Designing crew quarters aboard superyachts
Attessa IV’s crew area also features an officer’s mess and a separate lounge for non-English speaking crew.
‘We run with a lot of Filipino crew, so we gave them their own space so they could speak their own language and be comfortable,’ Captain McCumber says. ‘On their time off, it’s hard to speak someone else’s language.’
Even more remarkable is the yacht’s new, two-level combination gym and crew lounge in the bosun’s locker area. The fitness centre features weight sets, heavy bags, treadmills, LifeCycles and stair steppers, while lounge amenities include two flatscreen TVs. It’s also a practice area for Contraband: a band that some of the crew have formed.
‘We can seat about 16 on huge couches and beanbags. It’s really kind of a neat spot where everyone relaxes. The area gets used every single night,’ McCumber says. ‘We probably spent $2 million dollars on that one space. It was a pretty big deal to do what we did.’
Giving the crew their own dedicated deck (or decks) may be common on superyachts in the 100m range, but it’s practically unheard of on smaller vessels. That’s part of what makes the 42m ‘soft expedition’ vessel E&E unique.
On the Turkish-built and Vripack-designed E&E, the master stateroom is on the bridge deck and four guest suites are on the deck just below it. That leaves the entire lower deck – about 39m in length – dedicated to crew use and storage.
‘The main focus of this project is to put the guests on the right level where they should be. If they pay a substantial charter fee, then they should be in premium location,’ says Bart Bouwhuis, Vripack director of design.
‘This has a perfect crew accommodation, not only cabin-wise and bathroom-wise but also crew lounge-wise,’ Bouwhuis says. ‘This is a crew lounge you would only see on a yacht of 50m – if you were lucky.’
The crew deck also has a good-size laundry room at the foot of the central crew stairs, allowing efficient transport of laundry to and from the upper-deck guest accommodations.
E&E’s six en suite crew cabins are configured with bunks, but Bouwhuis says, ‘In daily operation, they will have only one person per cabin.’
If necessary, two crew can double up and make a cabin available for a nanny or other supernumerary staff. Bouwhuis reported that the sleeping arrangements are big enough to meet the MLC 2006’s requirements – and this on a 42m boat.
Vripack pioneered this private crew deck arrangement on the 36.8m expedition yacht Jasmine a decade ago. ‘It has a very high return charter rate,’ Bouwhuis says, but admits, ‘This concept has not been followed – and I don’t know why.’
The 1999 56m Trinity Pangaea (ex-Dream; ex-Samantha Lin) is another example of an expedition yacht with enviable crew quarters. Her raised foc’sle forward is used to house a large crew lounge and mess, leaving space on the lower deck for roomy crew cabins, some with side-by-side berths rather than bunks. Pangaea’s crew also has private access to the exterior decks for outdoor recreation time.
‘We literally had people throw résumé’s on the boat at the Fort Lauderdale show,’ says Billy Smith of Trinity Yachts.