ISS December 2016 Newsletter 12/15/2016

All Best Tidings for a Cosy Festive Holiday Season & Happy New Year





ISS’s Ship Advisor’s Breakfast Seminar

The inaugural ISS Ship Advisor’s Breakfast Seminar—which took place on 6 November 2016—was a resounding success. Attendance numbered 80 and sponsorship included many of the most notable companies related to the category: Alley, Maass, Rogers and Lindsay; Cayman Registry; Döhle Yachts; Fairport Yacht Support; Fraser Yachts; Moore & Co; Yacht Logistics; and, Wright Maritime Group.

The attendees were presented with an update on regulatory matters in general, an update on the MLC and STCW (Manila) Amendments and an update on the Ballast Water Management Convention. Speakers included Richie Blake-Döhle Yachts, Andrew Dudzinski-MHG; Brian Luke-Bluewater; Saagar Kadiyala and John Aune-Cayman Registry; and, Pete Southgate-Wright Maritime Group.

The Ship Advisor’s Breakfast was created for senior vessel crew and owners’ representatives with a view to providing solid practical guidance on how to tackle these forthcoming regulatory changes in a no nonsense ‘nuts and bolts’ way. Pete Southgate of Wright Maritime Group and Co-Chair of the ISS Technical Committee, remarked, “The depth of attendance illustrates the need for these informative sessions. This is an excellent showcase for the work that ISS accomplishes ‘behind-the-scenes’ and the aim is to repeat similar technical seminars on a regular basis.”

For more information regarding all ISS committees, the work of the ISS in general, and membership inquiries, please contact Vanessa Stuart or visit



Jane Buffington, Yachting Industry Icon: 1926-2016

Reprinted with permission from Copyright 2016 RedHedInk LLC.

Jane Buffington, a pioneer in the yachting industry, particularly among women, died on November 29 from heart congestion complications. She was 90 years old.

Born in Annapolis, Buffington enjoyed boating early on. Her family kept a 40-foot Elco at their home, along a creek in Annapolis. Her own first boating purchase years later was a kayak. Buffington enjoyed a life of adventure, too. She moved to China at age 11 when her stepfather, an officer in the U.S. Navy, transferred from Japan. (She later wrote about her time in China in an e-book, "Of Rickshaws and Rebellions", available on Upon the sinking of the U.S.S. PANAY in December 1937, the family moved to Manila. They returned to the United States, settling in Washington, D.C., in 1939.

Buffington attended high school there and enrolled at Stevens College in Columbia, South Carolina—pursuing higher education in an era unheard of for women. While working in D.C., she met Collier Buffington, and the two married in 1944. A lieutenant in the Marine Corps, he served in the Korean War. The couple moved to Medford, Oregon, with their two sons following his return in 1951. There, she was active in local and state politics, plus the Cowbelles, an auxiliary of the Cattlemen’s Association, due to having hundreds of heads of cattle (plus nearly a dozen horses, and a handful of dogs).

With her sons in college in the late 1960s, Buffington returned to school herself. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Southern Oregon University in 1973. Further noteworthy, between 1966 and 1974, she was a regular guest host of “Women’s World,” a popular local TV talk show. Among her interviewees: the famed photographer Ansel Adams, whom she became friends with and frequently visited until his death in 1984.

Buffington and her husband divorced in 1974. After moving to Southern California, she landed a job that would shape the rest of her career, and indeed the yachting industry. She became an apprentice at Fraser Yachts’ San Diego office in 1975. (In those days, Fraser Yachts was solely West Coast-based.) Buffington then moved to Fort Lauderdale that same year to open the first Florida-based Fraser Yachts’ office. The office was far different than what it is today: two small rooms on the second floor of a pink building near Pier 66. Two decades later—when Fraser Yachts occupied far larger space in town—the company credited her as being “the catalyst for Fraser’s incredible growth.” 

Among the sales that spurred that growth: ANNALIESSE, in 1999. Buffington brokered the construction on behalf of the late Andreas Liveras. Buffington had become a yacht broker for the firm within a decade of joining the staff. Furthermore, she achieved not just one, but two significant first sales as a broker: two Feadships. She later earned a partnership in Fraser Yachts, working alongside founder David Fraser. And, she was instrumental in the sale of the firm to a group of Italian investors in 2003.

Buffington celebrated her 30th anniversary with Fraser Yachts in 2005, on her 79th birthday. She retired as a yacht broker that same day. She continued to work with the company, though, for the next two years. Also in 2005, the International Superyacht Society (ISS) presented her with its inaugural President’s Award. A founding member of the organization, Buffington was a driving force behind the ISS’s annual education programs and Distinguished Crew Award. She additionally introduced the idea of standardized crew recruiting, training, and hiring through a school supported by ISS. Both in her work with ISS and with Fraser, she championed not just young professionals, but also women in the industry.

In the years that followed, Buffington remained close with many people in the yachting industry. (The photo of her is with Pamela Jones, an accomplished photographer, at Jones’ Art Basel exhibition in Miami a few years ago. Jones fondly remembers, “She drove down to Miami for it. Such a great woman!”) She also split time between Fort Lauderdale and a summer home in Oregon. She returned to the Rogue Valley in Oregon full time in 2016 and bought an apartment with a view of her old ranch at the base of Mt. Baldy.

Buffington is survived by her sons Collier and Spencer, plus three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, her family has requested donations in her name to the International SeaKeepers Society.

Photo: courtesy of Pamela Jones


Association Alliance Member Feature—International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA)

Formerly known as the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, IYBA was created in 1987 to unite those engaged in the yacht brokerage business to promote professionalism and cooperation among its members and to promote and maintain a high standard of conduct in the transacting of the yacht brokerage business. Each member is required to abide by a code of ethics to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation, or unethical practices in the yacht brokerage profession.

