By Bob Marston
Partner, Wellington Yacht Partners

When surveying a sailing yacht for purchase, the condition of the standing rigging is always inspected closely. After all, it serves one of the most important functions onboard, keeping the mast up!  It is therefore imperative when marketing your boat for sale that the rigging is in good working condition.

There are many factors that can determine the life expectancy of standing rigging. Fortunately there are some great industry guidelines that all rigging companies refer to, for both wire and rod rigging condition.

Most surveyors will tell you standing rigging is considered to have a 10 year or 40,000 nm lifespan. Other factors such as environment, amount of usage, application (i.e. cruising yacht or racing yacht, offshore vs. coastal usage) and maintenance can have a great impact on the standing rigging condition and increase or decrease its useful lifespan.

For seasonally-used yachts such as those in New England, the amount of real time on the standing rigging is considerably less than that of a yacht used in the Caribbean. For yachts with masts removed for storage each winter the rigging is inspected easily, whereas a cruising yacht being used 12 months a year may only have the mast out every five years, so rigging inspections are done with the mast in place.

I advise my seasonal New England clients who store their boats “mast-in” to have the standing rigging inspected every spring and to keep the report handy for any potential Buyer to view. For cruising yachts that travel north/south for winters in the tropics, it is prudent to have the rig and rigging inspected before going offshore and to keep records available.

The good news is, for most yachts a thorough rigging inspection is not expensive. It is often just an hour or two of labor by a rigging company, plus the time it takes to create a report. This is a small price to pay to ensure a yacht’s rigging is fit for purpose. Knowing your mast and rigging is sound will not only give you confidence each time you head out for a sail, but it will assure a future potential Buyer your boat has been cared for professionally.

By Bob Marston
Partner, Wellington Yacht Partners

Is hiring professional crew right for you?

Any boat, no matter how big, is going to require maintenance and care. For most owners this is something they either take on themselves or engage a professional boatyard to do. Others will often consider the options of either a shore-based care service or hiring full-time crew.

Shore-based care has become a very popular option, especially as yachts are becoming easier for consumers to operate on their own. With this service you are essentially hiring the skills of a professional captain on a part time basis.  Maintenance and care levels can be ordered “a la carte,” based on need. Most shore-based yacht care professionals tend to be ex-crew. They look after a couple of clients’ yachts, sharing their hours between each customer. Examples of different levels of care can be something as simple as weekly cleaning, to delivering the yacht south to the Caribbean for a season. Many of our clients choose this option, and you will find that wherever there are yachts, there is shore-based care.

For owners who require a higher level of service, there is the option of hiring full-time crew. As one would expect, the number of crew a client may require is often directly related to boat size. The owner of a 56-footer may only need a single captain, whereas the owner of a 100-footer may require as many as five full-time crew.

There are many qualified candidates available who can take excellent care of your yacht. The real success in hiring crew is making sure they get along well with your family and are a proper fit for your personality. A good crew can cater to just about anyone, and they will ensure you have a great time while aboard your yacht.

Finding the right crew is much like hiring a manager for your business. Candidates need to be vetted and references checked. The marine industry is relatively small, so referrals and networking go a long way.

At Wellington Yacht Partners we keep in touch with professional crew and shore-based yacht care services all over the world. We have great success assisting our owners in finding the right people to match their needs.