Yacht Management Q&A
Flawless superyacht management services form the cornerstone of a well-managed yacht. YACHTZOO offers bespoke yacht management services that provide trouble-free ownership and peace of mind.
Here, YACHTZOO’s yacht management team, answers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding superyacht management, including why it is so important, what it entails, some of the biggest challenges, the onboarding process, and cutting-edge yacht management proprietary tools.
A guide to YACHTZOO’s superyacht management services
Why is it essential that yacht owners work with an experienced yacht management company such as YACHTZOO?
We have the template for a successful superyacht management operation and good working examples to draw from. Each luxury yacht is unique in various respects, including ownership, size of the vessel, type of operation, and crew. However, the underlying principles of a successful yacht management operation remain the same and can be expressed as communication, clarity and competence.
What are some of the biggest challenges with superyacht management?
The term “management” implies a level of responsibility and control; however, yacht management companies are never employers or Owners. Therefore responsibility is only defined in a management agreement, which is an agency agreement, and we all know that it is unwise to take responsibility for something that you have no control over.
Therefore, a key challenge is to provide the type of support and infrastructure where solutions are actioned effectively, and the various stakeholders understand the role that they need to play in the operation, respect the chain of command and ‘make things happen.’
Some 80% of the issues our yacht management company deals with are self-created through a lack of good communication and misplaced egos.
Another challenge revolves around the fact that superyacht management as a business model works on small margins and is often (mistakenly) considered as an add-on to the brokerage function of a Company – a mechanism to retain the client after a sale. This can lead to some confusion over the scope of the yacht management service and resources allocated. It needs good governance within an organization to ensure that the yacht management team has the right tools and direction.
A further superyacht management challenge worth mentioning is created by the banking or fiscal sector as they try to deal with ever-evolving Anti Money Laundering regulations and Know Your Client requirements. Operational bank account, funding, credit card provision and accounting on spend are vital aspects of any yachting operation, and the knock-on effects of delays or restrictions to funds and payments are a common challenge.
Has the pandemic made superyacht management an even more challenging area?
The pandemic has made everything more challenging and has changed how we communicate, do business, and travel. From the superyacht management perspective, the initial challenge was to deal with a myriad of different reactions in an ever-changing environment while facing the unknown. Unfortunately, yacht crew (and shipping crew in general) have borne the brunt of this challenge as governments around the world offer different levels of recognition to the seafarer as an essential worker, which affect how they can travel or the priority they are given in vaccination programmes in countries where they are non-resident. Yacht agencies, management companies, employers, crew union bodies and other stakeholders have provided support and lobbying at various levels under trying conditions.
Does YACHTZOO use any industry-leading proprietary tools to help ensure a more seamless superyacht management service?
We use Sealogical as our key collaboration platform and window into the various elements of the yacht operation – from knowing where the yacht is, who is onboard, next of kin details, leave accrued, certificate expiries through to technical worklists, risk assessments and defect reporting. We also use Quickbooks and DEXT to deliver on our yacht accounting obligations and iAuditor to provide appropriate checks and measures.
What is YACHTZOO’s onboarding process, and why is this a vital stage?
The importance of onboarding should not be underestimated and is the true test of communication, clarity, and competence. Broadly speaking, we need to integrate the various tools and methods that we use to provide the required level of visibility into the operation with the actual operation onboard. The level of support required differs in each operation, and we aim to provide a good level of comfort to the Owner and the Captain that risks are properly assessed and diligence is duly undertaken in all respects. We can only do this through good collaboration and use of the tools we provide under our superyacht management infrastructure, which is highlighted during the onboarding process.
Finally, what sets YACHTZOO apart from other superyacht management companies?
We don’t try to set our services apart from other superyacht management companies. We have a set of tools, experience, industry connections and the common goal of ensuring that yacht Owners enjoy their yachting experience and keep supporting the industry. If a yacht Owner walks away from the industry because they have had a bad experience, then this is bad for us all, and the source of that experience should be held to account. Some of us do a better job than others. We like to think that at YACHTZOO, we use the tools well and genuinely care enough to make a difference.