Yacht crew associations: Which should you join?
Last updated: 04/09/2019
If you are interested in furthering your yachting career, joining a professional association can really give you the boost needed. There are associations for nearly every profession on board and many have different levels of membership to suit everybody’s needs.
What is a yachting association?
A yacht association is a synergistic group or collection of people who all work together to be able to have a bigger influence over matters that concern them. It follows the principle of strength in numbers.
So, how exactly can becoming part of this group help further your yacht career goals? And which associations are the best to enhance your network, take charge of your career, and broaden your knowledge? Read on below to find the top yachting associaitions for superyacht crew, and discover the costs and benefits of joining.
The PYA exists to represent and support professional yacht crew worldwide through PYA Regional Offices located in all yachting hubs. It is a not-for-profit association that looks after the interests of yacht crew, and offers accurate, unbiased advice and support on certification, training, welfare, and regulation. Becoming a member of the PYA will help you with the below areas.
Sea service verification
When trying to obtain a certificate of competency or to revalidate your current CoC, the biggest problem yacht crew have is to accurately prove their time spent at sea. Having a verified log of your sea service is essential to progress your yachting career. The PYA is authorised by the MCA to verify sea service using the PYA Service Record Book. Your certificates and sea time (both present and retrospective experience) will be carefully checked and approved before being stamped into your SRB by the PYA. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) recently announced that from Jan 2017 all seafarers who are needing Sea Service Verifications for CoC or revalidations, will need to get their Sea Service verified before it is submitted to them, and this is something the PYA offers all its members. The PYA will also be able to assist non-members with verifying their sea service on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.
The PYA is authorised to issue Yacht Rating Certificates on behalf of the MCA and publishes a MCA-approved Training Record Book and Crew Work Book.
The PYA has helped many members with issues such as non-payment of wages, unfair dismissal, lack of contracts etc… The power that the voice of the PYA has means that they are far better positioned to assist crew when things go wrong than if they tried to represent themselves. If you need further help with representation you can also contact a specialist marine lawyer here.
The PYA encourages and mentors new entrants into professional yachting, as well as offering career advice to seasoned crew. PYA staff and council can assist crew at all stages of their careers, including updates on qualifications, career mapping, CV advice, help with applications for NoE’s, Training Record Book and all aspects of Sea Service and Yacht Service recording.
CPD and accreditation
The PYA has a continuous professional development workgroup and sits on the 'Large Yacht Qualifications Panel' at the MCA as well as on the International Association of Maritime Institutes (IAMI) for the deck and engineering departments. This means that the PYA are the front line voice to yacht careers and training, taking members comments and feedback to the very administrations who govern the maritime qualifications.
PYA is also an accreditation body, and actively “approves” non-mandatory training within various disciplines to support crew training needs and give a value to their training investment. This includes the GUEST program (Guidelines for Unified Excellence in Service Training), for the interior department. This means that any PYA accredited training course has been audited, verified and approved under the PYA accreditation standards, ensuring the course content and learning outcomes bring increased value to crew training investment.
Cost of being a member of the PYA?
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national body for all forms of boating, including both motor and sail yachts, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, and yacht racing.
Five reasons to join the RYA
1 - Information
As a member you receive all the latest news and information from legal and environmental updates to race results, upcoming events or training tips. You will receive their quarterly “RYA magazine" delivered to you or direct your tablet or mobile. You can sign up for their e-newsletter tailored for the boating you enjoy and you’ll have access to members-only pages on their website, which is packed with legal advice and exclusive content.
2 - Knowledge
The RYA operates a globally recognised training scheme giving you the skills and knowledge whatever your age or ability to get on the water safely. Many certificates are free with your membership, helping you get more from your career. Furthermore you’ll also enjoy discounts on their eBooks and publications.
3 - Offers and discounts
As a member you will be offered great money-saving offers and discounts from over 50 reward partners from cars to clothing, books to holiday. There is a reward partner to suit you.
4 - Advice and support
RYA members enjoy unlimited access to boating related specialist and technical advice from their in-house experts, each year they help 1000’s of members on a whole host of legal, cruising, training and technical questions from selling a boat to qualifications.
5 - Voice
When you join, your voice will add to over 108,000 existing members to ensure that legislators, regulators and other authorities, understand and take account your needs. The RYA are constantly working on a whole host of issues that potentially impact on everyone in the boating industry. The more members they have the more powerful voice you have.
Cost of being a member of the RYA?
As the name suggests, it is aimed at yacht captains and the YCA states that they will fulfil its mission by offering its members the following benefits;
- Keeping abreast of increasingly complex regulatory requirements and ever-changing international standards
- Representing and advocating its mutual interests before governments and maritime agencies
- Providing career development and educational training opportunities to ensure members excel in their position as captain
- Providing peer-to-peer networking opportunities throughout the world
- Positively portraying yacht captains with global media
- Establishing valuable membership affinity programs
Led by an all-volunteer board of directors, YCA is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and they will provide a platform for meaningful and thoughtful discussions about the future of yachting, the challenges yacht captains face at sea and in port, and the professional and career development needs of captains.