Trident Trust: How Compliant Crewing is Crucial for Modern Yacht Owners

By Heather Collier spoke with Laura Kreckeler, Director of Operations for marine services at Trident Trust, to unpack many of the challenges which are crucial to the enjoyment of your mothership.

Established in 1978, Trident Trust is a leading independent corporate, fiduciary and fund administrator employing almost 1,000 staff worldwide. The Group provides services, including an extensive range of marine services, to professional advisers and other qualified intermediaries, financial institutions, asset managers, private clients and family offices.

Laura highlights how compliant crewing is an essential part of the day-to-day running of your mothership, and how the needs and rights of yacht crew should not be overlooked. 

It is a well-known sentiment within the yachting industry that a good crew is what makes a charter, and can often be the defining difference between a memorable holiday, or the trip of a lifetime.

"Your crew is the lifeblood of your boat", she says, explaining how crew members are quite literally what anchors your superyacht to smooth management, and ultimately a smooth voyage too.

"Yachts require the kind of staff you might find in a large domestic residence, alongside a cohort of experienced sailors," she adds.

Yacht ownership requires a confident, well-experienced crew that can take on a variety of sailing challenges, keep the domestic wheels turning, and also make those on board feel comfortable and safe – particularly during difficult weather conditions. 

However, the culture on board for your crew is just as important as it is for owners and guests, particularly if you plan on elevating your charter experience from enjoyable to sublime.

"It’s imperative that yacht crews are given the same employment rights as other workers, and offered appropriate protections which take into account the specialised nature of their work. The gold standard is the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The MLC stipulates that yacht owners should implement proper protections for the people that work on their boats", explains Laura.

Laura believes that owners should issue official employment contracts, which include clear provisions regarding a crew member's salary, sick pay and repatriation rights in the event of accident or dismissal.

"Proper employment contracts should also prescribe an adequate level of insurance cover and have clauses covering discrimination and bullying. In addition, a recent amendment to the MLC specifies that contracts should cover the potential of piracy, enforcing the principle of full pay for crew for the duration of any captivity."

The MLC is effectively a guide to best practice in crew compliance. By following its guidelines, yacht owners do what is the best for their crew, while also protecting themselves from the financial and reputational damage that can arise from an unfair dismissal case or an accident at sea.

The well-being, safety, and fair and equal treatment of crew is a fundamental factor for owners who want to fully immerse themselves in the joys of yacht ownership. 

Sharing all kinds of issues or thoughts with your crew is a crucial aspect of continuing your ventures in full comfort, particularly with a Captain, who holds a large amount of responsibility, and ultimately has a highly influential voice in terms of decision-making on board.

Trident Trust holds the view that owners should have specialist knowledge of employment at sea, as it is not entirely the same as being employed on land. As an MLC compliant service provider. 

Their team can ensure that yacht owners follow the Convention’s standards in every aspect, giving both yacht crew and owners peace of mind that they will be always comprehensively protected.

Trident Trust's HR service goes much further, as the team can also take on the entire administrative burden around employment contracts, the hiring and dismissal of employees, payroll, benefits and taxes. They also provide yacht registration, ownership structuring, day-to-day administration support, and financial and operational services.

For those in need of Marine Services experts, look no further than Trident Trust.

By Heather Collier