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As the yachting industry is under more scrutiny from curious eyes than ever before, with more turning to wonder what goes on behind the glitz and glamour, a bright spotlight is shining on the industry’s impact — and it isn’t just environmental. While there are plenty of raised eyebrows about the industry’s carbon emissions, what about its social impact?


Usually associated with excess and luxury, the industry isn’t the best poster child for ‘doing good,’ but it is in a unique and privileged position to be a powerful platform for positive change. The human side can often be overshadowed by sensationalism. However, yacht owners and crew are increasingly delving into philanthropic missions through various organizations, showcasing the potential to drive change. This strive to change the industry for the better is helping redefine yachting as a force for good.

A common misconception is that yachting has a ‘touch and go’ attitude, but yachts generally tend to cruise only a small percentage of the time and, therefore, have the opportunity to integrate into the local community. Various organizations are helping facilitate this to help make yachting’s impact bigger and better.

YachtAid Global utilizes collaboration for disaster relief and recovery, humanitarian aid, and conservation efforts across global coastal communities. They have a worldwide network of agencies, organizations, donors, and superyachts helping to aid these communities, which the yachting community regularly visits.

“Yachts are unique assets that provide such an amazing opportunity to efficiently and effectively provide humanitarian aid to remote coastal communities that share their land, sea, and spirit with us,” said Steve Jackman, communications and marketing for YachtAid Global. “Owners and crew can help through assistance in transporting donated and purchased goods and financial contributions. Crews can also help through our Build-Back-Better initiatives building and repairing homes, schools, and community centers.” 

Meanwhile, other organizations, such as the Superyacht Charities Foundation, bring together the industry to raise money for various charitable causes.

“By raising awareness and funds for the charities within communities that superyachts and its industry frequent, they are giving back,” said Charlotte James of The Superyacht Charities Foundation. “The coastal towns and villages thrive on the presence of the yachts that berth there, so hosting events that both crew and guests can attend helps raise that awareness.” 

Some organizations focus on one particular location and community need, such as Yachting Gives Back, which operates within the yachting hub of Mallorca.

“We were founded with the simple aim of offering the yachts an alternative to the trash and letting us find a use for their unwanted items,” said Nick Entwisle, founder of Yachting Gives Back. “As a generalization, nearly all yacht owners and the majority of crew will enjoy a better standard of living than the average person in the places they visit, so simply crew and owners should give back to the communities they are based in because they can, and it is so easy”

Marine conservation and research are also vital for the industry’s communities, and when it comes to getting involved, the initiative Yachts for Science is pairing yachts not in use with global marine conservation projects and scientists, allowing crew to get involved in their downtime.

Behind the attention-grabbing headlines, yachting can and is making a difference to the communities in which they operate. Whether through awareness, the yacht itself, time, supplies, or financial contributions, yacht owners and crew efforts will continue improving yachting’s social impact.

Five Ways Yacht Crew Can Contribute to the Community 

Get out of the yachting bubble and into a new community. From Antibes to Auckland and everywhere in between, the yachting community is global, but what about the communities where crew find themselves? Whether you are based in one location for a few weeks or months, you can do plenty of things to integrate yourself into the local community.

Volunteer Time

Dedicate your time to a local community service project, such as beach cleanups, working with local charities, or helping at community-led events. Check out Volunteer Match to see the opportunities near you. 

Sponsored Events 

Support meaningful causes in the community with sponsored events. Whether you run a marathon or host a games night, be imaginative about raising money for a good cause.  

Give Back 

Another person’s trash is always someone’s treasure. Before you throw things out on board, consider where they could be utilized elsewhere, whether donating to charity shops or finding creative ways to repurpose them for others. Yacht chefs can also contribute to the community by sharing leftover provisions. 

Spread The Word 

Using word of mouth can help bring attention to issues linked to the community. By creating awareness, you will also encourage others to help out and get involved.

Support Local

 Try to shop with local independent businesses, whether you buy local artwork or visit the farmers’ market, supporting locals has numerous benefits for the community. 

Organization Spotlight

Yachts for Science: Uniting Yachting With Marine Research  

With only around 5% of the oceans explored, there is a huge call and urgent need for more marine research and conservation efforts. In a reality where most yachts only spend a fraction of their operational time cruising, there is a global fleet to be utilized. Enter Yachts for Science, an innovative initiative that strategically pairs private vessels during downtime or between charters with marine research needs, overcoming the hurdle of accessing the oceans.

“Traditional research vessels are not only expensive but also limited in availability, making private yachts a pragmatic solution to the challenges faced by marine biologists,” said Rosie O’Donnell, project lead for Yachts for Science. “The arrangement is beneficial, providing owners and crews unprecedented insights into the marine environment.” 

The program enables yacht owners to contribute meaningfully to ocean conservation and opens up opportunities for yachts to engage in global projects. 

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