mini ism: a safety stepping stone for captains

George Self

George Self

Riela Yachts Safety & Compliance Manager

As Captain for a commercially registered yacht under 500GT, you will undoubtedly be under a very different set of pressures from those managing larger vessels. However, operating a smaller vessel is typically where most Captains begin their command careers, either progressing through the ranks in similar yachts or perhaps arriving in a command role via a Chief Officer’s position on a yacht over 500GT.

Ready for the Leap?

As an ambitious and professional Deck Officer ready for the next big thing, you will have worked hard, completed your courses and gained your Master’s Licence. In this context, you may have even been lucky enough to work as a Deck Officer on a yacht that implements a full International Safety Management (ISM) System and already have a good grasp of the necessary regulatory requirements.

Alternatively, you may have less experience, having only worked on private yachts without the full extent of the applicable regulations. Whatever your path, you now find yourself moving into the position of Captain on a busy Commercial Yacht under 500GT, but are you fully prepared?

As a Captain, you will want to clearly portray that you know the requirements of and how to balance the needs of both the Owner and guests, alongside the safety of all on board and the protection of the environment. From the perspective of safety management, there is a lot to learn when transitioning into your new role. So, with such varying specifications in relation to yacht size, how can a Captain ever be expected to gain enough experience for this leap in the job role?

The Knowledge Gap

For many yachts who do host some form of Mini ISM via generic ‘off-the-shelf’ manuals, these are inevitably unread, unused and uncontributed to. In effect, tokens of a well-intentioned desire to follow the best practice or meet regulatory requirements. It is critical that Captains, Safety Officers and indeed those aspiring to command start investing in their Safety Management Systems, overall safety culture and realise the many benefits of effectively implementing these best practices if there is a real desire to improve Safety within the Superyacht industry. The need for some “catching up to do” has been highlighted by my colleague Giuseppe Corrado in a recent article available here.

Based on our experience we have witnessed first-hand the significant gap in knowledge and implementation when it comes to the difference between these outdated and new practices in safety management. Yachts and their Captains need to embrace technological advancements to assist them in their work and should move away from cumbersome, dated and non-yacht specific systems instead of moving towards relevant, up to date and dynamic Mini ISM systems, which take advantage of the available technology.

The Mini ISM Stepping Stone

This is where the Riela Yachts Mini ISM comes in handy. The core principles behind its development have been both to meet the regulatory requirements imposed by the various Flag States, and to embrace the overarching aims and ethos of the ISM Code, whilst removing unnecessary administrative burdens. In addition to this, its electronic functionality promotes an active contribution and participation in vessel safety. By using our Mini ISM, all involved, and in particular Captains, will be introduced to many of the same requirements and procedures as undertaken by the full ISM Code implementation. Our system allows you to improve efficiency by simplifying the procedures, manuals and record keeping. Using innovative technology allows the delegation of checklists and regulatory actions to Senior Crew whilst still maintaining a full oversight of all the documentation produced.

By taking responsibility for the safety of all those on board, you will engage clearly the most respected practice of all, you should not lose sight of this. By implementing a Mini ISM system as a Captain, you will be left with the critical experience of this vital aspect of your role. It will also and most perhaps, more importantly, give you confidence, to handle the often daunting but very exciting challenges in career progression.

Until then, why not encourage peers and colleagues in the industry to get experience of the Mini ISM? It will not only help those around them by improving safety, but also assist them in their career advancement.

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Yacht Manager

Alexandra Hernández is Riela Yachts’ Yacht Manager. As part of this, Alexandra is the initial point of contact for our vessels; working closely with our other specialists to provide support and service coordination. Alexandra supervises crew management and plays a heavy involvement in the development and maintenance of our award-winning electronic Safety Management System (eSMS).

Born and raised in Colombia, Alexandra completed her degree as a Lawyer, and she is on track to receive her diploma in Superyacht Management.

Alexandra’s legal background and experience within the Marine & Aviation industries cover a wide range of roles, helping to gain invaluable knowledge, develop communication skills and actively cultivate solid industry relationships to deliver the highest of standards in every project.

Jay Houghton


Riela Group Finance Director

Jay Houghton is the Riela Group Finance Director. Jay is responsible for overseeing the Financial Strategy of the Group alongside the financial reporting and control structure of the Group and its companies.

As a qualified accountant with over 30-years in the financial and service industries, Jay has built a wealth of experience in business analysis, investment appraisal, financial control and reporting.

Cameron findlay

Safety & Compliance Officer

Cameron “Fin” Findlay became a part of the Riela Yachts team in late 2021, initially joining as a Trainee Yacht Safety & Compliance Assistant. Fin’s commitment and dedication have enabled him to understand the intricacies of the industry from the ground up, leading him to being promoted to Yacht Safety & Compliance Officer in 2023. Fin is now a qualified Company Security Officer (CSO), actively contributing to the implementation of Riela’s Safety Management System across our fleet, working closely alongside Clive Harrison and George Self.

Christian Crompton Yachts

Christian crompton

Product and Development Lead

Christian Crompton is the Riela Yachts’ Product and Development Lead responsible for translating the requirements and operations of the Safety and Compliance team and implementing this into the forefront of the electronic Safety Management System (eSMS).

Since graduating with a first-class honours degree in Computer and Information Security in 2018, Christian has worked on designing and developing superyacht solutions using Laserfiche in the Maritime Software Industry.

