What is the International Superyacht Society (ISS)?
Written by Luke Wheeler
Last updated: 16/09/2019
Founded in 1989 as a not-for-profit trade organisation, the ISS’ goal is to serve as a beacon for issues affecting the marketplace, owners, crew and industry members delivered by building alliances worldwide with regional and functional associations.
It also aims to recognise achievement in the superyacht sector, as well as provide educational opportunities and networking events to benefit the entire industry. The organisation is member driven and reliant on the volunteer work of board and regular members supported by marketing and administrative staff. Its funding comes from its members and sponsors, enabling the ISS to work on initiatives that further the broader luxury yacht industry.
The ISS is more of a superyacht industry focused group with interests across crew, owners and the larger industry, as opposed to the more crew-focused Professional Yachting Association (PYA) which largely attempts to drive for better working conditions.
ISS’ current main goals and initiatives
The ISS Board sets out strategic goals that are designed to deliver and support the overall mission of ISS. Part of this activity is to take action to deliver progress and, in particular, to pick up industry-wide issues. ISS regularly work with other associations to drive positive conclusions, and in some cases will take on large projects for the benefit of the wider industry.
Superyacht Associations’ alliance
Working together, the industry’s associations can have a greater impact on broad issues than when working in isolation. The ISS has facilitated a collaborative approach and convenes regular meetings in Europe and the USA to identify areas of common interest and to update each other on the progress made in specific areas.
Addressing the concerns that those inside and outside this industry have regarding business practices has led to an industry consensus on the principles for good business, as well as the development of a set of practices that show how individuals and businesses from across the industry can bring these principles into our day-to-day activities. Many individuals, companies and associations support this approach and have made their commitment to putting these principles into practice.
Media reporting on the superyacht industry
Much of the reporting of the superyacht industry from the outside media industry media is negative. Only a small proportion of the wider media recognises the important contribution made by the superyacht industry to national economies and local employment. Gathering information and shaping a consistent message for the entire sector to deliver outside this industry is described as ‘an ongoing task’. External media is not generally receptive to the superyachts = jobs message, but there have been some successes along the way.
Is it worth becoming a member of the ISS?
ISS believes that as the worldwide superyacht marketplace becomes increasingly connected, it is critical for the industry to have a global voice.
Whether you are a yacht owner, builder, architect, designer, broker, marina, crew, marine services provider or regional association, ISS provides continuity and recognition for the way we own yachts and conduct the businesses that support ownership.
Membership with the ISS gives a voice. Members are able to vote for ISS leadership, for yacht design, leadership and Awards of Distinction. They are welcome at educational and networking events (and oftentimes may bring a guest) and ISS extend discounted tickets for its premiere annual events.
Ultimately, members can play a pivotal role in the good stewardship of this pastime and industry.
For more details and information about becoming a member of the ISS, visit the ISS website.