It is often said that crew should be involved at an earlier stage of a yacht build, as they are the ones that know how a yacht is operated effectively. And when crew do get involved in the design and build stages, it is normally the captain that has the most influence. But when it comes to provisioning tableware for the interior, input from the chief stewardess early on can prove invaluable. The Crew Report caught up with Jamie Horton, managing director of Harlequin London, who has worked on superyacht projects with the likes of M/Y Celestial Hope and M/Y Imperial Princess, about his particular issue with this area.

Image courtesy of Harlequin London

“Too often there is a last minute rush to get items there on time,” explains Horton. “One forgets that although it may be just one plate in each size for fitting it still takes time to manufacture a hand-made product – it is so important not to overlook this. A member of the crew is often a liaison between the yard, the designer, the owner and suppliers and so the sooner they are involved the more organised everyone can be, saving time, money and avoiding many pitfalls. Once your yacht is on the water your crew will have to function efficiently and if careful planning on not just the stowage but also the practicality of the china, crystal and silver tableware chosen will enable a capable team to shine.”

Horton continues to describe that the operational awareness provided by crew can go a long way in achieving a well-run yacht. “Making sure the ‘right tools are chosen for the right job’ at the start is vital,” says Horton. “Understanding what foods and drinks will be served on board avoid the embarrassment of last minute shopping in harbour when it is discovered no lobster cracks are available or forgot about the cocktail shaker when placing the original order. Crew tend to ask pertinent questions about yachts' operational requirements that others fail to consider.”

"Crew tend to ask pertinent questions about yachts' operational requirements that others fail to consider.”

“Too often crew are brought in at the last moment, which we believe is a mistake and too late,” Horton concludes. “Decisions on design, style, choice of brands and initial stowage planning is rightly run by the owners (in some cases) designers and the yards, but a steward or stewardess can offer so much detailed advice based on previous operational experience that is foolish to overlook.”

The Crew Report heard from chief stewardess of motoryacht Titania, Zyanya Sebastian, who has experienced being brought onto a new-build project in the initial stages and so was able to discuss the benefits of this. Sebastian, who was offered a position on the brand new Feadship Fountain Head, worked on the build as second stew for six months. “It was amazing to do a boat from the beginning,” said Sebastian. “I was able to pick the cutlery, pick the crockery, work with the designers and just get everything sorted the way it should be.” And not only was her involvement crucial for the yacht, the experience was benefited her ability as a stewardess. “I came on leaps and bounds in that period; learning where you get everything from, dealing with the suppliers, it was an amazing experience.”

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