Maintaining a happy and well-rested crew is the key to operating a successful and safe superyacht, and the crew quarters on board can have a significant impact on this. Crew need a space to work in efficiently, be able to rest comfortably, and have the chance to relax and unwind. Ellen Anderson, Vice President of Publishing at Wright Maritime and ex-chief stewardess told The Crew Report that; “the goal should be to design crew spaces that feel comfortable, function efficiently and look almost like home."


Credit: Thierry Ameller

We spoke to captain Grant Maughan of motoryacht Turmoil about the crew quarters on board his yacht. “With the way the owner wanted to treat the crew, because he wanted people to stay a long time, and have a comfortable time while they were doing it, the crew cabins on here are the same as the guest cabins; they’re huge and they’ve got their own bathroom.”

This luxury, Captain Maughan explains, is something of an exception in this industry “You go on some of these charter boats and see the conditions that the crew have to live in,” Captain Maughan continues. “I’m not saying it’s like living on a tug boat or anything, but you’re squashed in; they just don’t have the room or the facilities for the crew to do the proper job to the level owner expects. The owner has chopped out two crew cabins because he wants a cinema instead.”

And this is why the crew on board Turmoil appreciate their crew space. “The interior is quite easy to maintain and clean so there is no problem with the crew cabins being to this spec,” the captain reveals. “The fit out for crew cabins should be hard wearing & able to take knocks. That is not to say that crew don’t treat the cabin right but factors like a heavy seaway or lots of wear and tear and bags in and out start to show after a number of years.”


“With the way the owner wanted to treat the crew, because he wanted people to stay a long time, and have a comfortable time while they were doing it, the crew cabins on here are the same as the guest cabins."


Contrary to this, Studio Principal of Gregory C Marshall Naval Architects, Greg Marshall, believes that creating crew quarters in line with the guest areas is not something that is desirable among most crew. “In the past we were often asked by thoughtful owners to make the crew quarters as nice as the owner’s quarters,” Marshall begins. “In polling a lot of very experienced crew over the years, we have found that most of them prefer to have their spaces decorated differently and much more simply from the rest of the yacht as a way of designating that they are now on their ‘off time’.”

A private bathroom, storage space, a bunk that is big enough for a person to sleep in and privacy were cited by Captain Maughan as some of the most valued features in crew spaces, believing that these all add up to contributing to a happy and stable crew. As a yacht is often designed without input from crew, designers often miss out these simple details to the future detriment of the yacht. Perhaps there needs to be a better discourse between crew and designers in these initial phases to ensure that crew quarters don’t negatively affect crew turnover in the long run.