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
Under furniture in both the guest and crew areas
Outside under furniture
Under the bridge consul
Now before you start to distribute your interior stuff everywhere… it is very important to respectfully ask each department to allocate space for you.
On a yacht, thereseem 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.
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…
See how much space you have. This may be 2 forward lockers, lockers on the sundeck and locker on the aft deck etc.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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 coffee. As 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
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.
Dishwasher maintenance is far from glamorous, but it is something that every yacht stewardess must do on a regular basis, especially if you don’t want the engineer breathing down your neck.
Considering a superyacht could have anywhere from 2 to 8 dishwashers onboard, the dishwasher is one of the most time-saving appliances on board. Furthermore, it is essential that the superyacht stewardess maintain these machines well.
This is general information only. Please refer to your user manual for specific instructions or ask our friendly engineer to help.
What you will need:
Regular cleaning will eliminate any nasty odours. To clean any part of the dishwasher, the necessary tools you need are:
a soft sponge or brush
Dry clean dish towel
We all know that yachties have a good supply of cleaning vinegar onboard, so the next thing that you will need is a good supply of baking soda, or cleaning soda will also do a good job.
Cleaning with vinegar. You first need to empty the dishwasher and clean out the trap at the bottom of your dishwasher.
Next, put two small cups of white vinegar in a bowl or a dishwasher container on the upper rack of the machine, pour hot water in the vinegar and pour it through your dishwasher until the grease and odours are removed.
To use the baking soda; sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher, pour hot water onto the baking soda and run it through the washer to have a brightened and stain-free interior.
(Remove the bottom dish rack. Check for Gunk in the dishwasher drain; remove junk or food caught there. This will improve drainage, increase cleaning efficiency and prevent damage to the dishwasher.)
HOW TO CLEAN THE DISHWASHER FILTER
Your dishwasher could either be self-cleaning and manual. Dishwashers with self-cleaning use a grinder to pulverise this waste and wash it through the drain, but this makes the dishwashers to be much louder than those with standard filters.
Manual filters require consistent cleaning depending on usage.
HOW TO CLEAN A DISHWASHER FILTER
Locate the filter
You can find this by removing the bottom rack of the dishwasher, after that, remove the cylindrical tube, below that if you find a flat filter, remove it also.
The filter you need to locate is one that has a hole in the middle through which the inserted cylindrical pipe, it also twists counter-clockwise; you need to clean this area well by removing it first.
To do that, make sure it is unlocked, gently pull up, and lift out the lower filter if there is one.
Wash the filter(s)
Wash in soapy water and rinse under running water. Make sure you don’t wash with hot water, scrub the filter if the food debris won’t remove, make sure all the debris are removed and us a dry towel to wipe the area clean if necessary.
Mix a half cup of salt, half cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of bleach. Pour it in the bottom of the dishwasher and let it stay for at least 12 hours, then, set it to run a wash without any dishes.
Insert the filter and the cylindrical filter back, make sure the cylinder filter is locked in its place.
HOW TO CLEAN A DISHWASHER FILTER DRAIN HOLE
Clean the sump
If there is some liquid in the slump or particles in the sump it is important to remove this so that it does not clog. You can make use a small container to remove this obstacle. However, you don’t have to do this if the amount of water in the sump is small.
Assess the drain hose
The drain hose is located under the sink, between the pump and drain line. If you find any particles in the drain hose, take them out by; removing the hose from its position, loosen the clamps that hold the drain hose, and removing the blockages and blowing through one end of the hose
Check the garbage disposal
Remove the drain plug in your garbage disposal, it’s in the form of small plastic, and run the disposal to make sure the drain isn’t clogged. While doing this make sure you don’t put your hands down the garbage disposal
PRO AND CONS
Apart from liquid soaps, other things you can use to clean dishwashers are baking soda and white soda. Both have a downside.
Apart from the fact that baking soda absorbs any leftover musty smells and remove bacteria, it can’t be used to perform a quick wash as it may leave a white residue behind.
the benefits of cleaning vinegar are endless. Vinegar also helps a lot with smells; it removes clogs inside the dishwasher.
Not just that, it can also dissolve grease, dissolve mineral deposits from hard water and eliminate odours.
As a part of our March Maintenace Month. This article will discuss ways in which you as a superyacht stewardess can maintain the equipment onboard the yacht to a high standard. Starting with How to Clean a Washing Machine.
Being slack with your time management, and putting off the maintenance of your trusted equipment specifically the washing machine can attract germs, mould, and bacteria. That will result in the engineer having to get involved which means more work for everyone.
How to Clean a Washing Machine
The best method to clean a washing machine inside out, as well as the five ingredients you can use to remove odours, moulds, and buildup effectively, will be discussed below.
