Interview with Captain James Griffith


Interview with Captain James Griffith

Just a few days into 2021, and the Amels 242 SYNTHESIS had already proudly made her mark as our first delivery of the year. Before this 74-metre Amels Limited Editions departed Vlissingen, ready to take on an extensive cruising schedule which will take this superyacht worldwide, we caught up with Captain James Griffith who shared his experience of his time at the yard.

“This has been my first new build project – previous projects have been refits. As always, the experience has been great. It worked very well with the shipyard and the project manager and his team. It is fantastic to see such an amazing product come together after what hasn’t been the easiest of times given the global circumstances.”
James is no stranger to Amels yachts and our shipyard. He’s Captained other Amels yachts and been involved in refit projects here in Vlissingen but being part of a newbuild team at the yard was a first.

And that’s what makes James’ testimonial so unique. 2020 was an unprecedented year and none of us were immune to the challenges it presented. Captains and crew also had to adapt to different working methods and new ways of enjoying their time on and off board. But just how much did that impact the newbuild and crew experience? Well for starters, it included working from home.

“I joined the project on 20th April when I was at home due to lockdown rules. I actually worked from home for the first 2 months and only joined the shipyard on 29th June. It’s been great to be back. I’ve been here a few times before with previous projects however not during a COVID pandemic which made things slightly different this year but it was certainly an experience to remember. We started off with a small number of crew in the beginning anyway and as the team grew, we made the most of what we could.”

For much of the SYNTHESIS crew, this meant kilometre after kilometre on the good old 2-wheeled Dutch favourite. “This year I think most of the exploration has been on bike. Being on the bike has been great – it’s been a way to relax, get off the boat, get out the office. We’ve been out most weekends, when the weather has allowed. Biking is the number one thing to do here and I think most crew and Captains embrace the use of the cycling the Dutch landscape has to offer.”

James also managed to make the most of the relatively short travel times between Vlissingen and the UK and therefore being closer to home. “I have used the car to get back home with the ferry every 2 or 3 weeks meaning I could spend time with my family so yeah, I could really balance work and private life.”

Looking ahead to SYNTHESIS’ departure also allowed for a chance to reflect on the highlights of their time here. “The highlight has been being part of this project. I really wanted to do a new build and now we’ve come to the end of it and we’re due to leave in a couple of weeks. Just to look back and think about what we’ve all been through this year and the achievements we’ve made as a crew and as a team including the shipyard is something that was really enjoyable to be a part of and to see the finished product. I think I will miss the people the most. The lifestyle that’s here – it’s sort of a second home when I’m back. You can live ashore. Have a bit of a normal lifestyle. Also just being around the shipyard. You get quite attached to everyone that works here and around the yard and you see the same faces day in day out and you make a lot of friends that do recognize you from being here in the past.”


SYNTHESIS stems from the successful Amels 242 Limited Editions range and also marks the 40th Limited Editions yacht to be delivered since 2005. Her experienced Owner is a repeat Amels client and has customised this yacht to meet their personal requirements.

She features a dedicated Owners Deck with foredeck jacuzzi and there is a significant focus on blending the interior into the exterior throughout with unique dining and entertaining layouts on multiple decks which move away from the more traditional configurations. There is a large aft deck swimming pool and the Lower Deck Wellness Spa continues this play on the indoor-outdoor with direct access to the swim platform for guests. The yacht’s garage holds two 9-metre luxury tenders and the Bridge Deck aft features a helipad.

SYNTHESIS at a glance

· Amels 242 (74 metres / 242 ft) · Delivered January 2021 · 1790 GT · 12 guests · 18 crew + Captain · Interior Design by Winch Design · Exterior Design by Tim Heywood · Naval Architecture by Damen Yachting