For a refit period, your role as chief stew is to plan, manage, and facilitate all works being done in the interior by contractors and other stews. The most important aspect for a yard period is to ensure that you plan ahead as much as possible — not only for the work that needs to be done by the shipyard, but also for the jobs that need to be done by the interior department.
During the season, keep an up-to-date list of jobs that need to be done, as new things constantly creep up. Then when the captain asks for a work list, you have it ready for him. How jobs are decided upon and quoted on depends on the boat, so it is best to do this on a case-by-case basis.
Once the list of jobs has been approved, the shipyard will determine the timeline for their part, but you will be responsible for determining the timeline of the jobs for the stews. It is best to do this by making a week-by-week work list. That way, you can keep track of whether you are managing to do all the jobs and can determine in advance whether you will need day workers to help towards the end of the refit.
During the actual refit, it is important for you to know which contractors are working on the boat and when, so that you can ensure sufficient protection is being used in all areas. Once again, the management of the contractors will depend on how the boat is run, but always offer to help as much as possible. Your position gives you the best knowledge of the interior, how it is used by guests, and what are the priority work areas and jobs.
It is also always good for you to be part of the inspection of completed jobs, as you know what it should look like and how it should operate.
Try to create a good working relationship with the contractors, even if you cannot speak their language. Learn some basic words and be friendly; this will ensure an easy and open working relationship that benefits all parties. In the months after a refit, be sure to keep a running list of any defects that might occur, as this will be needed for the warranty period later.
CHIEF STEW CARLA ANNAS HAS BEEN IN YACHTING FOR NINE YEARS AND CURRENTLY WORKS ON A 213-FOOT (65M) PRIVATE/CHARTER MOTOR YACHT.