Periodic shipyard periods, where extensive maintenance and upgrades take place, are an essential part of maintaining a Superyacht to the highest of standards. For Superyacht crew, preparing for the shipyard period is a complex yet essential task that demands meticulous planning and execution.
Create a Detailed Plan
Before the shipyard period begins, the crew will typically create a comprehensive plan that outlines all the work that needs to be done. Usually, this plan begins as a list of issues that have been raised throughout the season, from engineering hiccups to fixes needed in the interior. This plan should include maintenance tasks, upgrades, and repairs. The crew will collaborate with the yacht’s management and the shipyard to establish a clear timeline and objectives. Having a detailed plan in place ensures that every task is accounted for and executed systematically.
Arranging Contractors & Crew Duties
Having the right Project Manager and contractors for an extensive shipyard period is essential but the yacht’s crew is the most valuable asset during the shipyard period. With inside-out knowledge of the yacht, the crew will advise external contractors of the work that needs to be done and should monitor visitors to the yacht. Planning well ahead of time which companies you will utilise to assist with the refit is essential, especially in busy shipyards where many yachts are needing similar work.
Inventory and Procurement
Creating a comprehensive inventory of all the materials, spare parts, and equipment that will be needed during the shipyard period is essential. This should be done well in advance, and any necessary items should be ordered in a timely manner to prevent delays. Crew will collaborate closely with the shipyard to ensure that they have everything they need to support the project.
Documentation and Compliance
Compliance with local regulations, safety standards, and environmental protocols is vital. Crew need to keep accurate records of all activities and document all changes or upgrades made during the shipyard period, the captain and HODs usually take care of this, but crew should be aware of this too. Making sure that the external contractors have everything in place to enter the yard is also important, some shipyards are stricter than others and will refuse entry unless the right paperwork is in place, often delaying projects by days or even weeks.
Protecting the Environment
Superyachts are under increasing scrutiny for their environmental impact. During the shipyard period, consider implementing environmentally friendly practices. Use eco-friendly antifouling coatings or cleaning products, recycle, and minimize waste. Compliance with environmental regulations is not only responsible but also essential in many shipyards globally.
Safety should always be a top priority. Crew should establish strict safety protocols, provide proper safety gear, and ensure that everyone on the team is well-trained in emergency procedures. The captain or HODs may conduct regular safety drills to keep the crew prepared for any unforeseen incidents. Always monitor external contractors to make sure that they are using the correct PPE and are not doing anything dangerous onboard, it is the responsibility of the crew to make sure all visitors behave safely.
It’s essential to ensure the well-being of crew during the shipyard period. This can be a stressful time, with longer hours and challenging tasks towards the end of the refit or work onboard. Often, accommodation will be arranged nearby if its not possible to stay onboard. Some yachts will offer additional training or team-building activities to keep spirits high. Crew should take full advantage of this time to do activities outside of the boat, have some downtime or simply get back into an exercise routine after the season.
As the shipyard period comes to a close, the crew prepare for the yacht’s return to the water and conducts thorough sea trials to ensure everything is working correctly. All systems will be checked over to make sure the yacht is in peak condition before resuming operations.
Preparing for the shipyard period is a crucial responsibility for Superyacht crew. By creating a detailed plan, assembling a skilled team, managing inventory and procurement, ensuring compliance, protecting the environment, prioritizing safety, maintaining effective communication, and looking after crew welfare, you can ensure a smooth and successful shipyard period.
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