The intelligent use of space on board is sometimes overlooked in this industry. Something so simple can have a huge impact on a yacht’s on-board efficiency and can make the difference between a harmonious, ordered interior department and an un-productive and frustrated team.


Superyacht Ancora provides examples of how interior space can be utilised. Credit: Dick Holthuis.

Ex-chief stewardess and now vice president of Wright Maritime Group, Ellen Anderson, believes that in today’s industry the intelligent use of interior space is becoming more integral to a yacht’s success and its owner’s experience of the industry. “As the yachts grow larger, owners are adding additional space for spas, hair salons, theatres and staff accommodation. All of these extra features often compromise spaces that in the past would have been interior space used for storage.”

Consequently, the requirement to truly utilise interior space on board is more important than ever, and the key, explains Anderson, is about understanding exactly where extra space can be found for the storage of on-board supplies. “When considering design of interior space, the golden rule is there is no such concept as too much space allocated to stowage. Consider using every space possible for drawers, shelves and cupboards and think multifunctional, creating space where there is none. Wasted space under stairwells can have narrow, vertical drawers or shelves and a hard-to-access corner cabinet becomes a dream when a carousel unit is installed.”


Under-seat storage, as see on superyacht Ancora, is another way of utilising space. Credit: Dick Holthuis.

For some, however, these on-board areas will be make evident their ability to provide additional space, but there are some less obvious ways of doing this. “Furniture can serve more than one function,” explains Anderson. “The sofa-bed is the most ubiquitous of these. Deck bench sets can double as seats and also stowage for deck towels and shoes; dining table legs can be designed to incorporate storage; and deep drawers from the bottom of a banquette seat in the crew mess should be utilised, too.”

The dining area on a superyacht is one where, if anywhere, the utilising of storage space is absolutely paramount, and for this to occur a chief stewardess must understand the intricacies of dining storage, advises Anderson. “Many design these spaces based on what fits where best but often this results in time lost for the interior crew and chips and breakages of many fragile items. Try and arrange china in such a way that the items used for every basic meal service are in the same cupboard and are easy to access. How efficient to open one cupboard and be able to easily remove all dinner plates, side or starter plates and bread and butter plates! Place the items such as soup and fruit bowls in not-as-easy–to-access sections. All coffee cups, saucers, creamers and sugars should be together. Crystal water and wine glasses are generally used at every service, so having them grouped together is helpful. Formal cutlery is normally placed individually in layered drawers, generally two or three layers deep. Have cutlery to be used at every meal placed together on top and items not used as often, like fish forks and knives, placed on the bottom layer.”


"When considering design of interior space, the golden rule is there is no such concept as too much space allocated to stowage. Consider using every space possible for drawers, shelves and cupboards and think multifunctional, creating space where there is none."



A good superyacht will provide a seamless interior service, there is no question of that, however taking these sorts of factors into consideration can hugely ease the stress upon a busy interior department. And, in the words of Anderson, to consider utilising space in this way “is not a difficult task, but a necessary one.”