Excellence

Excellence Over Perfection

Excellence Over Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist like me, you will know how exhausting it can be, not to mention time-consuming and sometimes just a complete hindrance! In an industry that demands perfection over all else, I’m sure you can relate. However, perfection is often unattainable so you end up losing yourself and becoming a slave to the image society expects while feeling like a failure and not even taking into account all of your achievements. Strive for perfection no more and welcome (drum role please)…..EXCELLENCE! Your new best friend. Excellence gives you back control of your universe, grounding you and highlighting your uniqueness while getting validation for your efforts.

As with any change, it requires some effort at the beginning that will pay off ten-fold in the long term.

Cement your values

Our values often dictate our behaviour so it’s important to truly identify what is important to you. Once you have done this, make sure you keep them easily accessible so that you can revisit them often and keep them at the forefront of your mind. This will enable you to focus on what is truly important to you and where to put your energy.

Don’t be a rebel without a cause

We are all passionate about something whether it’s protecting children’s rights or improving equality in your industry, choose something to weigh in on and fight for. Chances are, you will make a difference no matter how small and your own excellence rating will skyrocket.

Listen to learn and understand

We often listen to respond, not to actually truly hear what someone is saying. Ask questions, gain insight, and be interested not interesting, people often feel a lot more validated if you take an interest in them, rather than talking about yourself or putting your two cents in. Are they telling you something because they want advice, or do they simply want to be heard?  Become a better listener and watch all of your relationships improve.

Follow the cycle

Just as nature has seasons, so do we. Continually striving to reach for the sun and you will get burned. Follow your highly energetic self and observe your slower-moving self. Just as the moon waxes and wanes and the season’s change, embrace these energies within yourself.

Write it down, feel it, meditate

Journaling and mediation are notorious for your well-being, Do them as often as you can. Also give yourself permission to feel, whether it is a positive or negative emotion, make room for both and don’t shove anything away.

Focus on being, not having.

In our modern world we have been taught to define ourselves by what we have and not who we are. By focusing less on consumerism and more on our inherent person we start finding validation from ourselves, thereby increasing our own self-value and excellence!

Reflect

Ask yourself, “Did I give the world my best today?”. If the answer is yes, dig deep and see what motivated you to give your all. If the answer is no, don’t be hard on yourself, try and figure out what set you off balance and how you can find it again tomorrow.

Excellence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectionists have a tendency to always look forward & be extremely hard on themselves and others and generally end up being dissatisfied with a lot of aspects of their life. It’s important to strive to do the best that you can at that specific moment in time with what you have. Excellence is attainable, aim for excellence.

 

 

The Flag State

The Flag State and the Seafarer

The Flag State and the Seafarer

For those of you that have been in yachting for a while, you’ll know all about the flag states. But for those that need an introduction, this is essentially the ‘nationality’ of the yacht. For example, if it is registered in the Isle of Man, the yacht will be governed by the laws of the Isle of Man, so as you can imagine, it’s a relatively important decision for the owner to make, not to mention the fiscal implications of the country that they choose.

 

The flag state holds a lot of power because it can govern the legislature and regulations that are likely to influence the yacht and international maritime issues. As early as the Roman Greek empire, flag states have played a role, often being selected for protection and benefits for that specific port when it came to trading. Obviously, these days, the more important issues such as regulations, tax and general standards dictate how flag states are chosen.

 

What was once known as “open registers”, which back in the day were chosen for their trading advantages, are now known as “flags of convenience” which are generally laxer with their regulations, standards, and often have sanctions to trade in contrabands and dangerous goods. Additional points that attract ship owners to these registries are the ability to hire crew of any nationality, freedom from tax & fiscal control and the mere simplicity of the registration procedure.

 

However, what’s in the interest of the owner, is not necessarily in the interest of the seafarer. Fortunately, the majority of yachts tend to register with the red ensign group, which is a group of British Shipping Registries which are well known for their high standards and strict adherence to rules and regulations that provide safe work environments for seafarers as well as the protection of the marine environment. SOLAS, the IMO, MARPOL, the STCW and other conventions also contribute to these objectives. The red ensign group, along with any registries of the Paris White List, are registries under which you would be wanting to work. The Paris MoU Annual Report gives an extensive list of registries ranked in order from quality to poor performance flags.

