Managing perfection: an introduction to Yacht Management

Your yacht may start as a dream but our team is placed to bring that into reality. Once we start on this journey we are not only helping realise that dream but also creating a very valuable asset which needs highly specialised care and services. Here is an introduction to what will need to be managed in order to enable you to enjoy your yacht safe in the knowledge that the asset is being protected and even enhanced.



Being aware of and managing the application of the regulations that apply to a yacht and yacht owner.
There are a number of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations which are applied by the National Administration (Flag) where the yacht is registered. These Regulations are applicable depending on the size, gross tonnage, length or service of the yacht. In addition to this the yacht will be classed by one of the recognised Classification Societies who have their own rules to which the yacht will also be assessed.

The most common form of certification is through the Red Ensign Groups Large Yacht Code (LYC) or Passenger Yacht Code (PYC). The LYC is specifically set out to cater for yachts carrying 12 or fewer guests and the PYC is set out for yachts carrying 36 or fewer guests.

In addition to this there are management standards such as the ISM Code, ISPS Code and MLC to be also managed.


Operating in a multijurisdictional world and being aware of the many local regulations which become applicable.
In addition to the international requirements placed on the yacht there are further national or regional requirements imposed by either the Flag or the National Administration of any port you may visit.

Through our work we maintain a working knowledge of these national and regional require-ments to ensure that our clients can operate safely and be confi-dent that they will not have the use of the yacht disturbed by any enforcement action.


Setting up and managing the safety and security systems required to be compliant.
The International Safety Mana-gement Code (ISM) and International Ship and Port facility Code (ISPS) place a requirement on the yacht to operate in a safe way and also to have plans in place to ensure the security of the yacht and those on board.

The application of these codes forms the core of the work undertaken by Döhle Yachts as they are the overarching issue which ensures that all other aspects of the yacht are maintained in compliance and in a safe and secure manner.

For yachts over 500 GT we conduct the Ship Security assessment and develop a tailored Ship Security Plan which is then approved by the Flag. This, in tandem with our Safety Management System (SMS) or our mini ISM system, which meets the need of the LYC for yachts under 500 GT, ensures that all bases are covered. We operate a SMS which can be provided as an electronic system or as a paper based system if preferred.

However this is just the beginning. The true value of the system is in the ongoing support and emergency preparedness with the provision of 24/7 support of the Designated Person Ashore and Company Security Officer with the backup of a dedicated emergency centre and fully qualified team waiting to deal with any emergency which may arise.


Providing support and assistance in an emergency.
Should the worst happen and you need emergency assistance, our purpose built dedicated emergency response room furnished with all of the necessary resources and communication equipment is at your disposal.
This coupled with our relationship with our parent company ensures that we have the full global resources of a large international shipping company at our disposal.

Selecting a management company


What is a « management company » ?

There are many people who claim to be “Yacht Managers” but in terms of compliance the term Company is defined in the Regulations. Anyone acting as the Company must hold a Document of Compliance from the National Adminis-tration where the yacht is registered.

The Company “assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the Shipowner and who on assuming such responsibility has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibility imposed by the Code.”


What to consider when selecting a management company?

When looking for a manage-ment Company one would consider the global reach of the company, its depth and breadth of knowledge, the resources it can bring to bear and its standing with the Class Societies, Flag States and Port State control authorities.
At Döhle Yachts we pride ourselves on our record. We have never had a Port State Control Detention under the Paris MoU and are consi-dered a “High” performing Company by the Port State Control Authorities in Europe. This ranking would be the first question I would ask any Management Company I was thinking of engaging.

What this means is that a yacht managed by Döhle Yachts may qualify for a PSC inspection in the MoU once every three years. The same yacht with another Company may face an annual inspec-tion or even one every six months through no fault of their own.

Our relationship with the Flag states cannot be beaten with us being members of the advisory committees for the Cayman Islands and Marshal Islands as well as members of the team engaged to assist with the re-write of the Red Ensign Group Yacht Codes.


About the author:

Richie Blake

Richie Blake is a director at Döhle Yachts
he can be contacted at

Döhle Yacht profile:

Döhle Yacht

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