Clean the gasket and door seals first
Soak some towels with hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, pack the gasket’s cavities to let the hydrogen peroxide or vinegar loosen up any mould or grease and also disinfect the area. Wipe off residue off the gasket and door seal, or you scrub off residue using a toothbrush after an hour.
Turn water onto the hottest setting using the most extended cycle and most considerable load
Move your washer onto the hottest water setting, applying the most massive load size and the most extended wash cycle once the gasket is clean or neat.
Fill the washer drum or dispenser with vinegar and baking soda
Fill the washer’s drum or the dispenser with a cup of baking soda and 1 quart (1 litre) of vinegar.
For a front loader machine, add white vinegar to the detergent dispenser and baking soda to the softener dispenser and begin the wash cycle.
For a top loader washer, let the water run for a few minutes, then add in the baking soda and vinegar. Allow the machine to combine the ingredient for a minute, then stop to allow the mixture soak for one hour before finishing the cycle.
Let the cycle run its full course
Make sure you wipe down the external part of the machine with a cloth or napkin soaked in vinegar, scrub in and out. This must be done while the cycle is on the move or running.
Run a second cycle
Run another cycle with just hot water. You can add vinegar to loosen up any residue left by the initial wash. Once you finish the second cycle, leave the washing machine door open to allow the inside to dry and to prevent mildew.
Wipe the filter, dispenser and other internal parts of the machine
This is optional, but it’s advisable to get it done. Wipe down the inside of the lid with a towel well soaked in vinegar. Use a toothbrush to get into every part. Scrub the top edges and all areas that water can penetrate in when cleaning the tub rim. Wipe down the agitator for a top loader machine.
How to Clean a Washing Machine
CLEANING TOP LOADER WASHER VS CLEANING A FRONT LOADER WASHER
The main difference between cleaning both is that with a top loader washer, you can pause and start the cycle whenever you want. It allows you to add the ingredients, start the cycle and allow to mix for a few minutes. Stop the cycle to allow the ingredients to soak and then rerun the cycle until it finishes. A front loader machine will run its entire cycle immediately it starts.
Another difference is cleaning their parts. Each washer had different parts. For example, with a top loader washer, you must clean the agitator in the middle. A front loader washer requires cleaning the fabrics softener and detergent dispenser and the gasket or rubber door seals.
FIVE DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS AND METHODS YOU CAN USE TO CLEAN A WASHER.
Using vinegar and baking soda
To use, mix a cup of baking soda and 1 quart (1liter) of vinegar and set the water temperature to 90 degrees on a long cycle. Vinegar and baking soda are safe to use because they’re natural. They’re also very effective at removing limescale as well as deodorising.
Remove sticky residue with oxygen bleach and enzyme detergent
Use as directed on the label present for large loads. Set the water temperature to 90 degrees and choose the largest load option. Choose powdered enzyme detergents over liquid ones. Also, look out for a detergent that contains a range grease eating enzyme, such as amylase, protease, lipase or mannanase. Know that enzyme detergent are not safe to use on wood or silk.
Using citric acid to remove buildup
To uses citric acid for the removal of buildup, mix 1 cup of citric acid and ́a cup of baking soda. Choose a long wash cycle and set water temperature at 90 degrees. Citric acid is stronger than vinegar, so it works for a machine with lots of buildups. It can also be used with baking soda to remove odours.
Using hydrogen peroxide to clean a filthy drum
Hydrogen peroxide is antiviral and antibacterial, and it is also used to remove limescale and kill mould. A litre of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water at 90 degrees on a long wash cycle is ok. The downside to hydrogen peroxide is that it takes longer to work, so you’ll need to leave it to soak in your machine for at least 3 hours.
Using chlorine bleach to remove odour
Chlorine bleach must always be used with cold or warm water as it loses its effectiveness at high temperature. Use 1 quart (1 litre) of Chlorine bleach and set maximum temperature to 40 degrees. Chlorine bleach gets mould off a smooth surface like the plastic inner drum of the washing machine.
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. “Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.”
Things you SHOULD clean with vinegar:
As a general rule, to make up a vinegar cleaning solution, simply add ½ cup vinegar to 2 cups of water. Place it in a spray bottle and you are good to go.
Removes tea and coffee stains on porcelain
Removes water marks on the glass
Removes grime and sticky stuff off scissor
Restores rug fibres
Freshens most fabrics
Removes waxy residue of wooden furniture Removes candle wax Mixed with a ½ cup of baking soda, unclogs, and deodorizes drains Shines chrome and stainless steel Place a bowl of water and vinegar into the microwave for a steam clean Mixed with baking soda, deodorises the refrigerator Shines ceramic tiles Removes calcium and mineral deposits from shower heads Helps to fight mould and mildew Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine for soft fabric Mixed with baking soda, removes sweat stains from around collars and underarms Freshens up musty cupboards Kills some bacteria and germs Wash your fruits and vegetables to kill pesticides
The most glaringly obvious things that you should not clean with vinegar is granite and marble tops. This material is a very durable and resistant material which is commonly used in bathrooms, pantries, and floors on board superyachts.
