A small group of captains have met several times in Ft. Lauderdale this spring to discuss starting a professional yacht captains association.
“We’re investigating the relevance and importance of an association,” said Ian Bone, a relatively new yacht captain with a previous career in higher education. “We still have to work out the ways and means to determine that.”
Other initial participants are Capt. Michael Schueler, who has been in yachting almost 30 years, most recently as captain of the 60m M/Y Linda Lou, and Chris Lewis of M/Y Ellix II, who has been in yachting 15 years and has a background in the commercial oil and gas industry.
The Yacht Captains Association has been incorporated, but little structure has been created, Bone said.
“We’re moving down the pathway to get something happening,” he said. “We incorporated so that we have a structure in place that might evolve into an association.”
What the core group needs now is more input from captains, he said, especially as it relates to whether such a group is needed.
Other yachting industry groups, such as the Professional Yachting Association based in Antibes, are more broad in nature, including all levels of yacht crew. Bone acknowledged that all the industry needs is perhaps a captains-level membership in some larger group, but that’s what he’s trying to find out.
So far, a group of a half dozen interested captains have met a few times and sought advice via e-mail with an additional 15-20 captains.
“We’re at a point now where we want to get broader input into whether there’s interest and relevance in a yacht captains association,” Bone said. “We want to invite people interested to make contact.”
Benefits of such a group likely would be similar to other professional organizations including serving as a central voice for the best interests of captains, personally and collectively, career development, and camaraderie.
No decisions have been made as to membership criteria or structure, but the group would have no geographical or citizenship boundaries, Bone said.
For more information, e-mail Bone at firstname.lastname@example.org.