During a recent interview with an officer aboard a luxury Super Yacht, as part of a client assignment, I gathered invaluable insight into crew management. This knowledge could prove pivotal in guiding your choice for your next Captain.
The Private versus Charter Use
Private: Many yacht owners cherish exclusivity, preferring not to share their vessels or subject them to the wear and tear of charter operations. Nevertheless, even when restricted to personal use, it remains imperative for you and your Captain to prioritize the crew’s welfare within your budget. You could opt for a leaner crew while docked, retaining only those needed for regular upkeep. This approach affords savings on maintenance periods and refits. The onboard crew size can be supplemented during your personal voyages for enhanced service. An interesting aspect to consider is your chef’s role. Will your personal chef make the transition to sea voyages, or will you treat your yachting adventures as your home chef’s holiday?
Charter: Charter operations require more frequent sailing, resulting in more rapid wear and tear and, consequently, a larger crew. The extra crew may not need to be as permanent as your full-time members, a thought that seamlessly segues into our next point.
Considerations of Seasons and Locations
Several yachts navigate exclusively within specific regions like the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asia, or South Pacific. Each region has its unique cruising seasons. Dual-region operations, like Mediterranean and Caribbean, allow for seamless cruising due to their complementary seasons. These regional differences can also impact crew opportunities and obligations. For instance, the employment culture in the Mediterranean markedly differs from other areas. Additionally, deciding between sailing your yacht or transporting it to a different location presents its own set of opportunities, including crew rest periods during transit. However, both alternatives warrant some form of maintenance before and after the journey.
The Importance of Planned Maintenance
To ensure your yacht remains in pristine condition, routine maintenance at a shipyard is a must. I have personal preferences, notably Palm Beach and Barcelona, although your cruising itinerary may necessitate different shipyards. Notably, maintenance periods can be strategically used to offer your crew much-needed rest.
The Rotation of Crew
As previously mentioned, the employment culture and legal requirements for crew vary across regions. This variability becomes crucial when considering temporary crew for seasons in the Mediterranean. Employing separate crews for regions like the Mediterranean and the Caribbean can provide your crew with valuable time off, allowing them to reconnect with their families and friends – an essential consideration for many.
Key takeaway: Happy Crews are Cost-Efficient
- Prioritizing crew happiness is fundamental to ensuring a top-notch experience for you and your guests.
- A satisfied crew takes pride in your yacht, striving to exceed expectations – a practice that can significantly reduce operating costs.
- A cheerful crew contributes to a memorable experience for charter guests, allowing you to justify a higher weekly charter rate, which in turn helps offset operating costs.
Mark Outlaw is a founding member of the JFA Yacht & Ship Team, serves as CIO, and continues to enjoy working with his clients as a veteran yacht consultant. Looking for an expert yacht consultant who is an innovative expert who value’s integrity, superior service, and authentic relationships? Contact Mark Outlaw today at 561-319-7004 or at firstname.lastname@example.org