So often we hear crew, quite correctly, described as “front of house” – I’ve even described crew in one of my introductions as “the billboard of the superyacht industry”. When it comes to a charter, the crew is what makes or breaks it – and I’m confident most charter brokers will agree. The MYBA Charter Show and the Antigua Charter Yacht Show are the only two shows solely dedicated to superyacht charters, and both give crew the chance to really show off their skills.
Let’s remember that during these yacht hops the crew are working non-stop.
At sales shows, when a potential buyer looks at a yacht, he is being sold the yacht – he is not being sold the crew. At charter shows, however, the crew comes with the charter and, I think, the crew is what sells the charter. And this is why there are so many opportunities at these shows for crew to show what they’re made of and show that they’re the best charter yacht on the dock.
Last year, for example, I was on board M/Y Latitude while the chief stewardess was preparing for the yacht’s ‘white party’ during the yacht hop evening. Rain clouds looming and strong winds adding a variety of challenges to the party preparation, the interior crew, with the help of the deck crew, were not deterred. Later that evening, the crew put on a spectacular evening with the ‘white’ theme even being applied to the food and drinks on offer.
Another notable yacht last year was M/Y Wheels and The Great Gatsby-themed party on board. The crew turned into 1920s flappers and the décor was transformed into an Art Deco haven. Not to mention M/Y Force Blue, whose 80s party had a guests lining up on the dock.
And that was just at night. During the day the table setting competitions and chef competitions offered more ways for the crews to showcase their skills. I’ve stepped aboard yachts in the past where the crew was in the middle of building sand sculptures a few feet tall for a themed lunch.
The show in Genoa may be smaller than other shows, with less glitz and glamour than some of the Mediterranean sales shows, but I would say this show is quality over quantity. I really do think it’s a great show for crew. And by a great show, I don’t mean there are lots of opportunities for free drink and food – let’s remember that during these yacht hops the crew are working non-stop. I mean that, as the industry moves forward towards higher levels of professionalism, the show allows crew to showcase their skills and why they are of such value to this industry.
So bring on next week. I can’t wait to see what the crew will come up with this year.