“Our recent name change to the International Yacht Brokers Association is an evolution to more accurately represent our already global membership,” says Cindy Sailor, IYBA executive director. “The organization is comprised of more than 1,350 individual members representing over 400 businesses.”

The Yachts Miami Beach show, held annually in Miami, is owned jointly by IYBA and Yachting Promotions, Inc. The show represents a significant cornerstone of achievement for the Association and the yacht brokerage community at large.

Other IYBA cornerstones include education, legislation, legal advocacy and networking.



IYBA provides educational seminars and services to its members to strengthen the ability of our industry to remain abreast of legal, technical, and environmental issues that affect the marine community throughout the state and beyond.  Annual educational sessions include the Yacht Engineering Seminar, Yacht Sales Summit, Yacht Sales and the Law, and the Charter Destination Seminar.



As an advocate of one of Florida’s largest industries, IYBA serves as a united voice for yacht brokers in the legislative and regulatory processes. By actively engaging with state and federal legislators, IYBA's lobbying efforts have protected and nurtured the health of the yachting community since its inception. In 2010, IYBA (then FYBA) was responsible for the implementation of the $18,000 sales tax cap for yacht transactions in Florida, which nurtured a beneficial environment for yacht brokers and owners, and resulted in a 10x increase in the sales tax collected by the state on yacht transactions. This change subsequently became a model for similar tax cap initiatives taken on in other states.



IYBA provides many opportunities throughout the year to network through our social and professional events and seminars. Thanks to our monthly broker and charter Open House events, many industry professionals can meet, collaborate and share information in a business-conducive environment.


Legal Advocacy

Through IYBA’s member maritime attorneys and contract law specialists, the Association offers its members the yacht brokerage industry’s best purchase and sale contracts and forms. These documents are constantly updated and refined through member input and legal channels to ensure they set the standard for the yacht brokerage industry.

Founding member of ISS, Bob Saxon, currently serves as VP on the IYBA Board of Directors.

For more information or to join IYBA, please visit


Board Member Profile-Sylke auf dem Graben-Lürssen

Based in Germany, Sylke auf dem Graben is PR & Marketing Manager at Lürssen—the leading shipyard for large luxury yacht building. She is responsible for all marketing and advertising activities for 14 years, while her career in yachting began in 1991.

Sylke's main background is marketing. She trained in advertising at the advertising agency TEAM/BBDO in Düsseldorf, Germany, gaining further experience during a two-year extended vocational training course for a communication graduate supplemental certificate, "Expert Buyer for Advertising and Communication". After two more years working at BBDO, in 1991 by fluke, she moved into the yachting business.

She worked for eight years as PR & Marketing Manager for dahm international in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the time the exclusive marketing and sales organization for the Dutch shipyard Jongert, then one of the best shipyards for sailing yachts. In 1999, she established the in-house agency, "Jongert Communication Centre" was responsible for the conception, planning, organization and realization of all advertising projects. 

In 2003, Sylke moved from Düsseldorf to Bremen to take over the newly created position she holds today at Lürssen. With her 25-year background in yachting, Sylke knows the market for "big" yachts especially well.
She has served on the ISS Board for 13 years and is Co-Chairman of the ISS Marketing Committee. 

Sylke fell in love with yachts and sailing when she started to work for dahm international. At that time, she had no clue about boats, which was the reason to do a sailing course. She loved sailing so much that she bought a 7m sailing boat, which she used to sail in Holland. “To keep your own boat is too time consuming, so we sold our boat. However, I have a very good friend who has a sailing boat and he has generously invited me to sail with him several times. My most favorite sailing ground is Croatia.” In the winter time Sylke loves skiing - she even won the Blohm + Voss Ski Cup during the last Superyacht Design Symposium in Kitzbühel.

“What I like most about my job is that you do a bit of traveling but the best thing is the good relationships I have with so many other people in this industry. When we see each other at boat shows, it feels like a family gathering. I appreciate that fact very much.”



Spotlight on Supporting Member-Benetti


BNow created by the shipyard in collaboration with architect Stefano Natucci and British Design Studio Redman Whiteley Dixon, adds new energy to the Benetti identity without changing it, rather creating a new benchmark for the future. The shipyard, in fact, will combine the semi-custom yacht construction techniques with the interior décor of a custom superyacht, replicating the semi-custom model it uses at its Viareggio shipyard also in the Livorno facilities. In Viareggio, the construction of superyachts is based on predefined naval platforms that combine the benefits of haute couture interior decoration featuring extensive customisation, with the production times usually possible only with series manufactured yachts.

With Benetti Now, this working method has also been introduced at the Livorno shipyard, applied to yachts over 50 meters in length, even though, technically and financially speaking, it is a much more complex process. Benetti Now represent for the shipyard both a revolution and a new business model that brings significant benefits in terms of time and money, as well as being designed to satisfy the needs of brokers and owners the world over.

The goal is to simplify as far as possible the ideas and desires of a potential customer when faced with a major purchase like a yacht over 50 meters in length. And to deliver their “turnkey dream” in the shortest possible time.

At group headquarters in Viareggio they call this revolution “Smart-Designed Custom Series”. Smart because of all the experience Benetti has gained from building over 350 yachts. Design, since those will be pre-engineered vessels. Custom, because of the high level of customisation, and Series because these yachts are pre-designed, with no significant variations possible. The shipyard exploits all the efficiency of familiar platforms that have been carefully studied and designed.

The superyachts in the new BNow range will all be over 50 meters in length and built from steel and aluminium at the Livorno shipyard. Four models will be available: B164 (50 meters), B192 (58.6 meters), B214 (65 meters) and B240 (73 meters). 

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