Scroll Top

The exterior of a yacht sets the tone of the entire operation. Whether you’re stern-to at the IYCA, alongside at Bahia Mar or at anchor in the BVIs, everyone notices the quality of detailing on different yachts. It’s the main source of pride and jealously between deck crew. If the paint, windows, stainless, and waterline sparkle and shine, you can be sure there’s a professional deck crew onboard.

So what’s the difference between a good deck crew and a great deck crew?

We believe it comes down to 3 things.

  1. Knowledge

Given that most of us deck crew didn’t grow up with teak decks in our homes or varnished cap rails around the pool (or even a polyurethane gloss paint on the exterior walls), the learning curve to fully understand how to maintain and care for these million-dollar finishes is steep. Sometimes costly mistakes happen.

There are literally hundreds of products that should never be applied to certain surfaces because they cause irreversible damage on contact. The best place to gain this knowledge—both what to do and what not to do—is directly from the manufacturer of the products. (The second best is from world-class experts.)

  1. Attitude

A great attitude for the work, the yacht and most importantly each other will make all the difference in the quality of a deck crew.

  1. Time

Making the teak deck beautiful, the water line perfect and the stainless rails sparkly takes time. Whether it’s a thirty-meter with two deck crew or a 130-meter with twenty deck crew, the quality of work is relative to the amount of time each member has to complete the work.

The deck crew’s attitude and ability to get things done in a timely manner is a direct result of knowledge. If the Deck Crew has the knowledge to complete tasks to a high standard the first time, not only will they be efficient, their attitude towards each other and the yacht will be improved because they won’t be asked to redo work.

Our Luxe App’s Knolwedge Centre includes expert instructions for the maintenance of all the various surfaces deck crew are typically charged with caring for. This knowledge comes directly from manufacturers as well as via a hand-picked experts respected worldwide in their fields.

Crew are empowered with knowledge such as the strength, cleaning, polishing, cutting and drilling differences between acrylic and polycarbonate and how heat-treated glass differs from non-heat-treated glass.

Teak Decking Systems provide expertise on teak deck cleaning, inspections, maintenance and repair. Plugging, resurfacing, re-seaming, caulking and oiling are all covered, with instructional images and videos.

When it comes to paint and varnish, application guides, tips, troubleshooting and terminology are shared directly from Alexseal, Boero and the other manufacturers whose products are frequently used on board.

The importance of easy access to manufacturer-specific care instructions is clear when you consider that washing a glass surface when it’s too hot or using vinegar in the wash-down can cause irrepairable damage to some commonly used architectural glass, as just one example!

Sealed Air Repair provides inflatable care instructions, PWC contributes Jetski Regulations, and manufacturers like Nautibuoy Marine inflatables, Summit Furniture, YachtGlass and Sunbrella have similarly comprehensive listings in our ever-growing database.

Dive operations (planning, briefing, hand signals) and nautical knot video tutorials are also featured.

In short, it puts incredibly valuable knowledge instantly at the fingertips of all crew, that it would take any crew or manager many years to gather on their own.

The Luxe SOP System & Knowledge Centre cannot control crew attitude. But we do believe easy access to reliable knowledge improves morale!

Finally, Luxe offers massive time savings, not just because it does all the research for you, but also because of its functionality. It’s perfect for scheduling, completing and monitoring on board safety and best practices. It provides SOP templates for an assortment of operations such as:

  • Anchoring Procedures
  • Pre-Arrival and Pre-Departure Checks
  • Monthly, Quarterly & Annual Checks
  • Stowage Procedures
  • Guest Arrival & Setup Checks

These templates are all easily personalised to suit individual vessel needs and allow plenty of flexibility regarding when they’re carried out and by whom while still monitoring overall outcomes. Each completed checklist automatically generates a non-editable PDF record. Failed items are instantly assigned to pre-designated work lists to ensure nothing is forgotten. Digital Permits to Work create a professional safety culture even when a yacht doesn’t officially follow ISM.

Other key features:

  • The Checklist App is ideal for Life Saving Equipment (LSE) and Fire Fighting Equipment (FFE) Checks and Crew Familiarisations. It provides HODs with a simple way to provide new hires with detailed information, greatly reducing the time they need to devote to one-on-one training.
  • Digital Task Lists and Work Lists work in tandem with the Checklist App, providing workflow for all operations. The Calendar provides an overview of Checklist statuses, and reminders are available in the form of digital Post-It notes.
  • The inventory module provides a place to keep track of stock and equipment.

This time savings can be seen directly in the shine of the windows and the sparkle of the steel.

Luxe puts the ‘system’ into deck operations while the built-in Knowledge Centre provides the SOPs. Deck crew armed with these superb resources are enabled and empowered to maintain high standards when it comes to appearance, operations and on board safety on any yacht on the water.

Originally Published in The Islander