Merry Christmas Everyone & Happy New Year. Welcome to our latest newsletter recapping on a successful 2019 and welcoming 2020…
As we reflect on what a wonderful 2019 it has been as a company, we also look back at what a fantastic positive year it has been for Designers, Shipyards and Owners Teams all looking into new technology to help improve the efficiency and sustainability of future yachts.
Our Director Derek Munro has recently met with various design houses about the technology utilised by SY Black Pearl plus the technology that was discovered too late.
Derek mentions “It is great to see a large number of motor yachts which are integrating battery banks during the new build process plus as a retro-fit in older yachts, to improve efficiencies, lower running costs (fuel and generator maintenance) and utilise peak Shaving to operate generators optimally. This potentially means having a motor yacht operating a silent ship overnight or maybe motoring at slow speed using electric motors for a few hours each day. Better for the owners and guests and of course the environment.
Of more interest is the number of sailing yacht designers looking into all options to potentially have a zero fossil fuel yacht. Combining solar cells, wind generation, regeneration, hydrogen, batteries and much more technology now permits a sailing yacht to operate, with all ’house systems’ running, on zero fossil fuels”.
As we approach the next five to ten years of yacht design and development will be hugely interesting and beneficial to our planet plus overall our industry as we lead the way” he said.
Within our yacht support division David Goldie our Head of Compliance mentions “As more and more regulations and directives are produced by the authorities, IMO, MCA, Flag States and Class Societies it is imperative that Yacht Captains have a process to ensure that they remain on top of all new legislation. In order to truly ‘Support’ the yachts under our management we spend a fair proportion of our day making sure that nothing is missed. The last thing we want is a Captain saying “I wasn’t aware of that” during a Flag or Port State Control inspection.
Another issue is Crew Certification. In my view the responsibility of ensuring that crew remain certified for the role that they fill falls to the crew member BUT… I see so many certificates that are out of date, CoC’s that are not valid for the position that they are applying for and the most common one, unsigned STCW certificates which makes them invalid. It might be the individuals responsibility to remain ‘current’ but a gentle ‘prod’ from the Yacht Manager would ensure that no crew member has any documentation issues. This is where some of the ‘Larger’ yacht management companies fail by having one ‘Yacht Manager’ looking after 6 or 7 yachts with up to 200 crew. Yes, a great profit margin but can they remain on top of so many certificates? Our ethos at Divergent yachting is to keep the ratio down so that one Yacht Manager is responsible for no more than 50 crew.
Finally, SMS documentation. There are too many ‘Off The Shelf’ SMS documents used in the industry. Some Management Companies have a ‘Generic SMS’ which they provide to their yachts and invite the Captain to insert their yacht name and IMO number at the top and use that form. I do not see how one SMS can meet the requirements of the many shapes and sizes of the yachts under their management. Our policy at Divergent Yachting is that in line with the company ‘Generic’ SMS each yacht has their own ‘Yacht Specific’ Annex. This Annex is formulated by the Yacht manager along with the yacht crew to ensure that each Risk Assessment, SOP, Permit To Work and checklist is ‘Yacht Specific’. This is a much safer approach which ensures that when operations are carried out the documentation is actually designed for that yacht and equipment” he said.
We wish you the joy of family, the gift of friends and a peaceful and prosperous new year. We look forward to seeing you and working with you in 2020. Warmest thoughts and best wishes Derek, Christien, Tania, Sarah and David