Sandy Yawn Profile

  • Captain Sandy Yawn is a world-renowned Captain of the Yachting Industry.

  • Captain on Bravo TV’s reality show Below Deck Mediterranean.

  • Captain Sandy is a leader, hero and businesswoman whose exceptional leadership style has helped her to break through every obstacle in her path – from the glass ceilings and near-fatal accidents on land to pirates and fires at sea.
  • Captain Sandra Yawn is a world renowned captain in the yachting industry with over 30 years of experience. Yawn’s love for the ocean propelled her to achieve the highest status as a mega yacht captain in a male dominated industry. Her dedication and attention to detail has earned her an outstanding reputation in an elite class of captains as the recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Crew Award for the International Super Yacht Society in 2006 when she was able to ensure the safety of all guests, crew, and the even the vessel during a catastrophic fire off the coast of Yemen.

    Yawn, always the professional, earned a United States Coastguard Masters of Oceans 1600T/3000T and the United States Coast Guard and Maritime Coast Guard Agency Class IV CEC. She values professional organizations and remains an active member of the Captain’s Advisory Council for SeaKeepers Society, International Super Yachts Society, United States Super Yacht Association, and the Professional Yachting Association.

    The undeniable resilience Yawn possesses has not only pushed her to the top of the yachting industry but also allowed her to focus on philanthropic collaboration, ocean advocacy, and children’s education. Yawn is an active board member or advisor for many philanthropic groups including the Jacksonville School for Autism, a not for profit organization that Yawn’s sister founded for the captain’s nephew, Nicholas.

    Yawn continually uses her experience and life’s trials and tribulations to educate and help others. She survived a life threatening motorcycle accident, threat of pirates, and even cancer. She appeared on the Emmy Award winning talk show The Doctors in hopes of sharing her personal experiences to educate others about cancer and health.

    Yawn is currently the captain on Bravo TV’s reality show Below Deck Mediterranean. Yawn’s unique leadership style of embracing teachable moments to train and educate her staff have earned her fan favorite accolades. Yawn is a hands on type Captain who leads by example and is not afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

    Sandy Yawn Speaking Videos

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    Sandy Yawn's Speech Descriptions

    Navigating Troubled Waters in Changing Times: Servant Leadership Lessons From Captain Sandy

    Captain Sandy captured our attention as the first female superyacht captain on Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean, and her fascinating stories of servant leadership are captivating today’s in-person and virtual audiences. In her 30+ years of international maritime experience, Captain Sandy has broken glass ceilings, survived near-fatal accidents on land, and faced fires and even pirates at sea.

    Most business leaders will never have such life-or-death challenges in their daily work. But surviving stormy seas taught Captain Sandy invaluable lessons that she shares with audiences about character building, acknowledging failure, inspiring a crew, and empowering them to win as a team “in the same boat.” Commanding a 154-foot vessel requires knowing when to be tough enough to stay the course or flexible enough to navigate toward calmer waters – decisions all leaders face every day. Throughout her career, Captain Sandy has lived up to her mantra: “Wake up, show up, kick ass, repeat!”

    Charting Your Own Course — Despite the Obstacles

    Captain Sandy shares her remarkable story of overcoming addiction and cancer to become a world-renowned superyacht captain and lead on the popular Bravo reality show Below Deck Mediterranean. With her story of strength, resilience and resolve that led her to the top of a male-dominated field, Captain Sandy inspires audiences to overcome all obstacles and not let fear get in the way. Her survivorship story, blended with her Below Deck leadership escapades, makes for a wildly entertaining keynote experience.

    Port of Call: Teamwork Lessons from the High Seas

    Imagine the leadership and teamwork challenges you would face if the bulk of your staff turned over every week. How do you inspire your crew to work together when most of them meet just hours before setting out to sea? How do you instill a sense of teamwork and mission to flawlessly execute under these conditions? As one of the world’s first female professional yacht captains, Sandy discusses how she practices servant leadership while navigating these workplace and human capital challenges. From the beginning of a voyage to the final port of call, Sandy uses vivid storytelling to impart valuable teamwork lessons and character-building insights learned from her three decades on the high seas.

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    Captain Sandy brought excitement, motivation and inspiration to the event. She went above and beyond… a true professional in all of her endeavors and we were honored to have her!
    – Comcast

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    Books by Sandy Yawn:

    Be the Calm or Be the Storm: Leadership Lessons from a Woman at the Helm

    Leadership lessons from Captain Sandy Yawn, a renowned superyacht captain with over 30 years of international maritime experience, and star of the reality show Below Deck Mediterranean.

    Everyone experiences a moment in life when they need to lead. Sometimes it’s a team, sometimes it’s a company, a classroom, a patient ward, a family, or simply your own individual self. Based on the leadership lessons she’s gathered from her resourceful and resilient life, Captain Sandy, a superyacht captain and star of Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean, shares the leadership skills and critical thinking inherent to being a captain that can empower anyone to navigate their way to a successful life.

    Among some of the stories/lessons she’ll share:

    – How she selects and sizes up her crew even before embarking on a charter, deciding who to invest in and how to bring out their best.
    – Things happen at sea. No matter how much you plan and train, so much can go wrong so she’ll discuss the level of persistence and faith that’s required in solving an especially knotty problem.
    – Authority and discipline are required to lead, but they must be leavened with compassion, understanding, and a desire to see your crew succeed.
    – She describes the seamless flow that happens in great teamwork and how she loves seeing the way her deckhands pitch in with the stews when needed. – – For Captain Sandy, this represents leading with empathy, figuring out who your teammates are and what motivates them, then communicating in a way that motivates and makes them feel understood.
    – As a captain, Sandy is constantly upgrading her knowledge and skill set, which is as much a part of her job as steering a vessel. Sustaining excellence requires constant effort, whether you find yourself at the end of a journey, halfway through or at the start of a new one. And the learning never stops.

    Woven throughout her stories are Captain Sandy’s optimism and abiding faith that, given the right tools and opportunities, individuals are capable of so much more than they realize, especially when they can find someone to believe in them.

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