 

With your HOD, Captain and DPA all being points of contact for any contentious issues onboard, the flag state is also responsible for seafarers that are working under its jurisdiction and are not to be ruled out when issues onboard arise. As with their responsibility to protect seafarers, it is then the responsibility of the seafarer to report any incidents to the flag state. Failing to do so not only skews any reporting but also has a knock-on effect on potential flaws in the registration and protection of seafarers in the long term, so it is important to take this responsibility seriously.

 

Flag states are considered to be somewhat of a weak point when it comes to the protection of seafarers. As they are one of the highest authority figures to go to, there is work being conducted to illuminate ways for improvement, however, there is very little action that can be taken to ensure flag states are taking every measure possible to oversee the good of the maritime industry. They like to remain diplomatic with other flag states, and IMO sanctions have many legal and fiscal effects that make them an unattractive solution. Not to mention the numerous different regulations within the commercial sector that they need to oversee which is time-consuming and requires specific expertise, which can be a strain on resources. This brings us back to the point of taking every action as a maritime professional to work together with the authorities towards creating improvements, which includes the reporting of incidents.

 

The Flag State

 

There are many organisations that can also assist seafarers in need and can facilitate communication in difficult circumstances, namely Nautilus International, the PYA, The Seafarers Rights International (SRI) and it’s important to make use of these organisations and the flag states to strive for better conditions in the maritime industry throughout.

Resources:

International Maritime Organization

Paris MOU

Oceanskies

Scholarly Commons

Brainstorming

The Power of Brainstorming

The Power of Brainstorming

What exactly is brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a technique that groups use to find solutions for specific problems. The process begins by gathering new ideas from team members in an open-ended manner; this allows everyone on the table to contribute without fear of whether their idea will be rejected before it’s heard properly. Brainstorming usually includes some core members who take part as leaders, while others may serve more functions like consultants or listeners – but they all work together towards achieving success! They usually only include five core participants at most – just enough so each person doesn’t feel too alone during their time collaborating with others.

Brainstorming was first invented by an advertising executive, Alex F. Osborne coined the term. He wanted to solve his employees’ inability to generate new ideas. He developed team-based methods for problem-solving focused on brainstormers, which led him into hosting these types of sessions where he found out that this approach led to significantly greater quality results than others before it.

Brainstorming tools have become more popular in recent years as businesses seek ways to streamline their processes. Digital platforms allow for rapid note-taking and sharing, which speeds up review sessions tremendously while also reducing errors caused by inaccurate memory recall or lack thereof when it comes down to just one person’s idea at a time before us. A quick search online will show you that there are plenty out on offer today – some even provide templates so all you have left to do is copy-paste.

The idea is to generate as many new suggestions as possible. Once all of these ideas have been collected, a team evaluates them and focuses on the ones that are most likely going to solve your problem for you – this process usually entails some form of critical thinking where each option’s strengths/weaknesses come into play before deciding which one will best suit what needs there.

The Four Principles of Brainstorming

Osborne’s guidelines for running your own sessions can help you produce better ideas and make the most out of every minute:

1. Quantity over Quality

The idea is that, over time and with enough ideas collected in the first stage (collection), quality will eventually result from them being refined together.

2. Withhold Criticism 

Team members should feel comfortable and encouraged in bringing any crazy notion they might’ve had up at work without fear of being blocked by others or feeling like their suggestions won’t make it past the confirmation stage because there’s no judgment on post-collection feedback – everyone has something unique going inside them!

3. Welcome the Crazy Idea

To encourage your team members, you need to open their minds and think outside of the box. Introduce “pie in the sky” ideas that help them see new techniques as well-could be a ticket for success!

4. Combine, Refine, and Improve Ideas 

The final principle asks you to build on ideas, and draw connections between different suggestions to improve and further the problem-solving process.

These brainstorming techniques and processes all aim in helping your team come up with innovative ideas. However, there’s no single way to hold a successful session

The key is finding what works for you. Reverse brainstorming sessions are a great way to generate new ideas and can be helpful, but you must find what works best for your team.

Why is Brainstorming Important?

