The Crew Report had previously announced a new allegiance between the Worldwide Yachting Association (MYBA) and the Professional Yachting Association (PYA). Following MYBA’s sponsorship of the PYA’s director of training and certification, Joey Meen, to be at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, we spoke to Meen and MYBA president, Fiona Maureso, about their new unified voice.

“What the PYA does very closely links with MYBA, but interestingly it is only just recently that we have realised it,” explains Maureso. “I have been a member for a very long time and I remember about 15 years ago when us brokers tried to sit down with captains and, through the PYA, open up a dialogue to ask them how their summer went, what we could do better together and what the issues were. But there was a big divide and it really didn’t get very far.

“There are still members of the PYA who perhaps feel that brokers are the enemy but I feel that there are more now that feel like we are allies in the same campaign, and likewise with the MYBA members. I think it’s much more professional.”

Fiona Maureso and Joey Meen at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show

Maureso goes on to explain that their main focus at the moment is to educate. “I think the work that we are doing now will educate the next generation of crew for whom it will be absolutely normal to think of brokers as allies, or for brokers to think of captains and crew as allies,” she adds. “So I think a lot of what we are doing now is an investment in the future.”

So what exactly is it that they are doing? “The PYA have already started educating us which is brilliant,” she explains. “At the Monaco Yacht Show, Joey and her team organised a table setting competition, had one of our MYBA board members on board as a judge and she came away saying something quite remarkable.”

“She said that in her 24 years it was one of the biggest learning curves she had ever had,” continues Meen. “Because when she was giving all these high marks to the boats, which looked lovely and the table settings were gorgeous, there was only one boat out of the 10 that was technically correct. She couldn’t believe it because she couldn’t see what the trainers that were on the judging panel picked up on.

“So what we are doing off the back of this, and again with MYBA’s support, is that we are going to run some workshops in Fort Lauderdale and Antibes for yacht brokers and managers and teach them, the people that are on the front line for their clients and VIPs, what they need to look for on the boat. Because it’s about the small details.”

"Whenever legislation for maritime shipping is touched upon, the government goes to the Maritime Skills Alliance to ask them for their opinion and before there was no representation for yachting at all."

Further to this, Meen explains that there is a lot of change is coming in with regards to qualifications. “We have signed with the Institute of Engineering and Technology,” says Meen. “We have signed an Memorandum of Understanding with them so that we have a connection between yachting engineers and the Institute, which is very exciting because it means that yacht engineers can apply for having letters after their name and actually be recognised within an engineering structure. It is the PYA that have instigated that.”

MYBA have also worked with the PYA to become members of the Maritime Skills Alliance. “Because it is an association made up of employer’s representatives, the PYA can’t be members because they represent the employees,” explains Meen. “So now we as an industry have got a seat, with John Wyborn as our representative, which is essential.”

This is an incredibly important step forward for the industry as a whole. “Whenever legislation for maritime shipping is touched upon, the government goes to the Maritime Skills Alliance to ask them for their opinion and before there was no representation for yachting at all,” says Maureso. “Had we been a member of that earlier, the MLC regulations may have been a bit more tempered to yachting.”

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