Towards the end of 2013, Benetti’s 56m full-displacement motoryacht Galaxy, originally built in 2005 and the first of this size to be built in Benetti’s Livorno facility, entered Monaco Marine for what was meant to be a small two-month refit. Seven months later, having foregone her planned trip to the Antigua Charter Show, she left the yard, leaving her and her crew a window of just three days to make it to the MYBA Charter Show in Genoa. And, according to the yacht’s captain, Luke Humphries, it was all down to the crew. SYD hears from Captain Humphries about just how much a good crew can impact a refit.

Much of the success of the refit was down to the fact that the 56m superyacht has a highly experienced crew. Captain Humphries has been on the yacht for two and a half years and has a good relationship with the yacht’s very capable crew, many of whom have worked with him on previous yachts. It was this experience and knowledge of how to support the yacht’s captain that led to what can often be the most difficult facet of a refit – dealing with the multiple contractors – turning into its saving grace under the refit’s time constraints.


Before. Credit: Bruce Thomas.


After. Credit: Jeff Brown

“The crew had been flat out since January working long hours, week after week. One of the biggest things required of them was to keep on top of the various contractors who were all over the yacht every day. They were constantly checking up on them, helping and monitoring them to ensure they could maximise their work with minimal delays and also keep an eye on progress and problems,” explains Captain Humphries. “Due to the scale of the overall works, we used a mixture of shipyard and external subcontractors to complete the works and coordinating this took a great deal of effort from the Galaxy crew, and particularly the senior heads of department.


Before. Credit: Bruce Thomas.


After. Credit: Jeff Brown

“The quality you most need to see in the crew is a genuine care for the owner, for the yacht and for the welfare of the fellow crew,” continues Captain Humphries. “They also need to trust their superiors and to tow the line when needed, even when it gets really tough.

"The crew’s positive can-do attitude and dynamic approach to problem solving really helped when things didn’t go our way. Senior crew took on the tireless role of keeping lines of communication open across numerous contracting companies so that the end result was as streamlined as possible with minimal error. They made it their duty to really know what was going on rather than just going with the flow, while heads of department doggedly monitored the order/delivery and installation process to fall within the agreed timeframe so that we could make our Genoa Charter Show deadline.

"My wife, Hannah, who had just handed in her notice as chief stewardess on Galaxy, coordinated the interior refit and was the key decision maker for the project on the owner’s behalf. She worked closely with architect Oliver Stirling of Stirling and Co. and Austrian build team LIST to ensure the new Galaxy represented the owner’s young minimalist aesthetic while also having a strong charter appeal relevant to a wide charter demographic. As a result of this strong crew input, I think Galaxy’s new interior ticks all the boxes with excellent practical and functional design elements that are often lacking on yachts."



Before: Credit Bruce Thomas (compared to 'after' image at the top of the article; credit: Jeff Brown)

As a result, In just seven months the yacht had a bar installed in the main salon, the master suite, master observatory, upper and main salons and VIP suite were remodeled, fabric panels in guest cabins were replaced and all carpets were replaced, as was all loose furniture, light fittings and bathroom fittings. Galaxy also saw the upgrade of bridge equipment, AV systems, lighting systems, watersports equipment and gym equipment. According to Captain Humphries, Galaxy now looks “unrecognisable” and, once again, he puts this achievement down to the hard work of the yacht’s crew.