despite the potential dangers, he relishes the adventures and believes that it has strengthened his problem-solving skills. To him, everything pales in comparison to the satisfaction of delivering a yacht in good condition to its new owners.
While he no doubt enjoys driving a yacht and exploring the open seas, Raymond is realistic. “The cost of maintaining one can be quite substantial, not to mention the time and effort required to take care of it.” The next best option to satisfy his passion for the seas and earn an income while doing it was to become a captain, he laughs.
In May 2021, he became a full-time captain, leading a small crew on board the brand new Azimut superyacht Chestnut.
A LIFELONG LEARNER
Rewarding as it is, captaining a yacht can be a very demanding profession, admits the 46-year-old Singaporean Captain. This has been his biggest motivation to upskill himself in order to stay relevant. After all, opportunities belong to those who are prepared—a motto he strongly believes in.
When borders started reopening last year, the first thing he did was to fly to Australia to complete four weeks of RYA Yachtmaster Ocean training—he had already completed some of the modules such as the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore in Fort Lauderdale Florida, USA, before the pandemic hit and derailed his plans.
The course required him to complete a two-week ocean passage on a sailing yacht from Sydney to Eden, then over to Lord Howe Island before returning to Sydney.
“That was a really tough and challenging experience as Australian weather conditions are very different to Singapore,” says Raymond. “As sailing yachts rely heavily on wind power to move, they require a more hands-on approach, which can be very tedious and tiring.”
His quest to upskill continues. He recently enrolled himself in the Certificate of Competency Class 4 Master (Special Limit) course at Singapore Polytechnic, and hopes to get his MCA Master of Yachts 3000GT certification in the next five years.
The father of two young children—aged 3 and 1— is grateful to have the support of his wife to explore such unlimited possibilities. When preparation meets opportunity, he trusts that success will not be far.
The original article was published on the July/ August 23 issue of Longitude, ONE°15 Marina’s Club magazine. Read it here.