When owning a superyacht, there are many aspects of managing your asset that are best delegated to a team of experts at a yacht management company.
There are a variety of services provided by management companies. Our latest guest article highlights 9 reasons you need a yacht manager.
A specialist management team will work with yacht owners and captains to provide a bespoke service for each yacht as the requirements as well as budget are different. The frequency of communication and input will also depend on the owners and captains’ preferences.
Yacht management is not limited to managing just your yacht, but they can look after your safety, security, accounting, crew, refit and operations management, just to mention a few.
A yacht manager needs to not only be great at communication and be a good leader, but needs relevant industry experience as well as up to date knowledge on ISM, ISPS, SOLAS codes and Port state control to ensure the yacht is abiding by all rules and regulations. The manager will also need to be well-versed with the vessels Flag State regulations and laws.
Charter managers or brokers have the responsibility of marketing the yacht to the charter market as well as managing the charter booking process on behalf of the owner to maximise income and off set operational costs of the yacht.
Managing a yacht for charter is not only about the booking process but also ensuring that the charter contracts, VAT calculations and the yachts commercial and charter licences are up to date and correct for the charter itinerary.
The charter broker at a management company will also be the middleman between the charter guests and the yacht crew to ensure each and every request made is met to the best of the on-board crews’ ability.
A yacht broker or sales manager at a management company will be able to look at your detailed requirements for purchasing a yacht and source a short list of options to find you the perfect yacht that fits your budget. Once the perfect yacht has been found, a sales manager will be able to assist when choosing the correct financing method, whether it is cash or a loan with a substantial down payment and a 20-year loan term.
Your management company will be able to arrange all surveys required in order for an insurance company to cover the yacht; some insurance companies will not insure a yacht without a surveyor’s confirmation that it is in sound condition. A survey will also highlight any major or minor maintenance issues that will allow you to negotiate the price of the yacht.
Having an experienced sales manager that you trust is key, as they will have the technical knowledge and in-depth appreciation of the market, helping you to get the best deal possible.
Yacht management companies will have a person or team specialising in yacht accounting and will be able to deliver a complete financial administration package that is tailored to each vessel’s needs.
The owner or captain will be provided with regular accounting reports and maintain routine communication with all relevant parties when it comes to planning or changing the yachts budget.
Having a company managing the yacht’s finances will ensure that expenditure is monitored and that consistency and predictability in the yacht’s financial operations are maintained.
Management companies will have a crew recruitment and management division who are experts in placing the right crew on the right yachts. This process will begin by searching for suitable candidates, verifying their qualifications, experience and references of each applicant and there after presenting a short list of suitable candidates to the captain and / or owner. The agent at the management company will then organise interviews and once the successful applicant has been selected, organise joining arrangements upon job acceptance.
Once the crew member has been placed, the agent will receive, process, verify and keep on file all crews’ certifications and next of kin details. They will issue seafarer employment agreements as well as facilitate all monthly payroll for all crew on board.
A management company will conduct routine crew administration, support and repatriation as well as assist and oversee any crew medical insurance claims. An agent at the management company will be able to advise owners and captains on any and all up to date MLC requirements, complaints or grievance raised.
Yacht management companies will have expertise to project manage a new build or alternatively, manage minor or major refit works on a currently owned or recently purchased vessel. From sourcing quotes from multiple shipyards for comparison purposes to having someone on the ground managing the day-to-day operations, these are all services available to yacht owners.
Most management companies will have teams made up of experienced engineers, captains and surveyors who have all made the maritime industry their lifelong careers.
A yacht refit is a complex business. Without effective management, careful planning and ongoing evaluation, it’s something that can quickly go over budget and schedule. Having an effective management company to ensure the refit is efficient and economical is key.
A management company will start by understanding exactly what the owner would like from a refit, make a detailed plan, contact suitable yards for the refit to source detailed quotes, assist with logistics and have a member of their team on the ground on the owner’s behalf.
Each yacht will need to carry out routine planned maintenance according to the build, hull material and age of the vessel, as all vessels have varied legal requirements when it comes to planned maintenance.
For example, hulls made from different materials such as fibreglass or aluminium will have different requirements when it comes to hull inspections; one may only need to be inspected every five years whereas another material will need to be inspected every two.
All vessels, including yachts, have to adhere to safety and security protocols. The two most important are the ISM Code (International safety Management) and ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security). A yacht manager will be well versed in both these codes and will ensure that the yacht is kept up to date with changes in regulations, as well as ensuring that the yacht is adhering to each and every regulation.
ISM is required in order to maintain an international standard set of safety and pollution prevention rules and ISPS, which is an amendment of SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), lays out the minimum safety requirements vessels need to enforce on board. This will vary from vessel to vessel based on the gross tonnage.
All yachts must be comprehensively insured to travel freely and be accepted in ports worldwide. A yacht management company will be able to source key policies for your yacht.
Each yacht’s insurance arrangements are specific to the vessel. The premium will depend on the waters the yacht is sailing in, the size of the yacht, how often the yacht is being used and much more.
Technical support management includes all aspects of a yacht that allow it to function safely. Technical items include maintenance, repairs, routine services, purchasing equipment and spares from vendors and sourcing the best crew possible for the yacht.
In an emergency situation, the technical support team at a management company is able to provide shore side support by contacting relevant parties such as coast guards and nearby vessels.
The technical management team at a management company will also be versed with multiple security solutions by fulfilling the role of a DPA (Designated Person Ashore) which is the first point of onshore contact for the Captain and crew.
Geoff Moore, MD of Superyacht management company West Nautical adds; “Having an experienced management team is vital in ensuring your vessel runs and is maintained to the best possible standard. Rules and regulations in the maritime industry are constantly changing, it is therefore in every owner and captain’s best interest to find a yacht manager they trust to keep them up to date in order to maximise the use of their yacht in the areas they wish to cruise or charter.”
About West Nautical:
West Nautical sell, charter and manage superyachts from their head office in Newcastle upon Tyne. Since their inception over 25 years ago, West Nautical have become recognised as one of the most respected, trusted, knowledgeable and accountable professional services firms in yachting – largely due to their relentless determination to act in our clients’ best interests. Their approach and attitude is transparent, refreshing and focused on providing value-added services delivered simply, elegantly and affordably.