Dockwalk - How Crew Can Be of Service while the Yacht Is Being Serviced Untitled Page

How Crew Can Be of Service while the Yacht Is Being Serviced

Oct 14th 10
By Ryan Sputh [Photo by Billy Black]

Although crewmembers may not be able to assist in some aspects of work being done to the yacht while in the yard, there are still plenty of things crew can do to ensure their time in the yard is productive. Every crewmember’s mantra should be “Protect, protect, protect!”

· Identification badges are easy for the faking or the taking. Every crewmember should be curious and cautious and keep in communication with other crew. Ask workers what their task is on the vessel. If a worker says s/he is working on the marble, make sure that a worker is supposed to be working on the marble, that the worker actually is working on the marble and that the correct marble is being repaired. The people that mind being asked about their credentials for being on your boat most likely should not be on board. Those workers who should be won’t mind being asked.

· Consider work stations for appropriate contract repairs and set up those work stations on the dock or outside of the vessel. Specific work areas will help to organize contract labor equipment and will make individuals responsible for the management of their own gear.

· Yacht furniture is not a docking station for tools, boxes, personal items or other sundry items that might be needed in a yard period. One pair of sunglasses carelessly placed on a table seems to give permission to others to pile on random “stuff.” There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. This prevents items from being lost and or "walking" off the vessel. It also helps to control the droppings of contract labor and dayworkers.

· All workers should wear booties. There are many types of shoe coverings that are easy-on, one-size-fits-all, step-in, step-out protectors. Check out the options and find the type that best suits your vessel’s needs. A rational exists that stockings are as effective as shoe protectors. However, if someone walks around your boat in dirty socks, it’s basically the same as walking around with dirty shoe soles. Protectors should be changed as necessary.

· Everyone should be instructed to cover sharp-edged items before bringing them onto the yacht. For example, if a pipe is brought on board, cover both ends to protect the vessel from dings. One small nick can have serious financial repercussions.

· Consider providing lunch for contractors and dayworkers. The work day is more productive if you can hold a captive audience. If a worker has to leave the yard for sustenance the rhythm of their labor can be affected.

· Time is money. Many contractors and dayworkers work on time and material. Keep track of their time spent on the vessel. Sign in sheets are great if the honor system works. A better solution is to have a sign in sheet that is policed by a crewmember. It will keep everyone honest with their time and presence on the vessel. Time spread sheets can be processed at the end of the day, allowing better management of the repair. Negotiations with the yard might include a weekly sign in sheet and time card reconciliation. This system helps to eliminate surprises at the end of the project.

· The time enforcer also can be valuable in fielding salespeople that do cold calls on a captive yacht. One person can receive all sales information, then pass it on to the appropriate crewmember for consideration, at their convenience.

Stay vested in the vessel’s welfare and remember: protect, protect, protect.


Related Topics:

Choosing a Yard


Tags: Essentials Refit 

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  • Most yacht owners think the yard time is where the crew can relax and take time off after a busy charter season, Nothing could be further from the truth. This is the hardest time for the crew. Even the interior staff will be busy keeping up with the dust and dirt which is much higher during a yard period. There is more work to do for everybody than an owner can fathom. Living conditions will be comprimised and the days will be just as long. I am currently on a boat where the owner wants the crew to take time off without pay to save money on salaries. Imagine the expenses he will incur with no crew around to be watchful, clean up, protect work areas and police the progress. With contractors around and not working, damaging thier work space which creates more work, walking off with yacht property and basically running free on board can be very detrimental to the owners pockets. At 30 to 50€ an hour they can run up a big bill quickly. One crew member's salary for a month would be easily justified in a weeks time. I have been through 4 refits and watch all kinds problems with contractors. When a boat comes out of a yard period looking worse than it did when it went in, there is going to be some heads rolling. Imagine the disappointment when the owners come on board after spending 1.5 million euors and there is still a problem somewhere. For a yard time you need crew and workers already planned before you even hit the dock. Otherwise all the good workers will be snatched up and your left with the workers who are no good and nobody wants to hire them. A good crew with a well planned and well orchistrated workforce is the key to a successful and timely yard period.
    Posted by Miss B Haven 16/10/2010 09:47:21

  • Sign in sheets and time keeping are jobs for the captain. When crew work a refit, their responsibility is to "Drive" the contractors. Driving the contractor means the crew is familiar with the task at hand, then fully prepares the work area so contractor time is always booked out as value adding time. When an engineering project is on the work order its the responsibility of the yachts crew to understand the work and prepare the area for challenges the engineer will face. If your cant see what your doing, then the contracting engineer will also be blind...Illuminate the work area. If you cant comfortably reach the work area, the engineer will face the same challenge, erect a platform to ensure that the engineer can concentrate on work. If you see that the project will create liquid waste, prepare the wet'n dry and handling barrels so the engineer does not have to waste time organizing it. If the project involves electrical work, a photocopied electrical junction box location sheet must be posted on site and crew must insist that the engineering contractor modified it as work progress's. The list goes on and on. If a varnish contractor is brought in, its the crews responsibility to ensure that morning dew is removed and surfaces are dry so the varnish gang can immediately dig in. At all times its the crews responsibility to "drive" and assist contractors . When contractors realize that a yachts crew is actively involved and working to assist them, they deliver better craftsmanship and best value for the yachts owner.
    Posted by junior_1 15/10/2010 13:20:59

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