About Us

MISSION

Our mission is to provide a full range of professional, flexible and high-value management and consulting services to the yachting industry. An independent, responsive and highly-principled company, we employ experienced, enthusiastic and resourceful engineers and managers, to assist crew, owners, designers and builders with all aspects of yacht operations and construction.

Our team

Ken Appleby

DPA & CSO

From as far back as he can remember, Ken has loved being on the water. He learnt to sail at a young age and designed and built his own sailing dinghy as a teenager. This led him to study naval architecture at university – and so began a lifelong passion with boat building and the sea.

Ken’s career started at Lloyd’s Register, where he swiftly rose through the surveyor ranks to become a specialist in the Passenger Safety Department.

In 2002 he moved overseas to join the Cayman Registry, where he helped establish it as the largest superyacht registry in the world. He was at the forefront of the introduction of both the MCA and PYC Codes and involved with the design and construction of some of the world’s largest yachts.

Since 2014 Ken has been a Director and the DPA / CSO of Manta.

In a world which is increasingly impersonal, Ken’s individuality shines through and he cherishes the experience of seeing owners enjoying their yachts.

Ken’s passions are classic car restoration and automotive events. He still enjoys sailing when he finds the time and is passing on his enthusiasm to his son.

Anthony Gradwell

Director

Anthony was introduced to sailing relatively late, with his interest in boating originating from family holidays on the Norfolk Broads. This ignited a passion which led him to gain a degree in naval architecture.

After university he worked for Lloyd’s Register after completing their prestigious training scheme, and then for the Cayman Registry which propelled him into the world of luxury yachting.

In 2006 Anthony returned to the UK and the private sector to establish Manta. He’s passionate about the company evolving and flourishing and is totally committed to providing a first class service to all its clients, in the process getting immense pleasure from working closely with owners, family offices and the yachts’ crews.

A keen cyclist, Anthony can often be found in the hills of the Peak District when he is not working.

Emily Morris

Office and Crew Manager

Having spent more than 10 years working for the Cayman Islands flag administration, Emily came to Manta in 2016 with a desire to see the yachting industry from a different point of view.

Within a month of joining Manta she stepped aboard her first superyacht and has since immersed herself in the sector, broadening her knowledge and completing a Diploma in Super Yacht Management.

Emily take cares of crew and HR matters whilst also juggling the logistics and administration of running the Manta office.

Outside of work, Emily is a keen traveller. She and her husband were married in Austin, Texas whilst on a 2000-mile road trip around the southern states of America. Now with a young son, they have many adventures planned and are looking forward to showing him the world.

Sophie Martin

Yacht Finance Manager

After completing an Accounting and Finance degree at Winchester University, Sophie spent six months on a busy 150m+ superyacht as a Deck Clerk. This gave her a great insight in the day-to-day running and life onboard a superyacht, which has been invaluable in her role as Yacht Finance Manager at Manta.

Although she is now shore-based, she has not lost her passion for being in and around the water. She recently completed her Day Skipper qualification in Greece and is looking forward to completing the next stages to become a Yachtmaster in the coming future.

In her spare time, Sophie enjoys baking, working on her Land Rover Defender and keeping fit.

Andy Hoyland

Technical Manager

Andy recently joined Manta from another shore based technical role, where he was employed by a global marine equipment supplier.

Andy is an IEng accredited Marine Engineer through the IMarEST and has spent the majority of his career at sea. He began as an artificer apprentice in the Royal Navy, and finished as a Chief Engineer on large superyachts, thus bringing invaluable technical and operational experience to Manta.

Andy moved to a shore-side position to spend more time with his family in Dorset, and he is relishing the challenges of his new career as a yacht manager. 

Away from work Andy relishes the outdoors and enjoys football, golf, snowboarding, diving and motorbikes.

Hélène Pelleray

Safety Manager

Hélène is at the top of her game with clients benefiting from her considerable nautical knowledge and experience gained from a 15-year career at sea where she worked on many types of vessels, including passenger ships and yachts.

Alongside a Master’s Unlimited licence that she obtained in 2007, Hélène also has an Engineering Officer of the Watch ticket and a Master’s Degree in naval architecture.

Since moving shore-side in 2011, Hélène has advised several other management companies on operations, safety and regulatory matters, but since mid-2018 has been working exclusively for Manta.

A keen sailor and horse-rider, Hélène spends as much time as possible on her boat in France and playing polo. That said, building Lego with her son is now starting to monopolise her time!

Jacqui Penn

Office Administrator

Jacqui brings more than 20 years’ experience in the marine sector to Manta. Her first role, in 1999, was managing a commercial motor yacht based in Southampton. She then moved to the city and worked at Moody Yacht Sales based in Swanwick Marina before running powerboat experience company Saber Powersports.

Having travelled extensively Jaqui has now settled down to enjoy family life with her husband and two children, scouting (Jaqui is a Beaver Scout leader) and running.

Industry cohorts

Having the right people in place is crucial for any successful operation, but particularly on superyachts where many specialist and diverse skillsets are required. It is essential to have the right crew in place to ensure your yacht is operated safely and efficiently, and maintained to the highest possible standards – thus providing a first class guest experience. At Manta, we work closely with yacht owners and captains to manage all crew-related matters – from interviewing applicants, training crew and dealing with disciplinary issues, to organising payroll, insurance and travel. This includes assisting owners to comply with the mandatory Maritime Labour Convention 2006 – a carefully planned employment structure in accordance with international social security and welfare legislation.