We are pleased to announce that Missy Johnston, owner of Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters, has been chosen for her second term as American Yacht Charter Association (AYCA) president. Ms. Johnston has certainly earned her place among the ranks of AYCA specialists who aspire to promote all aspects of the private luxury yacht charter industry.
The AYCA has been dedicated to the advancement of yacht chartering practices and legislation since its inception in 1986. The association was initially formed out of necessity; several established yacht brokers needed a plan to allow their charter clients to watch the Tall Ships Parade of 1986. The original members joined together with a narrow focus, which was quickly broadened to include all aspects of U.S. Coast Guard rules and regulations for both American flag charter yachts and all flag yachts chartering in U.S. coastal and territorial waters. The group expanded with additional experienced Charter Brokers joining the cause, and the AYCA was officially established.
Today, the organization brings together “the best of the best” charter managers and charter brokers who combine their many years of knowledge and experience to boost professionalism, establish top standards, and help in all aspects of charter with U.S. flag yachts and any flag yacht chartering in U.S. coastal and territorial waters. The AYCA works together closely with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the International Maritime Organization, and other yacht charter associations, including international associations such as the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA), which is the sister organization to the American Yacht Charter Association.
These partnerships form a crucial alliance between charter brokers, legislative bodies, and law enforcement that allows for smoother and more uniform charter standards and contracts around the world. Additionally, being in close contact with other organizations in the United States and around the world ensures that the AYCA, and by extension, Ms. Johnston’s company, Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters, is in front of any changes in maritime laws, yachting practices, and any other information about which a charter client should be advised for the best and safest yacht charter possible.
In addition to the many other benefits, AYCA members, through active participation in the association, receive an understanding of complex matters such as maritime laws, regional laws, and safety issues. Any client who works with an AYCA professional enjoys the expertise and support of an entire association determined to make their experience as seamless, safe, and pleasant as possible.
A Full Member of the AYCA is required to have seven years of experience as a Charter Broker or Charter Manager before becoming a Member. Succeeding in a position that requires seven years of being an active charter broker came naturally to Ms. Johnston, with her 35 years in the charter brokerage industry. She is happy to lead and serve such a dedicated group of professionals.
During her first term as president, Ms. Johnston worked helping to write the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993, one of the most important pieces of legislation in the U.S. addressing yacht charter. During her help in writing this law, Ms. Johnston met with USCG representatives and the USCG Legal Department in Washington DC, along with maritime committee members in the House of Representatives and provided constructive information on the industry to develop the most appropriate law possible. Her contribution to this federal law laid the groundwork for her future work assisting with developing contracts and agreements for yacht charter under American Admiralty Law.
Notably, Ms. Johnston was integral to the writing of the AYCA Uninspected Passenger Vessel Contract and the AYCA Demise Contracts, including the Recreational Bareboat Contract and the Vessel Services Contract. She is continuing to work on the latest revisions of all three of these contracts along with other important projects during her second term as president.
Additionally, Ms. Johnston helped with the industry development of the MARAD waiver, application of which, for the right yacht, allows that yacht to move from recreational charter to commercial charter, which is more favorable for the owner and charterer.
As owner of Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters since 1997, and a charter broker since 1988, Ms. Johnston puts her Bachelor of Architectural History degree to good use. She develops detailed itineraries for her clients to enjoy and puts her knowledge and passion into highlighting the fascinating historical and archeological sites travelers can visit during their yacht charter vacations.
Ms. Johnston has been an active member of the AYCA since 1991, and has served as Vice President, Secretary, and as a member of the Board for many years and now for a second term as President.