The Triton


Triton Survey comments on yacht budgets


Triton Survey: Captains prefer no budget, but usually have one.

Each yacht operates differently, budget or not.

  • Each department has a credit card tagged to the captains. Details and receipts are given monthly to captain. Large purchases are discussed with captain before hand. Pure electives are discussed with owner. Any necessary expenses are not. I also have checking and cash accounts, as well as open accounts with hundreds of vendors.
  • I have worked with and without budgets. Both have their pros and cons
  • The better the balance sheet looks, the easier my discussions about expenses go. Trust is built up and the expectation is continued on a high level. Works for the owner that his money is being spent smartly and I get to keep the boat in proper order.
  • If something breaks down, it costs what it costs to fix, budget or no budget.
  • I have run boats on budgets but everything runs better without one. However, I can always explain why I spent what I spend if ever asked.
  • I run the yacht as smartly as I can and try to spend the owners money like it was mine.
  • The boat and the captain operate within a budget but the owner does not. Usually there is a preset limit on expenses before you consult with the owner.
  • Above a certain dollar amount, permission and justification are expected. Documentation is always kept in a binder to represent major expenses that can be passed on for survey or the next captain. Under certain dollar amounts, discretion is the key so that money is not wantonly wasted “just because”.
  • Two comments from one of the best yacht owners to his new captain regarding finances: 1. Keep the yacht pristine. 2. Keep my wife happy. Not another word in 19 years.
  • Go the extra mile to keep costs down. The boss appreciates and expects it of you.
  • We try not to delay repairs and try to make sure repair thoroughly or replace with new parts.
  • I hate dealing with cash. Hard to account for and always raises questions. I love using the card. Easy trackable and no questions asked.
  • I’ve run boats with strict budgets and it’s a PITA. Trust me that I have the owner’s and the yacht’s best interests in mind when I spend, or get some kid fresh out of sea school to run your boat aground. I cannot stand a micro-manager counting pennies on crew food.
  • First couple years you build his trust then it all falls in place.
  • I hear many stories of captains, chief mates and chief stews spending money like water when it’s the owner’s, yet are the first ones in the cheap seats with their own money. Consider everything you buy for the yacht as too expensive and work back from there.
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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

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