October is a notoriously slow month in the Caribbean. The end of hurricane season is still weeks away and the cruise ships are just beginning to return to the island ports. It’s that in-between time that can make everyone a little stir crazy.
In St. Thomas, Yacht Haven Grande—owned by the marina superstars Island Global Yachting—came up with a little diversion: St. Thomas’s very own version of Octoberfest, which took place on October 10. And to help the charter boats gear up for the coming season, the Virgin Islands Charter Yacht League (VICL) put on a day charter showcase simultaneously at the marina.
Although the major Octoberfest celebration was only on Saturday, the showcase ran both Friday and Saturday. “The idea was to get all the day sailors out for the concierge and hotel people who are selling these tours to guests. A lot of them have never seen these boats before,” said Kelly Kiernan of OnDeck Ocean Racing. OnDeck was present, showcasing Predator, one of the four Farr 40 racing boats they use to take guests on two-hour races around Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Octoberfest was a hit, with four bands playing in succession from 1 p.m. until midnight, and drink specials and prize give-aways going on into the night. The Day Charter Showcase was a success as well, with 28 boats participating. The boats were lined along the docks at Yacht Haven, and the normally locked dock security gates were opened to allow free access to the charter show.
“Right now you can’t just walk down the dock and check out a boat. But I’m a big believer that you shouldn’t just pick a boat out of the yellow pages. You should get to know the captain and crew,” said Erik Ackerson, Director of VICL and the organizer of the charter showcase.