On Thursday 29th September the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) held its annual Headine Sea Changes Seminar. An event that is often used to remind and reiterate the crew sector of changes that have been afoot for some time, this year’s edition saw a number of new and important announcements for crew.

Of most importance is the announcement for crew wanting to get their Officer of the Watch (OOW) Yachts, who have up until now needed to get their Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster Offshore, which requires sea time on vessels significantly smaller than superyachts, something that has been proving problematic for green crew stepping straight onto larger vessels. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that crew can now use the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal, which requires fewer miles – a much more practical option for superyacht crew, though they should be warned that through this route they will not be given their 200gt Master certificate. There was discussion surrounding whether or not this would devalue the Yachtmaster Coastal as a ticket in itself, however the RYA and MCA were adamant that this is a necessary step for the superyacht industry. (This issue is covered in issue 79 of The Crew Report, available at our stand at the Monaco Yacht Show, QE9.)

There was discussion surrounding whether or not this would devalue the Yachtmaster Coastal as a ticket in itself.

The MCA also announced that from 1 January, 2017 (the same deadline for the implementation of refresher training), it would be outsourcing sea service validation for superyacht crew to the PYA and crew union Nautilus International.  “They can do it a lot more efficiently than the MCA,” said MCA Registrar General Roger Towner. This will come at a cost, a cost that will be confirmed towards the end of the year, though the PYA has said it will be around the €100 mark.

Also announced was the ‘new’ Advanced Sea Survival course for superyacht crew, to be known as PSCRB Restricted. The course is exactly the same, confirmed Towner, simply without the lifeboat element. There were lots of questions from the audience about how this fit into the current refresher training requirements and the January 2017 deadline, and Towner confirmed that crew are advised to refresh the ticket they already have.

Towner also said the MCA may start looking at paper chart reliability during MCA exams for relevant courses, and will quite possibly begin asking crew about the date the chart was produced.

Updates to the engineering certification structure were also touched upon – more information on this can be found in The Crew Report’s Recruitment & Training Guide, available at our stand at the Monaco Yacht Show, QE9.


Profile links

Professional Yachting Association

Nautilus International

MCA - Maritime and Coastguard Agency / Ensign