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

by Emily
December 2006

It's boat show time once again! Along with the hustle and bustle of preparing for the Holidays, this is the time your charter brokers head off to the Caribbean to view literally hundreds of boats and interview crews. This is the only way to judge which boats and crews we will be recommending to clients. All boats look wonderful on the internet!

The St. Thomas and Tortola crewed boat shows were held earlier this month and we will be leaving for the St. Martin and Antigua shows next week (expect a report on these shows in the next issue).

This year the St. Thomas show was held first. In earlier years, this was the major show, but US Coast Guard restrictions have hurt the USVI charter trade, driving particularly the larger yachts to The BVI. This year the show was again quite a bit smaller than the BVI counterpart, but this actually was an advantage for the charter yachts attending, allowing brokers to spend more time with each crew. The popular regulars, such as 'Promenade' benefited the most, as brokers tend to concentrate on new boats or crews first and at a busy show, can't always spend time with boats they already know well.

This year's show held a range of yachts, both those we were already familiar with and some brand new additions to the fleet. There was plenty of time to see every boat, allowing us to 'catch up' with the crew and check out the various ongoing improvements that are a part of the everyday on a charter yacht. One surprising show-stopper was the catamaran, 'Tachyon' which paired a spotless 47' Leopard with a lovely young crew.

The second show was held at Village Cay Marina, in Road Town, Tortola, which is a popular marina to start your BVI charter. This year's show held nearly 70 boats and the standards were remarkably high. With so many boats available for charter in The Virgins, competition is fierce, which is why this area offers the best value of any cruising ground.

These shows are invaluable to the brokers, offering opportunities to see and meet many of the boats/crews that we otherwise would not. As always, at the week's end, you wish you had had more time to spend at the show, but come away surprised at what you have accomplished.

The stars of the BVI shows were many. In the culinary competition the winner for best Appetizer/Salad went to Elizabeth Lee on the luxury catamaran, 'Wonderful'. Best Entree went to chef Nina Groves on 'Elektra' and the Dessert award went to Ann Hasted aboard 'Corus'. In the Best of Show Contest awards were given to 'Semper Fi' for the Power Yachts, 'Corus' for the Monohulls and 'Wonderful' for the Catamarans. The Best Overall award went to 'Wonderful' and her crew of Warren, Elizabeth and Nedra.

If you have any questions about the yachts and crews we have recently seen, please feel free to give us a call 800-621-7855 or drop us an email at info@ed-hamilton.com. We are happy to share our knowledge of these fine yachts and more importantly, help match you with the right crew.

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