It was at the MYBA Charter Show earlier this year that I bumped into Captain Luke Humphries who, relieved, told me Benetti’s 56m Galaxy had only just made it to the show having left Monaco Marine three days previously. What was originally a two-month refit turned into a seven-month refit, the success of which the yacht’s captain puts down to his hard-working crew. Refit completed and halfway through Galaxy’s first post-refit charter season, Captain Luke Humphries talks to The Crew Report about the success of the yacht’s refit and how his crew stepped up to the mark.

Captain Luke Humphries of 56m Galaxy

“The project started out as a small two-month refit – carpets, fabrics, soft furnishings, AV upgrade and so on – before we were to cross the Atlantic and present Galaxy at the Antigua Charter Show. Galaxy is the owner’s first yacht and decisions were not coming fast enough to ensure we could place and receive all required orders to deliver the yacht in time, so we decided to instead cancel the Caribbean winter, give the owner time to work out exactly what he wanted and to complete the refit in time for the Genoa Charter Show,” explains Captain Humphries.

"The quality you most need to see in the crew is a genuine care for the owner, for the yacht and for the welfare of fellow crew."

Some of Galaxy’s crew have worked with Captain Humphries, who himself has been on board Galaxy for two and a half years, on other yachts in the past. This knowledge of the captain’s expectations, as well as an experienced crew who are used to a busy schedule on board the 56m charter yacht, resulted in the refit’s completion even under the tightest time constraints. “We had three days [to get from Monaco Marine to the MYBA Charter Show] – what a push that was! Galaxy was unrecognisable between leaving the shipyard and her unveiling in Genoa,” adds Captain Humphries, who is keen to highlight the role of the crew in the project’s success. “I have a fantastic crew on board Galaxy and they worked tirelessly doing whatever it took without be asked, as they knew we had a mountain to climb and that we just needed to dig in and get on with it. The crew had been flat out since January, working long hours, week after week.”

Galaxy before her refit. Credit: Bruce Thomas

Galaxy after her refit. Credit: Jeff Brown.

One of the crew’s biggest tasks, adds Captain Humphries, was keeping on top of the various contractors in the yard. “The crew were constantly checking up on them, helping and monitoring them to ensure they could maximise their work with minimal delays and also to keep an eye on progress and problems. Due to the scale of overall works, we used a mixture of shipyard and external subcontractors to complete the works and coordinating this took a great deal of effort from the Galaxy crew and particularly the senior heads of department.”

It is post-refit when captains often have complaints about their crew, but Captain Humphries has nothing but praise for his crew following this busy shipyard period. “The quality you most need to see in the crew is a genuine care for the owner, for the yacht and for the welfare of fellow crew. They also need to trust their superiors and to tow the line when needed, even when it gets really tough. My crew on board Galaxy are fantastic. It took a mammoth team effort to pull off the refit and to be ready for Genoa, and if they hadn’t all pulled together when I needed them to, we would not have made it across the line.”

Read more about Galaxy's refit and see more photos on

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