I am writing this from Gibraltar where we are (once again) stormbound. We are delivering the brand new CNB76 Aenea from La Rochelle to Malta. After a delayed start we went into the washing machine. The swell that remained after the 50kt stormwinds we recorded in port did not make it a comfy Biscay crossing. We’ve had a few gorgeous days and have been very impressed with the yacht’s upwind performance. Downwind we averaged 11,5kts over 24 hours. The next front with 45kt easterlies is in its way now hence we are stuck under The Rock. At this time of the year, early March, the weather is always prone to throw a spanner in the works. But hey, it does the term -shake down cruise- justice. We’ve had all the different types of wind angles and strengths, dealt with Atlantic swell and short chop in the Gibraltar Strait. On our Facebook page www.facebook.com/invisiblecrewyachting you can see some cool (if I say so myself) footage of the trip.
Of course we are bound to discover some snags on a maiden trip like this. Professional crew are usually very good at finding snags and even design faults. The yachts we work on are usually a compromise between design and function and this is often where the criticism of crew comes in.
But in my opinion this is a great opportunity for crew to display their professionalism. The owner has just spent millions of Euros on this new toy. He did that because he envisaged blissful, carefree holidays with his family on a good looking yacht. The yard has honestly done its very best to build a vessel for these emotionally invaluable moments. So here is where real professionals work together behind the scenes.
We are now recording the items we feel are subject to improvement and the warranty issues we come across. With his years of experience CNB’s broker Phillipe Delvaux has anticipated our feedback and assured us he will welcome it. I told him to brace himself.
But banter aside we all share the same goal. Making sure that the owner is happy with his yacht and if there is room for improvement it should be addressed as a team.
So we instruct our crews to send a report including pictures of all the items we come across that are subject for improvement. Certain things can be addressed by the crew and reported to the yard, other’s will require the yard’s input and expense.
The owners we work for receive our positive feedback and some retrofit suggestions to upgrade the yacht, if applicable.
The last thing you should want for the owner with buyers remorse as that will jeopardise your position as crew too. The yacht should be a happy place where everything works as expected. Including the crew!