Superyacht captain says staff must take polygraph tests: report

  • A superyacht captain who worked for wealthy Russians described his experiences.
  • He said The Guardian employees had to pass polygraph tests to meet confidentiality requirements.
  • He even revealed contracts prohibiting staff from taking photos or drawings of the yachts.

A superyacht captain who spent 15 years at sea has detailed his experience working for wealthy Russians.

the Guardian reported the account of the captain, who remains anonymous.

According to the outlet, the captain who has sailed with ultra-wealthy individuals across the Caribbean and the Mediterranean says superyacht owners are extremely secretive about their ships and what happens on board.

A contract revealed to The Guardian showed employees had to pass a polygraph test to prove they met the levels of confidentiality required by their bosses.

Superyacht owners have also required their employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement to even get an interview for a job on board, the captain told the outlet.

“They are operated in a very secretive way so they can use them and distract from the property,” the captain said.

He added that superyacht employees must also sign contracts pledging not to share business documents, photographs and even drawings of the superyachts.

His experience matches that of another superyacht worker, who was recently interviewed. The designer told the FT that his work required a lot of secrecy and that he was unable to take pictures of his work.

Superyachts and their owners have come under scrutiny since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. The war prompted a series of sanctions imposed by the West on Russia in retaliation for their actions. Many measures have targeted wealthy Russians and their luxury assets.

With so many yachts of Russian oligarchs seized, some owners sail their vessels around the seas to avoid being seized, or turn off their vessel’s tracking signal to avoid detection.

According to recent ship tracking data, an $80 million superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Vagit Alekperov spent seven weeks off the coast of Montenegro to avoid being seized, as reported by Kate Duffy of ‘Insider.


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