USVI Spring Yacht Show Set for May 16-18, St. Thomas, USVI

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association’s (VIPCA) first Spring Yacht Show, set for May 16 to 18, 2021, will showcase new and veteran USVI-based crewed charter yachts to brokers as well as the beautiful Charlotte Amalie Waterfront. Working in partnership with the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA), some 20 to 30 sailing multihulls, monohulls and power yachts will tie-up stern-to along the waterfront, which has been recently renovated with new cleats and fendering. This enables yacht brokers to easily step aboard while also close enough to stroll into Charlotte Amalie. Founded in the late 1600s and notable for its Danish heritage and architecture, Charlotte Amalie is today a cosmopolitan port town that offers fine dining shopping and sight-seeing attractions to charter guests.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Port Authority is replacing the fendering along the Charlotte Amalie Waterfront. Credit: VI Port Authority

“The marine industry is an important sector to our overall tourism product which has grown significantly during the pandemic. We continue to promote and underscore the importance of the charter yacht segment and look forward to the Virgin Islands Spring Yacht Show in May. We extend a warm welcome to all new and returning yachts, brokers, crews, attendees and spectators. We encourage everyone to stay safe and observe all COVID-19 protocols as they enjoy the event,” says Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism.

Spring Opportunity

The chance for brokers to see yachts new to charter at the less hectic end of the peak charter season offers key advantages not available at other times of the year.

“May is typically when the yachts start to get ‘next seasons’ activity for their calendars, so the May show is a great opportunity to give clients an up-to-date status of the yacht. This time of year also gives brokers a good idea of how the season is going for the crews and how well they are maintaining the yachts. After all, all the yachts look great at the November show because they all are just coming from the boatyard and are shiny clean and fresh with new items,” says Kevin Jonas, Chair of VIPCA Spring Yacht Show Committee and president of Mainsail Yacht Charters LLC, in Bedford, NH.

Photo: Yacht Aeolus will be one of several beautiful yachts on exhibit. Credit: Yacht Aeolus

The May show is a good time for new yachts and crews that joined the fleet after the holidays to see and be seen by brokers.

“The VIPCA Spring Yacht Show allows new yachts like us to showcase ourselves. Without this event, the world would not have the opportunity to open its eyes to our luxury product. Plus, Charlotte Amalie has a waterfront feel like no other. Recent remodeling only stands to improve the aesthetic and experience of exploring this gem of a downtown,” says Mayon Hight, captain of Aeolus, a 65-foot Lagoon catamaran launched in 2021.

Aeolus is hull number three from the renowned Bordeaux, France-headquartered catamaran builder, Lagoon, and the first one available for charter in the world and she’s in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As in its Fall Shows, VIPCA is committed to ensuring an exceptional variety of attractive yachts will be on show.

Brokers & Yachts – You’re Invited!

Charter yacht brokers are invited to register for the Spring Yacht Show either in-person or virtually online. For those attending in person, accommodations are available at Bluebeard’s Castle Resort, located within walking distance to the show venue, at a reduced show rate. On the waterfront, a restroom and an air-conditioned business lounge facility will be available ashore for charter broker’s use. Registered brokers unable to attend in person can log in during show hours or after the show to view yacht tours and crew interviews. Registration is free for VIPCA member charter brokers who attend in person; $50 per person to attend online as a member; and $100 to attend either online or in-person as a non-member. To become a VIPCA member, visit: https://vipca.org/brokers-associates-vendors-membership/. Brokers who didn’t register for the 2020 fall show can also get access to these exhibiting yachts by registering for the spring show: https://vipca.org/charter-broker-registration/.

The yachts will be open for view starting at Noon on Sunday, May 16. The show closes at Noon on Tuesday, May 18. Charter broker invitations for lunch or dinner onboard exhibiting yachts are by direct invitation only.

VIPCA member charter yachts are welcome to exhibit. VIPA personnel will have a pilot tender to guide yachts to anchor, while VIPCA will assist in setting up gangways for each yacht with use during the show free of charge. There are no power facilities available on the waterfront. Charter yachts exhibiting will be cordoned off to the public and security personnel will be on duty 24/7 from May 15-19th, or by arrangement for additional days. Registration is $200 per exhibiting yacht for members. Registration opens online March 8: https://vipca.org/vessel-registration/. To join VIPCA, visit: https://vipca.org/vessel-membership/. Also, Tri Island Energy is providing a special rate for fueling to show participants on the Waterfront. A water truck can be available via prior arrangement. VIPA dockage fee is $1/ft/day.

Attending yachts should provide yacht videos of crew interviews and yacht tours by May 7 to assure they’re uploaded on the Spring Yacht Show site. For detailed instructions, visit: https://vipca.org/crew-filming-instructions/.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands continues to demonstrate its outstanding cruising grounds and capability to exclusively host a seven-night charter with a tremendous variety of bays, great sailing between islands, superb diving or snorkeling and plenty of options ashore from trekking national park trails to dining in historic towns with authentic Caribbean cultural appeal. Vessels who may have missed the November yacht show hosted by VIPCA in Yacht Haven Grande now have the chance to shine before brokers at this more intimate mid-season event,” says Oriel Blake, VIPCA Executive Director.

About VIPCA

VIPCA is the territory’s only 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership support include providing regulatory resources, compliance guidance and a marine directory of vendors; gaining ease of access for charter vessels between the USVI and the Spanish Virgin Islands; moving forward a proposal to manage territory-wide new transient moorings; and marine vocational training for V.I. youth under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), VI Marine Rebuild Fund.

Carol_Bareuther
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.