by Jeni Bone
Former superyacht Captain, Chantal Woodford has taken up a sales position in the Princess WA dealership in Fremantle. She joins a team of around 10 staff who service the entire state.
Captain Chantal enjoys a lifestyle and scenery change in WA.
Gold Coast born and raised, but with 25 years of travel under her belt – 12 of those as a superyacht skipper on vessels along the East Coast of Australia; French, Italian and Spanish Rivieras; Sicily and Aeolian Islands; Finland and the Mediterranean – Chantal is relishing this new phase of her career and enjoying the west coast way of life.
'It’s a great place, a beautiful area and the perfect home for Princess, surrounded by usable and very scenic waterways. The people are very attuned to quality products and Princess fits that description to a tee.
From her observations after one month on the ground, Chantal says 'The only difference between the two coasts is that the sun sets over the water here. I don’t feel any isolation. It’s a small town really and people are very friendly. It reminds me of the Gold Coast way back when . . .'
Chantal found her way to superyachts from a most unlikely route, although spending her youth boating with her family meant she basically turned her hobby and passion into her career. 'I spent 10 years in Pathology and then wanted a change of pace, a change of scenery.'
More at home on the sea than land
From a deckhand start in Florida in the US in 2001, to achieving her commercial certificate in Sydney in 2005, Chantal went on to attain her MCA endorsed 200-tonne ticket from the UK. She also holds a Master 5 Certificate of Competency in NSW and is endorsed in WA as well.
'This new endeavour takes me into the sales arena of the smaller luxury yacht in Western Australia, hopefully opening the opportunity for owners to enjoy the wonders of yachting at this level,' she says of her foray into sales. 'In the last 12 years of professional yachting and more than 25 years of personal enjoyment I have seen or done most things to do with small boat yachting, so I can bring a personal experience to the sales side of the business.'
Describing herself as a 'loyalist' whose passion for Princess is as strong as her love of the ocean, Chantal says she is utterly thrilled to be representing the brand she so identifies with.
'I really do believe in the Princess product – the company is run like a family. The company values mirror my own life and my upbringing. Growing up on the water with my family and the effort my parents put in to raise us. We love the water and everything involved in the lifestyle, tradition and etiquette and aesthetics.
'A Princess yacht makes boating enjoyable and relaxing, and the quality of the product lasts. It will take you through anything, in style. They are gorgeous and retain their grace.'
But does she miss anything about her previous life as a skipper?
'Boaties will relate to this: even on a bad day at sea, it’s relaxing. There’s a peace at sea you don’t feel on land.'
More at www.princessaustralia.com.au