What is Hibernation?
Hibernation is a way to maintain a yacht in top condition for fifty to seventy percent less than the normal monthly operating cost, depending on the level of Hibernation. It provides an owner, lender, or other agency a way to safely secure a vessel for temporary or long-term storage without the need for a full crew, expensive dockage, and high maintenance costs. The yacht can remain available for inspections, viewing by prospective buyers, even owner’s occasional personal use and limited charters.
There are various degrees of Hibernation depending on the needs of the owner or institution in possession of the yacht. The savings are increased as the degree of Hibernation increases. The highest level assumes no owner use or charter activity, and the yacht is only available for inspections and showings. The cost at this level may be as little as thirty percent of the normal annual operating expense, thus saving the owner approximately seventy percent.
Yacht Hibernation is an unfortunate reality for many yacht owners and a necessity for lenders and other institutions. But it is a welcome alternative to continuing to spend the funds necessary to run a normal yacht operation.
Can’t the Captain Do This?
A knowledgeable, professional, enthusiastic, and trusted captain does not expect to be sitting at the dock; nor does his crew. They want to work with interesting guests, travel to exciting destinations, and be out on the water. This is not that. In these difficult times you might assume that crew would be happy to still have a job. But if they find themselves living in a shipyard or behind someone’s house on a yacht that is virtually shut down, they will look for alternatives; and when they find one, they’ll leave. They didn’t sign up for this program.
The captain could do his own version of Hibernation by cutting the crew to a minimum as well as his own salary. However, under these circumstances with no one to oversee the daily operations, eventually an unhappy and underpaid crew will deteriorate along with the condition of the yacht.
How about a shipyard?
Although shipyards provide very useful services for yachts in need of specific maintenance or repairs, they are not a good resource for normal daily maintenance. No matter who the yard assigns to oversee your yacht, that individual is not working for you, they work for the yard. In fact, that person may have never crewed on a yacht, nor understand the nuances of maintaining one. In addition to the machinery, generators, air conditioning, plumbing, and electronics systems, there are many other delicate elements involved including art, china, crystal, fine linens, expensive carpets, furniture, and complicated entertainment and automation systems.
Shipyards generally operate with a mechanical mentality. They employ shipyard laborers, not yacht crew. They are in the business of repairing vessels. Most do not have the staff or familiarity to deal with the very personal touches required to maintain a yacht that is for sale, and must be in show-condition at all times. There is much more involved than just basic vessel maintenance. If the details are not properly attended to, the yacht will suffer economically when it comes time to sell. Moreover, the person or entity who is left with the responsibility to have the yacht display-ready for brokers and prospective buyers, must understand the details involved in this type of service. We do!
Why Chamberlain Yachts?
One of the biggest issues facing an owner or bank when attempting to sell a boat that does not have a full crew and an “open checkbook policy”, is proper maintenance. Simply reducing expenses and eliminating crew can be penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes time to reconcile survey findings, and may result in major price adjustments at closing. These adjustments can easily outweigh any savings in operating costs. Why Chamberlain Yachts?It is therefore critical not to compromise the quality of the maintenance program. Chamberlain Yachts is the only yacht management company that has staff who have been specifically trained in stored-yacht preservation. All of our personnel are knowledgeable credentialed yacht crew… and they did sign up for this program. Our people have been trained to manage boats of all sizes under these circumstances. Whether it’s a 50’ Express or a 200’ Tri-deck Motoryacht, our experience and expertise ensure the safety of the vessel and cost savings for its owner. When we are retained we debrief all crew prior to taking over management, and create a comprehensive operating manual that provides new crew with a template for running the yacht’s systems. We also try to keep some existing crew members who are already familiar with these systems. In addition to the crew who remain aboard, one of our captains is permanently assigned to each yacht. Although our crew may have more than one boat that they oversee, there is always at least one individual who is exclusively assigned to each yacht.