By Dorie Cox
Capt. Achim Fischer died in Antibes on Nov. 26 as a result of a car accident. He was 72.
A veteran captain of 30 years, Capt. Fischer worked on a variety of vessels and worked as owner’s representative for four new builds from 24 to 65 meters. He started in the “yachting world by chance,” according to his ex-wife, Tina Fischer, a former chief stew. The couple worked together on yachts for about 20 years.
Previously, Capt. Fischer had an Alfa Romeo dealership in Germany. His course changed in the early 1980s when he fixed the car engine of a woman near the International Yacht Club of Antibes. She said the boat she worked on also had engine troubles.
“She took him on board and introduced him to the captain,” Ms. Fischer wrote in an email to The Triton. “It came to pass that he fixed that problem, too, and hence began his career in yachting.”
Ms. Fischer met Capt. Fischer in November 1992 when he left M/Y C-Goddess. Before that he also worked on several sailboats, including S/Y Grace and S/Y Toro.
“His love was sailboats, and he owned his own small sailboat for some years, S/Y Eike, a 30-foot Contest,” Ms. Fischer wrote. “He told me he won the cup for a race around Long Island Sound, I think on either Grace or Toro.”
After C-Goddess, Capt. Fischer went to Norway to build M/Y Victoria Won 2, a 35m Mulder, the sister ship to M/Y Moonraker. He remained with Victoria Won 2 until she sold in 2004, and even then stayed on for 10 months with the new owner, according to Ms. Fischer. He worked on M/Y Rebellious, a 35m Benetti Classic, for about 18 months and M/Y Family Day, a 41m Codecasa, for five years while also serving as build captain for the owner’s new 65m Codecasa, also called Family Day.
Bob Saxon, long-time friend and colleague, met Capt. Fischer in Europe.
“Achim exemplified professionalism and set an example as a master mariner,” said Saxon, vice president of charter and crew with HMY. “We shared many clients and he was at his best in pleasing even the most demanding and difficult of customers. I’ll always remember his sly smile (which he always wore) and that mischievous twinkle in his eyes. As one of the classic “characters” in our business, he will be sorely missed.”
Aside from mechanical and engineering skills, Capt. Fischer was adept with driving any kind of boat, sailboat, motorboat or dinghy, according to 30-year friend Norma Trease. She met Capt. Fischer on C Goddess and did crew placement for him on both Victoria Won yachts and Family Days.
“He was the best boat handler and could park a boat on a dime,” Trease said. “He would brag that he was a great car driver as well. He said he could tell within a centimeter where the car was. The same with a boat.”
Capt. Fischer was known for helping many people get a start in the yachting industry, sharing information with a heavy German accent and sense of humor, Trease said. The boat he lived on, M/Y Nerissa, a 47-foot Grand Banks, was open to friends and colleagues for a meal or a beverage.
“He would offer a cappuccino, a glass of rose, rum, he was so proud of making great cappuccino,” she said.
“Achim was the epitome of a yacht captain in appearance and demeanor and character,” Trease said. “When you walked down the dock, you knew what he was.”
Capt. Fischer is survived by ex-wife Tina Fischer; a son, Stefan; and two grandchildren.
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below. If you would like to add stories and photos to this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.