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

14 October 2010 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.