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Superyacht Stewardess

Project Management

An old superyacht needs some refurbishment. You can either decide to refit or rebuild. A lot is needed during this time. Resources have to be utilized effectively. This means that time and money are managed efficiently.

At the end of the project, the superyacht will look great. Also, all the financial resources can be accounted for. As a chief stewardess, you will control everything. This will include your staff for smooth administration.

Read on, to know all about project management in a yacht.

Project Management Skills

As an interior manager, you should possess some skills. They will help you in managing the superyacht refit. Have a look at the basic techniques for running a project.

Communication

It is the most crucial must-have skills. You will be responsible for conveying messages. Hence, you should communicate clearly. This will include goals, objectives, issues, and vision. You will also talk about project deliverables. This is what is expected from the project. On that account, you should be confident and audible.

Team management

A good PM should be a team manager. A successful project needs you to be a great team player. Therefore, the chief stewardess has to coordinate tasks. In other cases, delegating tasks will be a better option. When there are conflicts, the interior manager will solve them. All these are done to have a functioning team. You will also have to evaluate performance. It will be assessing the team against the goals you set.

Negotiation   Well

Negotiation is another vital skill. The chief stewardess has to negotiate on a number of occasions. This revolves around financial and human resources. Also, he or she has to factor in time. This goes hand in hand with communication. If you are a manager, you shouldn’t disagree a lot. It will waste time and money. Hence, your negotiation skills will keep you abreast. The project can start earlier at the required time.         Leadership   The interior manager is already a leader. He or she has to prove their leadership skills. If you have the methods, you will have a viable project. Good leadership entails soft and technical skills. Can you influence your team? If you can, then you are a leader. You should be able to listen to the team’s views. Additionally, you can delegate simple tasks. Have trust in your juniors that they can deliver.

Risk management

There are potential risks in any project. Thus, the chief stewardess should be prepared. Then, he or she can mitigate the looming risks. For example, if the weather is not ideal the project can be re-scheduled. The interior manager can deal with the risks they envisage. If you can foresee some risks, you should provide timely solutions. This will keep the project on progress.          Organization   As a project manager, the organization begins from you. How well organized are you? You can then manage other people if all is well. You should get your things in order. This can also translate into personal stuff. It can be physical and emotional. This way, you can address people with a clear mind. You can achieve this if you plan your time. Also, complete all your tasks in good time. In short, have self-discipline. It will be reflected in the project that you manage.

Calmness under pressure

Superyacht refit or rebuild can be stressful. The interior manager has to remain calm. If you show that you are stressed out, your subordinates will panic. Work will not go as planned. In fact, the project will drag and lag behind. Every endeavour has its own challenges. For this reason, you should expect obstacles. The question is, how will you handle them? You can overcome this with strategy. Brainstorm with your crew and find a way forward.

The Difference Between a Refit and a New Build Project

A superyacht refit involves repairing or refurbishing it. In contrast, a new build project is starting from scratch. This means that you discard the boat and build a new one. To top it up, the refit project is economical. On the other hand, the new build is expensive. This is because you have to acquire new materials.   Similarly, the refit takes a short time to complete. The project span can be about 6 to 12 months. This depends on the size of your yacht. As for the new build project, it can take between 2 to 3 years. A refit cares more for the environment. The new build yacht means that the materials have to be dumped.   With a refit, you can continue using the vessel. The renovation will not affect the superyacht. This means business as usual. But, for the brand project, you stop using it. You have to wait for some years to resume business.

How to Protect the Interior During a Refit Project?

The superyacht interior harbours many items. Most of them are valuable and important. Therefore, it is vital to keep them safe. To begin with, you should have proper records. This means that you know where all the items are located. Are they safe? Do you need to move them? This will give you a clue on how best to store them. For example, the artwork is of high-worth. As a chief stewardess, you should keep an inventory.   Furniture, cutlery and other appliances need protection. You will be responsible for secure keeping. Onboard, there are personal belongings. Additionally, all kinds of decorations have to be stored well. Plants and other plants need to be healthy and strong too. You will need carton boxes for some materials. They have to be huge and thick. Hence, they will not get any scratches.   The next step is to identify a storage place. How big is it? Is it suitable for all the delicate items? If the place looks okay, then get a team to move all the stuff. They should be careful not to damage anything. You can supervise the process for great results. Owing to that, you can prove that all items are in place.   Finally, you should cover all the items. There are many quality covers in the market. It will protect the products from dust. You could also get water-resistant covers. Wrapping them up also keeps the insects away. Storage units do not protect against natural forces. You should ensure that they are well-covered. This will guarantee you that all the goods will be durable. Otherwise, you will be forced to buy new goods.