Brainstorming sessions are a great way for your team to come up with new ideas and find solutions. This is because they allow people from different areas of expertise, as well as those who may not normally work together on projects or tasks before this one – such as customer service representatives helping out produce managers during emergencies – to effectively collaborate towards the same goal: helping you solve whatever problem(s) arises.

Some advantages that come from brainstorming sessions for businesses and individual productivity include:

  • It allows people to think more freely, without fear of judgment.
  • These brainstorming sessions encourage open and ongoing dialogue and collaboration to answer problems and bring about new methods and ideas.
  • Brainstorming helps promote a large number of ideas quickly, which can be refined and merged to create the ideal solution.
  • Brainstorming allows teams to reach conclusions by consensus, leading to a more well-rounded and better-connected path forward.
  • Brainstorming assists team members to feel comfortable bouncing ideas off one another, even outside of a structured session.
  • Brainstorming introduces different perspectives and opens the door to out-of-the-box innovations.
  • Brainstorming helps team members get ideas out of their heads and into the world, where they can be expanded upon, refined, and put into action.
  • Brainstorming is great for team building. No one person has ownership over the results, enabling an absolute team effort.

Brainstorming


Now that we’ve established what brainstorming is and why it’s important, let’s take a look at some examples of scenarios where it would be useful.

The brainstorming technique is a great way for you to generate new ideas when working on your personal or professional life. It can be used in both aspects of our lives, especially if we are trying to solve problems with the help of this method alone! The versatility has made it one popular approach among companies who need more than just their team members’ input – they also take into account other factors such as culture change at the workplace, etc. We hope your next brainstorming session leads to great things!

Fear of Success

Fear of Success – Is it holding you back?

Fear of Success – Is it holding you back?

Fear exists to protect ourselves from threats we face, on a spectrum from mild to life-changing. If we didn’t feel this emotion, it could lead to fatal consequences. Fear is a response to physical and emotional danger stemming from millennia ago. It has played a vital role in driving evolution, allowing the human species to survive. Fear of success is another story.

Fear is a natural and universal human emotion. Some people fear spiders, some people fear heights; but we all know what it feels like to be afraid of success. With the rise in entrepreneurship, the opportunities for success are greater than ever before–but so is the potential for failure. This article explores why we all have these feelings when it comes to our own achievements, and how you can use them as motivation to succeed!

We no longer face threats such as fighting off animals or battling the elements, which were immediate and dire consequences for early mankind. We now face lower risk stresses such as elevators (claustrophobia and heights), public speaking etc. but some individuals still develop extreme flight-or-fight responses when presented with these situations.

Fear doesn’t just come from negative stresses but also positive ones. As humans, a lot of us are more afraid of success than we are of failure. Although success is viewed as a very desirable outcome, often we will self-sabotage to avoid achievement. This sounds counter-intuitive but imposter syndrome or perceived fraudulence is a well-known experience and involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.

Although success is viewed as a positive outcome, there are a few reasons that people fear doing well. A key point to note is that people fear the consequences of success, not success itself. With achievement comes expectations and these can be intimidating for the majority. The path to success is generally paved with making sacrifices, persisting through difficulty and recovering from failures. As humans, we constantly aim for a state of comfort or homeostasis so it’s no wonder that many choose to avoid these risks.

We already briefly discussed imposter syndrome and this is just one of the ways fear may be holding you back from conquering the game of life.

  • Feeling misinterpretation: Excitement and anxiety manifest themselves the same way in the physical body. This can be misinterpreted and cause people to avoid situations that could possibly trigger these emotions.
  • Backlash avoidance: We live in a society that is still governed by social norms and a fear of success sometimes means challenging these norms. For example, although there change afoot, research shows that women generally tend to avoid self-promotion because it still challenges traditional gender roles. They tend to associate negative consequences with success, fearing the economic or social backlash.
  • Negative experiences: Success often breeds jealousy and can invoke negative reactions from others such as being called a “show-off”, lucky or potentially others wanting to free-load. This is considered a form of hardship and may lead to avoidance in the future.
  • Poor self-efficacy: This refers to an individual’s beliefs in their ability to be able to achieve their goals. Research shows that people who fear success lack self-efficacy.
  • Social anxiety: Success will undoubtedly put one in the limelight and if you are shy and socially anxious, this is a nightmare scenario.

