0
HomeAboutYachtsAircraftCrewNewsShop
News

Oceanskies - Our 2020 Year In Review!

 

It has to be said that 2020 had started promisingly for Oceanskies… on the 3rd January we officially launched our new website whilst enjoying one of our busiest ever starts to a New Year with a hugely successful Dusseldorf Boat Show generating an impressive order book of registrations for the year ahead.

Our registration team welcomed two new team members in January with Tom Ruff and Mimi Helyar joining to cover off the demand for new yacht registrations going into the spring 'busy season'.

The survey team were on the road chalking up numerous tonnage surveys in Bulgaria, France, Monaco, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Business development trips by the crew team to London, Monaco and the South of France had resulted in a number of management companies and individual vessel in build and already in service moving their crew payroll to Oceanskies Crew.

Our port agency teams in Guernsey and Malta were busier than ever handling the arrival of yachts of all sizes.

We also attended the Moscow Boat Show for the first time where Ryan Fallaize held a number of seminars for the local marine industry concerning registration and crew payroll.

Our aviation team were busy too working for a number of new clients in the process of acquiring a variety of business aircraft and helicopters. We also kept our local airports busy as various transactions closed.

Things were about to change however… the 25th March 2020 was the day that COVID ‘lockdown’ came to our island home of Guernsey and, shortly after, in Malta. We closed our offices and the team went home to work. Fortunately as a company used to spending time on the road the laptops could be unplugged and our systems remained fully operational meaning that both our registration and crew payroll operations were able to maintain their usual level of service.

From a registration perspective the principal registries that we work alongside all managed to continue to process applications and register vessels even though many of their own teams were working from home. Helpfully we were authorised to carry out tonnage surveys virtually which in times of restricted travel and local quarantine proved to be crucial in maintaining our service and enabling vessels to be registered.

In parallel our crew team paid our entire March payroll on time as usual and this continuity of service was replicated throughout the entire lockdown period meaning that none of the seafarers employed by Oceanskies Crew missed a payment. The  crew team were also kept busy by working with social security offices in Malta and the United Kingdom in order to provide seafarers and clients with clarity over the benefits that seafarers can claim during this period as well as assisting with more routine items such as permissions to travel.

During this time, Oceanskies Crew also passed our annual MLC audit by Lloyd’s Register whilst under lockdown without any observations or deficiencies. We were always keen to move away from a physical audit without needing an auditor having to fly over to the island to visit our offices. The lockdown period provided an ideal opportunity for us to test our systems and we subsequently learnt that our audit was the first ever ‘virtual’ MLC annual audit performed by Lloyd’s Register who were highly complimentary of our remote working and IT capabilities.

Lockdown also provided an opportunity for our IT team to further develop our popular crew app with a significant update and a rebrand to 'CrewMate' with a neutral ‘non-Oceanskies’ branding at the request of some of the existing yacht managers with whom we are working and as a result of talking to new prospective management clients earlier in the year.

One area of our business that suffered significantly as a result of lockdown and subsequent isolation requirements in both Guernsey and in Malta were our port agency services for visiting yachts and our aircraft closing and import/export services. Fortunately as both islands started to come out of lockdown we were able to reintroduce these services with visiting yachts and aircraft subject to strict protocols which minimisethe risk of any possible infection spreading between vessel and shore and vice-versa. 

Life started to return to normal for us in May with a return to the office accompanied by the gradual reopening of the Mediterranean. As the yards reactivated and started work on completing already busy order books a new wave of interest in yachts became apparent as it was realised that a yacht was the perfect antidote to the virus by becoming a private and secure vacation.

In tandem with the influx of new enquiries we launched our free online ‘flag selector tool’ on our website to provide guidance on the best choice of yacht registry by users answering several easy questions. With ‘Brexit’ in mind we also launched a new registration service with the Polish registry for clients seeking a low cost straight forward option for small privately operated yachts which quickly became a busy addition to our already popular range of registry options.