How to manage crew

During this time, the crew can be idle. They should be occupied to minimize chaos. You can divide them to get a better experience. They can have rotational activities. Have a look at what you can plan for the crew.          Crew holidays   To keep them busy, you can organize crew holidays. They will spend time away relaxing. They work hard and it is prudent to reward them. Also, they will catch up with family and friends. As a chief stewardess, you can have some of them on a trip. This will show how much you appreciate them. The vacation will give the members time to re-energize.          Training  This is another awesome idea. Learning is lifelong so, it would be nice to instil skills. This will keep their minds at work. Additionally, they can learn a lot. Training should be fun and engaging. Don’t bore them with the theory. Allow them to learn by practice. They can get into discussion groups for exciting classes.          Storing items   Another group can help you on the yacht. They can move and keep the goods. They should cover all the brittle items. Again, the sensitive and sharp edges ought to be covered. The crew can give you all the assistance. This will ensure a smooth workflow.            Alternative accommodation   You can inquire about the closest hotels. This way, some members can live there. They can be able to get entertainment. Food will also be in plenty. They can relax and have fun too. When you need them, you can reach out.

How to create a detailed interior inventory?

An inventory is necessary to monitor all the items. First, you have to assess what is onboard. Then, you can group them according to value. You could also try the delicate and hard things. You will have to list all of them. For this reason, you can account for all the goods on the yacht. Record all the items that need to be removed. Also, what are the quantities? If they have sizes, make sure to write them down. As the crew moves them, also check on them.          How to prioritize amongst the Chaos   As a manager, you have to be composed amidst the chaos. This will give you an upper-hand. No one will notice any pressure. Thus, you will be in control. If there’s an issue, you can strategize. You can make the necessary changes at any time. If the resources are not enough, make plans to acquire them. If the staff is not performing well, remind them of their duties. This will make the project to remain on-course. Handle the vital things first-hand. Don’t let issues to pile up. They can overwhelm you.

Conclusion

Accordingly, the work of a chief stewardess is unending. During a project, they have to have it all. By this, it requires the necessary skills and knowledge. Dealing with people can be quite a challenge. But with soft skills, you can influence the crew members. During a refit or rebuild you should maintain proper records. Ensure that everything is in order. You should keep all the staff engaged. That being the case, all the resources will be systematic.

References

  • https://www.designunlimited.net/refit-vs-rebuild/
  • https://www.liquidplanner.com/blog/6/essential-skills-for-project-managers/
  • https://www.yachting-pages.com/content/crew-refit-repair-tips.html
  • https://www.boatinteranational.com/yachts/luxury-yacht-advice-things-you-need-to-know-about-yacht-project-management-34393

Small Space – Storage Solutions

Small Space – Storage Solutions

As a superyacht stewardess, you are required to be very creative with your small space storage solutions. The storage area needs to be clean, dry and easily accessible…. Which, let’s face it, is quite often NOT the case…..

If you are like me and had your fair share of battling with mattresses to get to the under bed storage or contorting your body into the most fabulous position to get into a tiny bilge space,  then I think the following article will be quite helpful.

Generally, on superyachts, we do not have the luxury of walk-in storage areas unless you are on an 80m+ vessel and even then you may find yourself in a storage battle with other departments staking claim over the precious space…

So before your frustration levels skyrocket let’s look at what you have to work with:

You may find storage in the following areas:

  • Obvious cupboards in the crew area and guest accommodation
  • Under bed storage: Both in the guest and crew accommodations
  • Bilge areas
  • Under furniture in both the guest and crew areas
  • Outside under furniture
  • Under the bridge consul

Important:

Now before you start to distribute your interior stuff everywhere… it is very important to respectfully ask each department to allocate space for you.

