Valuable item storage: What yacht captains need to know
Written by Michael Henson
Superyachts cost tens of millions and their interior assets will often be just as expensive. Therefore owners expect their captains to take extreme measures to protect some of their most valuable possessions. Below, Yachting Pages has worked with expert storage companies to give yacht captains a heads up on what to expect.
Why do high value items need storing in the first place?
There are six main reasons why an owner or captain will want their yacht valuables stored:
- Severe weather warnings
- During a refit
- During a sale
- Winter lay-up
What to look for when storing
Expensive antiques, priceless art or family heirlooms will need extreme care because of their sentimental and financial value. A captain will need to look for a reputable storage company that has a number of measures in place to ensure adequate protection.
An exceptional storage company will offer a site survey (Captains should ask for this complimentary as the company will want the business so will most likely give it for free).
A survey will consist of a representative coming on board and assessing what the storage needs would be i.e. will reinforced cases and wooden crates be needed? Is there fine art that will need individual picture cartons? Or is there some unobvious heirloom that needs extra care and attention?
Why is climate-controlled storage needed?
These units keep items in a constant environment in regards to temperatures and humidity. This is especially needed when the storage facility is in a high-humidity climate (humidity will increase the risk of pests, rust and corrosion as well as mildew and mould).
A captain should ask themselves a series of questions when deciding to use a climate controlled storage unit:
- Is the storage facility in a high-humidity climate?
- Are you storing items for a long period of time?
- Are you unsure of how long you will need storage?
- Will you need to visit the unit frequently and/or will you need comfortable conditions?
Due to the extra costs, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether climate controlled storage fits your needs. However, if the answer is yes to any of the above questions using a climate controlled storage centre is a must.
Expert packing services
This isn’t a compulsory service and if a captain is on a tight budget they could enlist the services of their crew, but a professional storage company will offer the service of expert packaging.
They will use proper packaging materials and handling is essential to mitigate the risks associate with shock, abrasion, vibration and climate fluctuations. With regards to fine art, it is not uncommon for a captain to ask handlers to use white gloves to add further protection.
If a captain is time poor, it may well be worth considering looking for a storage company that offers a project manager service.
Project managers will be able to aid a captain in all aspects of the storage process, from the initial on board site survey, right through to the actual storing of the goods.
Crew valuables storage
Not only the yacht’s belongings need storage. All crew and captains personal effects may need to be stored. So looking for a storage company that can deal with low-ticket items is also vital.
Many storage companies may offer a special crew rate when the yacht’s belongings are stored, so again it is worth asking if discounted rates apply.