Captains' questions: On board Preference 19 with Captain James Box
by Holly Overton
After a change in ownership at the beginning of the year, Preference 19 is raring to go for her first Mediterranean season under the command of former police officer Captain James Box.
Where is Preference 19 heading this season?
Your favourite charter destination…
Probably the Caribbean. I like the fact all the islands are close together and each one is completely different to the next. There’s some lovely little secret spots and you’re generally guaranteed good conditions. I’ve always been based out of Grenada or Antigua, but the Tobago Cays and Barbuda are really good.
Your favourite place on shore…
Tobago Cays has got an awesome beach barbecue called Mr Fabulous. It’s a lovely little anchorage spot that’s great to take guests to. He cooks you fresh lobster on the barbecue right next to you and he’s a bit of an entertainer as well. Plus, it’s a great spot for sunsets.
What’s on your yachting bucket list?
The Pacific. For some reason every time I get on a boat there’s always talk of going, but it never seems to happen. The owner of Preference 19 is very much into the America’s Cup… as the next event is in New Zealand he did float the idea of taking the boat there.
Your most memorable charter moment so far?
I had a New Year’s Eve charter in the Caribbean anchored off Nevis, Saint Kitts. The charter guests wanted a big celebration on board and they stocked the boat with Champagne… but they were all in bed by 11 o'clock! So the crew sat on the bow watching the fireworks and drinking Champagne.
If you weren’t a captain what would you be doing?
I’ve always been into boats. I studied yacht design and boat building at Falmouth Marine School and wanted to work in a shipyard doing project management. Before I became a superyacht captain I was a police officer in Devon and Cornwall in England so I could still be doing that. I even set up a marine crime unit there.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is enjoying exploring new places and working with my partner - she’s the chef on board.