A very successful PYA crew workshop day in Antibes!

On Saturday 8th April, the PYA hosted a day of workshops for all departments of crew, all of which were free to attend. The day was a huge success, with over 150 crew joining us throughout the day.

We kicked off the day with Floristry tips for Superyacht stews, hosted by Sachiko Katsurada, a PYA GUEST approved trainer. Sachi showed the stews (who were of varying levels of experience) bouquet preparation, flower arrangement, orchid maintenance and little tips to make flowers last longer on-board.

We moved on to a session on Ballast Water Management, facilitated by Ballast Water Treatment experts, Cathelco. In September 2017, a new IMO regulation is coming into force regarding ballast water discharge. Some people are under the misapprehension that the regulations only apply to large commercial vessels. However, if the length of your yacht is greater than 50 metres and if it has a ballasting capacity of more the 8 cubic metres, then it will have to abide by the rules from September onwards. During the session, Sam Wand explained to captains and engineers what they would need to do to comply with the new legislation, the different types of technology available, solutions for installing BWT equipment within the space limitations of a yacht engine room and the importance of having a Ballast Water Management Plan on-board.

Our final session before we stopped for lunch was on Scuba Diving Safety for Superyacht Crew. Alex Diamond, from Diamond Diving in Golfe Juan, ran through a range of topics with the crew, including safe scuba equipment storage and maintenance, emergency assistance plans for diving, extra skills needed for SuperYacht diving, managing client expectations and demands and the importance of regularly maintaining crew dive and rescue skills. The key message for the crew was that are whilst there are certainly challenges and risks involved in organising diving for Superyachts, with proper training, planning and procedures these can be minimised, leaving the crew to be able to deliver life changing experiences to their guests, safely. The slides from this presentation can be downloaded here

The PYA team laid on a buffet lunch for all the attendees and workshop facilitators, with wine kindly provided by Riviera Yacht Support. It was a beautiful sunny day, so the crew were able to spill outside onto the Esplanade du Pré aux Pêcheurs next to the port.

After lunch Joey Meen and Alison Houghton from the PYA hosted a session on preparing for the OOW qualification. There are many insider tips on Training Record Book dos and don’ts, sea service verification, exam expectations etc. that Joey (Director of Training and Certification for the PYA) and Alison (Service Record Book Manager for the PYA for 11 years, and now Service Record Book Officer) were able to share with the deckhands looking to further their careers. The presentation slides from this can be downloaded here. This kind of information is offered to all our members, and if you are thinking about that next rung of the yachting ladder and have not yet joined the PYA, now would be a good time to do so. Not only will you benefit from advice, support and information, but we will verify your sea service on behalf of the MCA, a service that is essential for you to progress your yachting career to the next level.

Next up was the most well-attended session of the day, called ‘French Social Security and what crew need to do’. Many of you are probably aware that the French government has recently enacted a decree that states a new requirement for social security payments for all non-French seafarers (crew) based in France unless they are already paying for social security (national insurance) in another EU member state, or in any other national state that has an existing bilateral social security treaty with France. This has raised many questions and concerns, and rest assured, the PYA is working with the authorities and financial experts on this to relay accurate information to our members as soon as it is available.

Speaking to a huge audience, Patrick Maflin from Marine Accounts, Peter Brooke from Horizons / Spectrum IFA Group and Rod Hatch from the PYA explained the implications, who was affected, and what the solutions are. Whilst we have a team of people working relentlessly on this, we do not yet have answers to every unknown factor. However the session provided a great deal of clarity to many of the questions that crew have, enabling them to start making the appropriate arrangements for their own situation. There is too much information to summarise in this short article, but you can download the presentation slides, which map out how to determine whether you are French resident, and the possible courses of action depending on your nationality.

We suggest that you look at your own situation, seek advice if you are uncertain over your residency status and get yourself in order ahead of the 1st July deadline. 

The PYA will be hosting another seminar on the subject of social security in conjunction with GEPY and IYM on 17th May in Monaco. Further details on this will follow in due course.

Throughout the afternoon, we also ran a series of one-on-one career clinics for engineers. Tim Moss, head of engineering at Bluewater Yachting, took the time to assist 7 engineers at different stages of their careers on the best routes for their own progression, gaining a certificate of equivalency, transferring skills and more.

Our final session of the day was run by Master of Wine, Louise Sydbeck, who gave 40 crew a crash-course in wine-tasting and food pairing. In the 90-minute workshop, the crew learnt a huge amount about pairing food and wine, a valuable skill to enhance their guests’ experience.

We finished the day by providing complimentary drinks for the crew who had attended at a nearby bar. It was a great opportunity for crew of all ages to network and to ask the PYA team questions about their careers and sea service.

Thank you to all those who attended, to our wonderful workshop facilitators, and of course to our generous sponsors, Roaming Expert, Cathelco, Riviera Wine and Riviera Yacht Support, without whom the event would not have been possible.