An insight into Yacht Management
Between liaising with busy captains and managing a team of Superyacht managers, Mark Paterson's day is always varied. As the Director of Yacht management at the fast thinking and dynamic Y.CO, we wanted to understand the challenges behind keeping the worlds owners satisfied and the Superyachts on course.
With our questions at the ready, we sat down for 5 minutes with Mark at the brightly coloured Y.CO HQ in Monaco to delve into a day in the life of working for such as successful management company.
How long have you been with Y.CO?
My education in yachts started with a degree in Yacht manufacturing and surveying at the Southampton university. I then went on to work on cruise ships before becoming the Technical Manager at Hill Robinson yacht management for 7 years. I joined Y.CO two years ago and have been pursuing my current role as Director of Yacht Management for 1.5 years.
What does a day in the office look like for you?
I start off with an office walk-around, checking in with the yacht management team. I oversee 9 client managers so I like to have a daily catch up with my team to review the day’s priorities, red flags and headline news from the fleet. I also follow up on prospecting leads as well as speaking with fleet captains. We work very closely with Y.CO Sales, Charter Management and New Build and Refit teams, with many yachts overlapping in terms of the services we provide, so I like to make sure I'm up to date on what's happening outside the department. On top of all of that I work on dept strategy, resource planning, budgets and development of new services.
Do you get to travel all over the world?
Yes, with offices in Fort Lauderdale and London & the YM fleet scattered across the globe, frequent travel is part of the job but my favourite destination to visit is Newport, Rhode Island.
Best thing about your job?We have created the best team of people in the industry. The culture and core values of Y.CO play a key part of our success & it’s a real pleasure to work with such a dynamic, forward thinking, innovative team that understands our vision and is motivated to provide the best possible service. To lead such a team is a privilege and an honour.
It can’t all be plain sailing, what is the hardest thing about the job?
Staying ahead of the rest (competition) in a very dynamic environment is always a challenge but one we thrive on.
Consistently exceeding our clients’ expectations is also something we feel very strongly about and this itself provides lots of stategic thought.
What do you love about the Superyacht industry?
Its unpredictable – no two days are ever the same! Our clients are demanding and it’s an exciting challenge meeting these demands & finding solutions to challenges that we’ve never faced before. The people in the industry is a huge factor, the majority are like-minded and passionate about yachting resulting in an industry which is enthralling.
What would you like to see change in the future in the Superyacht industry?
There’s always room for improvement and we’re constantly having to adapt to change, however I would like to see the yacht industry take more of a lead on the global plastic epidemic and reduction of carbon emissions.
How do you see the future of yachting and management?
Yachting will continue to grow and flourish as will associated legislation and formalisation. Therefore, our objective of keeping yachting fun and hassle-free for yacht owners and charter guests can only become more prevalent.
Although the yachting industry is lagging other industries in terms of innovation, technology and efficiency, there is a growing number of influential owners and industry leaders who are starting to invest heavily in R&D for key advancements in projects such as energy-efficient propulsion, renewable energy, “greener” materials, intuitive systems, onboard safety and smarter operations.