Keeping expectations in check

Oct 24, 2022 by Carla Annas

Explicit checklist cards are vital tools for a well-run interior team.

No interior department is complete without an endless number of checklists. Their importance cannot be stressed enough. They are the insurance card used by stews to make sure that nothing is forgotten or missed, and they are an important training tool for inexperienced stews and stews who are new on board.

Checklists should be set up for all departments and areas of the interior, and they should all contain the following:

  1. A list of all jobs to be done in that area. These can be split over different times of the day but remain on one card. The jobs should be in the order in which they are to be done.
  2. A time frame in which the checklist should be completed, as well as when and how often that checklist should be completed. A summary of what products or clothes should be used for cleaning particular areas is also recommended.

All checklists should be laminated and printed. They should be small enough to carry around, but printed in a font size that is easy to read. Keep all checklists in one area so stews know where to fetch them and return them. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find that specific checklist you need to do your job.

When making checklists, start with the daily/weekly/monthly duties in the crew area. In general, these duties should cover the crew mess, bridge, crew corridor, and crew stairs. The laundry should have its own lists for cleaning, detailing, washing and drying instructions, and ironing or rolling. Having a checklist for your cleaning caddies is also a good idea.

The guest areas also need their own list cards for different jobs. With the many different fabrics, materials, and surfaces in these areas, it is recommended to have a separate cleaning checklist for each location. Also, guest areas are cleaned differently depending on whether it is a pre-season clean or a quick turnaround between guest trips. To ensure there is no confusion, different checklists should be made.

Checklists for turn-up and turn-down are also needed, and here the order of jobs is very important: In case a guest walks in while you are busy, the bed at least should be made, even if the floor is not yet vacuumed.

Pantry checklists for pulling breakfast, lunch and dinner items are important. Also, having checklists for the preparation of the pantry before a guest trip is useful to avoid the added stress of not having the correct ingredients at hand when making a quick cocktail for a guest.

While checklists can be made for anything and everything, don’t let them become overwhelming — get all the stews to help create them and adjust them over time. 

Chief Stew Carla Annas has been in yachting for more than nine years and currently works on a 213-foot (65M) private/charter Motor Yacht.