'Below Deck's New Engineer Is Fierce

by Laura Rosenfeld

Every yacht needs an engineer, someone who's responsible for making sure all of the mechanics of the ship are operating properly so that it can have a smooth and safe voyage. However, after featuring engineer C.J. Lebeau on Season 1 of Below Deck, Season 2 didn't put one in the spotlight. That's all about to change with Season 3 of Below Deck, premiering on Aug. 25, as one of the yacht's engineers Don Abenante will be a part of the show's main crew. But who is this new star with one of the most vital jobs on the yacht?

Well, the good news is Don actually seems to have quite a bit of experience in this all-important area, which isn't always the case on Below Deck. Do I really need to remind you all of the trainwreck that was the inexperienced, lying-on-his-resume deckhand Andrew Sturby in Season 2? Good, because I'd really rather not think about all of the trouble he put the crew through last season.

But let's be real. Just because Don knows what's up doesn't mean there still won't be plenty of drama on the new season of Below Deck. Getting the job done is only part of the challenge of living and working in this high-pressure industry. Here are seven things you need to know about Don that will convince you he has what it takes.

1. He's An Engineer

As I previously mentioned, Don will be one of the engineers aboard the Below Deck yacht Eros this season, but this isn't his first rodeo. He has worked as an engineer on different yachts and tugboats for eight years now, according to his official bio on BravoTV.com. Don may be new to Below Deck, but he is clearly no rookie.

2. He Has Book & Street Smarts

To be an engineer, you need some brains, both inside and outside of the classroom. Don earned his college degree in automotive and diesel technology, according to his official bio on BravoTV.com. His interest in engineering was actually inspired by his father, who was a diesel mechanic before he passed away when Don was 16 years old. Before working on boats, Don was actually an automotive technician at a local car dealership. One day he was asked to fix the engine of a 157-foot yacht, and the rest, as they say, is history.

3. He's A Gearhead

Though his career is all about boats now, Don still has a love of automobiles. He's got plenty of pics of himself tuning up old cars on his Instagram feed, so yeah, he's pretty obsessed.

4. He's From Rhode Island

Get ready to hear one of those lovable New England accents, ladies and gents. Unlike the majority of yachties who live in Florida, Don is from Rhode Island and still lives there to this day. You keep that R.I. pride alive, Don.

5. Kate Chastain Enlisted Him For The Show

If Don ends up being one of your favorite new Below Deck cast members this season, you can thank Season 2 and 3's chief stew Kate Chastain for that. It's unclear how Kate and Don know each other exactly, but she apparently found him for the show and thinks he's "a gem." If you watch Below Deck, you know that Kate has impeccable taste, so I have especially high hopes for Don now.

6. He Has A Girlfriend

Don is clearly the man candy of Season 3 of Below Deck, but don't get too attached. Don is in a relationship with a woman named Jill Marie Maslowski, according to his Facebook page. He made the relationship Facebook official on July 13, although it's unclear exactly when the two started dating. Season 3 of Below Deck filmed a few months before that, so it's possible that he could participate in some romantic extracurricular activities that always seem to occur on the show. But knowing that he now has a girlfriend, all of that would be kind of awkward to watch, so I actually kind of hope we don't see that from Don.

7. He Loves The Shirtless Selfie

Since nearly all of Below Deck takes place on the water, we're sure to see a shirtless Don every now and again. If that's not enough for you, Don also posts tons of shirtless selfies on Instagram for you to ogle. At the very least, they should help you pass the time until Below Deck Season 3 premieres.

Image: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo