The Captain is first point of contact for an owner; some even describe their Captain as family which is a huge responsibility in addition to already considerable statutory duties.
The Andrew Weir Yacht Management team aims to incorporate both on board and shore management into one entity. Daniel Taylor, the firm’s business development manager said,
Constant communication and efficient management systems promote a better working relationship.
"On both sides and ensure that all parties are working toward the same goals, namely the safe operation of the yacht to the complete satisfaction of owners and guests.”
Adrian McCourt is MD of London-based Watkins Superyachts. He agrees, saying, “Owners from the business community generally understand the need to entrust multi-million dollar companies to management teams rather than expose themselves to commercial risk and various liabilities by having the business handled by a single entity, but they are content to do the opposite with their superyacht, their very high-value personal asset.
If the word ‘partnership’ is omitted, the venture is flawed. The Captain is first point of contact for an owner; some even describe their Captain as family which is a huge responsibility in addition to already considerable statutory duties.”
Most managers working with captains will provide back-room resources, which would otherwise add to the workload of the crew and potentially divert them from their primary responsibilities of safety, and the comfort and enjoyment of the superyacht owner. The manager and the Captain working together will provide financial regularity, rapid response to routine and non-routine events and constructive mutual criticism and assistance for the positive benefit of their joint venture; in effect they become a corporate team, which manages the asset.
It is important to understand the roles of manager and Captain.
As with any organisation, bringing in support resources does not diminish the role of the CEO – in this case, the Captain - but allows them to manage within a structure that protects the superyacht owner and the asset itself.
Adrian McCourt says, “I know a number of captains who self-manage and do it very well indeed, but do have some fears of the risk of asset management relying on a single entity. I also know of managers who I wouldn’t trust to tether a goat."
The right manager is one that doesn’t see his role as an opportunity to upstage the Captain or create unnecessary complexity, so emphasis should be very much on the right manager.