After two years in yachting, Bosun Hamish Taylor, currently on M/Y Lonian, got the idea to help more Kiwis get into the industry as it’s not well known as a career in New Zealand and he wanted to introduce others to the amazing experiences he’d been having.
Three years later in April 2021, he launched Yachties of New Zealand with his business partner Kane Taylor, a former crewmember who is now a real estate agent in Auckland. The two met when their yachts docked next to each other in Athens in November 2016 and, over the course of a few weeks, they built the relationship that brought them to this partnership.
The Yachties of New Zealand website features three sections to help Kiwis during their career at no charge — Life Before Yachting, Life While Yachting, and Life After Yachting. The before yachting section takes those interested through the basics from STCW and ENG-1 to accommodation, visas, and what to do once you arrive overseas.
“One of the main byproducts of the website has been our social media platforms and [we] have really created an online Kiwi superyacht community,” Hamish says.
As Hamish progressed in the industry and faced new challenges, he felt he needed to show other Kiwi yachties the processes to go through to overcome them and correct the conflicting information around. Some of the challenges faced by NZ crew include getting your money back to NZ and becoming a NZ non-tax resident. Once they had covered that issue, they knew they couldn’t stop there and developed the after yachting section to cover everything from international money transfers to tax and accounting to shore-based employment and real estate.
“We spent two years designing and modifying the website, so it is simple but informative, user-friendly, and interactive as possible,” Hamish says. Weaved into each of the sections are their partners, which are all well-known and recognized companies and organizations that provide advice and services to crew throughout their careers. Some of their partners include Standard Bank, Saltwater Recruitment, and Liquid Yacht Wear.
The feedback they’ve received so far has all been positive from how the site functions to the purpose it serves. “One of the main byproducts of the website has been our social media platforms and [we] have really created an online Kiwi superyacht community,” Hamish says. It’s become like a news feed, featuring crew profiles and businesses founded by current or former crew.
“As a product, I have achieved what I wanted to achieve, so now I will use this as a platform with the long-term goal of rolling the exact same product into other yachtie markets around the world,” Hamish says. They’re currently working on pages for Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.