In association with Wilson Halligan

A letter from an anonymous ETO:

“On yacht where I’m working, the problem I have is that everything is outdated. The yacht is a charter vessel and it’s owned by someone who doesn’t really know anything about AV technology, never mind what constitutes good entertainment on a vessel of this size. As a result, we only have one TV for guests on board, and it’s mainly used for business lectures/presentations rather than relaxation.

The biggest problem is that when I find better solutions or upgrades, the Owner doesn’t want to invest, even when the solution is relatively cheap. Even when I offer to do everything for no extra cost – as the revamp project would take a lot of work on my end – he still is not interested.

For my part, this means I have to deal with charter guests who are frequently disappointed and can’t understand why a luxury yacht would avail them less entertainment facilities than a standard living room anywhere on shore. And I am with them. AV technology is such a crucial part of our day to day lives that to simply ignore it is ridiculous, especially when a lack of it could mean the Owner loses out on potential guests and therefore money in the long run. It also makes mine and the stews’ roles unpleasant when guests demand something which simply isn’t possible. It is a beautiful yacht, but due to a lack of technical upgrade I feel the onboard environment is subpar.

I think with charter yachts there can be an attitude that once you have purchased the yacht it is seen as just a way to make money rather than an ongoing project which needs updating and refitting to suit modern guest requirements. Even if as a yacht owner you have no interest in technology, you have to realise that the rest of the world does, and none more so than the UHNWI wishing to hire these vessels, who are used to state-of-the-art quality in everything.

Imagine arriving at a Michelin star restaurant just to find out that they only sold low-quality wine or had uncomfortable seating. Despite the fact that your key motivation for going to the restaurant was the food, it wouldn’t stop you from expecting luxury in all the other aspects of your experience, and you would be disappointed. It is the same for those chartering a yacht. Tech may not be a guest’s primary concern, but you can bet that they will expect it regardless.

If there are any ETOs or AVIT Engineers out there who have faced this similar problem and found an innovative way to persuade their Owners to invest, please let me know your tips. Likewise, I would love to hear from any technology companies who think that their AV solutions are good enough, and at a decent enough price, to convince my Owner to finally make the switch. Thank you.”