Meet the Team: Daphne d'Offay
In this Meet the Team feature, we speak to Ocean Independence Senior Charter Manager Daphne d'Offay.
In this Meet the Team feature, we speak to Ocean Independence Senior Charter Manager Daphne d'Offay. Based with Ocean Independence in Fort Lauderdale, United States since 2009, Daphne is a widely respected presence in the yachting industry and has been chairperson of the International Yacht Broker's Association (IYBA) Charter Professionals Committee for several years.
When did you first fall in love with yachting/ What is your history with yachting?
My feet were wet from birth, having been practically born on board a sailing yacht in Dinner Key Marina, Florida and later spending 10 years growing up aboard a houseboat. Despite taking a different career path in college, I was always drawn back to the ocean and was more of a natural on deck than behind closed doors.
How did you get into the industry and what inspired you to become a charter manager?
My mother worked in brokerages for many years and asked for some extra help during FLIBS (Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show) one year. The boat I was stationed on immediately asked me to work for them as crew, even though I was not looking for a job at the time. After several years at sea, I wanted stability again ashore but also to somehow remain connected with the industry, and my first opportunity came as an assistant to Kent Chamberlain at Chamberlain Yachts.
What is your favourite part of your job and what aspects of your work challenge you the most?
Being a charter manager has remained a passion mostly because it continues to challenge me and drives me to keep educating myself on the rules, regulations, and standards of practice. These are ever-changing in our business and the more you know, the better you can be at this job.
What is your favourite yacht?
It’s difficult for me to choose just one yacht while there are so many categories and therefore different reasons to love a yacht. I am an old soul often allured by the stories a yacht can tell in its travels, history, refits etc. I do love classic yachts whose owners have portrayed passion and love in refurbishing them over many years. It shows, and you can feel it the moment you walk aboard.
What trends do you currently see emerging in yacht charter? How do you see the yachting industry evolving post-pandemic?
So far, the trend I am seeing is for longer charter bookings, where families and couples have felt comfortable both playing and working/schooling on board. I am not sure how long this will last, however. Additionally, most charters are sticking closer to ‘home’ mainland ports.
What moment has been the highlight of your career so far?
Being awarded Charter Professional of the Year was a huge compliment by my peers.
What hobbies do you have outside of the office?
I love paddle boarding and before the pandemic I always kept up with my favourite bands by going to live concerts.
What is your favourite yachting destination?
What, in your opinion, are the top three things that makes the perfect yacht charter?
A dynamic, fun crew (as a team) and plenty of exterior guest spaces are key. Also, the group of guests you are with can truly make all the difference even when the weather isn’t great.
What are common misconceptions about your job, and the yachting industry in general?
The most common misconception about charter managers and brokers is that we just answer enquiries and send on contracts to owners with very little work in between. The yachting industry as a whole is widely misconceived as only being for the ultra wealthy, but in reality there is such a variety of options out there for just about every hardworking individual to enjoy.