‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht’ Will Be the Adrenaline Rush ‘Below Deck’ Fans Crave
Below Deck viewers tune in for the breathtaking scenery, the outrageous charter guests, and a peek at what really goes on “below deck” during a luxury charter season. After seven years of drama on the high seas, Below Deck has launched sails on a new series in the franchise: Below Deck Sailing Yacht.
Captain Glenn Shephard is at the helm of Parsifal III, a 180-foot luxury sailing yacht. Shephard has 20 years in the industry and 10 years on this specific vessel. He dished with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about what it was like to take his beloved sailing yacht to the Bravo masses, especially since Shephard is new to the franchise.
Shephard admits he hasn’t seen a lot of ‘Below Deck’
“Well, to be honest, I don’t think I had seen a full episode because I spent a lot of my time in Europe and we don’t have easy access to it,” Shephard admitted. He was recruited to be on the show through friends in the industry.
But Shephard was more than prepared to not only provide the charter guests with a thrilling Greek vacation but also serve up a supremely entertaining season for viewers. He advises viewers to buckle up because Below Deck Sailing Yacht will inspire even the most stubborn landlubber to sail.
Viewers will see a lot of action above deck
Most of the Below Deck action occurs either “below deck” or on land. Shephard reveals that the act of sailing is going to show viewers an entirely different version of thrilling aquatic luxury. “On a motor boat it’s going to be stable and flat and the decks are all going to be horizontal,” he says. “But that doesn’t apply on a sailboat. We heel over [which means to go on a tilt], and it’s safe and everything, but its a new experience for some people.”
Shephard has worked throughout the Med and says while the thrill of heeling is something he’s used to, it can be a novel experience for those who aren’t used to sailing. “Also, it’s challenging for the crew, challenging for the chef,” he continues. Cameras captured food rolling around chef Adam Glick’s galley as the boat is heeling. Guests and the crew slide across the floor or need to hold onto stable furniture.
“For fun, we just go out and crank it,” he shares. “It’s not just about getting to the destination, it’s about the journey. That’s the kind of thing that people are after when they come on a sailboat. They want that excitement.”
Fans can count on the same ‘Below Deck’ drama
For the first time in the show’s history, an established crew comes with the yacht. Shephard, first mate Paget Berry, and Berry’s girlfriend Ciara Duggan were living on Parsifal III. Duggan previously worked in the interior, but Shephard moves her to the deck team, which makes for interesting television.
“That will reveal a little bit of drama,” Shephard teases. “I’m open to couples on board, whether they come on board as a couple, even if they hook up on board because we live in very close quarters. But that can always lead to drama and you’ll see a little bit of drama related to romance between crew members,” he laughs.
Shephard also says the vibe is also a little more relaxed. Viewers won’t see the crew wearing their epaulettes but instead wearing polos.
“Obviously hierarchy and rank is important,” Shephard says. “You have to follow that, otherwise everything breaks down. But I would say we’re definitely less formal than big motor yachts.”
‘Below Deck’ fans will be treated to a new vibe
Also new to this installment is seeing the captain bunk with another crew member. Shephard explained that while a luxury sailing yacht is roomy, it doesn’t offer the same space and storage as a motor yacht. Thankfully, he bunked with close friend, chief engineer Byron Hissey.
“Byron, who is the chief engineer on the show had been working here already for a year and worked on a sister ship that’s owned by the same company,” he says.
What kind of captain will viewers see? Is Shephard a hard-liner like Captain Lee Rosbach or more of a teacher like Captain Sandy Yawn? “I like to say I’m a macro-manager and a big picture kind of guy,” he shares. “I try to hire good people and stay out of their way as much as possible.”
“Obviously I want to be a guiding hand and have a feeling about what’s going on in the departments. But I try not to be overbearing because I find it alienates people.” He adds that he makes sure his crew has a solid level of comfort with him so they can bring problems or questions to his attention.
“I’ve always encouraged them to think for themselves but if you’re not sure, to come and ask,” he says.
Below Deck Sailing Yacht debuts on Monday, Feb. 3 at 9/8c on Bravo.