Storage items:

On a yacht, there seem to be a million things to store and so little space to store it in. So I have selected just a few items that seem to always be in the “more challenging items to store” category.

Crew Uniform and give away items:

  • Space bags for things you won’t need on charter
  • Blue tape around types of clothing (ordered by item, not size)
  • Blue tape around sizes of items
  • Ziplock bags of clothing items
  • Ziplock bags of items by size
  • Plastic containers if space allowed

Unless you are lucky enough to have an allocated large cupboard for this I would normally store this under a bed. As with many things on this board it is really a personal preference. However, experience suggests that ordering the items by size and type is an effective solution. You can always see what the item is but finding the right size can be time-consuming.

You will be limited to what and where you can store things in the guest accommodation, however, in the crew cabins you can think in various dimensions. For example, look at vertical dividers in cupboards or hanging shoe bags on the back of doors.

Toilet paper and kitchen towels:

  • Toilet paper and kitchen roll stored in bilges
  • Stored in hanging nets in walking laundry cupboard

For bulkier items such as toilet paper and kitchen towel, before a charter or cruise, make sure that all of the internal cupboards are stocked well (this included under the bathroom sinks in crew cabins).

Next, make sure the galley pantries and crew mess are well stocked and then place the kitchen roll on top of the toilet paper.

Just make sure that the storage area is clean and well ventilated.

Drinks, water bottles, cans:

AUUGHGGH, drinks storage can be a royal pain in the A#$%, but with a little planning, it really shouldn’t be so hard. What I mean by this is start off by doing a little math…

Step one:

  • See how much space you have. This may be 2 forward lockers, lockers on the sundeck and locker on the aft deck etc.

Step two:

  • Use the space wisely.
  • For the larger lockers buy plastic crates with holes in them for ventilation and an escape route if any water gets in them.
  • Calculate how many bottles of water fit into space. Use this as a guide for provisioning. I.e. if you know the forward locker fits 50 x 2L bottles of water then you can easily estimate what you need for your next order.
  • A good tip here is to buy a combination of both foldable crates and permanent size crates, both have a useful purpose on board.

Step three:

Go ahead and calculate all of your storage areas. If you do this properly then it will make your life so much easier in the future with mid-season provision requirements.

Wine and liquor:

So by now, you have probably figured out that storing wine on a yacht can be very challenging. The usual recommendations of wine storage such as:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity level
  • Motion Restriction

Are pretty impossible to control on a yacht. In addition to this, you will also have to find suitable storage, which enables easy access yet it has to be secure enough that the bottles won’t break.

Typically the wine tends to be consumed on the cruise/charter, however, if it is not then common sense dictates that fine wine be stored on land for longer storage requirements.

Once the wine fridges, bar, pantries and allocated cupboards are stocked to capacity, you will need to look to the under furniture storage. If possible, I would recommend storing any excess wine amidship like in the main saloon or lower deck in the VIP cabin purely due to the lesser motion of the vessel.

There are many things that you can use to protect the bottles such as:

  • Bubble plastic
  • Towels
  • Even kitchen roll

However, the one product that I highly recommend is a protective mesh wine sleeve.

  • I love this product because it’s cheap, easy to get and easy to store any excess.
  • It saves the glass bottles from smashing or clinking together and it protects the very important label.
  • Finally, because its mesh you can easily see what you need
  • You can buy it online from Amazon, or you can try your local ship chandlery

Remember:  all cardboard should be removed from the yacht to illuminate the risk of cockroaches or other nasty bugs becoming your new nightmare on board.

Further reading on wine storage:

https://www.onboardonline.com/industry-article-index/provisioning-and-galley/a-stellar-cellar-on-board/

If there something that you would like help with then please leave a comment below or email admin@stewardessbible.com

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Questions to Ask Yourself If You Want to Leave the Yachting Industry

 

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

Working on a superyacht is truly a wonderful experience, and I can honestly say that I have not worked in such a unique industry before or since leaving the yachting industry. The following article explains the Superyacht Crew Hierarchy in detail along with what a superyacht actually is.

