Does Size Really Matter to Crew?

9 April 2008 By Matt Gomez

You may have been in this situation before: Standing next to another guy, both doing your business, you notice that he’s trying to sneak a peek.

Shocked, you turn away, but he is persistent. He just can’t keep his eyes off your pride and joy. You’re wondering why he is so interested.

Then it hits you: It’s all about the size.

So you let him look … and you’re proud. Very proud. Yours is bigger than his, and he’s jealous.

While you smirk at your superiority, it begs the age-old question: Does size really matter?

"Bigger is not always better," said James Stockdale, first mate on the 105-foot M/Y Hokulani. "Something larger just may not be as personal."

By the way, get your mind out of the gutter: We’re talking about superyachts and the pride of the people who work on them.

Go to any boat show and you’ll experience a similar reaction. Bigger yachts get lots of attention, but are they necessarily better for crewmembers?

After all, it’s been said, "it’s not the size of the boat, but the motion of the ocean" that matters. How does your boat rate when it comes to displaying the "total package?"

Many yacht owners tie their self-esteem to the size issue. Bigger size equals higher status in their eyes. But their concerns are not your own. You’re crew: How important is size to you?

"There are a lot of factors involved, but it doesn’t really make a difference to me," said Capt. Jeremy Cresswell of the 105-foot Calixas. "I was captain on a 120-foot yacht for three years, but this is perfect for me."

Cresswell said captains typically get paid $1,000 per foot, so a larger yacht should mean a higher salary for the captain and, in some cases, the crew. Bigger yachts often require more crew, which is not always a good thing.

Justyna Losocka, deckhand/stew aboard the 124-foot M/Y Andrea, said a larger yacht and additional crew can sometimes detract from the overall crew experience, regardless of the better pay involved.

"I prefer less crew on a smaller yacht," Losocka said. "Last year I worked with a 10-member crew, but now I’m part of a six-person crew. It’s much more intimate and a lot more fun. The more people you have on a crew, the more drama you have to deal with."

But do larger yachts necessarily provide a more comfortable and rewarding crew experience, or are they too high-maintenance compared to their "lesser" boat brethren?

"The service level increases with a larger boat, and it can really be a challenge," Cresswell said. "I try to stay between 90-foot and 120-foot boats. I’m happy with what I have."

A superyacht’s worth may be in the eye of the beholder. If you own the biggest, baddest yacht in the marina, perhaps that’s all that matters. But if you are charged with working on that yacht, you may have an altogether different viewpoint.

It seems there is always room for the little guy (pun intended). What he lacks in size, he may more than make up for in character and personality.

That may be just what he needs to "measure up" at the next boat show and capture the attention – and loyal devotion – of captains and crew.

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