Following a career as a chief stewardess, Hannah Humphries was placed in role of refit coordinator for the refit of M/Y Galaxy. The Crew Report talks to her about the purchasing decisions behind furnishing a yacht and what she learnt from the experience.
What do you look for when buying furnishings for the yacht, and what the annoyances?
Linens can be extremely costly and time consuming if a poor choice is made, and you can be stuck reinvesting in it for years. Choosing bed and bath linens that are top sellers in the industry is the best way to ensure quality and ease of care. I find that the more detail, colour and trim on bedding, the faster it looses all of those lovely qualities it was chosen for in the first place and therefore the more costly in both time and money. Making style statements in cushions, throws and other removable soft furnishings not reliant on regular laundry service is a more practical alternative.
Sofas with built in storage underneath for uniform or wine will make any stewardess jump for joy.
If your yacht interior is ivory or white like mine was you may feel unlucky but opting for fabrics with a texture or micro pattern hide damage better than block colour. Finally, always buy a minimum of one spare for everything and check with the supplier that the item you're investing in isn't going out of production next season.
How important is it to have a good quality product from suppliers who understand the complexities of the marine market?
Suppliers who understand yachting will often stock a much better range of quality options than those suppliers who don't. Their recommendations are more reliably based on market knowledge and I find that the level of service, production time and returns policies tend to be better than non-marine online equivalents. Building a strong relationship with a few good yachting suppliers also pushes you up their priorities list when time is tight, as we know it always is in this industry.
Have you had any bad purchasing experiences?
I have been very lucky that my owner wanted me to be in the design team for his yacht refit so I was able to make decisions to maximise practical and functional elements on board. Other best purchases have often been the tried and tested options with built in style and guaranteed durability through trusted suppliers.
On the other hand, I once had a hand in choosing a 'new range' of linoleum flooring for the crew mess and galley that didn't live up to our hard wearing expectations. We could peel out chunks with our fingernails and, perhaps worse, over such a large area it looked pale orange rather than the warm beige of the small sample.
If this article interests you, look out for the next issue of SuperyachtDesign, which features a collection of opinions from crew about their purchasing decisions.
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