Myths busted

The PYA sometimes comes up against false allegations from those who are misinformed about the work of the association.

Here, we put right some of the misconceptions about the Professional Yachting Association.

  • MYTH: The PYA is just a Captain’s Club set up to make trainers money!

Whilst it is true that the PYA was originally formed by a handful of captains 25 years ago, this is not true today. The PYA has members of 90 nationalities based all over the world and from all ranks of yachting, Deckhands, Officers, Captains, Stewards, Stewardesses, Chefs as well as land-based yachting professionals.

  • MYTH: The PYA is only for those crew based in France - Antibes

The association currently has members from more than 90 countries worldwide. The PYA Head Office is in Antibes but the PYA has 23 Agents throughout the globe from Palma, to Gibraltar to New Zealand to Fort Lauderdale. Crew can take their documents to any of our agents offices to have them attested and sent on to our Service Record Book Department. Once a Service Record Book has been completed we can send it to you anywhere in the world.

Our current program of international travel sees the PYA team visiting crew in Antigua, Fort Lauderdale, Spain, Italy, the UK, Malta and the Netherlands. In addition to our Sea Changes Forum and other Continuing Professional Development events held at the Monaco Yacht Show, we now hold educational events for crew and industry professionals at boat shows and industry gatherings all around the world. We are beginning to introduce social events for crew around the world, with our very first Palma social taking place in November 2016.

  • MYTH: The PYA is a union

Article 27 of the PYA’s Internal Rules from its start have clearly stated that it is not and never will be a union. What is the use of a a trade union in yachting where there is no recognition by owners?

  • MYTH: If the PYA had not got involved in the first place, we wouldn’t have all these rules and regulations

Not True. Many of the rules and regulations already existed in the commercial world before the PYA was formed in 1991. Regulators were beginning to enforce them within yachting. This is exactly why the PYA was formed. If dialogue had not been opened, yachts would only be run today by Merchant Navy qualified officers and crew. You can read more about this in this article by Captain Rod Hatch, PYA Council member.

  • MYTH: The PYA along with the MCA makes our lives more complicated

The PYA works with the MCA to make your lives LESS complicated. Dialogue with the authorities ensures that any new rules and regulations they decide to put in place are fit for purpose and are realistic within the constraints of running a yacht.

  • MYTH: The PYA is ‘in bed’ with the Training Providers

This is not true. The PYA works with Training Providers to ensure that courses are of a good standard and teach you what you need to know. The PYA only accredits courses which have been thoroughly audited by us and meet our exacting criteria. 

  • MYTH: Those in charge of the PYA profit from its members 

Not True. The PYA is a not-for-profit Association and there are strict regulations we scrupulously adhere to. In particular, other than salaried employees, the Council must be volunteers and are not allowed to profit in any way. ?The PYA is allowed to have six fund raising events per year by French Law. Any income earned by membership and events is strictly limited and must be used for running the Association.

  • MYTH: The PYA is run by a load of old Captains

The PYA Office is run by a young dynamic team who are there to help members with any advice or questions they may have. The PYA Governing body is made up of both sea-going and non-sea-going professionals from many different sectors of the industry. The PYA benefits from their experience and contacts within many different areas of yachting and draws on their areas of expertise.

  • MYTH: The only reason to join the PYA is to get an SRB

There are lots of other reasons to join the PYA. Receive regular updates about changes in regulations, qualifications and other yachting news, get advice and assistance from the PYA office team, access to the Members’ area of the PYA website, discounted or free entry to PYA events, PYA negotiated discounts from PYA partners and of course, have representation and have your voice heard by those in authority!

For a more in-depth article dispelling the myths surrounding the PYA, have a read of this article by former PYA Director of Training and Certification, Joey Meen (now Director GUEST at IAMI).


Last updated June 2019