It’s important to find the courage to face your fears, especially if you want to obtain success and live the life you deserve. The things we don’t want to do, are theoretically the things we do want to and need to do in order to achieve our ideal outcomes. We have some tips on how to find courage:

  • Identify and label your fear: If you are able to label your fearful thought as just that, a fearful thought, it allows you to distance yourself and gain a healthy perspective. Changing your “fear” to a mere thought rather than reality releases you from its power.
  • Analyse the fear: We can only change things that are within our control. Are you able to avoid a specific outcome, or perhaps better prepare for it? Are there elements that are outside your control and are no good worrying about? Make a list and gain clarity to enable you to face your fear.
  • Keep your eye on the prize: If you are thinking about facing a fear and preparing a plan of action for it, there must be a potentially good outcome. What could you gain? Look ahead to the positives and maintain focus on your goals.
  • Strategize: Taking your time, formulating a plan about how to tackle your fear is perfectly acceptable.

The classic saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail” still rings true. Barging head first to conquer a fear may suit you but if you need time and to form a plan on exactly how you are going to do so is also just fine. People who have different plans on how they are going to react to different scenarios tend to meet their goals more successfully.

Fear of Success

Fear of success can be obvious or it can lie beneath the surface, and you may not even be aware it’s there! It’s a genuine fear that can cost one greatly in a personal capacity. Hopefully, we’ve been able to help you identify it and given you some tools to be able to conquer it!

Limiting beliefs

Limiting Beliefs and How They’re Holding You Back

Limiting Beliefs and How They’re Holding You Back

Why is it that some people are so successful and others are not? Sure there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that put others ahead but there are also those who seem to beat the odds. The majority of the time, it comes down to mindset. We can only achieve what we believe. Limiting beliefs are thoughts, opinions that one believes to be the absolute truth. They tend to have a negative impact on one’s life by stopping them from moving forward and growing on a personal and professional level. 

Examples are: “I’m bad with money”, “Every time I try and change, I fail”, “Work isn’t meant to be a joy”. These are just thoughts, and through continued affirmations they became beliefs. Our tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of our pre-existing beliefs is called confirmation bias, which means that we often believe what we want to believe.

Everyone has the potential to achieve great things, no matter their circumstances. But fear often holds up back, we tell ourselves stories, play it safe and only end up living half a life. We create stress and internal conflict by holding ourselves back from our true calling. When we change our stories to create a new truth about who we really are, then we start to feel happy and fulfilled. But why and how does this occur?

How Self-belief originates

Up until the age of seven, we operate in brain wavelengths that closely resemble a hypnotic state, according to Dr Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief. This is where most of our limiting beliefs are formed. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying kids are like sponges? They soak up and record everything around them including “bad” and “good” behaviours and emotions. 

When a child is treated with love and made to feel wanted, this turns into the belief that they are valued. Contrary to that, if a child is neglected or abused they will grow up with the belief that they are unwanted and undeserving. These will become their limiting beliefs. If you’ve ever heard that little voice in your head telling you can’t be or do something, that’s a limiting belief. Those thoughts are exactly that, just thoughts. They are not realities.

As humans, we are constantly aiming to make ourselves as comfortable as possible. This includes avoiding negative emotions like frustration, anxiety, anger etc. Limiting beliefs act as a defence mechanism to avoid these emotions. Often they are triggered by situations where you have experienced suffering in the past. You change your behaviour because your subconscious is trying to prevent this. It often ends, ironically in other negative outcomes such as procrastination, imposter syndrome, overthinking etc.

How to Take Back Control of Your Limiting Beliefs
  1. If you find yourself feeling fearful or resisting an activity, stop and be aware. You’re currently in a state of ‘low mood’ thinking.
  2. Write it down! What is it that you think you cannot do? Try and identify exactly why you are feeling that way. Understand that what you are thinking is not necessarily true.
  3. Look for evidence. Why aren’t you able to achieve XYZ? Are these legitimate reasons or just excuses? Are you able to overcome these? Is it just difficult and you are not willing to? That is also ok but it doesn’t mean you can’t.
  4. Be accountable. Thoughts and feelings come and go, they are not that truth about who you are. There are plenty of tools to help you combat negative emotions like stress and anxiety, use them! A brain is a powerful tool, you are in control of a lot more than you think (limiting belief). Breathe and recentre. 
  5. Talk it out! As the saying goes, friends are better than therapy. If you find yourself having limiting beliefs, I’m sure your friends or family would be shocked to hear what you think about yourself. Find someone you trust to share your thoughts.

