Eddy, as one of the most experienced and long standing charter Captains you know that the crew plays a fundamental role in a successful on board experience for Owners and Guests. How can an intensive charter schedule impact crew performance?
Drastically. Time off is really key and one of the most important things that I keep in mind when I plan a season. If a person works from Monday to Friday they can look forward to the weekend and thinking about the fun they’ll have then. But if you tell a person: hey, you won’t have any free time at all for the next five months, even if you’re the best manager in the world you won’t be able to get anything good from those people. It’s very, very important that the crew knows that between each charter they will have a least one real half day and an evening off.
I usually try to make sure that they have an entire day off because it does make a huge difference. At the end of the season the owner might look at the time off and say ‘we lost a charter’ but at the same time you have a boat that can give quality over quantity. If the first charter goes well, you want to keep it up. You’re proud and happy but you have to sleep, have a nice dinner together and get your strength back for another charter. I always want to make sure that my crew is fresh and happy to be working.
As Captain how do you select, train, and organize your crew to be consistent from day one to the end of the season?
As far as organizing, I already mentioned the time off. As far as selection goes I look for good manners, enthusiasm and kindness over a long list of diplomas from yachting schools. When I’m talking on the phone with the candidate I listen for a polite way of speaking and enthusiasm. You can feel kindness, even over the phone, so I let the candidate speak.
Some Captains say I have a lot of greenies on my boats, but let’s be honest, we’re not brain surgeons. The most important part of this job is having empathy for the guests and being proactive and enthusiastic. For this we need kind people and that’s the base for my selection.