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September October 2019 Marina World

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TALKING SHOP all-electric fleet and as the first solar powered boatbuilder,” she adds. Why San Diego? “The San Diego Bay is a natural harbour and deep-water port. This, paired with the city’s iconic sunny weather all year round, makes it a boating haven,” Howard says. There are approximately 21 marinas in San Diego, but only a handful offer berths large enough for superyachts, to which Fifth Avenue Landing dedicates itself exclusively. Geographically, the city is also a natural gateway for yachts heading to Mexico, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Alaska and the general Pacific Northwest. “It has so much to offer and that’s why it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a growth in superyachts to the area,” she adds. From chief stewardess to dockmaster Howard’s background is as unique as the marina for which she’s newly responsible, coming to the position as a former chief stewardess on a number of notable yachts and having worked all over the world. When growing up in Sydney, Australia, her family had a 34ft (10m) cruiser on Sydney Harbour. “I have always been around boats,” she says, “but it wasn’t until I started travelling overseas at the age of 24 that I was introduced to the yachting industry in the South of France. It quickly drew me in and I spent the next seven years working on various superyachts all over the world.” Her experience and knowledge of the industry, particularly the capabilities and specific requirements of superyachts and the demands and challenges they face when visiting a new port, led her to the position of Yacht Relations Manager at Marine Group Boat Works. Here she managed the marketing programme and launched a crew concept called The Good Stew. “I joined the yachting industry 11 years ago in Europe and have been lucky enough to work all over the world and then apply my yachting experience to a land-based position,” she says. “All that experience will make the transition to running a marina smooth. The traditional dockmaster role is evolving into a full-service position to give yacht owners and crew the ultimate experience,” she adds. But her new role is very different and “like any new job, it takes time to develop and put your stamp on a place, but I think that is what I’m most excited about. There’s so much room for growth and development of the marina and yachting services offered to vessels visiting the West Coast and I’m looking forward to seeing where I can take this marina and what’s in store next.” The Good Stew The Good Stew programme is an extensive concierge service, she explains. “We were asked by crew for local sources for common crew needs such as uniforms and cleaning products. Reasons varied from time zone differences from the West to East Coast to not wanting to deal with lengthy delivery times shipping from one coast to the other. It has been exciting to watch the success of the programme and see it develop dramatically based on the response of the growing market of superyachts cruising to the Pacific,” she says. The programme provides a range of interior yacht products and uniform to purchase, coordinates crew and social events, and offers a new crew placement service. “It’s our valuable local knowledge, insider tips and resources, with around-the-clock attention during their stay in San Diego to make their refit period a breeze,” she adds. Howard’s learned a lot over the years about what superyacht captains and crew are looking for. “It’s all about the level of service and convenience,” she explains. “Time is precious, so being able to give 24/7 attention to crew is very well received. We see a lot of superyachts with foreign crew and, for some of them, it’s their first time in America. Being an Australian myself, I naturally play a concierge role to give our guests the best experience possible.” Alongside her new role, Howard will continue to manage The Good Stew programme and support the marketing and sales efforts for MGBW. - September/October 2019 45

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