“The key enjoyment for an owner is a good captain and crew. No one sector of the yachting industry that contributes to a yacht is more or less important than the next, but the thing an owner remembers is that when he steps on board he knows his captain and crew and feels happy with them and their absolute front-of-house service that makes the yachting industry tick.
“There is not enough credit given to captains and crew. And this isn’t exclusively about captains – captains and crew come into the same category in my opinion. I think sometimes the most important person, for all the designers, brokers and those already mentioned, is the chief stewardess who brings the owner his coffee in the morning, just the way he wants it, or who mixes the perfect cocktail on the aft deck. Everything that owner has worked towards in his life is for that moment. Those moments of happiness and contentment are unique and I think it’s absolutely crucial that crew and captains get the recognition for that. At the moment, they aren’t getting enough recognition for it, and this industry would simply not succeed if owners weren’t happy on their boats.”
- Toby Walker, managing director, Dubois Yachts
And it is this immediate point of contact with the yachting experience that the crew represent, and that is the reason their role is absolutely paramount. “The crew are the front-of-house. They are the ones who are responsible and have to take it in the neck if something’s not right,” explains Walker. “They are the immediate point of contact for anything. They are, arguably, the most important part of yachting. In addition, they form a relationship with an owner that is beyond his work remit and offices.”
As Walker notes, crew will often bear the brunt of criticism if something isn’t quite right, whether justified or not. And two thoughts can be taken away from Walker’s comments. First, good crew need to be recognised and appreciated; after all, they are the ones who are giving an owner the realisation and tangibility of his dream. And second, crew who perhaps don’t quite understand this and as such aren’t working to these high standards, must understand that, after safety, this exceptional service is what is required and, afterwards, what should be recognised and appreciated.