Variani and Mallard met at the 2015 SuperyachtDESIGN Week, where Variani held a workshop focusing on the importance of crew in the design process. It was from this meeting that the idea to offer a service that takes into account the knowledge based of interior crew in the refit process was born.
“We’re aiming at the refit customer and looking at it from the crew side of things,” explains Mallard. “Let me give you a scenario. A yacht needs a lot of electrical work done and pipe work done on the boat, which is all behind the furniture in the main salon, so they take out all the cupboards which they’ll then have to put back. Why not at this point say, hang on a minute, we’ve got to replace various bits and pieces, so let’s get the shelves put back in to fit what we’re going to get. For example, I’ve got 185mm wine glasses to 210mm wine glasses. If your shelf height is 185mm there’s no point in even looking at the 210mm. It’s limiting your options. So look at the products you want to put in there first. Don’t get your cupboards built and then fit products that fit the cupboards. Choose the products you really want and have your cupboards made to fit your products.”
While crew would love to be able to step onto a superyacht on their first day on the job and be presented with a working environment that takes into account the daily tasks of an interior team, this is not always the case. There are already 5,703 superyachts on the water (source: SuperyachtIntelligence.com), many of which will not have taken into account the interior team.
“The impression I have is that sometimes the interior is relegated to the background, being left in the hands of the designers to decide on it and it is not so closely watched as the engineering and deck departments,” explains Variani. “And although the designers are brilliant in their job, creating astonishing looks, they don’t know much about our routine and workflow.
“Chief stewardesses are in the front line of service and the best people to know owners’ tastes and habits,” Variani continues. “Therefore we are the ones who know the interior spaces and working areas can be better distributed and used,” explains Variani.
One misconception the team is hoping to tackle at the show is that spending less saves money. “The crew [need] a functional workplace where they are able to deliver faster and better service. Efficiency doesn’t compromise design, it actually complements it,” states Variani. “If you spend a little bit more money making it functional for the crew then obviously getting a better service. It’s easier for the crew, but you’re also getting more out of them,” adds Mallard.