Of course, changing a belief doesn’t automatically result in changed behaviour, you still have to do the work. For example, change “I’m not good with money.” to “In the past, I haven’t been good with money but I am working towards changing my spending habits.” or “I am learning how to be financially responsible.” Take one step at a time. 

“The quality of your thoughts creates the quality of your life.”

If you want to change your life, something needs to change! Create new empowering beliefs to enable you to achieve much more than you originally thought possible. If you tell yourself “I can’t” or “that’s not possible”, ask yourself WHY 5 times to get to the route of that belief. It may not be possible to the extent or exactly how you picture it but I assure you, nothing is impossible.

Create a new mindset and a new narrative, become confident and courageous, what have you got to lose?

Limiting beliefs

Outsourcing

The In’s and Out’s of Outsourcing

The Ins and Outs of Outsourcing

Outsourcing essentially refers to the function of getting tasks or jobs completed outside of your organisation. It has been seeing an upward growth trend since 2014 with the market size for global outsourcing reached $92.5 billion before the pandemic. There are many different types of outsourcing and a great deal more benefits.

More than 93% of organisations are considering or have already adopted cloud services to improve outsourcing. Cloud technology allows companies to become more flexible and responsive to their markets, enabling faster global communication and growth. Contrary to popular belief, the main motivation for businesses making this move is not to lower costs by cutting jobs but to be more competitive and increase innovation.

There are many different types of outsourcing including multi-sourcing, knowledge process outsourcing, IT Outsourcing, but one of the most common being Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). This refers to outsourcing the more mundane business activities such as administration, correspondence, scheduling etc. Customer service and lead generation are also useful tasks included in BPO.

There are so many great things about outsourcing for both companies and contractors alike. It offers flexibility in terms of services provided, they can be tailored to exactly what the company requires and they are paying for those exact requirements. Flexibility is also great for contractors because although they are working within deadlines, they are often able to create their own working hours.

It is also easier to access expertise through an outsourcing company as they have vetted and screened all their employees already to ensure that they possess the correct qualifications, skills and competency to match the clients’ requirements. Although generally cheaper, this has nothing to do with the quality produced. Reduction in cost related to full-time employee expenses such as benefits. Outsourcing companies rely on their reputation and positive client reviews to remain successful in attracting future clientele so they are fully invested in creating top-quality output.

It is believed that outsourcing is only an option for large corporations, when in fact, the opposite is actually true. Outsourcing allows employees to focus on their core business operations while contractors take care of area’s they may not be experts in. Sites like Fiverr have allowed small business owners to access expertise at a fraction of the cost. With the focus being directed at core functions, there is an increase in productivity and an opportunity for company growth.

Another misconception is that businesses are more prone to data breaches if they outsource. The truth is that every major corporation is at risk. Outsourcing partners take extreme care to protect their clients’ information, often adding layers of security and constantly updating their protocol. With NDA’s, anti-virus software, cloud storage and modern tools such as YubiKeys, small outsourcing businesses as just as secure when handling sensitive information.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is not only economical and adaptable, but additionally, it promotes the opportunity for rapid growth. With cloud-based technology, it is more accessible, affordable and safer than ever. It really is a no-brainer solution for small and large companies alike.

Time Wasters

Time Wasters And How To Avoid Them

Time Wasters and How To Avoid Them

We are all about organisation! In order to get organised, you have to know where to start. There are endless tasks we have to accomplish during the day and knowing what to prioritise when can overload our decision-making thought process. Not to mention all of the distractions we experience throughout the day that derail our perfect plans. We’ve put together some time wasters and how to get around them for a more efficient and effective day.

Time waster no.1 – No time boundaries

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time allotted for its completion.”

