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The Merit of Working with a Good Yacht Manager

10 October 2022

The truth is that many people don’t fully appreciate the value of working with a good yacht manager. They are often perceived as an interference and sometimes even as a threat but they are actually there for a good reason. Growing vessel sizes, fiscal issues and changing regulations are making the smooth functioning of a superyacht increasingly complex and having a professional partner that complements the work of the crew can make the difference between good and great results.

Yacht managers should be the go-to person when there is a problem but that is not their only role. They are there to clarify, simplify, synthesise, unify and ultimately forge relationships. In order to successfully manage and maintain a superyacht everyone must trust and believe in each other. It’s a matter of connection, contribution and constantly asking oneself “how can we do this better?”. In a nutshell, yacht managers are there to offer their support and expert guidance so that captains and crew can excel and owners can enjoy.

Among the many advantages of working with an experienced yacht manager, is their foresight. Due to their solid experience, they can anticipate and effectively deal with matters before they turn into a crisis. A high level of proactivity is needed when running a yacht as it allows owners to enjoy their asset whilst remaining confident of their personal safety and the vessel’s compliance with standards and regulations. Owning a yacht is a luxury that comes with a lot of responsibilities but working with a good yacht manager means that they can be met without having to be involved in day to day tasks.

Yacht managers are usually responsible for a fleet of vessels and, over time, have accumulated an excellent working knowledge of flag state laws. They are well versed with the International Safety Management (ISM), International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Codes, Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and Port State Control. They are aware of the manner in which relevant bodies and authorities interact and have resolved multiple issues ranging from the unpleasant such as repairs due to accidents to the more attractive such as planning improvements and working towards reducing impact on the environment.

Managing a fleet means that there are long standing and trustworthy relationships in place with shipyards, suppliers and vendors, and this can lead to an economy of scale. Whether it concerns a refit due to age or change of ownership, planned maintenance or urgently needed spare parts, they have the contacts and connections to ensure cost savings and as little downtime as possible.

Which brings us to the matter of financial control and accounting. Yachts usually proceed with a very large number of transactions in a variety of currencies and this requires experienced bookkeepers. They may require debit cards for their day to day expenditures, processing of purchase orders and verification of invoices. Superyacht crew are not trained accountants and appreciate the contribution of a yacht manager in this area as it allows them to concentrate on their principal task: to offer services that exceed the owner’s and their own expectations.

Good yacht managers are also multitaskers and team players with strong communication skills. They know how to listen, maintain their composure under pressure and look out for others. These skills allow them to execute and oversee the tasks associated with the overall functioning of a yacht and which require cooperation with a wide range of personalities and job descriptions. All things considered, choosing to work with an experienced and skilled yacht manager is key to stress-free yachting.

MYBA  recognises the importance of yacht managers to the smooth operation of a yacht and has long established a Yacht Management Committee (YMC) whose actions are guided by MYBA’s commitment to establishing and maintaining the highest quality of standards and service. The aim of the YMC is to connect the world’s superyacht professionals in an endeavour to create a sustainable future for the superyacht industry. By working collaboratively to open and maintain dialogues with relevant bodies & authorities, raise industry-wide concerns, address common challenges and foster the exchange of information and expertise, it strives to lead an industry transformation towards environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices and attitudes.

Trusted by authorities and regulatory bodies, MYBA possesses a strong voice which it uses to represent and defend the interests of the superyacht sector. The strength of this voice also brings with it the responsibility to promote education and that is why the YMC, in cooperation with The Training Academy, decided to add a Yacht Management Seminar to the annual agenda to follow the successful MYBA Superyacht Brokers' Seminars. The new Seminar is currently taking place in the South of France (October 10-12, 2022) and offers a basic introduction to the world of yacht management including subjects such as registration, VAT, ownership structure and safety management.

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