Windjammers are his passion, command bridges are his second home for many years: Gerhard Lickfett, now 70 years old, spent most of his life on the water. Even as a 15-year-old he was enthusiastic about sailing - and the enthusiasm is as great today as it was before
After school, Lickfett was hired as a cabin boy on a banana steamer. Even then, his dream: one day, he would be in command of a real windjammer.
His dream came true. Step by step he worked his way up. In 1963 he had his captain's license in his pocket. From then on he went to sea for Hapag. But to sail soulless freighters across the sea, that was not his idea of seafaring.
Even then, he wrote letters to the Hapag Executive Board, promoting his idea of building sailing cruise ships. However, this was still too far ahead of his time. Nevertheless, he was unwavering of the opinion that vacationers would rather spend their holidays on a real tall ship than on a motorized cruise ship.
At some point he got fed up. He announced - and hired on a sailing ship: the "Thor Heyerdahl". He didn't earn any money with it. On the contrary. He even had to pay to steer the non-profit-run ship. That was in 1987. In the following years he acquired more and more windjammer know-how. He helps rig the "Alexander von Humboldt" and then, by chance, one day he meets the sailing ship owner Mikael Krafft, owner of the "Star Clipper" fleet.
An encounter that should have consequences for Gerhard Lickfett. His life takes another decisive turn.
Read everything about the exciting man who knows how to lead ships with humor and toughness, who is a captain and entertainer for his passengers, and who insists on chasing across the water with a beach cat even in old age, in the new YACHT (issue 3/08, now available in newsagents.)