Remember when you had a deadline to meet and you put it off constantly. “I’ll do it tomorrow”, and tomorrow comes but you’ve got another week, right? So you leave it for another day and suddenly it’s due the day before next. You’re in a panic but you work hard and somehow manage to finish on time (and nail it!). This is because we usually don’t give ourselves enough credit and can often complete tasks faster than the time you allocated for it.

There’s a handy technique called the Pomodoro technique wherein you break up your tasks into 25-minute blocks and take 5 minutes of rest after. If your task ends up taking more than 25 minutes, evaluate your process and start again, adjusting for the next 25 minutes. You can also always set your time and challenge yourself, it makes the work exciting!

Time waster no.2 – Touching things twice

Ever heard of something called a holding pattern? You have now, and let me tell you, it’s a waste of time. Have you read a text and not replied? Opened an email or an invitation and left it for later? The time it takes to close your “task loop” is the holding pattern, and here’s what you can do about it:

Apply the 2-minute rule. If it’s going to take you 2 minutes or less, get it done there and then instead of putting it off until later. Otherwise, automate, eliminate, delegate and carry on going!

Time waster no.3 – Holding on to the past

We’ve all had that thought, “Uggg I should have done it yesterday!” or if only I had done that a week ago. It goes without saying, living in the past or the future, means you’re not here for the present.

This one goes without saying: being stuck in the past prevents you from living in the present. Immersing yourself in unnecessary drama and complaining too much won’t get you where you want to go. Dwelling on the past is literally wasting time so as much as possible, acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on. 

Time waster no.4 – Indecisiveness

Taking the time to make decisions is a grey area and of course, it really depends on what kind of decision you are making! However, have you ever been out with a friend to a restaurant, you are starving and they are taking forever to decide? The longer they take, the later your meal will arrive! Same concept when making decisions in life. The more time you take to decide, the longer it will take to see results!

Sometimes it’s even better to deal with fixing a decision that was the wrong one, than never making a decision at all. What you can do is take all the important information you have RIGHT NOW and make a decision that way.

Time waster no.5 – Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking was once thought of as a skill to be revered, it was the ultimate way to get things done. Recent studies show that this isn’t the case. Switching from one high-level task to another takes your brain up to 20 minutes to refocus and identify thought processes necessary for the new task. It is both an inefficient, ineffective way to get things done.

A better method for handling your tasks is called batching or scheduling. This is when similar tasks are grouped together that can be done in sequence or at the same time when possible.

Now that you’re more aware of what can actually waste your time, you can implement these tips to help you and you’ll become an organised ninja in no time! Remember, time is the one commodity you can’t get more of in life so use it wisely!

Yacht management explained

Yacht management explained


A yacht is so much more than a rather expensive floating asset. The shiny investment comes with a whole lot of responsibility. Superyachts are essentially businesses, becoming increasingly elaborate and time-consuming, demanding a diverse team with varying skills and experiences.

Modern yachting requirements, paired with the complexities associated with global operations can be overwhelming. Evolving captains have realized that they are not the only one with the perspective to meet the owner’s needs. Why go at it alone? Outsourced yacht management provides access to a wider set of expertise than is possible to have in a crew. With various approaches to yacht management, the consistent key to success remains unwavering focus towards the clients’ best interests.

What is a yacht management company?

Envision a triangle; the three points representing the yacht owner, the yacht management company and the yacht captain/crew. Always functioning at the top, the yacht owner will determine the hierarchical dynamic between the shore-based management company and crew. A yacht management company can be a valuable partnership between the vessel, the owner, and the captain. Providing a fresh outside perspective, the management company should enhance efficiency and improve the overall guest experience. The team of experienced professionals offer support, by providing complementary knowledge, advice, resources and solutions. Not only reducing stress, a yacht management company also mitigates both financial and legal risk. Depending on the vessel’s requirements, most companies will tailor their services to management needs. Typically, the shore-based mechanism supports yacht operations with respect to accounts, technical interventions and compliance with legislative requirements.

What is yacht self-management?

Simply put, self-management is the scenario whereby the captain works directly with the owner and/or their team for all aspects of the yacht’s operation. Self-managed yachts will vary depending on the amount of detail the owner requires and how particular the captain is. Back in the day, this was the original form of yacht operations. However, with tonnage and regulatory intricacy increasing, there is a point where this model reaches a limit. Not to say it isn’t possible, however, strong caution must be exercised with this management method. Realistically, this approach is probably only an option for small or very mature operations. If engaged, a recommended external operations/management audit (above normal compliance) should be undertaken annually.

