How having someone take over yacht administration shore side can lighten the load

It’s so simple – Happy crew = Happy guests
November 12, 2019

Introduction

Being part of the yachting world ourselves for a combined total of over 24 years, the experience and understanding of how extreme the yachting industry can be has become first hand to us.

The long hours, tiredness, fatigue, the pressure and stress of completing a multitude of work lists in a seriously small amount of time; all go hand in hand with what the yachting industry is about.

A strong character is a must to get by in the yachting world and professionally fulfil your rightful role within it.

The high expectation has increased more and more over the years within the yachting industry and what is expected from yacht crew.

Hours of rest as per the ILO maritime convention should be adhered to, although from experience, rarely logged accurately.

Hours of rest are the last thing you wish to complete after a 16-hour shift. The pressure from the top to the bottom can be maximal.

This then links to mental health and crew’s general welfare.

Due to the shift in attitude towards mental health over the past 5 years especially, the yachting industry is having to start to take notice of how crew’s mental health is a highly important factor to ensure crew are taken care of and looked after, not only by covering the essentials like meals, laundry, holiday rotation etc, but also managing hours of rest accurately, making sure crew get breaks when needed and being aware of the crew's mental welfare in general.

If there was a way in relieving the pressure in even a slight way, for every crew member on board, from the captain to the laundry person, you would rightfully ask – how could this be achieved?

What pressure captains have on board today – Especially 45-70-meter yachts

Various sized super yachts are managed completely differently, depending what positions they have/may not have on-board, budgets, owner preferences, the list goes on.

When broken down, yachts still need to cover every position such as purser, second officer, service stewards/stewardess, right through to the laundry, to ensure everything runs efficiently and to the highest of standards.

Some yachts do not have space for certain positions on board, this is when the overflow of work is adopted by other members of the crew – such as the captain, first/chief mate, chief stewardess etc.

Yachts in between the sizes of 45-70-meter come up against this issue and fall into this category.

From feedback and discussions with both captains and management companies alike, the extreme administrative overload for captains today, especially on these size yachts is major, as well as having to deal with the guest relations and concierge service whilst guests are on board, they are legally responsible for the whole program and vessel.

The thought of having to manage, let’s say, up to 26 crew members administration, as well as;

  • Contracts
  • Crew travel
  • Visas
  • Port control
  • Monthly accounts
  • Guest relations
  • Concierge service
  • Budgets

This seems way too much for one person to achieve at the best of their capabilities without being pushed too far or to their limit.

Land based companies outsource administration - Why not do the same in the yachting world?

Land based businesses have used outsourcing admin companies for years. Known and proven to be an efficient way for businesses to provide their customers with a dependable, consistent experience by lightening up administrative tasks within the office environment.

Instead of consuming valuable time with, sometimes tedious, time-consuming admin tasks, when outsourced to an external company or person to deal with, people have more time to focus on the business itself and what is important.

This is also a positive when the business or company cannot justify or see that financially, to hire someone to do these tasks is tangible or feasible. Let’s now investigate how we can develop this ideology over into the yachting world.

Taking on board what we have spoken about previously regarding captains on 45-70-meter yachts and how they have to manage all administrative tasks as well as the management of the whole vessel, to outsource these tasks to an external company would lighten their workload considerably.

To outsource – accounts, crew contracts, crew travel, crew holiday accrual would be saving them a massive amount of time and stress. The captain can then concentrate on what is the main reason why every yacht crew has a job position – guests and their satisfaction and the movement of the yacht.

How outsourcing yacht admin shore side can be beneficial

There is a vast variety of yachts within the industry, all managing the administration on board differently, depending on what structures are in place, as well as what position on board is completing these tasks.

The thought process is to use highly experienced and knowledgeable ex yacht professionals, to administer and implement the most beneficial and productive administrative systems shore side. Alleviating the pressure from captains who would be solely dealing with this themselves.

Outsourcing yacht administrative tasks shore side is the way forward in how yacht administration should be handled.

One specific task which is one of the most integral roles in dealing with yacht admin is managing the accounts, which is one of the most time-consuming monthly duties and must be completed with the greatest attention to detail. The idea of outsourcing the accounts each month would save the person completing this task valuable hours every month and can concentrate on what is important. If it were to be the captain, the movement of the vessel and guest satisfaction.

How outsourcing administration on board yachts can have a positive effect on guest satisfaction and crew moral

By outsourcing administration on board yachts, this will have a major positive impact on all crew as these duties will be alleviated from either a captain, purser, first officer or chief steward/ess giving these crew members more time to focus on their teams and other important tasks for upcoming guest trips, as well as having more time for guests whilst they are on board. This effectively will help with crew morale and reduce stress levels substantially.

Making sure you keep standards at a high – Maintain super yacht standards by outsourcing certain time-consuming tasks

Everyone in yachting is aware of the standard needed to be upheld throughout the entire vessel. When under pressure with time restraints and plan changes, this can sometimes slide, although crew are aware of this, they would never want this to happen and genuinely cannot be helped.

One prime example – A captain has made an itinerary for the guests for a certain location, guests then change their minds and would now like to go to a different location. The captain then has to create a new itinerary, so the first officer and second officer take over the movement of the vessel. They are now not able to oversee the deck team fully, leaving more responsibility on the bosun and deckhands. If the captain could have outsourced the itinerary initially, the knock-on effect would be reduced substantially. Time would not be stretched, and standards could be fully maintained.

Examples of possible financial benefits from outsourcing yacht administration

The financial benefits associated with outsourcing admin for yachts and what could possibly be saved; Cabin space, flights, medical insurance and possibly a purser salary and yearly bonus.

General benefits consist of a happier crew, less crew turnover, more time and focus on what is important.

Summary

Knowing the industry and the increased amount of work expected from yacht crew along with budgets individually implemented for each yacht – outsourcing administration looks like the way forward within the yachting industry. Saving money, time, stress and taking into consideration crew welfare and happiness, to have an extra pair of hands to lighten the load is a positive all round.

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Our next blog will be covering the topic of – Main reasons why stewardesses put-on weight. If you have any comments about this statement please feel free to write to us via our Contact Us Page.

You will hear from us very soon. Have a fantastic day everyone! 😊