YPI Crew – celebrating 20 years

Twenty twenty-two – what a year for yachting and for YPI Crew in particular. In September we celebrated our 20th anniversary. A very memorable event bringing together Senior Crew, Captains, Industry Players, Suppliers, Provisioners, the Media and many, many more from all over the world in a beautiful location not far from our Antibes based office.

For twenty years YPI Crew has been at the forefront of the yacht crew recruitment sector. A sector that has seen many crew placement and recruitment operators, large and small, come and go. A celebration to record this milestone was therefore a great opportunity to reflect back on the past twenty years of yacht crew placement and recruitment. How different the snapshot is of twenty two compared with twenty twenty-two.

Back in 2002, Yachting was not yet a household word and there were very few “superyachts” over 80 metres. Today yachting has become an industry with its plethora of specialised industry press, clubs, organisations, exhibitions, shows and summits. Yacht crew have become television stars and their employment glamourised across various international social media channels. A superyacht or “mega” or “giga” yacht is now well over 100 metres and the fleet has more than doubled in size in the past 10 years. At the last count, there are more than 50 yachts currently in operation over the 100-metre mark. Additionally in light of the current dramatic international political and economic context, yachts and their owners have been propelled into the media spotlight and undoubtedly every newsreader on the planet has a certain idea of what a yacht is and what it can represent.

Sourcing and placing crew has thus grown and expanded to cater for increasingly professional and specialised teams of 80 or 90 crew members that cover each specific onboard role. In the interior for example there are now exciting opportunities and positions for a large range of skills outside of strict hospitality or service; masseuse, beauty therapist, spa therapist, hairdresser or yoga/fitness instructor. In contrast to twenty years ago when many steward/ess positions on offer were largely seasonal and a big interior team comprised of just a Head with a Second or Third. This change has brought about a very positive impact for interior crew who can now envisage a long-term professional career that was in the past reserved for the Deck or Engineering teams who could more easily progress up the career ladder gaining additional qualifications and experience.

With the advent of vibrant real time social media and dedicated online only yacht crew placement and recruitment services, traditional yacht crew agencies as they were referred to in the mid 2000’s were thought to be set to disappear, very much like travel agents. However, not only did we at YPI Crew, with a handful of others, survive the social media FB recruiting tsunami, we also safely navigated through the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis. Building solid relationships based on strong shared values allowed us to not only survive but grow and develop our personalised service making dreams come true. Working as partners with each other, our clients and candidates are our combined strength and part of our DNA.

Embracing technology changes and adapting our methods to welcome multiple channels to interview and communicate with our candidates and clients has allowed us more recently to safely navigate through the Covid 19 pandemic. Additionally, we have further developed and enhanced our specialised recruiting teams and confirmed a supplementary value of trust to cement our internal and external partnerships.

There were indeed multiple reasons to celebrate and we look forward to working with all our clients and candidates looking towards the future, its challenges and successes.