FYI: October 2003 Page 2

FYI — October 2003
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: The Mighty Ducks, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With.., and more

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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.

Q: Even though you have your 100-ton Captain’s license, you probably still get a lot of free advice from male boaters.
A: 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?”

Q: How do you respond to it?
A: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: Between fishing, teaching, and racing, you seem to pursue every possible hobby on the water. What’s your favorite?
A: 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.

Q: Any advice for young women who want to pursue a boating career?
A: If you love to do something, don’t let anyone stop you.

There’s 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 same boat.

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:

Heidi Klum - 17%
Eminem and Dr. Dre - 15%
Oprah Winfrey - 15%
Bill Clinton - 9%
Jay Leno - 8%
Paul McCartney - 7%
Steven Spielberg - 5%
Celine Dion - 5%
Shaquille O’Neal - 3%
Alex Rodriguez - 2%

Not to take away from the ex-President’s respectable fourth-place finish, but “None of the above” received 14% of the total vote.

Got an interesting boating story for this column? Write to FYI, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: No phone calls please.

Next page > The Mighty Ducks, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the September 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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