Hey Captain – are you ready?……
If you are the skipper of a private pleasure boat or the captain of a commercial charter yacht…maybe boating in Miami or cruising in Côte d’Azur, we propose that you ask yourself: “What are the most important things to do before starting the yacht season?”
Below you will find some ideas that might assist you with preparing your yacht or boat, your crew members, and yourself as a yacht captain, to get ready for the summer:
Create a detailed Yacht System Operations Plan –
Make sure all systems of the yacht are functioning properly – we suggest preparing a checklist containing all systems on board the boat so that none are forgotten. In addition to all mechanical and electrical systems, pay attention to entertainment and other appliances on board as well. These devices are typically not in use off season, and are extremely sensitive. Pro Tip: don’t forget to check the status of the boat’s water heater element!
Another system that suffers in the off season is the water maker. Lack of use of the water maker is the number one cause of damage to the membrane. A water maker that keeps the same water supply in it for more than 10 days can get clogged with bacteria, have poor water quality, or could even stop making fresh water.
Before closing the boat for the winter, we advise winterizing your water maker or flushing the system every three to seven days; however, as we are now preparing for the season, you should follow the manual for reactivation the water maker, and checking it to make sure it is in good working order. You do not want to let down your guests by not having fresh water, or by needing to take them to a marina to fill up with water every day!
Manning the boat –
Before the start of the season, it is important to recruit the right crew members. The stewardess position, deckhand or chef will all be important assets on your team. It is important to manage staffing in an orderly fashion so as not to lose information or candidates in the process. SEAZONE provides a convenient and easy way to manage this and find your perfect crew in the shortest time!
Usually, staffing the crew positions seems like an impossible task, but if you pay attention to the right details, it’s not that complicated 🙂
First, define the profile of the crew member you are looking for and define the job requirements. Try to answer these questions: How much experience does this crew member need to fill the position? What is the expected salary level for this position? Does this stewardess have any references for this role? What is this crew member’s continuity on board in their previous boat jobs?
Next, try to collect as many CVs as possible to find the best match for the profile you are looking for. This part can be a bit tedious, but SEAZONE will help you organize applicant information in a simple way.
Finally – develop an interview process including questions that you want to ask the potential staff. The interview is the most important stage of the staffing process. It might be good to have an additional interviewer with you to get a second opinion. If possible, have the interview face to face. You can tell a lot about someone in person that might not be easy to get a feel for over a video conference.
Manage the hiring process in SEAZONE to save time and stay organized!
Plan your budget –
Most of us don’t have a background in finance, and we might even be afraid of the term ‘budget’, thinking that being a great boat captain, or providing a great service, will compensate.
The truth is that in today’s world everything is about budget, and with a tool like SEAZONE, it is quite simple to manage a budget – even without a financial background. Managing a proper budget will help you gain points with your clients and with boat owners, as well as save you money.
A yacht doesn’t have to be a money pit. Without much effort, it can be easy to plan next year’s spending and even identify places to save money. To make that happen, you need to create a yearly budget.
First, summarize of all last year’s expenses. Divide all expenses into main categories and subcategories. Analyze last year’s expenses to see if there was unnecessary spending or an unwise purchase. For example, try to analyze the average speed that the boat sailed to make sure it is an economic speed for the boat.
Try to check where the fuel stations are, where it will be cheaper to refuel and where you should dock the boat. Make sure you are cruising the yacht at an economic speed, etc.. After analyzing last year expenses, create a plan for next year’s spending needs.
SEAZONE is a very easy platform for making a multi year budget. You can easily create and monitor your budget throughout the season while you track actual expenses versus your planned budget.
Boat documents, yacht transit log, crew members certificates –
Just before the season starts is the right time to organize your paperwork and make sure that all necessary documents are valid.
Remember, due to Covid it can take much longer to renew some yacht documents these days. To make sure that all of your documents are organized, you can easily scan them and keep them in one place – right under your fingertips – with SEAZONE, and it’s FREE ☺ !
In short dear Captain, we wish you a great summer!
Have Fun, Keep Safe!