Frequently Asked Questions


The intellectual property lies within the grading software and not within the people managing the business or even the grading assessors.

The proprietary accreditation software (trademark pending) was designed alongside specialists with a background in statistics, data and business analysis. Our technology partners previously developed grading platforms for the hospitality industry where guests graded restaurants and in higher education, where students graded lecturer performance.

- For a grading platform to function correctly, the software requires that the same set of standards are applied to each item, product or service being vetted. In this way all 1-star results receive 1-star, all 2-star results, receive 2-stars and the all 3-star results, receive 3-stars etc

- To remove assessor bias as far as possible, the "relative importance" associated between the product / service and the guest must be fixed. We obtained "relative importance" by talking to Captains of industry and thereafter hard-coded a "relative importance weighting" in the software. Example: Is rust on stainless of high, medium or low importance to guests compared to the comfort of a mattress for example.

- To remove assessor subjectivity as far as possible, we restricted assessor feedback responses to just 5 criteria; namely, 1) Unacceptable 2) Acceptable, 3) Good 4) Very Good or 5) Excellent and then expanded on this to stipulate and hard-code the definition of what constitutes each of these results.

For example:
Unacceptable: - general neglect, poor quality repairs:
In an "unacceptable" condition. General neglect. Obvious structural defects or damage. Excessive amounts of most of the following: stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. Excessive wear and tear. In need of replacement.

Acceptable - evidence of weathering, repairs of satisfactory workmanship:
In an "acceptable" condition with an acceptable amount of defects. Natural weathering showing some stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring, but still considered acceptable. Evidence of wear and tear. Not in need of replacement.

Good condition - little to no defects, any repairs of good workmanship:
In "good condition". Little to no defects like stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. Any repairs done of good workmanship. Showing negligible signs of wear and tear.

Very good - No defects, no visible repairs:
In "very good" condition. No defects like stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. No repairs. Showing little to no wear and tear. Good as new. Well maintained.

Excellent: No defects, no repairs
In "excellent" condition. No stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. Outstanding workmanship. No repairs. No wear and tear. As new. Clearly well maintained or in older vessels, clearly well maintained over a long period of time.

The grading assessor is not responsible for computing the net result. This is left to the algorithm in the grading software that takes into consideration all of the assessors feedback.

Because the software is designed to largely remove bias and subjectivity, we need not be limited to utilising grading assessors with years of experience in the charter industry, although that would be beneficial and would be our preference.

Star ratings are an internationally recognised symbol for quality and safety standards. They are used in more than 70 countries worldwide and reflect the cleanliness, quality and condition of guest facilities. All grading software metrics use the same principles.

To remove assessor bias as far as possible, the "relative importance" associated between the product / service and the guest must be fixed. We obtained "relative importance" by talking to Captains of industry and thereafter hard-coded a "relative importance weighting" in the software so that this is the same for all assessors. Example: Is rust on stainless of high, medium or low importance to guests compared to the comfort of a mattress for example.

To remove assessor subjectivity as far as possible, we restricted assessor feedback responses to just 5 criteria; namely, 1) Unacceptable 2) Acceptable, 3) Good 4) Very Good or 5) Excellent and then expanded on this to stipulate and hard-code the definition of what constitutes each of these results.

For example:
Unacceptable: - general neglect, poor quality repairs:
In an "unacceptable" condition. General neglect. Obvious structural defects or damage. Excessive amounts of most of the following: stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. Excessive wear and tear. In need of replacement.

Acceptable - evidence of weathering, repairs of satisfactory workmanship:
In an "acceptable" condition with an acceptable amount of defects. Natural weathering showing some stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring, but still considered acceptable. Evidence of wear and tear. Not in need of replacement.

Good condition - little to no defects, any repairs of good workmanship:
In "good condition". Little to no defects like stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. Any repairs done of good workmanship. Showing negligible signs of wear and tear.

Very good - No defects, no visible repairs:
In "very good" condition. No defects like stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. No repairs. Showing little to no wear and tear. Good as new. Well maintained.

Excellent: No defects, no repairs
In "excellent" condition. No stains, rust, chips, cracks, delamination or discolouring. Outstanding workmanship. No repairs. No wear and tear. As new. Clearly well maintained or in older vessels, clearly well maintained over a long period of time.

The grading assessor is not responsible for computing the net result. This is left to the algorithm in the grading software that takes into consideration all of the assessors feedback.

Because the software is designed to largely remove bias and subjectivity, we need not be limited to utilising grading assessors with years of experience in the charter industry, although that would be beneficial and would be our preference.

Star-grading and accreditation is not only intended to increase bookings; it’s about creating a "standard" against which all boats will be measured. The introduction of this standard translates into more control and streamlining of the industry; something industry players have been pleading for, for many years. This "standard" can only improve the industry by improving problem areas that include, but are not limited to, over-pricing, over-promising and under-delivering.

For years the industry (crew/brokers/clearing houses) has been begging for a system that reflects differentiation. A star grading / accreditation system will address this. In instances where "like" vessels now have the same star grading, but offer distinctive and varying value added services, we will clearly demonstrate how each vessel stands out from the other. This way even "like" vessels can show differentiation and addresses the common arguments of “Why is that yacht more expensive than this yacht, when they are seemingly identical?"

