There are four opportunities – rather than three – for charter yacht brokers to see the Caribbean fleet this year.
The newest event, the first-ever Grenada Charter Yacht Show hosted by Select Yachts and Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, took place in July. The inaugural show welcomed charter brokers, yacht managers and over a dozen charter yachts, ranging from a 42ft catamaran to an 85ft schooner. “The show was awesome. The level of support and sponsorship was very big; it blew us all away,” says Ann McHorney, chief executive officer and director of sales for Select Yachts, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The second annual Grenada show will take place 16-19 June 2017. www.selectyachts.com/grenada-charter-yacht-show-2017
The regions other three major charter yacht shows happen this fall. Here’s the scoop:
Charter Yacht Society (CYS) of the BVI Charter Yacht Show
This year’s show features a mix of luxurious costly yachts as well as those that are well-kept but more moderately priced, according to Janet Oliver, executive director of the CYS of the BVI.
“We’ll have 70 to 75 yachts total. The average size of our participating yachts continues to increase and currently it is about 57ft. Approximately 110 to 120 brokers from the Caribbean, US, UK and France will attend,” says Oliver.
New this year is an event called Dining on Deck.
“We dropped one evening function from our schedule and opened it up so that crews can entertain brokers for a relaxing dinner. Hosted breakfasts and lunches tend to be rushed because brokers need to get on the dock and crews must prepare to receive brokers. This event allows brokers to dine aboard the yachts and really meet the crews without having time constraints,” Oliver explains.
Interestingly, Oliver says that according to data shared by a government statistician in August, 69% of visitors arrive to the territory to go on a yacht.
Virgin Islands Charteryacht League (VICL) Fall Yacht Show
Forty to 50 yachts – catamarans, monohulls and poweryachts, will be on display to over 100 brokers from the Caribbean and U.S. One first-time entrant is Suite Life, a 92ft poweryacht built by Tarrab Yachts, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“Suite Life is a bit bigger yacht than the show is used to seeing, but hopefully this trend will continue in the wake of the amendment of the Six Pack Law and yacht amenities such as marinas, provisioning and other services provided in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” says Ryan Skinner, president of clearinghouse, Flagship Charter Yacht Services.
New too is the VICL’s executive director Sergio Reyes. The Miami, Florida-native and avid cruiser has spent over two decades in the software development and marketing industry. Reyes brings several new features to the organization’s website.
Ashore, the theme for nightly parties is Mardi Gras. There is discounted lodging at nearby Marriott Frenchman’s Reef for show attendees.
Antigua Charter Yacht Show
The same dates, but not necessarily the same days, are the new feature of the Antigua show. “We’ll still hold the show at the same time on the calendar, however, we’ve given the yachts a choice this year to show four days or five. It’s a way to try and please as many people as possible,” says Sarah Sebastian, co-manager with Afsaneh Franklin.
The show is spread over three large marinas each capable of docking 120-plus yachts. The trend in yachts showing, says Sebastian, is for larger 100-foot-plus yachts with a decline in small, meaning under 80-to 90-foot monohulls. Brokers attending represent markets all over the world including Asia and Australia. The highly-anticipated Chef’s Culinary Contest features a surf and turf theme.
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.