Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a The Boy Who Cried Wolf scenario, whereby praises of professionalism in 2014 have become diluted and over-saturated. But 2014 really has seen a jump in professionalism when it comes to crew – and I think it’s imperative the industry understands that, unlike the years prior, 2014 has the evidence to prove that this year, more than any other, the crew sector really has become more professional.
A survey undertaken by The Crew Report in the first quarter of 2014 revealed that superyacht crew wanted more educational events in the yachting calendar. Crew were asked what type of events they wanted to see more of – 43 per cent chose seminars and educational afternoons.
And the 2014 edition of the Monaco Yacht Show, for me, made this clear and proved that we as an industry are responding to the demands of crew. In previous years during the show, the Professional Yachting Association has held a single Sea Changes Forum. In 2014, the PYA held three Sea Changes Forums – quite simply due to demand. With so much changing regarding crew qualifications, training and regulations, three seminars (all of which were very well attended, from captains and first officers to chief engineers and chief stewardesses) were needed to cover everything happening in the crew sector.
Not only this, but the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show also saw its own table setting competition – a chance for the interior teams on board to show off their skills and some of the best parts of ownership to all the potential buyers walking the show, not to mention getting recognition for their hard work. Table setting competitions are familiar events at charter shows, and some of the more relaxed sales shows such as the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but the fact that the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show decided to join the game, I think is proof of the recognition and professionalism of the crew we’re seeing in the industry today.
While professionalism is certainly a buzz word in the crew industry, we must not let that devalue the progress we’ve seen from the crew and crew sector in 2014.