The Med season has arrived and superyachts are coming in hot from all oceans of the world. Provisions are packed, inventories stocked and the engine room made ready. So what can we do to ensure a safe and reliable Med season and who can we call for support and what services can we use to make this next summer period, as stress-free as possible? Let me give you the good oil.
Our arrival in Spain marks, yet again, a successful crossing of the Atlantic. Preparations are well underway for the upcoming season, which is shaping up to be a busy one. So what could go wrong?
Common issues you can expect to face during a season can include anything from mechanical breakdowns and parts logistics to crew changeover and even the odd spanner in the works thrown by Mother Nature. The weather in the Med can be just as unpredictable as the Atlantic itself.
But as crew, we are not alone when it comes to support for the vessel. Management companies, crew agencies, yacht agents and maintenance services make up a strong shore support network at many of the major ports.
Having these contact numbers ready is highly recommended, so understanding where you plan to
make port visits and which areas you will cruise all come into play during the planning stage for the season.
Management companies, including Northrop and Johnson and Hill Robinson provide excellent support including crew management and technical assistance to vessels in the Med at a moments notice. There are some great yacht agents out there, at the top of my list are Med Yacht Services who provide support for bunkering, technical assistance, provisioning and yacht clearance, amongst other things. These companies are particularly useful when trying to locate parts quickly when an understanding of local suppliers may be limited.
But what can we as engineers and ETO’s do internally to better manage the season? One of the obvious methods is to ensure the yacht has a vessel management software (VMS) and a planned maintenance system (PMS) implemented. Mechanical breakdowns only slow your season down and can impact on the guest’s experience and add additional pressure to a program. Planned maintenance will ensure your equipment is kept up to the highest standard and in good working order. Equipment, including tenders and jet skiis, are placed under considerably high pressure during a season. Components are pushed to their limits so taking shortcuts with maintenance will only hurt your operations and vessel reliability.
A good overall yacht management software such as Sealogical and Neptune can be utilised by most departments of the vessel. They provide a little bit of everything. These software platforms are also great for management companies. TotalSuperyacht is an ISM software, and is great for managing all aspects of safety systems onboard. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive digital platform for the engineering department, Seahub is a very powerful maintenance management system with defect reporting and project management to support planned and unplanned maintenance.
Inventory control is made easy and allows multiple access points simultaneously. Meaning a Chief Engineer can view a list of completed tasks for the week remotely from a laptop or a Jn Engineer can adjust inventory levels on an iPad from a storage area.
No matter which VMS, ISM or PMS software you implement, they all provide an excellent support platform for the crew, especially to the engine room. Collaboration between departments will increase operational efficiency and safety for the entire vessel, which in turn means happy guests and happy crew.