The impacts of COVID-19 have reached far and wide within the yachting community. Owners, suppliers and crew alike have all been impacted in recent months, causing a revaluation of how different elements of the industry interact.
As a software developer, increasingly we’re working with vessels to create maintenance plans to ensure there’s a framework on board to support the efficient running of the vessel. This process involves understanding the program and how it is run, the vessel’s cruising grounds and the resources available to manage maintenance on board.
While yachts all around the world vary in the way they are managed, generally, we encounter three types of program:
Local Programs. These have a fixed and year-round home port, cruising locally and returning to a home port at every opportunity.
Dual Season Program. These involve traveling between two or more regions in line with yachting seasons, typically the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, or Florida and North-East America.
Remote Traveling Programs. These programs have no fixed base and travel extensive distances, often to remote locations including the South Pacific, Alaska, and South America.
COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on supply chains making it difficult for yachts to access components and spares as well as expert contractors. This in turn impacts the ability of engineers to effectively manage onboard maintenance.
We are currently working with four new builds across three different shipyards in Europe, the US and New Zealand. However, the pandemic has ground progress to a halt at many shipyards and, the feedback we are hearing, is that going forward there will be a greater focus on shortening supply chains and shoring up supplies of key components.
This approach can also be adopted by any yacht program which will mitigate the impact of any major disruption, as we’ve seen with COVID-19. The use of third-party, consolidated suppliers is a popular option these days, as they act as a central point of contact to reach multiple suppliers across many industries.