Patrick Bachofner, who heads IRI’s Yacht Team, discusses the Registry’s growth strategy
In a short time, RMI has built a reputation as a first-class registry for large and small yachts. We are not looking to be the world’s largest yacht registry, but we differentiate ourselves from the competition by focusing on providing a customer-friendly, can-do, bespoke approach to the yachting business. This does not mean compromising on safety, but rather interpreting regulations that were designed for commercial shipping and applying them to the yachting business. We understand the owners’ mindset and the practical needs of the shipyard, captain, manager, and family office alike.
Our dedicated team comprises 12 highly specialized personnel across five international locations—Switzerland, the Netherlands, Turkey, France, and the United States—and sits within IRI’s network of 28 worldwide offices. With around 600 yachts on the register, from 12m private yachts to several of the world’s most luxurious giga-yachts, we have pioneered and developed a broad range of yacht programs to suit the global yachting market.
The RMI yacht program was started in 2001 and we sought to create a program that applies maritime regulations in the most sensible and suitable way for the yacht market. Yachting is a highly distinct segment in the maritime industry. It is exceptionally complex and exists for different purposes than maritime regulations are designed for, so it is our job to make sure these yachts can be built, operated, and maintained in the safest way, and regulated in a way that suits the lifestyle market.
As one of the largest maritime registries in the world, and with a significant corporate registry, we can draw upon a wide range of technical expertise from our colleagues, alongside our own team’s specialist yachting skills. Drawing on these complimentary resources, we developed and constantly review the RMI Yacht Code and other regulations in collaboration with maritime, legal, and regulatory experts across all IRI’s 28 offices, and with industry partners, stakeholders, and our peers in the registry business to ensure that the needs of the yachting segment are being met in the rapidly changing regulatory environment.
The RMI Registry offers several flagging options for private and commercial yachts. Initiatives developed by the yacht team in recent years have included the Under 24m Program and the Yachts Engaged in Trade (YET) initiative. The former allows private yachts of 12m or more but less than 24m in length overall and under 20 years to register without undergoing a pre-registration inspection. The YET program enables eligible private yachts of more than 24m that meet compliance requirements to engage in limited charter, without having to register as a commercial yacht. The RMI also developed an Unlimited Tonnage License for Yacht Masters, enabling highly skilled individuals without a commercial shipping background to progress further in their careers.
We work hard to develop practical solutions for the yacht segment, which includes the creation of new programs that recognize the distinct uses that owners require of their yachts, while ensuring the highest standards of safety and compliance. Several of our programs have opened significant opportunities for owners and have reshaped the market. We are very proud of these initiatives, which were born out of the passion of our team to innovate and make our clients’ lives easier.
We have built exceptionally strong foundations, underpinned by the values, resources, and reputation for quality that RMI is known. Leveraging the complimentary skills of our team—all of whom are also yachting enthusiasts—we are focused on continuing to grow our fleet, while supporting our clients and partners as the industry innovates and adapts to a wide range of evolving regulations.
To find out more about the range of services provided by the RMI, visit: www.register-iri.com/yacht/.