Next to the size of your Yacht, one item that will impact your yachting in a big way is going to be your crew. They will have an impact on your experience, running costs, build, and if you intend to charter your yacht, a financial one as well.
W H Y
Whether you use a yacht crew agency, word of mouth, or networking through a broker, management company, builder, superyacht consultant or friend in the industry, there are thousands of possible crew awaiting new job opportunities.
Whichever course you take, what follows are interviews, reference checking, background checks, drug checks, and double checking of certificates. Then second, possibly third interviews, and finally a point where you have your perfect crew assembled.
But how do you insure against crew related issues and problems, and assure these individuals develop into the great team you expect from the qualified group you selected ?
As yachts have grown, this has not necessarily meant that crew accommodation has grown or become much more crew-friendly. While this may well become, a very important point if the MLC 2006 is ratified, personal experience and many interviews have found that most crew do not really have issues over accommodation itself.
There are thousands of books written on leadership, and new ones it seems published every week. So for this post we will just settle on the fact that leadership has much to do with influence. And as influence can be good or bad, strong and light, it goes that leadership most definitely has influence on a crew developing into a great team.
Money is a motivator but not always the primary motivator for everyone.There have been studies galore on intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation and the hierarchy of needs, and the verdict, I believe, is still out.
Group culture and Relationships
Group culture and relationships can have a large effect on behavior and environment aboard. They by default impact the whole ( owners and guests), not just the crew. They affect how work is done, how people get treated (from deckhand to owner), the attention paid to details, and risks that a crew may, or may not take.
You may have anywhere from 12 to 20+ individuals that are going to be living down a corridor with other crew sharing cabins, their spaces a home away from home, and one of the few places they can get privacy and rest. Any, or all of these things can lead (at first perhaps unseen), to interpersonal issues and problems, and if captain and crew do not have the interpersonal skills required to deal with them as they arise, the issues and problems can lead to much bigger problems that will impact you.
Navigating new waters abroad is what your captain and crew are trained for, but navigating new waters in human interpersonal relationships, not necessarily so.
Stress and interpersonal issues do not need to be part of superyacht ownership. Your relaxation and level of enjoyment aboard your superyacht should be impossible to match anywhere else ashore.
One purpose of a superyacht is to enjoy your time aboard how you wish, not watching it, or dealing with the loss of it.
Taking care of this last bit of business is not only common sense, but excellent insurance.