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Dear Yacht Designer here are some things you need to know

When it comes to superyachts I can truly say, beauty is pain and sometimes just a royal pain in the… neck.

Often I find myself lying on the floor with my arm at full length, under a wardrobe or cupboard that has no business being exactly 5cm above the floor. Flailing it back and forth amongst the dust bunnies, (which are near impossible to catch with the vacuum cleaner in such a narrow gap) I’m trying to reach some or other guest item that has been kicked under there this time. It’s at times like this I think to myself if I was a yacht designer how would I build a boat?

Well, unfortunately, that question is somewhat beyond the scope of my 3 hour stewardess certification. However, with the backing of some of my own experiences and the firsthand accounts of people I have worked with, I can fairly confidently mention a few things that I would not do.

Those rusty teardops are making me cry

I would avoid selecting metal flecked marble, especially in the shower. While this creamy white finish with gentle gleams of copper is gorgeous, it is not beyond the science of corrosion, metal and water makes rust. My days of taking a toothbrush to a 2 metre by 1 metre shower to remove the rusty teardrops are something I look back on with relief that they are over, a slight throb returning to my index finger as I recall the scrubbing.

In fact, please don’t use or create any surface with metal insets. Especially the types that tarnish easily like nickel. Tarnished metal requires polishing and polishes often at times are slightly abrasive. This can make it really difficult to avoid scratching the surrounding material, especially high gloss and pitch black mahogany. Not to mention the tiny space between the wood and metal which inevitably requires a toothpick and a lot of patience to remove any excess polish.

You don’t understand the pain

Then there are the glamorous glass displays, intricate in their design, sometimes spanning 2 decks, often nestled within the hard to reach grips of a staircase. If inspiration strikes and you see fit to create one of these elaborate monstrosities, please I beg of you find some way to seal your design against dust and damp. Few things are more frustrating than a perfectly clear and clean glass wall on the outside with a fine film of dust and sometimes stray droplets reflecting light on the inside, ‘so close and yet so far’ has never rung so true.

Electrical things are like cats, they HATE being wet

Then on behalf of the boys and girls on deck, (especially those on sail yachts reaching high speeds in the whipping wind and sea spray) three special and, I believe, blindingly obvious words, waterproof helm stations. Not sure if you realise this, but electronic equipment and salt water don’t run so well together.

Then while I’m on the topic of electricity, and water, and running I must mention the craziness of a hydro-powered backup generator that needs electricity to start. Such a glorious waste of space.

We don’t want to sound greedy but…

Speaking of space, more please. We need to store all manner of drinks, snacks and cleaning products for weeks and weeks at a time. Not to mention the spectrum of crew clothing which needs to be stored on board to replace tired crew uniform and cater to new crew at a moment’s notice. Picture a floating Publix or Carrefour. Please be kind and give us some decent storage space. Preferably not only the bilge variety where we have to crawl through an obstacle course of pipes carrying a container laden with a case of 1 litre bottles of San Pellegrino. If we wanted to take on a challenge to test our physicality, fitness and agility we’d enter a Tough Mudder.

You’re still amazing though

All these things considered, it wouldn’t be right to sign off without a brief thank you on behalf of all of us out travelling the high seas, on some of the most beautiful vessels ever made. Without you there wouldn’t be boat owners constantly upgrading to the next big thing, or first-time buyers entering the fray, or even charter guests trying the luxury life on for size. Without you there wouldn’t be yachts, yacht jobs and the dollar bills that go with these positions.

Yours sincerely,

A Superyacht Stewardess called Grace

Dear Yacht Designer here are some things you need to know

About the author

Tim Clarke

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