Two former pursers — and twins — launched Shore Side Pursers Ltd. (SSP) at the end of July. This isn’t the first time that Sophie (pictured in the flower blouse) and Khara Pierre (pictured in the green V-neck) have worked together. “We rotated the same position running two yachts, the same program,” says Sophie. While her sister Khara was a purser for three and a half years, Sophie joined a little later in the game — she worked as a purser alongside her sister for over a year.
“We started by progressing through the industry, starting in the laundry twelve years ago,” Sophie says. “We both have worked on board yachts together, as well as separately. We completed courses to achieve higher positions in the industry.” This included interior courses, wine, floristry, accounting, and management courses, which ultimately qualified them to carry out the purser role effectively. “With our knowledge and expertise of the yachting industry, and the understanding of the administration required on board a yacht, we wanted to create a company where yacht captains, owners, and crew can depend on us to take over the administration aspects of a yacht when needed or required,” says Sophie.
The former pursers have managed two yachts — a 68-meter and 98-meter — but on their time off, they worked remotely from home. “[We] came to realize you can manage the administration just as well shore side,” says Sophie. That’s why they decided to leave yachting in order to pursue this business. Sophie left in March, and Khara left in February 2019.
Part of the reason they knew they needed to open their business was due to demand. “There is only one other land-based purser company in the industry. We have many years of experience to understand what is required from us and to be able to carry out what we need to do in the highest of standards,” Sophie says.
They want to emphasize that technology can be used to such an advantage within yachting today, which is why they want others to know that SSP can deliver just the same as someone could on board. “We have other purser’s ready to recruit, which is exciting, and plan to be hitting all the major boat shows next year,” says Sophie.
For the sister team, not only does their company alleviate captains and pursers on their vacay time, but they can also assist heads of department, so they have more time for their teams (or trust them to assist with the purser role full time). “Giving yachts more time to ensure guest satisfaction is at its very best, and in some cases save the yacht a substantial amount of salary costs,” Sophie says.
The cost of their services is adaptable to what the yacht needs or requires. “It really is all depending on what is needed from us. If the yacht needed a full-time purser shoreside, we would match the salary that they would be paying for a purser on board, which then saves the yacht costs on flights, medical insurance, cabin space, etc.,” says Sophie. “If that purser position was rotational, we would save the yacht a whole purser yearly salary. We adapt to every individual yacht as every yacht is different.” www.shoresidepursers.com