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Good communication key for captain still with the boss

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Capt. Ken Hornig again stands at the same starboard rail where he stood for his first appearance in The Triton in 2009.

“In the photo I was doing the teak and it’s time for teak again,” Hornig said. “A never ending battle.

Hornig has been captain on this same 70-foot Horizon, M/Y Lady Bull, for the last 14 years. Triton photographer Capt. Tom Serio took the original photo of him holding the newspaper for the print edition in Feb. 2009.

Hornig said he was just preparing to clean the yacht for the May reshoot of him holding his keepsake Triton. He said he’s a one man crew most of the time. But his wife, Cathy Hornig, who works with HackerCraft at Hacker Boat Company, cleans the inside of the yacht.

Capt. Ken Hornig again stands at the same starboard rail where he stood for his first appearance in The Triton in 2009.

Capt. Ken Hornig again stands at the same starboard rail where he stood for his first appearance in The Triton in 2009.

Hornig explained how he got his start on the Lady Bull. He saw a man doing the teak and asked, “Are you the captain?”

The man said, “I’m the owner. But I’m looking for a captain.”

“I gave him my card and a week later he called me,” Hornig said. “And we’ve worked together ever since. They’re great people.”

Capt. Hornig pondered what has changed in the past 12 years.

The couple’s son is doing well in the nursing program at college, but he really wants to run boats.

“He wants to do exactly what I do, but I told him to go to college and work in the summer,” Hornig said.

“He ran all the boats with me as he grew up.”

When asked how he has maintained the long-term working relationship, Capt. Hornig said that clear communication between owners and captains is the best way to go.

“Keep the relationship separate,” he said. “I think a lot of owners sell their boats because the captain and crew want to hang out. But he’s the boss, I’m the worker.”

And as a final piece of advice, Hornig added, “You get more out of people being nice.”

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One thought on “Good communication key for captain still with the boss

  1. Fred Brodsky

    Over time it is increasingly difficult to “keep the relationship separate”. Spending weeks and even months cruising generates a close relationship, especially cruising offshore with rough weather experiences and sharing watches. We did have an application for crew that expected to share dinner and fine wines with the owners as part of their working environment. They were not considered for the position.

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