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An article written by our staff and featured in The Charter Connection


WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR!
Ed looks back at the 2007 charter season.
March 2008

2007 did indeed turn out to be a great year.

For the first 20 years of our company's history, we got used to sales climbing each year, but then came 9-11, and our world temporarily changed. Business from the U.S. tumbled. People worried about flying, even to safe areas like the Caribbean.

The following years once again saw steady growth, and monthly bookings started to rival pre 9-11 levels, but 2007 was the real turning point, with sales up 40% over 2006 and almost 20% higher than this company's pre 9-11 record.

While it is hard to gauge other organizations, we feel last year was a good one for most brokers, bareboat companies and crewed yachts - and the 2008 season looks very promising. The management company calendars for the Caribbean crewed yachts are a healthy shade of green for most months, even into the summer, and some dates are virtually sold out in every category.

The other major change last year was the combining of four major bareboat companies. In Tortola, The Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose and Moorings Power (Nautic Blue) moved into the expanded Moorings base in Road Town and all moved their booking offices to Clearwater, Florida. The jury is still out on how this will affect other bareboat companies and the bareboat industry as a whole. There have certainly been some bumps in the road - it's inevitable with such a major move, but I feel it is too early to make any kind of judgement based on the last few months.

We have strong ties with these companies, going back many years and our brokers have worked hard over the last few months to help the Clearwater booking staff in any way they can. I was one of the early managers of The Moorings, back in 1972 and have been a strong supporter ever since. In the early days, when Sunsail USA was going through difficult times, we provided almost one third of Sunsail's total charters booked through the US office. Sunsail went on to become one of the great bareboat companies in the world, but we like to think we helped them get there! Last year we sent over 1,000 guests to Sunsail alone, so we are keen that these great companies succeed.


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  Ed Hamilton & Company
24B US Route 1, Edgecomb, ME 04556

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