The lack of differentiation has been an age-old problem in this industry…now consumers and brokers will clearly be able to see why some vessels charter rates are more or less costly. Sure, some brokers break it down for every enquiry, which is tiresome and frustrating; however, now brokers can simply refer to accredited vessels first!

Vessels are listed in an easy to read layout and in a format that clearly shows how vessels with the same star grading, but with varying services or unique value propositions. For example, aircon policies, diving instructor on board or any value added services.

 

We are launching in the BVI; however, will extend to Greece, Turkey, Croatia and the Mediterranean late 2019, followed by other Countries in 2020.

It's all about differentiation and vetting against a common standard.

Assuming there are 100 brokers at a boat show, and they are all "vetting" boats according to 100 different methods and personal opinions, this model is clearly not the most efficient or effective. And let's be honest, many brokers will always first market boats within their own portfolio, but if they have no options, they will market any boat, whether they have seen it or not. This is why star gradings work so well.

Take into consideration the benefits of incurring the costs of attending boat shows and ask yourself whether there is sufficient tangible value? What is the real cost of a boat show against your return, especially when taking into consideration your "opportunity costs" for not being on charter during this time? We do accept that there is value to be had; however, until now there has not been an alternative.

What does boat show attendance mean to the consumer, compared to an internationally recognised star-grading? Very little.
Accreditation means that vessels can now be vetted in an organized fashion, using a standard methodology. With all vessels being vetted by the exact same criteria, by the same company with software designed to remove subjectivity and bias (as far as possible) and for far less than most boat show attendance costs. Accreditation can and will add an immense amount of value not only to the industry, but to the boat as well.

Having a star-grading shows the consumer that vessels have been independently vetted. Every consumer understands the star grading concept, which also offers peace of mind as perceived risk is minimizing. Sure, brokers explain that vessels have been checked by them at boat shows, but without a standard to ensure that all brokers are as astute as each other, the result is that vessels can only be marketed by a handful of brokers. Alternatively, brokers end up marketing vessels that they have not personally vetted and herein lies the problem. Given the choice, we can guarantee that consumers would feel a greater level of comfort with an accredited vessel. Wouldn’t you? Of course. And this is especially true for first timers.

Charters aside, owners would have greater peace of mind that vessels are in top shape and maintain this year on year. Doesn’t that offer a greater deal of comfort?

Where is the feedback on your crew? You’re told they are doing a great job; however, hear it straight from guests via an electronic survey form. Want to improve your number of repeat charters? This critical feedback would help.

It’s a fact consumers like to minimize risk; accreditation does just that.

In this already competitive industry, all boats are all looking to get the edge. While some vessels will take advantage of the new star grading initiative, others may not. Surely, you don’t want to remain unaccredited, while your competitors are proudly displaying their star grading on marketing collateral like brochures and 3rd party websites?

Questions owners should be asking:
• What does it mean in real terms if the vessel attends a boat show?
• Are all boat shows deemed as equal?
• Do the same brokers attend all boat shows?
• Do all the brokers vet the vessels to the same standard?
• Is this information freely shared among all brokers to the advantage of the consumer and betterment of the industry as a whole?

In principle, no; however, the more exposure the better. Any broker can market your vessel with confidence once it has been independently vetted; however, that decision lies with you, the owner. If you have the budget and the time; subscribe to both.

One of the reasons for attending boat shows is to familiarise your crew with brokers and vice versa; however, a huge advantage of obtaining a vessel star-grading / accreditation is so that brokers from anywhere in the world can, with confidence, market your vessel as it has been independently vetted based on a standard using proprietary software.
In addition to the vessel grading, we are introducing an electronic crew and boat performance as well as charter feedback. This information would be available to owners; however, should owners wish to make these results public, he / she could do this (note owner / crew need to give privacy and confidentiality consent).  

Another reason to attend the boat show is to have brokers vet your boat; however, after the show, how much value is truly attributed to the cost of attendance? Further there are many brokers rushing from one boat to the next in an effort to see all the vessels, trying to get to all the crew in their allotted time - how productive is this in real terms - to you, the owner? At the end of the day there are numerous brokers vetting numerous vessels to numerous criteria; it could be argued this vetting process although well intended, is skewed and acutely subjective.
For owners wishing to get around this, they deal only with a handful of brokers who they feel vet boats appropriately; however, obtaining accreditation enables a much wider reach.

One school of thought is that as accreditation costs is a lesser % of boat show costs, why not obtain accreditation and attend fewer boat shows. Once accredited, brokers from anywhere in the world will be able to market your boat with confidence and without having been on the vessel.

Now, consider the cost of getting your vessel accredited and the associated value derived from this, especially considering we have an in-house brokerage who will aggressively market your boat. It is unlikely many brokers have the kind of budget we are investing in SEO (search engine optimisation) and with the 3rd party partnerships in the pipeline, we will keep your boat busy.

In our view, it would be prudent to obtain vessel accreditation and attend fewer boat shows; however, that decision lies with the owner.