The stone would normally have a sealed finish on it, however, due to the porous nature of these natural stones, you want to stay away from citrus and vinegar based cleaning solutions because it can etch away at and put the stone. Instead, use warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth to clean the beautiful stonework.
By cleaning your smartphone tablet, or Crestron multimedia screen with vinegar, you can actually remove the oleophobic coating. Instead, keep the touchscreen free of dirt and dust.
You can clean the screen by using a non-abrasive cloth with any non-ammonia cleaning solution applied directly to the cloth (do not spray the screen directly). Cleaning with Vinegar
The Steam Iron:
I know you would love to pour some vinegar directly into your steam iron, but in fact, this can damage the inner workings of your iron, and it may lead to more black stuff being spat out.
Instead, READ the manual and use the self-cleaning function. Further, many modern steam irons will come with an anti-scale cartridge to remove the scale deposits inside the iron.
These tablets will prolong the life your steam iron.
The same applies to the coffee machine. I know there is a lot of recommendations all over the internet about cleaning your coffee machine with a vinegar solution. However, depending on the machine, the boilers are typically made from steel or aluminium, which vinegar can corrode.
Any waxed surface. As mentioned above, vinegar is a mild acid, so it makes sense that it would strip away any waxy residue, leaving the surface dull.
Lastly, does not mix bleach and vinegar. Both of these substances are powerful cleaning agents in their own rights, however, mixing the 2 can create a dangerous gas.
Please note: It is not the intention of the author to belittle you, rather, it is to slightly educate you as to what will happen if you do.
Why a superyacht stewardess should NOT flush tampons down the toilet
The menstruation cycle of a woman is a standard monthly occurrence. However, it is not a topic that is readily discussed amongst men, especially not seafaring men.
(Let’s be honest here, it’s not the most delicate subject to talk about, and it does make many people very uncomfortable)
Nonetheless, in the Superyacht industry, it is the engineers (typically men) who have to sort out the problem when women dispose of their feminine hygiene products correctly.
This article will discuss Why a superyacht stewardess should not flush tampons down the toilet.
The “NO tampons in the toilet” instruction came from the engineering department; where the personality characteristics of an engineer varied as much as the oceans themselves.
Some would bark the command… “don’t put tampons down the toilet”, others would approach the subject a little more delicately. However, the message was always the same.
Needless to say, that, throughout my long career as a Superyacht chief stewardess, I always had a mandatory chat with the new stewardesses about not putting tampons down the toilet.
My go-to reason was so that it wouldn’t block the toilet system.
Fair enough, I thought, (I mean, I had not given the subject much more thought than that). It was not until recently when I decided to write about this subject that I wanted to know a lot more. So off I went to ask an engineer, and this is what I found out:
A marine toilet is NOT like a standard household toilet.
It is a vacuum toilet constructed by the intricate use of smaller pipes with Y pieces, which twist and turn to the yachts specification.
The pipes which are used can be 6 times smaller than those used in a private house.
At the end of this pipework sits a macerator which cuts the human excrement and toilet paper into smaller pieces which then passes through to a holding tank.
Now, should material other than bodily fluids and purpose made tissue (i.e. toilet paper) be flushed down the toilet and get stuck in the pump, then ultimately this can interfere with the guest’s toilets.
This will depend a lot on the construction of the pipework, but basically, if you flush a tampon down the toilet, which the system can then Not the process, the whole system will need to be shut down until the problem can be resolved.
This will make for a very unhappy boss and guest. Not only that, but your fellow crew member has to then sort out a very unpleasant problem. They will first have to find the blockage, which means opening up the pipework and removing the culprit responsible for the blockage.
Now as you can imagine, the culprit will be used a tampon or too much toilet paper, or other materials such as dirty tissues or other material. As I mentioned above, each engineer is different, and I have had the pleasure of working with some brilliant personalities and with some undesirables.
One engineer comes to mind; he would bark commands at everyone. Concerning this topic, he said,
“If any of your girls block the system then I will give them the bucket to clean it out”.
To summarise why a superyacht stewardess should not flush tampons down the Toilet:
A marine toilet is NOT a standard household toilet
It is constructed with smaller pipes and a lot more bends
The vacuum system is delicate
If the pump gets compromised, it does not only affect the crew area; it can also affect the guest accommodation