Yacht Support in its Infancy

Yacht support networks may seem commonplace these days. But, it all started somewhere.

Back in 1991, four friends in the yachting industry met for a few drinks at the Antigua brokers show. They came up with a great idea. This model has been copied and modified by lots of other companies over the years. 30 years on, AYSS is proud to call their business something that set a trend. Something groundbreaking, and a template used by many today.

Simon Alexander, Dale Westin, Nigel Henderson and Allan Jouning are the men responsible for coming up with the idea and structure. Essentially a network of companies around the world that serviced Superyachts. The Association of Yacht Support Services.

The Founders of AYSS – First Meeting, Antigua

It Grew From There!

From ’91 to ’99 the business found its feet. Changing name from WPP (worldwide priority parts network) to AYSS. In the years to follow, AYSS found strength and an enthusiastic membership across Europe and the Caribbean. They became the “go-to” resource for Captains needing assistance and information when visiting various areas and ports.

Word Wide Priority Parts Network – WPP


From reading the history of the business and those who set it up, it is clear to see how the idea emerged. The 4 founders were Superyacht industry innovators. They saw what the industry was becoming and how it was growing. The need for a worldwide support network was clear even in those days. In 1991 (long before most of you even started yachting) one of the largest yachts in the world was Enigma (launched as Eco) at 74.5m. So, you can see how things have changed. Yes, there were larger yachts, but 75m was enormous back then and most Superyachts were in the under 55m category. These 4 men saw the future and planned for it.

M/Y Enigma (ex. Eco) – 1991


The founders would never say this themselves as they are/were modest gentlemen. However, we can! What they did in 1991 was come up with something very clever. They saw the future and an opportunity and made it happen. Others have followed in their footsteps, some have become very wealthy as a result. But, the original idea, the concept for a network or Superyacht Support services will always be theirs.

Thank You!

So, from one group of industry professionals to 4 others we thank you. Thank you for the idea, the hard work and for driving the industry forward.

Most Superyachts worldwide use a version of the AYSS concept in one form or another. Whether it is agency groups, conglomerates, networks or AYSS itself, yacht support services are used on a daily basis. The sharing of networks, contacts and services is so regular in yachting these days that most people probably don’t realise where it all started.

Happy Birthday AYSS and a big thank you from us all for everything you have done for this amazing industry.

For more information on the AYSS visit, www.ayss.org or for the latest updates on what they are up to follow them on Facebook @ayss.org or on Instagram @aysscaptain.

To read more news about the industry as a whole click here.

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