Newport Charter Yacht Show Presented by Helly Hansen Newport
From June 18-21, the Newport Charter Yacht Show provided a four-day window of opportunity for brokers, managers and other industry professionals to acquaint themselves with 24 luxury yachts available for summer charter in the New England area.
As well, it gave attendees a chance to network, share information and socialize on the docks and at seminars and special events, mixing business with a good amount of pleasure.
“Everyone is ‘on’ and friendly here, like they’ve known you forever,” said Maggie Vale, a local broker with Churchill Yacht Partners who attended the show. “It’s the New England way, and with the sunny weather we’ve had, you can’t say anything bad about Newport.”
Neptune Group Yachting President DJ Parker, who is based in Ft. Lauderdale, said the show was everything she expected and more. “It’s our job to take care of all the details for our charter clients, and this show gives us a way to cover lots of ground at once.”
The show’s location, at the mega yacht friendly Newport Shipyard, gave visitors an opportunity to check out Newport, which is renowned as a haven for cruising. Events hosted onboard the yachts, such as brokers’ luncheons, helped to show how each yacht and crew would present themselves on an excursion to Newport or another New England destination such as Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard.
Adjectives for the show used by those participating included “quaint”, “easy-to-navigate” and “valuable”.
“It’s the kind of show where you can spend quality time with the crews; it’s more intimate than some of the others,” said June Montagne of Ocean Independence in Ft. Lauderdale. “The quality of boats is high; it’s well organized, and participation is great.” She mentioned the American Yacht Charter Association’s signature seminar held on Thursday in combination with that organization’s Annual Meeting. It featured guest speakers and roundtable discussions covering far-reaching subjects such as insurance, international payment processes, new global data privacy regulations, European VAT, yacht photography and cruising the Hamptons.
Charter Manager Nick Duke of IYC in Fort Lauderdale represented two boats in the show: the motor yacht (M/Y) Independence III, a 111’ Broward that was built in 1997 and refit in 2017, and M/Y Enterprise, a brand-new 86’ Sunseeker. The latter, with four crew including a French American Chef, is on the smaller side of typical charter yachts, and as such it was important to have it in the show, according to Duke. For the former, he said it was important to show how the boat has been fully updated. “In my case as a charter manager, the brokers themselves are the clients. IYC’s product is the boat, the crew and the cruising location. It has been busy; we’ve had a lot of movement, a lot of positive feedback, especially since neither boat had been here before.”
Yacht Captains had good things to say, too. “It’s my favorite show for a couple of reasons,” said Stephen Fallon, captain of the 123’ M/Y Temptation, a Northrop & Johnson yacht. “One, this is homeport to me being a native Rhode Islander; two, the show is three days long (not counting Monday’s move-in). Let’s do what we need to do and not stretch it over eight days. Everybody’s focused when they come here, so we show the boat, we keep it nice and clean and presentable to everybody, and then we go on our merry way and start our business. I’m now booked for Christmas, New Years and Fourth of July – two of those charters came from this show.” (Temptation charters in New England through October and heads to the British Virgin Islands and Bahamas for the winter.)
The largest yacht in the show was M/Y Blue Moon (Northrop & Johnson), measuring 198’ in length, and the smallest was the sailing catamaran Tohora (Nicholson Yachts) at 54’.
“Creative” was another adjective applied to the Chef’s Competition (for best dessert) and three Captains’ Competitions (fender filling/covering, drone piloting, flower arranging), all held under the main show tent, as well as three Crew Competitions (Tablescapting, Specialty Cocktail made with Keel Vodka, and Designer Water), judged onboard the participating yachts.
Blue Moon’s Carolina Velandia won the Chef’s competition, topping eight participants, while Andre van der Linde, a deck hand on the 133’ M/Y Serque (Denison Yacht Sales) won the Captains’ Competition.
Onboard Crew Competitions were won by M/Y Temptation (Judges’ Favorite Tablescaping) and M/Y Four Aces (Fan Favorite Tablescaping; Winner Specialty Cocktail; Winner Designer Water).
Wednesday night’s Yacht Hop, attended by all show goers and sponsors, further revealed the lengths to which captains and crew are willing to go to make their guests happy. Best in show were M/Y Domani with its “Under the Big Top” circus theme celebration and M/Y MB III and M/Y Serque’s tandem “Super Hero” party.