Why the need for a yacht management company?

The ownership and operation of a yacht gives rise to a number of legal, fiscal, financial, technical issues and contractual relationships. All of which require careful planning and consideration. A luxury yacht is an increasingly complex business that could land you in hot water should important responsibilities be overlooked. Not a legal requirement, but a yacht management company will take care of the headaches that come with owning a luxury yacht. Some of the hassles include safety, crew, maintenance, insurance, audits, class, flag regulation, compliance and… the list is never ending when it comes to maintaining and running a superyacht. That’s why a management solution is worth considering, taking care of the million and one tasks occurring behind the scenes on a daily basis.

What is a Flag and how do yachts decide on a Flag?

This is probably one of the most important decisions a yacht owner will have to make. Not simply a matter of patriotism or aesthetics, the flag state will dictate the law of the land, or sea in this matter. Defined, the flag state is the country or governmental entity under whose laws a vessel is registered or licensed. The chosen flag will directly impact the vessel’s privacy, taxes, exposure to liability, boarding, and overall commercial success.

The owner could choose country of residence, however the more popular choice in the superyacht world tends to be an offshore flagging. The offshore ship registry involves selecting a country whose laws are attuned to the complexities of ownership and charter operations. A good starting point is determining Good vs Bad Flags. Good flags will be on the White List maintained by the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU). Flags on this list excel in the areas of safety, security and environmental protection. As a result, they aren’t on the radar which means fewer inspections from the port officers. The Paris MoU also maintains Grey and Black Lists, where the risk of ship boarding and detentions is higher.

Not to be taken lightly, choosing a flag is a matter best undertaken under counsel of a maritime attorney. Sailing under a particular flag can be a complex decision that involves sound knowledge of international maritime law. The flag state is authorized to enforce regulations related to periodic inspection, certification, and pollution prevention. It will also determine the number of days per year that the vessel needs to berth in its place of residence.

What is Gross Tonnage?

Tonnage is an important topic in the maritime and yachting industry. Significant, because it forms the basis for numerous items, including safety regulations, manning scales, registration fees and port dues.

Initially used in reference to weight, nowadays it is a measure of the volume/size or cargo capacity of a vessel. An International Tonnage Certificate (ITC), issued by the flag administration, is necessary for vessel’s greater than 24m on international voyages. The certificate exhibits tonnage, length, breadth, and depth. For vessels below 24 meters, it is at the discretion of the flag administration whether to issue a comparable certificate or document, such as a Certificate of Tonnage or National Tonnage Certificate.

What services do yacht management companies provide?

Every owner is different and has different requirements, so the management company often offers bespoke services. Typically, yacht management duties may include:

  • Liaising: This ranges from shipyards to designers and brokers.
  • Updating documents: The company ensures legal, regulatory, technical, and financial aspects are current. In the long run, this can save valuable time and unnecessary expense.
  • Yacht registration: Often, the superyacht management company advises on the implications that location has on the yacht’s commercial success and finances.
  • Accountancy: This includes budgeting and reporting. A superyacht management company can provide a dedicated financial professional who understands the nuances of yachting.
  • Assisting with finding and employing crew: This lets your captain focus on his or her priority: the safe and smooth operation of the superyacht.
  • Identifying and securing berths.
  • Ensuring safety compliance: Certainty it meets international standards.
  • Planning and managing maintenance schedules: This includes full refits.
  • Assisting with insurance: For the yacht and crew.
  • Advising and/or managing charter operations.
What is a mini-ISM?

Nothing mini about this concept, the remarkable plan could mean the world of difference. Both a requirement of the MCA and Marshall Islands commercial yacht codes of practice, a mini-ISM aids to prevent disasters and impending lawsuits. Applicable to all yachts over 300 tons, the Safety Management System (SMS) should be relative to the vessel’s requirements. Many smaller yachts will also be liable in accordance to their flag.

