Despite being a member of the Marine Federation and MLA, we have recently joined the Professional Charter Association http://www.charterassociation.co.uk/
The organisation has been in existance for nearly 20 years and is presently working hard with its membership to gain a higher profile.
I have been very impressed with their knowledge, they are also linked directly to the YBDSA
(Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association ) giving access to a wealth of knowledge on coding issues and a discount to some of their services.
The PCA are also achieving some good discounts from safety companies for the supply of equipment.
At the recent AGM we were given a very good insight into VAT issues and changes due in 2011. We appear to have formed a very good relationship with the HMRC!
Also the PCA has been in consultation with the MCA and are formatting a coding folder to assist coded vessels when under inspection with a recognised MCA format. The PCA members have had a great opportunity to be part of the consultations of the planned licensing of helms and boats which is due to become law very soon.
The PCA is clearly moving forward well and is aimed at operators, skippers, owners and anyone involved in charter from Yachts, cruisers, boats and RIBs. A new members only section to their website is planned with downloads and info on VAT and law and health and safety and members discounts and benefits. They also link members websites which has seen an increase in traffic and enquiries to members sites as a result.
I speak as I have found and having seen operators from Scotland, South and West believe this is an organisation worthy of review if your involved with any form of charter/training