Every man got his duty
Previously I posted a blog about Ships Organisation structure, in this blog I am giving some impressions of how small crews works.
As said earlier, the smaller the crew gets the lesser the ranks are in each department but the job still remains the same (!). Realizing that on the modern yachts the technology is getting more and more advanced the Engineers has on many yachts been reduced to only one person onboard, Officers has been reduced to 1/2 persons and Deckhands maybe 2/3, whereas in the Interior where service is required, they make the bulk of the crew.
When taking the earlier stated fact in consideration, that the work still remains the same the Captain is forced to make different solutions to make the ship "tick". These solutions are many times influenced by the budget he has at his disposal. The cheapest one of course is to eradicate the departmental borders and utilize whole crew wherever needed, each one to her abilities, this is a very special feature in yachting and is a must for anyone wanting to work in this industry. There is no place for "this is not my job" mentality. The crew functions like a big family.
E.g. Major wash down is required after a trans Oceanic voyage, the Owner has decided to arrive the next day so jobs has been scheduled so the interior is cleaned and setup as much as possible before arrival and everybody participates in the wash down of decks and superstructures. After that supplies are being delivered, whole crew helps to carry the lot onboard and assists the Chef and Chief Stew to store it away in nooks and crannies. Everybody works like donkeys in order for the Yacht to look Spick & Span for the Owner when he arrives. Then again if the crew is larger and the Owner is more considerate, he will crew time to prepare and arrives 3-4 days after arrival. Crew works as per their job descriptions and gets a good nights sleep.
The other solution the Captain might do is to use Contractors or Technicians to resolve problems onboard. It also many times depends on the ability of the Chief Engineer of what he can do and the time available. Sometimes it is simply not possible to do without expert help. This applies many times to electronics. Also many machinery may be under guarantee service contracts.
For Deck department the Contractors that are many times used is for major paint jobs, teak deck renewal, bottom cleaning etc. This also depends on how skilled the Chief Officer is in terms of maintenance. A good paint job can be ruined easily with the use of wrong chemicals as well as a teak deck too. The maintenance intervals also depends on what materials are used and what Contractors. As the old saying goes "cheap is not necessarily the best" and once you go cheap you do expensive after, then you got both - cheap and good.
In the Interior they require also loads of items, especially when Guests are prepared for, special food items, beverages, flower arrangements, carpet cleanings etc. Here also Contractors, Suppliers and Shipchandlers are needed. The whole interior is to be detailed, usually as per a set standard by the Owner or Managing Company or the Ch. Stew herself. Here the deck and engine boys can provide little help but they are essential in fixing small items that maybe discovered in the last minute.
The most important person in the crew is the Chef, not only for the Guests but also the crew. If the food is crap nobody will be happy and people will start looking for other yacht opportunities. The whole provisioning part of the boat is very important and it affects the overall spirit onboard.
As conclusion of above you can see that one part is useless without the other. Everybody is necessary onboard, there are no superfluous persons.