Most luxury motor yachts have accommodations for crew. With the exception perhaps of your Captain’s quarters, these may not be as opulently appointed as the cabins for your guests, but it is still important that they are comfortable berths that afford a good night’s sleep.
That is because proper rest is not merely a reward for a fine days’ work, it is vital to a crewperson’s physical and mental well-being and ability to perform. Fatigue can result in serious mistakes and mishaps, the kinds that can cause serious, even fatal accidents at sea.
The Effects of Sleep Depravation
Any yacht owner reading this article has likely experienced the impact of sleep deprivation at one time or another. Are you a parent? Think back to those days when your baby would wake up three, four times a night…how were you at work the next day? A wreck right? Now, imagine feeling like that and being responsible for the safety of people in such an unforgiving place as the open sea, and you will instantly realize how important it is that your yacht’s Captain and crew are well rested!
There are numerous reports every year of tragic accidents that are caused by sleep deprived crew from the commercial shipping industry. For example: There was a well-known case where a cargo vessel ran aground off the coast of Greece when the Master “fell asleep at the wheel,” grounding the vessel, causing severe damage. In this instance, there were no injuries, in other cases, “seafarer fatigue” was responsible for accidents resulting in severe injuries, even fatalities.
This is why for commercial seafarers, the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006, which sets the internationally accepted standards for crew conditions on commercial vessels, has put together guidelines on rest and duty rotations. The standard states:
The maximum hours of work (A) and minimum hours of rest (B), are no more than 14 hours in any 24 hour period and no more than 72 hours in any 7 day period; or (B) at least 10 hours in any 24 hour period; and at least 77 hours in any 7 day period.
Now, your private yacht crew may, or may not, be subject to those regulations, however, it is still a good idea to follow them. While the MLC regulations speak in terms of time “working” vs “time off” or resting, the key is really sleep.
Being off work for a few hours, but not having the opportunity to get at least 7-8 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep, is not sufficient to eliminate fatigue that can lead to serious consequences. In addition to seeing that your crew gets enough sleep, here are some practical recommendations to raise awareness of, and minimize fatigue on board.
- Make sure all crew members know the dangers of fatigue
- Encourage your Captain to provide flexible work schedules and practices to see that crew members are not over burdened
- Do as much as possible to provide your crew with comfortable sleeping quarters
Removing the Hassles of Hiring and Managing Your Yacht Crew
Finding the right captain and crew for your yacht can certainly be challenging. That is why we designed our On Demand Yachting solution to remove all of the hassles of yacht ownership, including finding and hiring the right crew for your needs and the needs of your vessel.
We will also take care of all of the intricacies of maritime crew contracts, payroll and accounting, and make sure you and your crew are in complete compliance as applicable.
All of our crews are completely vetted. We will help you to define your needs, and then do all of the work for you, matching you with crew personnel that are the best fit. And, if you do not want or need a full-time crew, with our stress-free crew management solution, you only pay for crew when you need it.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. Putting your boat in Charter can earn income, and defray some of the costs of ownership. On Demand Yachting from FYM can show you how. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.