MYS highlights

Written by: Lynne Edwards

From life ashore after yachting to the Shore Future Forum to conserving our ocean, here’s a roundup of the Monaco Yacht Show highlights from the LH team.

Coming ashore at the Shore Future Forum – ‘endless possibilities’

Held at the beautiful HQ of the International Hydrographic Organization in Monaco, the Shore Future Forum was organised by Anna Percival, founder of the Association of Women in Yachting, in partnership with She of the Sea. It provided current and ex yacht crew with an opportunity to hear personal accounts from women who have come ashore after a life in yachting – sharing both their successes and failures and giving invaluable tips to the audience around how they’ve found employment, or started their own business.

Panellists included Emma Baggett, Director of the OM Training academy, Bec McKeever of Virtual Pursers and Helen McCleod of Sea Design. To a packed-out forum they shared their knowledge and experience – from adapting their versatile skillset to careers onshore, and wrestling with imposter syndrome.

From recruitment to charter brokerage, media services and supporting crew welfare, the event highlighted the endless possibilities there are for women post-yachting life, as well as the transferrable skills they’ve gained in their career.

Crew Welfare

The welfare of crew was high on the agenda in many of the show’s forums –  from ACREW’s Sustaining Crew Welfare’  to the Captains’ Forum. As many who work in the industry will attest, life on the ocean waves can be extremely fun and rewarding. But it is not without its own unique set of challenges and pressures. The long hours, intense working conditions and many months spent away from home can all take their toll physically and emotionally – even for the most resilient of individuals.

A survey of superyacht crew, commissioned by Yachting Pages Media Group, yielded some staggering results – 72% suffered from mental health problems or knew somebody who had.

The panel at Sustaining Crew Welfare included Corey Ranslem of Dryad Global and Paul Morgan of VIKAND. It was led by long-standing industry professional and Director of Salamanca Marine, Norma Trease. They discussed how integral crew health and wellness is for every facet of the yacht operating efficiently. As they emphasised – ’the crew is the number one operational cost and critical to safety and well-being.’ The speakers advocated a proactive approach to wellness and discussed new technologies in seafarer welfare that can support captains, crew, ownership and management to achieve this. 

Crew welfare has been championed by many different groups for years, but it was heartening to see it at the centre of so many discussions and being addressed in such a professional manner.

I look forward to seeing the increase in support for crew welfare being translated into concrete changes for the industry – from adapting insurance contracts to include counselling, to a greater availability of welfare awareness training programmes.

‘Everybody’s talking about crew engagement’

Emma Baggett, Director of OM and Chair of the IAMI GUEST Program, also addressed why crew leave and the impact on the industry at PYA Sea Changes Forum specifically, ways to redress the balance through personal and professional development. 

LH’s project manager Danella Hopkins agreed that there appears to be a greater realisation within the industry that ‘crew are your biggest asset’.  

She said: ‘This is inextricably linked to the continual challenge of how to attract and retain crew through effective leadership. As a result, a greater number of Designated Persons Ashore (DPAs) within management companies are actively looking to invest in, and support, their crew and staff.’

She added that interest in LH Dynamics has risen in contrast to previous years, as people are looking for constructive approaches and support to tackle this crucial challenge. ‘People are appreciating the value of the key role that understanding self and others can make to developing leadership and communication skills.’

Sustainability in yachting

The Monaco Yacht Show and SYBAss, together with Water Revolution Foundation and Superyacht Life Foundation, gave an insight into how the superyacht industry continues to make progress in the area of sustainability. 

Panellists included: Gaëlle Tallarida, Managing Director of the Monaco Yacht Show; Robert van Tol, Executive Director of Water Revolution Foundation, a non- profit organisation that’s developing tools to help the industry reduce its environmental impact,  and naval architect Philippe Briand. 

The ocean is, as Van Tol described, ‘our back garden’. Therefore, its preservation is paramount to yachting, the only maritime sector that has a dedicated non-profit organisation for tackling its environmental impact. They discussed one of the MYS’ new initiatives ‘The Sustainability Hub’, created to raise awareness of projects and companies offering sustainable solutions to the industry.

As Briand discussed, innovative designs can make a significant difference to improving a yacht’s efficiency. Just some of the yacht’s on display that demonstrated the advancements being made were Amels’ Come Together and Azimut Benetti Group’s Goga – the former is the first Amels 60 with hybrid power, designed to reduce the yacht’s noise, vibration, fuel consumption and emissions; the latter, a hybrid system for long-range, environment-friendly cruising, which can reach speeds of 14 knots in ‘Eco Transfer’ mode.

I look forward to a continued awareness of the ecological impact of superyachting on the oceans and more initiatives around saving our oceans.

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