There’s been a lot of talk in recent years – warranted, I might add – about the need for more professionally trained crew. Plenty of organizations have additionally organized or helped fund introductory seminars and spread the word to young people, particularly in shoreside communities populated with superyachts, about the opportunities that await.
Now, three of the yacht industry’s most prestigious and most vocal associations have joined forces to create a unified training program, called YachtInfo.
Specifically, the International Superyacht Society (ISS), the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), and the United States Superyacht Association (USSA) are the partners in the program. (Full disclosure: I am a member of both ISS and USSA.) YachtInfo premieres its first sessions at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 30, in the ballroom of the Bahia Mar hotel, which is centrally located at the show. First-time crew as well as veterans are being encouraged to attend and register in advance, with the morning sessions focused more on learning about the yachting industry in general. Following the afternoon sessions, which conclude at 4 o’clock, there will be a captains’ briefing and then a cocktail party. Seminar tickets are $25, with full-day tickets (including the briefing and party) costing $35.
The unified effort makes sense. You may already know that ISS has been offering entry-level crew-training seminars, with some directed specifically at engineers, for the past 14 years at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. These sessions serve as the basis for the morning YachtInfo program in October. In addition, USSA has been hosting captains’ meetings both stateside and in St. Maarten since its inception in 2006, at yacht shows as well as on ordinary days during the cruising season. YachtInfo embraces this concept, too.
For further details on the seminars or how to support them, contact ISS, MIASF, or USSA. Note that more educational sessions are in the works for the future.