Floating Life Captains Meeting recap
On 8th & 9th March, yacht management and charter firm Floating Life held its fifth annual captains event in Monte Carlo, bringing more than 50 captains together to discuss some of the biggest concerns they are facing right now and to update them on new regulations.
Andrea Pezzini, Co-founder and Director of Floating Life took to the stage to introduce the sessions and his first point was to encourage captains to share stories of accidents, so everyone could learn from them.
Captains might not properly grasp the importance of keeping things organised or in check unless or until something goes wrong. At the conference, the captains sat down and discussed some horror stories where slight oversights had led to fines running to tens of thousands of euros and even to jail time.
One of the stories Mr Pezzini told was that of a captain who was imprisoned after he was accused of dumping oil into a harbour. In reality, the captain parked the yacht in front of a restaurant whose manager demanded that the yacht be moved. The waiters poured oil in the water and called the authorities to get the boat out of there. As a result, the captain was arrested, and Floating Life had to pay the pollution fine. It was discovered that the boat could not have released that oil so the captain was released.
In another instance, members of a crew thought they would be awarded half of the fine for identifying a polluter. An engineer deliberately dumped oil to try and take half of a three million euro fine. 10 years later, he is still in jail.
After several stories of yachts being arrested by the Port State Control, Pezzini reminded captains that if a yacht is arrested more than twice it can no longer sail in the Med.
Classification provider RINA spent a large portion of the morning emphasising the importance of keeping documentation organised and safe. One captain noted that if you lose a certificate (for instance, your documentation on engine pollution) you have to pay for another one. It’s a big problem. Another captain said managers should teach captains and crew how to keep their documents in the right way.
RINA are now doing a lot of work to create paperless copies of documentation to help manage any issues and ease any exchange of information.
RINA then presented Andrea Pezzini and Barbara Tambani (Co-founder and CEO of Floating Life) with the extremely prestigious ISO 9001:2015 certificate, recognising its excellence in the provision of yacht management services. A vessel is easy to certify; RINA can come on board and inspect the systems, test the working conditions etc. ISO 9001:2015 is a way of demonstrating that a company is able to provide a quality management system according to a certain standard. This cannot be checked with a check list. RINA were in and out of the Floating Life offices for the last two years verifying how the company worked.
Upon receiving the award, Pezzini said “this will be the future for management services; not just for us but for everyone”. Entering its 16th year of activity since Floating Life inception, this is certainly an achievement.
The day concluded with a spectacular champagne reception and dinner, during which Floating Life presented its new line of crew uniforms.
This meeting has grown considerably since Floating Life has been running it; from 15 captains in 2014, to 55 captains in 2018. Superyacht Investor was delighted to be a part of it.
More pictures of the event can be found here.