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Showing posts from tagged with: PYA

Professionalism, manpower and training

Article by ONBOARD Magazine


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The vessels on which superyacht crew have served on have changed dramatically since the mid 1990s as the vessels have increased in size and complexity
Words: Capt A. Croft MBA, AFNI

How have the training and certification requirements for crew kept pace?
In the UK, until the early 90s, hiring and manning in this sector was mostly left to the owner/ or management independent of any overseeing regulatory examination body. Although there was a UK requirement that fully trained merchant officers should be employed on Red Ensign yachts over 80GRT, this was in essence ignored by almost everyone. Even on yachts that chartered, it was quite common for crew to have few or no formal qualifications, from the Captain downwards.

Of course there were yacht crew in this period who held Merchant Navy training, but they tended to be in the minority and there was little premium placed on hiring such individuals over a lessor qualified candidate.

In the early 90s the UK maritime authorities woke up to the fact that the superyacht industry was booming and that UHNWI were commissioning a number of larger and more complex yachts that were used for both private and charter use.

The result was the UK regulations for Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport or Pleasure, meaning that yachts that chartered over 80 GRT were now considered to be commercial vessels. However, very few yachts would have been able to operate under this legislation even if they wanted to, as there was no ready supply of merchant officers aware of the yacht market or looking to join the sector. Owners also wanted to keep their existing captains and crew, who had mostly be serving on board their yachts without issue.
Faced with the prospect of a number of superyachts operating illegally in what was already approaching a billion dollar industry, the UK Marine Safety Agency, as it was then, took a global lead in creating a training and certification path for captains already serving on yachts, but without formal qualifications.

Over the past two decades, this has led to a multi layered approach towards providing a pathway for deck and engineering seafarers to become licensed to serve on yachts of any size or gross Tonnage.

As with all CoCs, there is currently no regulatory requirement for formal reassessment of navigational/seamanship skills later in the career of any deck officer (including Master). As long as the sea time requirement is fulfilled when the CoC is revalidated, the CoC Issuing State assumes that critical knowledge and skill sets remain current.

Encouraging investment in training
Yacht employer training schemes vary considerably, depending on the interest of the owner/management in investing in their crew. As a result, many seafarers in the yacht sector often support themselves whilst investing in training courses. However, a recent market survey carried out by the PYA highlighted that a large number of seafarers in the sector see CPD as a waste of resources, especially as few seafarers feel that it is valued by those that might employ them. It is rare that seafarers are advised that they obtained a position or promotion based on having additional knowledge/training above standard qualifications.

One factor which affects willingness to invest in additional training is that the luxury yacht sector is an image driven environment. There is strong survey evidence that crew often encounter age bias during the hiring process. This particularly limits employment opportunities for those re¬entering the market aged 50 and over. Age bias is forcing out a number of time-tested, highly skilled, talented, creative, productive, experienced senior seafarers, in the prime of their careers. With this in mind, individual training investment may start to look less appealing.

The sector needs to realize that seafarers are not innate commodities, and unlike modern technology they generally appreciate with age. The challenge is to make the industry realise this and value it appropriately.

Yachting and the Environment

Article by ONBOARD Magazine


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Whilst it is true that yachting, by its very nature, will generate a fairly large carbon footprint, that doesn’t mean that we as an industry shouldn’t do what we can to protect the environment. The PYA has produced some tips that all crew can adopt in their day to day behaviour to become that bit more ‘green’. Join us with our #environmentalisminyachting movement!

The PYA has launched a survey looking at attitudes towards the environment in yachting. We would welcome your input regarding environmental behaviour on-board, eco-initiatives for the industry, disposal facilities in different yachting ports, as well as your ideas of ways in which we can all help to reduce environmental damage within the realms of your job on-board. We hope that the information gathered will enable us to take some collective positive action to promote environmental awareness across all areas of yachting.
To participate, please go to
www.surveymonkey.com/r/Environment_ Yachting

The OBSenMER app allows you record any sightings of sea life that you come across in the Mediterranean. Cetaceans, rays, sharks, pelagic fish, turtles and jellyfish are all species groups studied by the programme.

The app is in French but the data recording is pretty straight forward with pictures included. Contributing sightings allows the research team to build a picture of the state of our seas through their biodiversity.

Organise or get involved with eco initiatives with other crew, such as beach clean-ups, debris removal scuba dives etc. Done as a group it can be great fun and a way to meet other crew in your region.

Talk to the port you are in if you are concerned about the lack of recycling and disposal facilities. Whilst they may not listen to a lone voice, if crew from a group of yachts continue to express their dissatisfaction,eventually they will begin to listen and take action.

There are a few things you can personally do to help reduce your yachts carbon footprint whilst at sea or in port. It only takes a little effort and team work to make a massive difference across the whole industry.

  • Be environmentally conscious in your day-to-day life on-board – little things such as not leaving your cabin without switching off lights/ appliances can all help to make a difference
  • Never throw cigarette butts over the side and out to sea
  • Encourage recycling on-board for the crew and guests
  • Consider switching some of your on-board detergents and other products to ocean-friendly versions
  • Stop providing plastic straws for plastic-free alternatives
  • Invest in re-usable water bottles for crew and branded ones for the guests to avoid unnecessary plastic usage and waste
  • Make sure you use appropriate products to break down hazardous hydrocarbons such as bilge substance
  • Invest in LED lights and other energy efficient appliances to reduce fuel consumption
  • Use biocide-free anti-fouling paint
  • Make sure that anchors are cleaned as soon as they are hauled up on deck to prevent the spread of invasive species when dropping them in another spot
  • Use refits as an opportunity to update your yacht with the latest sustainable technologies
  • Only use reef safe sun tan lotion and encourage the guests to follow suit


Barcelona group organising regular beach-clean ups

Raising environmental awareness throughout the superyacht industry

Promoting respect for our oceans

Committed to reducing the impact of yacht operations

Balearic Islands Marine Conservation

Plastic pollution workshops and research projects for ocean health