With Christian’s security background and software experience streamlining business processes, Christian applies his knowledge into the Riela Yachts strategy and innovates new systems for both Riela and their clients.

Tony Partridge

Tony Partridge

Product and Development specialist

Tony Partridge is a Product and Development specialist at Riela Yachts where he will be working closely alongside Mark Bridson and Christian Crompton. Tony’s main focus is building an innovative client focused dashboard, whilst providing a new outlook and perspective to our current processes, policies and procedures.


Before joining Riela, Tony started his own web development business where he built applications and websites for a large group of different sectors, growing a strong and long-lasting clientele base. With over 10 years of experience, Tony brings a depth of knowledge and expertise to the Riela Yachts team which will be used to help progress the company’s development through the innovation and development of Riela Yachts solutions.

Robert Tobin

Riela Group Managing Director

Rob Tobin is the Managing Director of the Riela Group of Companies and is responsible for overseeing our business operations, our people and driving excellence in all we do.

Robert brings over 25 years of successful leadership and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries including Family Office, corporate services, construction engineering, Superyachts, cyber security and information technology development to our Group, and to our customers.

In the past 15 years Rob has gained a prominent reputation within the Superyacht industry for his passion, integrity, innovation and achievements to date.

“Being part of an awesome, capable and forward-thinking team that have a shared passion for Superyachts, people and the environment is the highlight of my career and puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step every day”.

Clive Harrison

Clive Harrison

Operations Director

Clive Harrison is a Director at Riela Yachts and leads the Operations Team.

After a 22 year service as a Deck Officer in the UK Royal Navy, Clive moved ashore and is enjoying a second career, spanning over a decade,  in the yachting industry and relishing the challenges that this brings.

Clive brings a wealth of expertise and experience to our Company and has earned a reputation for providing a professional and pragmatic approach to the delivery of our services.

George Self

George Self

Safety & Compliance Manager

George Self is a Safety & Compliance Manager and responsible for the implementation and development of operational compliance for yachts at the company.

Accruing a 10-year service of sea time, beginning as a deckhand before respectfully concluding her career as a Chief Officer, George now contributes a wealth of first-hand practice and insight into the support she now provides to yachts daily. George also brings shore side experience from her time working at a number of established Ship Management firms on the Isle of Man.

Ken Hickling

Ken Hickling


Ken Hickling is a company Director at Riela Yachts (UK) Ltd.

Ken has spent over 30 years working in the Yachting industry at Boatyards and materials manufacturers, and more recently as a Specialist Business Advisor. During this time Ken has served as International Superyacht Society (ISS) President and is currently on the Superyacht UK Executive Committee. He also works as a project leader on the ISO work group focused on Superyacht Quality.

The experience that he brings to The Riela Group in optimising our internal business processes helps to ensure that the quality of service we provide to our clients is at the highest level.

Louise Gimson


Louise Gimson is a Director, Senior Administrator and in-house HR Manager and is responsible for the day to day running of the company and client accounts at the Riela Yachts.

With an extensive background in finance, Louise brings almost twenty years’ experience in accounts within the ship management industry to Riela Yachts, where she is dedicated to implementing dynamic solutions to benefit clients.

Louise has diversified her responsibilities by taking on data handling duties within the company and in 2016 began assisting the Operations Team with internal compliance procedures.

Matthew Roberts

Matthew Roberts

Head of Sales

As the Head of Group Sales at the Riela family of companies, Matthew leads the company’s sales strategy, execution, and growth.

Matthew has a successful record building trusted client relationship and delivering upon set expectations. An accomplished sales leader, he delivers a sales process that provides clients with the information and support they need to make the right decisions for their organisations and their constituents.

Matthew has significant experience within the maritime industry having previously worked across various sectors including insurance, security, satellite communications and managed IT. Matthew’s most recent experience encompasses almost 5 years spent with the leading satellite communications and managed IT provider in the maritime industry, focusing on their superyacht clientele.

Mark Bridson

Mark Bridson

Product & Development Specialist

Mark Bridson is a Product and Development specialist and responsible for the integration of Laserfiche within the company and the developing of an electronic Safety Management System.

Marks career started in the Royal Air Force as a data analyst maintaining Aircraft engineering records and the provision of Aircraft statistics.

Returning to the Island Mark spent the next 25 years working in IT for an aircraft design company. In this role he provided Computer Aided Design and document management support for offices within the UK and Europe.

Moving from the Aircraft industry to Maritime, Mark has spent two years with a Yachting software solutions company using Laserfiche to design purchase ordering systems for Superyachts.

Tina - Riela Yachts

Tina Dahn

Crew Officer

Tina Dahn is a Crew Officer and responsible for the administration of yacht crew contracts, monthly payroll and crew certification at Riela Yachts.

After a 12 year service in the Royal Navy undertaking various administration and PA roles, Tina began working for the NHS in 2001 and was responsible for duties including managing payroll, recruitment and HR administration.

Tina returned to the Isle of Man to undertake the role of Crewing Officer in the superyacht industry in 2011, where she oversaw a portfolio of clients whom she provided crew employment, administration and payroll services.

Christian goelz


Christian is involved across the Riela family of companies with particular attention to the technology businesses, Cyber and Tech.

Christian gained a postgraduate Master in Finance degree at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and completed his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Before joining us, Christian worked for six years at Argosy Capital, an Isle of Man-based private equity and venture capital business focusing on early-stage growth businesses. At Argosy, he focused on managing investment companies, research and financial analysis and served as a director on several boards.