Captains' views on ideal superyacht design
by Claire Griffiths
In terms of the crew area, space looms large on a captain’s dreamboat – albeit a dream they don’t expect to come true. But Captain Lauridsen highly recommends single cabins for chief engineers (and first officers, if possible, adds Coxon).
Good, qualified engineers are hard to find, maintains Lauridsen, which is why he’d do his utmost to give them what they want; he believes chief engineers will opt for less pay if the job came with private space. ‘From the owners point of view, captains are a necessary evil who spend money.’ he jokes, ‘But worse, chief engineers also are always spending money on the yacht but seem to sit around looking dirty all day!’
Everyone needs a bed, and not the trivial additions that Captain Coxon has experienced, such as Pullman berths in the crew area. He’d like to see audio-visual facilities in each crew cabin so crew can switch off and be alone.
While there’s a trend for shared crew cabins to be en suite, Captain Lauridsen isn’t convinced. D’Angleterre II has a “boys” and a “girls” bathroom, which are both accessed from the corridor. It means crew can come and go without disturbing their resting or sleeping cabin mates.
A small but not irrelevant point lies in the laundry room, a space often overlooked on the drawing board; to iron 8 to 10 feet of table linen, you do need a bit of space, point out our captains.
Captain West would like the bridge to be located just aft of the foredeck, which would be dedicated as an area for crew to relax during breaks – a point confirmed by Captain Lauridsen, who says, ‘Ideally, there would be direct outdoor access to the foredeck where crew know they can go to get a bit of fresh air.
‘It’s easier to have a better crew if you have these things. A little bit of extra thought earns you longevity with your crew. And crew longevity saves a lot of money.’
They all agree there is only one place for the captain’s cabin – behind the bridge.
‘You need to be able to hear what’s going on and sleep with the door open if necessary,’ says Coxon.
And in Lauridsen’s opinion, if you put a captain’s cabin downstairs the calibre of the captain you recruit may suffer as top captains will want to be near the bridge.