CAPTAIN | Dave Schlitz (Australian)
Born in Melbourne, Australia Dave followed in his sister’s footsteps into the world of yachting and now, 14 years later, he hasn’t looked back! Though Dave has worked on a number of vessels he has been with KNIGHT for many years under her previous ownerships.
In school Dave grew up playing classic Australian sports such as Cricket, Australian Football and Skateboarding. He is a big fan of rock music and enjoys live concerts.
Dave enjoys being out in the open waters. Some of his favorite cruising destinations are in the Eastern Med such as Croatia and Palma, Majorca.
Fun fact: Dave was in a commercial as a child for a furniture store while singing and has appeared on TV show Deal or no Deal!
CHEF | Ingo Martens (German/Namibian)
Ingo was born in Namibia, South West Africa and has been in yachting for 11 years. He speaks many languages including Afrikaans, Dutch, German, English & Flemish.
He attended culinary school in Frankfurt where he completed an internship at Arabella Sheraton (dubbed one of the Finest Hotels of the World) and has been French Culinary trained.
In his spare time, Ingo likes to dabble in photography and fly his drone named Toby whilst in interesting locations. During a weekend of downtime, you can find him enjoying a movie marathon, listening to a variety of different music genres or attending heavy metal rock concerts.
CHIEF STEWARDESS | Maria Finnegan (British)
Maria is from Liverpool, UK and is the oldest of 4 siblings. Growing up, Maria trained in ballet and was a regional swim competitor. During high school and University, Maria worked in a restaurant, fine-tuning her skills of hospitality and service. After obtaining a degree in Art & Design with a focus in Buying and Merchandising, she took a role on Disney Cruise Line for an opportunity to be based abroad for a short term. She supervised the Merchandise department before venturing into yachting 6 years ago.
Maria has spent the first half of her career in the Mediterranean and more recently has enjoyed making the jump across the pond to cruise the United States and Bahamas. With a passion for travel, Maria is keen to venture further with a new itinerary of adventure.
SECOND STEWARDESS | Brooke Gruchacz (American)
A born and bred Jersey girl, Brooke was a cheerleader in her high school days. Be sure to ask her to whip up one of her favourite cocktails from her time working as a bartender on the Jersey Shore in Seaside, NJ. Brooke began her career in yachting in early 2020 on-board KNIGHT.
Brooke has a degree in Project Management from Towson University. She is a big fan of the Great British Bake off and enjoys reading and going for long walks on the beach.
STEWARDESS | MJ (Brazilian)
Originally born in Parana, Brazil, MJ moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts at an early age. She has had a lengthy career is hospitality having worked alongside her parents in the hotel industry from a very early age.
After moving and spending a few years making fond memories out in California, MJ got the itch to explore and transitioned into the world of yachting.
MJ has a passion for Photography and Arts and is a published photographer.
BOSUN | Blade (South African)
Sivuyile, who goes by “Blade” (Wesley Snipes reference) was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He joined the vessel now known as KNIGHT in early 2020 under her previous ownership. Prior, Blade was a Security Guard and a Personal Trainer on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships where he was fortunate to travel throughout Asia. He obtained his Personal Trainer degree in Cape Town and worked as a manager of a gym in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Blade has 5 siblings back home and enjoys a variety of fitness activities ranging from yoga to instructing boot camp classes.
MATE | Duane (South African)
Duane was born in Knynsna, South Africa and grew up in the landlocked country of Mali, South Africa. Finding his way to the water, Duane grew up sailing, leading him to find his place in the yachting industry. Working on his Officer of the Watch credentials, he has completed 8 years of education toward his goal.
In his spare time Duane enjoys dirt biking. One of his favorite places to have visited is Baja, California.
DECKHAND | Sebastian (South Africa)
Sebastian was born in Nelspruit, South Africa but grew up just a few hours south in Eswatini, South Africa. As a teen, Sebastian attended boarding school and worked in a dive shop where his love of watersports began. As the middle child of three, Sebastian took his love of the water and followed his older brother into the world of yachting.
Still fresh into the industry, Sebastian’s favorite place to have cruised thus far is the Amalfi coast and he looks forward to exploring more destinations aboard KNIGHT.
ENGINEER | Francois Schoeman (Namibian)
Francois is from Namibia, South West Africa and has been a commercial diver for many years before coming to yachting.
Prior to joining yachting, Francois had his own construction business for 11 years and built his family house back home.
Francois made the transition to yachting engineer a couple of years ago and loves exploring new places, especially in Asia and South America.
He enjoys driving fast cars and fishing in exotic places around the world.