Despite the tense waiting period for registration transfers, insurance, legal and financial issues to be resolved post Monaco Yacht Show. One Junior Broker was able to score a coup with his assigned squadron of mid size Motoryachts. Unable to close the sale of Kamchatka, an Azimut 100, he instead managed to sell the entire crew.
While not unheard of, the sale of an entire crews contracts to a new owner is surely a sign in the rapid changes in the yachting market place and might just be the first step in the secondary crew resale market that many have been keenly anticipating.
“It’s kind of surprising, honestly. They gave me a handful of old Azimuts, probably a year or two off their next refit and I was just moving people through as best I could. But it was funny, having this Spanish gentlemen who was on board and he seemed more interested in the crew themselves.”
The 5 person crew in question have been working on the yacht for the last 9 months. While their cohesion in the face of a particularly busy Med season is certainly remarkable, some in the Industry are speculating this might be the first instance of what the optimal deployment of Human Resources onboard actually is.
The Yachtie was able to obtain excerpts of a crew analytics work up conducted as part of Yachting Unlimited Partnerships newly formed Econometrics section. Rumored to have existed for the last year, the outfit might just be beginning to put the data and the numbers to the old truism that the crew make the yacht and the charter. With the continued influx of aspiring yachting professionals, having a template or set of rules and guidelines might prove to be the definitive gauge of crewing decisions:
“Captain is an experienced professional with many years in the industry, a South African build from the mid 70s, he’s plenty of life and with EU residency via Spain offers many options for a Palma de Mallorca based owner. The same for the Chef, an English national with extensive fine dining experience up and down the Riviera, though it is noted that his drinking habits can exceed moderate levels depending on the Charter cycle. However, his “gregarious manner and habit as raconteur” make him the perfect addition to the owner looking for a drinking companion who can still cook at the end of the night. Despite having an American Mate, his wife, a former stewardess based in Germany gives him location independence and clarity regarding tax issues. This in conjunction with a proven indifference to anything other than work might be the optimal employment of US nationals within the industry…Anchoring the interior is Delphine, a mid 80s build who passed her 5 year survey without incident. Fluent in English with passable Arabic, her lack of significant relationships is rooted in an aspiration to work as a personal assistant to a financier. Culturally amenable to discrete encounters with guests and/or owners. On the Engineering side is the pack horse of the crew, Clive, a late 50s build of robust construction. Drinking moderate to negligible. Health food practitioner. Excellent delegation and negotiation skills with contractors. Able to work within a wide range of budgetary constraints. Has been known to produce bodge jobs comparable to others best efforts.”
While the report was tentative in any conclusions, the sale of the crew in question has raised much criticism on what makes a good crew, an industry insider noting that, “it’s not like you can go out and find these people. Crewing up is like making sausage. You take whatever you’ve got on hand grind it up and hope no one gets sick…”
As the crew agency model continues to suffer, the prospect of an alternative means of evaluating and deploying crew can offer the tantalizing possibility of finding the perfect mix of yachties. In the age of big data, smartphones and social media, this reality might finally be arriving.
Regardless, the outcome of the transaction is surely to be followed over the coming year. Despite a sizable commission on the sale, the Junior broker was sanguine: “I’m not really sure how I feel about selling people, but I guess that’s what a contract is isn’t it? If the owner and the crew don’t mind what’s it matter? I don’t know. It’s a brave new world. But like the partner said, ‘if the market will buy it, we must supply it.’ Whatever it is next year…”