A late Mediterranean season began to rapidly fire up and our crew teams became ever busier as yachts began to sign on crew ready for the season. We also onboarded several yacht management companies switching their crew payroll services from other providers to Oceanskies. As the growth continued throughout the year we were pleased to add Monique Search, Leonie Mayer, Emma Le Conte and Callum Champion-Smith to the crew team. 

Despite it being a busy summer period there was still time for Mimi Helyar, Tom Ruff and Tom Becker to pass their Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Level 2 courses. At the end of the month we celebrated the combined efforts of the team with the annual summer party.

As we moved into the autumn it seemed strange not to have the usual succession of boat shows to attend but we kept busy in terms of our marketing efforts by launching the Oceanskies YouTube channel creating some ‘in house’ internet stars.

In November we were very pleased to make a huge announcement with the official launch of our partnership with Viking Crew to launch Viking Crew Guernsey to provide payroll and employment services in conjunction with the Viking Crew teams in Dover, Auckland & Fort Lauderdale. As one of the world’s leading crew management companies the fusion of our respective services is a truly exciting new venture. We also welcomed Dan Moody to the team to work alongside Thomas De La Mare and Tom Becker as part of the Viking team.

Summer and autumn proved busy for our aviation team. Just as many of our marine clients were attracted to the purchase of yachts, many realised that the charter or ownership of their own aircraft could provide significant benefits in terms of allowing them to travel in a safe, comfortable and isolated environment.

The creation of the partnership enabled our IT development to be taken to the next level by integrating and rolling our app based services to Viking Crew clients who include the cruise industry, specialist operators and luxury yachts. In tandem with these developments we also welcomed Stefan Gregg to our software and systems development team to support the growth of our app based services.

Looking forward to the New Year we already have exciting plans for the development of the business, the creation of new opportunities presented by Brexit and the continued consolidation of the registration and crew payroll markets to a small number of highly specialised IT driven products.

We cannot wait to be back on the road and we look forward to catching up with our clients and our colleagues in the marine and aviation industries in a more normal world as soon as we can!

 

Back to News

Oceanskies on Twitter

@oceanskiesltd

07 January 2021 at 14:37

Very pleased to kick off the 2021 with our first favourable weather window of the year today enabling the visits of three motor yachts to Guernsey all handled by Oceanskies including two by @princessyachts #yachtregistration #yachtagents #crewpayroll #Guernsey @gsyharbpic.twitter.com/vcaNjDsVn6DsVn6

@oceanskiesltd

06 January 2021 at 08:18

To answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have published the following guide: oceanskies.com/yachts/yacht-g… From 01/01/2021 through to 01/03/21 we’re offering a 10% discount on our UK flag yacht registration - see:oceanskies.com/yachts/yacht-g…DP #brexit #yachtregistratipic.twitter.com/ybUqiMST0ET0E

@oceanskiesltd

31 December 2020 at 13:31

On behalf the Oceanskies team we want to wish all of our clients & colleagues in the marine & aviation industries a Happy New Year! Thank you to all who supported us in 2020 and we look forward to being of service in 2021! #yachtregistration #crewpayroll #aircraftregistration pic.twitter.com/kc1nDSTcg1

@oceanskiesltd

25 November 2020 at 10:29

Great to see our offices at Boatworks+ in the heart of St. Peter Port harbour on the cover of this new guide issued by @GuernseyFinance promoting the Guernsey Marine Industry #yachtregistration #crewpayroll #yachtagents #Guernsey @gsyharboursweareguernsey.com/media/8668/mar…Spic.twitter.com/LjsPipAW6GPipAW6G

@oceanskiesltd

18 November 2020 at 15:57

The latest video uploaded to our YouTube channel is a guide to the Carving & Marking of Yachts - an important final step of the yacht registration process for the @RedEnsignGroup British flag registries and certain other registries - see the video here: youtu.be/5K4w0nh21uY

@oceanskiesltd

12 November 2020 at 12:00

Oceanskies were very pleased to attend today’s virtual opening of new @MCA_media UK Ship Register office in Greece – representing a timely move for what is officially the world’s No. 1 ship registry (according to current Paris MoU) #yachting @RedEnsignpic.twitter.com/qk6tQ8t86wQ8t86w