- Focused on a limited fleet and led by longtime yacht captain, Derek Munro, Divergent Yachting has set out to teach sustainability methods to support a healthier environment.
- Starting his career in 1988 by serving as a captain and engineer for both power and sailing yachts in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Red Sea, Munro is best known for overseeing the world's largest sailing yacht: the 350-foot Black Pearl.
- See all our listings for mega yachts or read our features on Ocean Pollution: Staying Green to Keep Our Oceans Blue, and Of Coastal Cleanups and Green Boating.
In the superyacht sector, former crew members and captains have hung their own shingle for years. They’re brokers, yacht managers, consultants, and more. So when news came of Divergent Yachting, the brainchild of a longtime yacht captain and the owner’s representative for one of the world’s largest yachts, it wasn’t a surprise. What is a surprise, however, is how Divergent Yachting is doing things different. It’s not striving to be the biggest yacht-management company. Neither is it trying to be all things to all people. Rather, it’s focused on a limited fleet, plus teaching sustainability methods to support a healthier environment.
“We have quite a diverse group within the team, which is why we went with the name Divergent,” explains Derek Munro, Divergent Yachting’s founder and director. “We bring experience from different industries and apply it to suit whichever vessel we manage.” The staff has served as captains, engineers, and owners’ representatives for 14 new builds to 350 feet, for instance. Some also have experience in fleet-training management in the cruise-ship industry. They additionally have skills in finance and superyacht accounting, along with safety and security compliance.
As for Munro, he started his superyacht career in 1988 as a captain and engineer. He’s run power and sailing yachts between 59 and 164 feet in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and more. In addition, he’s an owner’s representative on new-build projects. In fact, he’s probably best known for overseeing the build of the 350-foot Black Pearl, the world’s largest sailing yacht.
Munro’s experience inspired him to create Divergent Yachting. “There is a desire from owners and their crew for a more bespoke, personal service,” he says. “We want the vessel to know they are on the forefront of their yacht manager’s or DPA’s (Dedicated Person Ashore) mind.” Therefore, Divergent Yachting will only manage 10 to 12 yachts. In addition, each DPA will work with just one or two yachts, “so a client can ring up and speak to one person,” Munro explains. He points to Black Pearl as an example. “We know all the crew personally, and you will always find us either in the back office working for them or being by the side of the owner,” he says.
Assisting owners and crew goes further. Divergent Yachting is sharply focused on “a clean and green approach to yachting,” Munro says. “We strongly believe in an overall adoption of a sustainable future in yachting.” The team emphasizes things crew already do, such as manage waste onboard for recycling. They also apply technical lessons learned with Black Pearl, renowned for her eco-minded systems. She was known as Project Solar under construction, due to solar panels powering her DynaRig sailing system. She also harnesses wind power to generate electricity to power her onboard systems. Divergent Yachting therefore can provide guidance to owners and their technical teams on greener equipment and systems.
A lot of what the management team does environmentally is encourage practical behavior. “We go into all the departments and speak to them about where they can potentially see opportunities for using better products,” Munro says. A lot of crew now use bamboo toothbrushes, for instance, to combat the plastics problem. “We’ve had crew get the stainless steel drink bottles that allow multiple uses. We’ve had crew do beach cleanups…Things like that to get the crew right into it and visible.” Visibility is important to Divergent Yachting. “The yacht industry doesn’t have a great reputation with people who are not in it, so we want to make them see actually we do care and want to get other people to do more,” Munro stresses. “It has a knock-on effect with other people.”
Ultimately, Munro believes the time is right for Divergent Yachting’s green approach. “We’re seeing a new, younger generation of millionaires and billionaires getting into yachting, especially charter. Their kind of yachting is different than what we’ve been experiencing over the past 30 years,” he points out. Previously, the attitude was all about seeing and being seen. Now, however, cruisers are heading to the Poles and far-off, pristine areas. “They want to see the environment. They want to experience new things and clean things,” Munro asserts.
That type of deviating from the norm is right up Divergent Yachting’s alley.
To learn more, read our features on Ocean Pollution: Staying Green to Keep Our Oceans Blue, and Of Coastal Cleanups and Green Boating.