Richard Orme Opens The Superyacht Mentor

Jun 9, 2024 by Lauren Beck

Have you ever just wanted someone to talk to about your career? Are you struggling with how to handle a situation on board? Do you just need a sounding board?

Sometimes finding that help in the yachting industry can be challenging, but things might be getting easier. The Superyacht Mentor was founded in January 2024 by Richard Orme, who spent 30 years in various yachting positions, from crew to yacht manager to entrepreneur. Orme is also an accredited mentor for the U.K. government.

Orme stepped ashore in the late ’90s and has been mentoring businesses in different sectors after exiting his own brokerage house, LYS, which he founded in 2005. Mentoring is a normal corporate practice in many companies. 

“Like many things, the universe kind of drags you back into where you need to be,” Orme said. “I found that a lot of my clients were yachting-based.” 

However, with a lack of support options for professional crew, it was a natural expansion of his business to start offering mentorship services to captains and crew — and he’s now busier with crew than anyone else. 

“As an industry, [yachting] has the highest attrition rates I’ve ever experienced,” Orme said. “There are a lot of opportunities to do amazing stuff as a crewmember, and clearly, the remuneration is a premium level compared to the shore-based role equivalent. But there’s a reason for that.” 

Any crewmember can spell out the many reasons why the job is so challenging, but Orme would like to make it better. His company’s mission is “to create cultures where yachties can thrive.” His mentoring service is entirely confidential, unbiased, and impartial, and provides a sounding board for career or personal issues on board.

“There are all spectrums of why people need a mentor, but principally, it’s about positive direction to a goal they want to achieve, or if they need to define what that is and actually create a pathway to get there,” Orme said.

He stresses that mentorship is not the same as coaching. “With a mentor, our skill is listening, and then asking the right questions so the mentee works out the solution for themselves,” Orme said. “It might be a slightly longer process, but the rewards are far greater. Because this is a change of character, of mindset, of behavior, for the mentee.”

Mentoring is an investment for both mentor and mentee, and Orme’s plans allow for both short-term, as-needed help and long-term career guidance. His services are available to crew and shore-based yachting professionals, and include compassionate leadership mentorship and career transition planning for those looking to move ashore. He provides constructive feedback that helps mentees identify areas to improve and offers guidance to improve their skills, confidence, and performance. He provides decision-making support and career guidance, offering new perspectives, experiences, and advice. Orme also helps guide mentees to better balance their personal and professional lives with advice on time management, stress reduction, and well-being. 

“I’m truly invested in the people, in getting them to where they want to be. I’m personally involved in trying to improve the social and well-being aspects of yachting as an industry,” Orme said. “There’s a lot of growth that we need to put in, in terms of how we manage the well-being of crew, how we develop better crew cultures with less toxicity, how we introduce values into a yacht, to mold the culture of the yacht, which ultimately requires the owner’s input.”

Ultimately, when a crew is happy and works well together, it enhances every aspect of the job and ultimately benefits the yacht owner as well.

“My mission is to create cultures in yachting where yachties thrive, but for me to do that, I need to get the owners to recognize not just [mentoring] services, but giving that governance support to crew,” Orme said. 

Yachts can sign up for The Superyacht Mentor with several plans: a yacht can purchase four sessions for £320, 12 sessions for £960, and 24 sessions for £1,920. Those sessions are valid for 90 days and can be used by multiple people. Individuals can also create their own plans.