A Mini-ISM consists of a simple plan to:

  • Check and maintain all the safety and critical equipment on board.
  • Train the crew for the more likely emergencies that yachts can have.
  • Familiarize new crew on safety awareness and duties as soon as they join.
  • Have checklists for hazardous events, such as bunkering and leaving harbor.
  • Encourage safety awareness.
  • Ensure that those who drive tenders, watercraft, or are charged with bridge watchkeeping really are qualified and know the idiosyncrasies of the equipment they are operating.
  • Document what you do and plan to do, ensuring bases are covered ahead of an investigation.
What is a yacht/fleet manager?

A yacht/fleet manager is the primary point of contact for yacht owners to report the essentials. They are in charge of significant decisions and the overall functioning of the yacht. The following attributes and skills are vital for a yacht/fleet manage,

  • Team player
  • Good leader
  • Multi-tasker
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Solid experience in the field, ideally either a chief engineer, chief officer or a master mariner.
  • Acquainted with ISM, ISPS, Port State Control and SOLAS codes that cover safety measures and rules and regulations regarding marine vessels.
  • Well versed with the flag state laws and regulations.
Do fleets operate virtually?

2020 fast-tracked the shift from local to remote quicker than anyone would have anticipated. With the technological advancements available today, working remotely is not only easy, but also considered the “new normal” and with it comes endless opportunity. This is no different in the yachting industry. Over the last 10 years, yachting has come a long way, with an obvious shift towards a digital way of operating. Working on-board yachts, crew are now accustomed to virtual communications and technology bridging the gap between the vessel and shore-based parties.

Yachts have been operating virtually for quite some time, communicating through email, whatsapp and VSAT whilst cruising. Uniformity is key when it comes to fleet management. Secure programs like Dropbox and Google Drive ensure operations are safely speaking the same language. A virtual knowledge base also assists with accessibility and is great for sharing latest guest preferences, changes in SOP’s etc.

The pros and cons of working with a fleet?

Fleet yacht management embraces an integrated approach, combining a plethora of resources, which could boost revenue and productivity. Some of the pros and cons include,

Benefits

  • Resources: Replenishment of stock/supplies from nearby fleet.
  • Recruitment: Interchanging of crew, should a replacement be necessary, avoiding the lengthy recruitment process.
  • Support: The larger team means access to the expertise of other captains and senior crew members.
  • Emergencies: Nearby fleet could assist in the event of an emergency.

Disadvantages

  • Conflict: Different leadership and management styles may lead to conflict among captains and senior crew.
  • Decisions: Multiple personal preferences could result in delays.
  • Logistics: If fleet are not in close proximity.
  • Disgruntled crew: Insight to other work environments could result in job role comparison.
  • Loss of information: With so much communication occurring, some information tends to get a bit lost.
How can Virtual Pursers assist with yacht management?

Not a yacht management company; Virtual Pursers are an extension of your crew and act as a landbased bridge to your shoreside counterparts. The administrative pressures faced by yacht owners, captains, management companies, and even full-time Pursers, can be difficult to keep on top of. Virtual Pursers “get yachting” and understand that time is a precious commodity.

Fulfilling the role of a Purser, just virtually, the team perform a wide range of services, including; vessel and crew administration, accounting, logistics, provisioning, itinerary planning and guest concierge. With over twenty years combined experience, working for an impressive array of yachts all over the globe, the team of industry experts provide a specialized service built on the foundation of practical knowledge. To name drop, the team have worked with fleets such as M/Y Anastasia, M/Y Nirvana, M/Y Barbara, M/Y October, M/Y Tatoosh, M/Y Meduse, M/y Hampshire II. Offering remote assistance to superyachts just as ‘virtual’ becomes the standard, Virtual Pursers provide a bespoke shoreside solution with the mission to save time and alleviate stress.

With access to a skilled Purser, the benefits are far reaching and can also extend to establishing uniform operations for fleets, better preparing brokers for charter, or lending a helping hand to shipyards/marinas. No matter the size of the yacht or the extent of the need, as trusted yachting professionals, Virtual Pursers are readily available to support all vessels. Taking up no space on-board, a dedicated Purser without the overheads, Virtual Pursers are proud to offer the most cost-effective Purser solution on the market. This flexible approach is ideal for yachts that are fully crewed, have minimal space on-board, or who don’t necessarily require full-time support. Visit virtualpursers.com for more.