An assessor can meet your boat at any marina in the BVI.

An annual assessment fee is USD 450 to cover the assessors travel and time to within a 30km radius.

We would be open to consultation and gladly reveal what metrics defined your results and what changes could be implemented to increase your grading.

So how do you get to know your guests better, especially where boats are trying to improve service delivery and increase bookings?

The Global Charter Yacht Grading Council can help by extending an Electronic post charter survey and distributing a unique QR code which should be made available in the cabins. This makes it easy for guests to complete and submit their charter experience in private. Guest feedback is more timely, secure, paperless and accurate as responses are done on the last day of the charter, not once the holiday is over and the blues have set in.

Get a sense of how your customer's experience was with the crew and overall charter. Flexible and customized question formats to accommodate issues that could include quality and quantity of meals, alcohol selection, general vessel comfort/condition or activities and itineraries, service levels and guests willingness to book again. The options are virtually limitless.

We will set up triggers or notifications every time a guest wants to be contacted or to escalate issues, ensuring timely resolutions. No more guesswork or assumptions about your guests experience with the crew or boat. The Electronic post charter survey offers a simple overview of your visiting guests experience on one or all your boats, and with the additional services of receiving compiled analytical reports, your crew can simply focus on the results.

The Electronic post charter survey is delivered in a concise, well compiled and analytical report revealing trends associated with key performance indicators.

It has never been easier!

Request a free sample report to get a clearer insight.

 

A trained assessor will visit your vessel at a cost of USD 450 to conduct a personal and visual assessment using proprietary grading software. The assessor will not issue the grading as the grading software will calculate the final result based on the assessors feedback.

Thereafter, you may subscribe to our brokerage, by listing your accredited vessel on our site as we only market and publish star graded & accredited vessels (standard brokers commission applies).

You may reflect your vessels star-grading on any other web platform that your boat is represented as long as your subscription is valid. This way you could have numerous brokers market your boat, with or without having actually seen the vessel.

The subscription service includes access to an electronic guest feedback survey made available as an app on your Captains iPad or Android device. Guests can complete the survey on the last day of the charter after which crew cannot see the results.

There is no commitment other than the USD 450 vessel assessment fee.

We will get to this; however, for now, let's consider the huge cost of attending boat shows and question what the real tangible value is? The question that should be asked is what is the real cost of attending boat shows against your return? Not the easiest question to answer; however, we all know that up until now there has not been an alternative.

• Now your vessel will be vetted in an organized and standard method, all vessel being vetted by the exact same criteria by the same company, for considerably less cost than a boat show, especially when you take opportunity cost into consideration!

• Its proven consumers choose accredited over non-accredited - more popular means more profit.

• For years folks in the industry - crew/brokers/clearing houses. We hear how we wish the differences could be reflected especially on same model vessels - why is this yacht more expensive than that yacht? Aren’t they identical? Why is that 620 less expensive than that 620?
Being accredited means showing differentiation. Has it not been an age old problem in this industry - where is the differentiation? Now you have it! Same-type vessels, but at a different price point, now consumers and brokers can see at a glance why some vessels are more or less costly. Sure some brokers break it down for every inquiry, every time, cutting and pasting information each time, what a frustrating and long winded process, brokers find it very annoying and tiresome, now brokers will refer to accredited vessels first - surely?

• Your vessel will be checked for you by us to ensure its being looked after.

• Crew feedback has never been done before in this way. Done on the spot on the boat by the guest.

No different to the hotel industry where there are many hotels with the same grading all in the same street and just like a shotel, not all "like" vessels are created equally; however, if most of the boats in the BVI are rated to 4-star, then that will be the accurate representation of the market. The Global Charter Yacht Grading Council also shows a clear differentiation where differentiation of services exist within "like" vessels. For example, where two 4-star vessels exist, but one offers distinctive and unique value added services like specialized diving courses or any other unique value proposition, then this will be made explicitly clear. I.e. even vessels with the same star grading can still be differentiated (as long as differentiation exists).

The stars and star logo's are pending trademarks and as such, owners may only use these starts (publish and market) with the explicit consent of the Global Charter Yacht Grading Council. If revoked, owners need to discontinue use of the stars.

No, the star grading is simply a reflection of the quality and aesthetics of the finishes and amenities. This means that vessels of varying sizes could have the same star grading (except a 5-star boat as size, number of crew and a few other criteria dictates the minimum eligibility to secure 5-stars). The owner and the market dictate the weekly charter rates.

A 50ft boat and a 62ft ft boat may have the same star grading, but will not be charged out at the same weekly rate, as typically there is a base price influenced by size and size, dictates comfort.

Star grading does not set the price point, but may have an influence on the price point. Bigger boats will always charge more; however accreditation will help justify your costs within the high / medium / low band specific to your vessels price bracket.

The subscription service includes:

- Our grading assessment and the rights to legally publish your vessel, using our stars.
- 12 month's access to list your vessel with our brokerage.
- Access to our clients, who have a preference to booking accredited vessels over unaccredited options.
- Access to our brokerage.
- Access to our 3rd party partners as these become available.