What is a superyacht?

The word yacht comes from the Dutch word ‘jacht’, which means to hunt. Originally the yacht was a light and fast vessel that was used by the Dutch Navy to pursue pirates. After 1650, this developed into a luxury vessel for VIPs and was used by the Dutch Navy until 1843.

Yachts for civilians were known as ‘play yachts’. Until the 1990’s most yachts were usually under 40 metres. Over the years they have slowly become larger. Currently, the largest yacht to date is 163 metres, with a 180 metre ‘new build’ under construction at the world-renowned German shipbuilding company ‘Lurssen’.

Luxury, indulgence, elegant, expensive, bling, sumptuous, rare. The world of luxury yachting has taken off exponentially in the new Millennium. It seems the rich and famous are no longer satisfied with a mere luxury superyacht, and towards the end of the last century, the term ‘mega and ‘Giga’ yacht had come into use.

This has resulted in an increase in the demand for highly skilled crew. The years of backpacker dominated docks have been replaced by the bachelor holding hotel managers and commercially qualified professional seamen.

There is no absolute definition of this subject, so this is what I found on Wikipedia:

“The  term    luxury  yacht,  superyacht,  large  yacht  and  mega  yacht,  refers  to   the  expensive  privately  owned  yachts,  which  are  professionally  crewed.”

Who owns these superyachts?

Well, it’s no surprise that superyachts are owned by wealthy people. The superyacht industry knows no boundaries and the yacht owners come from all corners of the globe. The yacht owners are people from varying backgrounds. It is true that some owners are movie stars and celebrities.

The majority of the owners are wealthy business people, who prefer to stay away from the paparazzi and who prefer to have their identity kept secret. The yachts are used for various reasons.

Some are completely privately owned, others are for charter only, and the rest operate between these two positions. Charter prices also range from tens of thousands, through to hundreds of thousands.

The Organisational Structure

The organisational structure onboard a superyacht can best be described as being top-down and strongly hierarchical (as shown below) based upon a military model. Where positions, job duties and lines of authority are set, however, a superyacht is not the military, nor is it merchant shipping or large-scale commercial shipping like cruise liners.

Obviously, the larger yachts will have more crew with the same title and job description. Another area that may cause a little confusion is in the galley. Most yachts run with a chef or cook on a smaller yacht and only the larger super/mega yachts run with a team of chefs.

The following diagram represents clearly the formal structure by which superyachts operate. It also shows a clear separation of authority and duties of their hierarchical rank.

A Superyacht runs this way for a few reasons:

  • An authoritative chain of command is implemented for safety reasons, with the Captain is the master of the vessel… the king of the castle so to speak, with the Chief Engineer and Chief Officer following closely behind with the safety of the crew and vessel in their hands.
  • The middle managers follow in line to execute the commanding orders.
  • Followed by the lower ranks to carry out the orders.

This diagram broadly represents the chain of command on board a superyacht (please keep in mind that this example is a general summary and yachts will differ in the organizational structure.).

The horizontal specialization of the crew is again quite obvious, with each department specializing in their relevant departments:

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

  • Engineering: Safety and smooth operational running of the vessel and hotel services.

  • Deck: Passage delivery, Safety, Outside housekeeping/maintenance, guest outdoor activities.

  • Interior: Guest wellbeing, guest control in an emergency, housekeeping, hotel management, activity planner, accounting and guest liaison.

  • Galley: Guest food preparation, crew food preparation, galley and store stock control, hygiene and maintenance.

Super Yacht Crew Hierarchy

 

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How to Reduce Plastic Use

HOW TO REDUCE PLASTIC USE

As superyacht stewardesses, we see the damage caused to our oceans and waterways by plastic daily. Moreover, its no surprise to know that plastic pollution is a global problem that threatens aquatic life.

Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to take small steps to reduce plastic use as well as take good care of their environment.

This article is written for the superyacht stewardess but can be applied to all walks of life. Further, it aims to highlight some steps to follow to reduce plastic use and pollution.

Cutting down the Daily use of Plastic 

 Avoid using plastic straws.

