During their annual general meeting this coming Wednesday in Monaco, Y.CO bosses Charlie Birkett and Gary Wright will unveil what they hope will be an industry-leading initiative to improve standards for both superyacht captains and owners.

Composed of ten Y.CO fleet captains each from a specific category of yacht - sailing yacht, over 3000gt and a high-security yacht, to name three - “oceans.eleven”, as it’s known, will be headed by the eleventh member, retired Royal Navy Rear Admiral Scott Lidbetter, director of fleet protocol at Y.CO. In his capacity, Lidbetter will oversee the committee and represent its interests to superyacht industry bodies.

“Scott will drive the committee and, acting as a lobbyist for what we think is a representative body of superyacht captains, take the ideas it comes up with to the relevant bodies, like MCA, for instance,” Charlie Birkett, co-director of Y.CO explained exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com. “It’s a single professional voice, rather than a huge number of personal voices.”

Scott Lidbetter, director of fleet protocol at Y.CO.

The committee will meet virtually via Y.CO’s proprietary, Y.CO Live digital management and communication service, and will also strive to meet in person twice a year. All committee members can suggest topics for discussion; the initial guidelines for topic ideas range from flag states to sustainability and security to crew training and welfare.

At the AGM, Y.CO will announce the names of the first set of 10 committee members, all of whom are captains of Y.CO-managed yachts. “This is a Y.CO initiative, and its aim is to improve our standards as a management company,” Birkett said. “Feedback from our captains should improve our fleet standards in safety and awareness, increase efficiency, and ultimately improve our owners’ experiences.”

In order to best represent the yachting industry and to comprehensively address the broadest range of issues affecting superyachts today, the committee is formed of captains from a range of yacht classifications, selected by Y.CO to best represent their class:
A successful charter yacht
A private yacht
An explorer yacht that cruises off the beaten track
A sailing yacht
A yacht currently in build, or launched within the last 12 months
A semi-displacement yacht under 200 GRT
A yacht under 500 GRT with the potential for worldwide cruising
A yacht above 3000 GRT cruising worldwide year round, potentially subject to PYC regulations
A yacht that is part of a fleet owned by the same beneficiary
A high-security yacht – privacy is the priority at all times

Charlie Birkett, CEO and Co-Founder of Y.CO, said: “We’re very excited to be breaking new ground with the oceans.eleven initiative. It is important to us that, as a company, Y.CO sets the gold standard at all times. Through oceans.eleven we have created an unprecedented opportunity to directly address the operational needs of captains and crew, and to help raise standards across the superyacht industry. Our teams are the best at what they do, yet we also challenge ourselves constantly and strive to provide a better service every day: oceans.eleven gives us a chance to extend the Y.CO approach and make a positive impact on future superyacht operations.”

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