Today’s yachts are getting bigger and more complicated, and in this context bigger efforts are made to ensure confidentiality surrounds the build. But in the face of these two factors, when is the best time to appoint senior crew to a large new build?

The sooner you appoint the senior crew, the more time they have to become familiar with everything on board, but the more people that know about what’s happening on board, the more chance of information leaks about the ‘next big yacht’.



In trying to put a finger on the correct time for a senior crew’s appointment to a new build, The Crew Report spoke to Victor Caminada, marketing manager at Amels B.V., who declared it was crucial to ensure the crew – junior and senior – were on board the yacht with enough time to properly train.

“It is very important to train all crew. Besides safety, the crew are the crucial component to get the very best out of the yacht for the owner and guests, and must know the potentials and pitfalls. It is like a computer or software – if you do not know what is inside, you never get the full potential out of it.”

Amels have established an in-shipyard crew training programme which starts several months before a yacht’s delivery, and includes training on A/V systems, machinery, bridge systems, AC systems and all the yacht’s engineering systems.

Of the training programme, Captain Julian Cox of Amels motoryacht Sea Rhapsody declared: “The Amels training was very useful. I’ve never had that from a shipyard before. We even videoed all the training so we have a good record for the future.”


"Senior crew – captain, engineer, second engineer, chief stewardess, first officer and possibly bosun – depending on the size of the yacht, should be arriving at least three months prior to the handover." - Captain Derek Payne



The Crew Report also spoke to highly experienced new-build Captain Derek Payne, who added: “In my view, the trend is for all crew, especially senior crew, to be employed as late as possible in the build process, causing a lack of knowledge of the vessel in question. This problem is compounded by the fact that most new builds are handed over late and the owners want their yachts immediately. Hence I see a number of yachts from various yards embarking on their maiden voyages without the crew having done proper familiarisation or any safety drills.

“Senior crew – captain, engineer, second engineer, chief stewardess, first officer and possibly bosun – depending on the size of the yacht, should be arriving at least three months prior to the handover. If not all of these crew at least the most appropriate should be setting up procedures, checking safety plans, storage and so forth, well before any yacht is launched.”

The flexibility – whether desired or not – of the new build process means that in most cases there is not a set month before its launch where we can expect to see the senior crew come aboard. But there can be no argument when all agree – especially in the context of today’s ever-longer fleet – the sooner the better.