These straws are a massive problem in ocean contamination; they are also among the most picked up trash on beaches.

To stop straw use is straightforward: As a consumer, simply do not order a straw, and as a superyacht stewardess do not offer a plastic straw. If you guests asks for one, offer a bamboo straw instead.

Make use of a reusable tumbler or a no-go mug when you order coffeeAs a consumer, take your own insulated coffee cup along to your favourite coffee shop. The use of insulated tumblers will also keep your beverages hot or cold a lot much longer.

Moreover, You also need to know that paper coffee cups are mostly coated with plastic resin, so you need you to avoid these as well and go for reusable containers.

Avoid dry-cleaning in reusable bags.

Avoid making use of the dry-cleaners’ one-time-use plastic bags and nasty coat hangers. Instead, provide your dry cleaner with your own coat hangers and reusable bags.

Avoid chewing gum.

How would have thought that chewing gum was so bad for the environment! However, according to Planet experts, it is.

The gum was initially made from natural materials like sap and rubber, but manufacturers now make use of a type of synthetic plastic instead.

Therefore instead of mindlessly grabbing the first of chewing gum, you see look for a biodegradable natural gum or eat mints instead.

As a superyacht chief stewardess who does all of the provisioning’s onboard, this is one area that you have complete control over and one tip that can be extended throughout  all of  your product purchases

Biodegradable Vintage Retro Floral Drinking Paper Straws

Check out these romantic biodegradable straws

Make use of eco- friendly shopping tips

 Use reusable bags to carry your groceries.

Yearly, billions of plastic bags occupy landfills. In order to help reduce this number, use your tote bags when you go grocery shopping.

  • Reusable bags are much sturdier for moving groceries and will make a large impact on the number of plastic bags used.
  • It is easy to get reusable bags at most grocery stores and if you are using a provisioning company, ask them not to use single-use plastic bags.
  • Buy food from bulk bins and store them in reusable containers. Purchasing foods from the bulk section will save you money as well as lots of plastic packaging.
  • So instead of bagging your bulk foods up in plastic bags make use of your reusable bags or containers.
  • Waste-free storage options include cotton bags, glass jars and stainless-steel containers.
  • You may consult the customer service desk if you are worried about how your containers will affect the weighing and paying.
  • This is because most stores have weighing options for personal containers. Cotton bags have their weight printed on the bottom which makes the weighing process easier.

Avoid purchasing bottled beverages.

Stop your use of plastic bottles by getting alternatives, i.e. by using a reusable bottle to fill up with water, by making your own soda with machine-like Soda Stream, or you purchase fresh fruit to make your juice.

I acknowledge this is a hard thing to do onboard a superyacht, but as we are all citizens of this planet, this point is for everyone, so please just do your best.

Purchase secondhand toys and electronics.

This is because new toys and electronics come with excess plastic packaging. This may not be an easy tip to adopt onboard the superyacht if you are shopping for the guests, but it is easily done in your private life.

Shopping secondhand helps you eliminate waste and high price.

Reduce Plastic onboard the Yacht.

 Keep your food in glass containers or jars.

This is a super easy thing to change onboard. And if you are worried about breakage, then there are other alternatives, such as wheatgrass containers, or upcycled plastics. Also, check out the beeswax food wraps.

Produce your own multi-purpose cleaner.

The vinegar and water cleaning solution for example.This help to prevent the purchase of cleaners in plastic bottles.

Try recycling your plastic products. After you might have used all plastic products make sure to recycle instead of disposing of them.

You should have a recycling service stop by and have the plastic products picked up at your home, or you take plastics to the facilities.

I have written an article on this matter for Dockwalk magazine, which you can check out here:

  • The Superyacht Stewardess and Going Green

CONCLUSION 

Reducing plastic use involves everyone taking small steps which all amount to a solid solution.

These steps as listed above include replacing single-use plastics with reusable options, when shopping, shop secondhand and purchase in bulk to reduce plastic packaging.

Each step seems small, but small steps will add up to significant change!

Lastly, I encourage everyone to do there homework on this issue. The following websites are a great help:

How to Take Care of an Orchid

Orchid Care Tips to Keep Them Alive and Healthy

As a Superyacht Stewardess, you will be required to take care of many flowers and plants onboard.

