In this week’s NoJo Spotlight, we spotlight Brian Commette, Sales Broker based in our Newport, Rhode Island office. During his 26 years in yacht brokerage with Northrop & Johnson, Brian has served as both board member and president of the Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA). Brian also worked tirelessly with the Certified Professional Yacht Broker program, serving as Chairman and now in the position of counsel. His professionalism and his knowledge of yachts and their systems has proven to be of great value to his loyal clients.
How did you get into the yachting industry and what led you to where you are today?
At the age of 10 I did a sailing class than for my first paying job as a teenager I worked in a boat yacht. Since then I have worked mostly in boat-related trades. I’ve taught sailing, delivered boats, skippered boats, race boats and generally managed to mess around with boats for a living.
What do you think makes N&J special?
There is a certain chemistry, an atmosphere of family, that is tangible. It’s a rare commodity in this corporate world.
What do you like most about your job?
That I manage to make a living doing something I love.
What accomplishment at N&J makes you most proud?
I have tried to give back to the profession. I have volunteered with the Yacht Brokers Association of America, served as a board member and as president. I remain active on the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee and have also worked on the Certified Professional Yacht Brokers Program.
What is your favorite cruising destination and why?
Within a few hours of Newport Harbor are several vibrant destinations, historic waterfronts and some quiet harbors and coves that remain well-kept secrets.
If you had a yacht what type of yacht would you have?
If you had a yacht where would you spend the most time aboard?
At the wheel.
What’s your favorite activity you enjoy with friends/family?
Discussing transcendental truths.
What is one fun/unique fact about yourself?
Just one…? I have been jailed for anti-war activities, have hitchhiked across the US and back, have lived in an ashram, have skied almost every mountain in New Hampshire and Vermont and have played almost every organized sport.
What is one tip for first-time clients?
Find an honest broker, tell him or her what you want in a yacht, in a crew member, or for a charter. Communicate often and let that person do the work.
Any additional information you would like to share?
Time spent on the water is never time wasted.