WORD WITH... CAPT. ANN SCHWAGERL
At age 27, Capt. Ann Schwagerl has taken her love of boating further
than most people do in a lifetime. She captains private yachts, goes
deep-sea fishing with pros, races on weekends, delivers boats up and
down the East Coast, and teaches both children and adults how to boat
at Oyster Bay Sailing School in Oyster Bay, New York, and Friends Academy
in Locust Valley, New York. PMY recently talked with Schwagerl
about her life on the water.
Even though you have your 100-ton Captain’s license, you probably
still get a lot of free advice from male boaters.
Oh yeah. But only from people who don’t know me. I’m not
only young, I’m also small and pretty feminine-looking. I get a
lot of, “Where’s a little girl like you learn to drive a big
boat like this?”
How do you respond to it?
Well, most of the time I just ignore it. But it’s funny: I
do this rope trick sometimes when I’m docking a boat by myself—I
throw the rope and kind of whip it around the cleat while I’m pulling
in. I get a lot of second looks from guys on the docks, who probably
thought I couldn’t even drive a boat, let alone dock one alone.
Do those assumptions ever come up in a professional situation?
A: One time I was captain on a 60-foot Hatteras during a party,
and I had to go through a channel at low tide. The depth was about five
feet, and our draft was five feet, and there were 40 people onboard.
It was kind of a delicate situation. One of the guys, a guest, started
giving me pointers, telling me where to steer. Finally I told him politely
but firmly that I knew what I was doing. I think he was a little embarrassed
when I docked a few minutes later without any trouble.
Between fishing, teaching, and racing, you seem to pursue every
possible hobby on the water. What’s your favorite?
I love it all. I love being out on the water doing anything. Some
weeks I’m out there more than I’m on land, especially if I’m
fishing. We’ll go lobstering at 5 a.m. and don’t get back
until after 5 p.m. I’m on the water at least five days a week.
I love it.
Any advice for young women who want to pursue a boating career?
If you love to do something, don’t let anyone stop you.
only one kind of competition that could pit people like Eminem, Jay
Leno, Heidi Klum, and Bill Clinton against each other. And though these
celebs may be in the same contest, they’re definitely not in the
In July Forbes held an online poll that asked, “On which celebrity’s
yacht would you most enjoy spending a weekend?” Almost 40,000 people
voted; here’s the tally:
Klum - 17%
and Dr. Dre - 15%
Winfrey - 15%
Clinton - 9%
Leno - 8%
McCartney - 7%
Spielberg - 5%
Dion - 5%
O’Neal - 3%
Rodriguez - 2%
to take away from the ex-President’s respectable fourth-place finish,
but “None of the above” received 14% of the total vote.
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