Women in Yachting, An Interview Series – Part 19: Daphne D’Offay, Ocean Independence

Read here about Daphne D’Offay, Senior Charter Manager for Ocean Independence, how she got started, and how she stays inspired.

As the yachting industry continues to grow, more and more women are making a significant impact on this traditionally male-dominated space. Here, YATCO takes the time to get to know some of these women – from all areas of the market – and highlight the important work that they contribute to the industry.    

Daphne D’Offay is a Senior Charter Manager for Ocean Independence. As a Senior Charter Manager and Group Director with Ocean Independence, Daphne oversees charter marketing operations for the US managed charter fleet. She joined the company in 2009.

Featuring Daphne D’Offay of Ocean Independence

What drew you to the yachting world? 

I have lived on and off boats my entire childhood in South Florida where ‘marina life’ was more familiar to me than a traditional shore-based living. It just took one chance encounter at FLIBS to lure me in as a yacht crew member. When I came ashore later, I had the desire to learn more about the other aspects of yachting which landed me in the yacht brokerage and charter side. 

How did you get your start in yachting? 

My start in charter came from an opportunity with Chamberlain Yachts and a couple of small boats that he asked me to take on. It was a challenge to learn on my own at first, but you gain respect by participating actively as well as learning from your mistakes. 

You gain respect by participating actively as well as learning from your mistakes. 

What are some challenges you face and how do you overcome them? 

My initial challenge in yachting as yacht crew was being a petite female – I was pigeonholed into the stewardess role when I genuinely wanted to be on deck. I gave into that too quickly when I look back on it, especially today when I see many more female deck crew and captains than ever before. Now working in a yacht brokerage, I see from years of dedication that knowledge is power and this is how respect is earned. Our industry is ever-changing; if we do not keep up with that, we will get lost.  

What advice would you give you someone who is starting in the yachting industry? 

I often suggest to those starting off new to the industry as yacht crew or in a yacht brokerage position to take the time to truly learn from mentors around them. This will help them to find what they really are passionate about in this multi-faceted industry. The more willing and versatile you are initially, the better you will become. It is not always an overnight success and there are few manuals to refer to for answers. 

The more willing and versatile you are initially, the better you will become. It is not always an overnight success and there are few manuals to refer to for answers. 

What is the most rewarding/enjoyable element of your job? 

When I know that my hard work to create a successful yacht charter has paid off with appreciation from Owners, Charterers and Crew matters the most to me. Separately, I feel extremely fortunate to occasionally get back on the water – whether during a yacht charter show, fam trip or sea trial. 

What is your favorite thing about working in the yacht industry? 

It keeps me on my toes, and I have developed some long-standing friendships that I treasure. 

What are you currently working on and what keeps you motivated? 

I am continuously growing and in doing so, enjoy helping to grow our fleet

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