The orchid is a  humble yet exquisite flower and it will be right on top of the list of plants to take care of, as many superyacht interior designers and stewardesses just love them.

This may be because the beautiful orchid can compliment any colour scheme and it will bloom for weeks on end.

Caring for the delicate orchid flower may look like a challenging task, but taking care of Orchids is not that complicated, in fact, it’s quite easy. And Just because it’s different from traditional potted flowers, many stewardesses think that they are far too delicate to have on a yacht, however, in my experience, this simply is not the case.

But people are afraid of them. So, if you’re looking for the best orchid care there are a few important tips you need to know to help make it easier to care for the indoor plant.

What are Orchids?

Orchids are epiphytes or “air plants”. This means that the Orchid flower doesn’t grow in the dirt but rather by clinging on to tree barks and roots. They get most of their nutrients from detritus which gather around their roots.

Orchid flowers aren’t rooted in soils in the wild. So, if you want the best Orchid flowers these facts are important to consider. With the right care, Orchid flowers can blossom and live virtually forever.

Most Orchids die mainly because of overwatering due to the misconception that plants only need water to survive longer. This is, in fact, the opposite when it comes to Orchid flowers because, in the wild, they don’t sit in wet soil because the flowers’ roots will rot and die since it cannot absorb water and nutrients.

So, when it comes to Orchid flowers, the less the water the better.

Orchid Flower - Superyacht Stewardess

Orchids are tropical plants and need four things to thrive on the yacht, these are:
  1. Partial light
  2. Consistent watering
  3. Warm temperature
  4. Fertiliser
Watering tips

Place 2-5 ice cubes around the roots of the indoor plant at least once a week and allow them to melt into the pot.  Many stewardesses place the ice on the crown (on the top of the leaves in the centre).

This is a fundamental error because wone the ice melts, it can pool around the leaves which in turn will rot them over time.

To test if there is enough water in the soil, dip two fingers into the soil, pull them out, then rub the fingers together. If the soil is dry, then you can add more water, but if it’s moist, then there’s probably enough water for the Orchid flowers.

Temperature and Lighting Tips

Air conditioning can dry the soil, so it’s wise to keep checking from time to time to ensure proper moist levels.   Spraying the flower with water is bad since spraying the plant with water turns the flower brown and rot.

In case of dusty leaves use cotton wool dipped in milk to wipe the leaves. The leaves will feed on the milk and as a bonus, will make the leaves glossy.

Don’t place the Orchid flowers close to direct sunlight, a fan, or air conditioner. But once in a while, get them outside for some moments near the sunlight but not in direct sunlight, away from the air-conditioned yacht for a fresher flower.

Some Orchid flowers bloom in humid areas like restrooms.   Orchid flowers flourish in humid areas, like out in the sea or a bathroom. But remember that too much moisture with little air movement can make the Orchid flower vulnerable to rot. You must achieve a decent balance of airflow and humidity for optimum Orchid care.

Most orchids need moderate to warm temperature constantly. For the best Orchid Care, you should ensure the temperature doesn’t fall below 15 degrees Celsius. During the day, the best temperature for the indoor plants is between 22 to 25 degrees Celsius for the best Orchid Care.

Ceiling lights in the superyacht will undoubtedly not have enough light for the Orchid flower so you should place the plant near a window for natural sunlight but ensure the plant isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.

Other Orchid Care Tips

You should never let the Orchid flowers touch anything. If the Orchid flowers touch something like a wall, it completely harms the delicate flowers’ leaves and petals.

Orchid bark is most probably the best the best material to plant the Orchid flowers in. Remember that Orchids should not be planted inside the soil to avoid root rot and to allow the root to have enough oxygen to live.

Since some superyachts Orchids are potted in moss you should ensure the moss is dry before rewetting it since it’s so easy to over water the flowers in the moss. If you’re not sure, you can just go with bark instead.

Orchid plants can live for a long time but it depends on whether they have roots or not.

Good luck with taking care of the of the beautiful Orchid flowers, and hopefully, you feel more confident when handling these amazing flowers.

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