DID YOU MISS THE BOAT? Why a record charter season left some clients without…


YPI Charter recorded an increase of over 30% on net charter revenue this season with over 90% of its charter yacht owning clients reaching or surpassing their yearly revenue objectives. It’s a story that has been replicated across the industry as retail demand increases. The YPI Charter team share their thoughts on what happened this year and why some clients missed the boat… 

It was not that many years ago that a select band of luminaries in yachting were speculating on the future of charter as a business with many owners seemingly reaching the end of their tether on issues of increased regulation, taxation and costs. The Summer Season of 2015 seems to have provided the latest indication that even old sages can sometimes get it wrong.

“As a Division, YPI Charter has recorded an increase of over 30% this season,” explains Russell Crump, YPI Director of Sales. “Over 90% of our charter yacht owners have either reached their revenue objectives for the season or well surpassed them, as happened with AXIOMA. And we know for most of our reputable colleagues that they too have enjoyed a very healthy season.”

So why has 2015 been so successful for charter yacht owners and their charter broker representatives?

“Analysing our client business this summer, well over 30% of our retail clients this season were either first time charterers or new to YPI,” says YPI Commercial & Marketing Director, Mark Duncan. “That is fantastic news. It shows that the considerable efforts YPI and many of our colleagues have been putting into communicating the unique experience of luxury yacht charter to new markets and prospects, outside of our traditional client databases, is starting to deliver results. We are now attracting the new blood, a new generation of clients. And given that only around 6% of all those UHNWI who can afford to buy or charter a luxury yacht actually do, that’s potentially a lot of new blood.”

For the Retail team in YPI Charter, client trends also proved interesting this season. “There was a lot of talk about Spain at the start of the year,” says Senior Retail Charter Broker, Annemarie Gathercole. “We did book some good charters around the Balearics, but the reality is there were very few yachts above 50 metres based there and most of those were booked up very early in the season. It is now possible to obtain the Spanish Charter Licence however the VAT remains high at 21%, I think many owners, even those with a Spanish Charter Licence, realised they were able to book the yacht either in the south of France/Italy, or in the East Med, and decided to stay there.”

This year the south of France, Corsica, Sardinia and Italy were, as always, very popular but areas such as Croatia, Turkey and Greece proved, perhaps surprisingly, particularly popular this season.

“Greece and Turkey increased dramatically as preferred destinations,” notes Anna Franciszkiewicz. “They accounted for over 40% of our client bookings this season. Croatia and Montenegro were especially popular thanks to lovely cruising areas, good infrastructure and tax exemption when starting in Montenegro.”

For Sophie Aubertin, repeat clients were also enticed by this year’s charter rates. “Exchange rates were particularly interesting for British and American clients,” she explains, “added to the fact that charter rates have remained stable for the last two or three years.”

This season also saw a marked increase in clients booking early. “We are forever advising clients that if they want a better chance of securing their preferred yacht, where they want it and when they want it, they need to book early,” says Russell. “The crisis days where you could roll up last minute, demand a hefty reduction and still get your yacht are long gone. And sadly, some clients not only missed out holidaying on their preferred yacht because it was already fully booked, but worse, ended up not being able to find any yacht that suited their needs or their availability.“

“It’s like we always say,” adds Mark, “the 3 Secrets to the Perfect Charter are: Book Early. Book Early and Book Early. That’s not just marketing speak. In fact more than 70% of our clients this season had already booked their summer charters by the end of April this year. The other 30% we had to really work hard for in order to find them yachts that fitted. We managed to find solutions for everyone but I think next year some may be calling us a little earlier.”

And looking ahead to the Winter Season in the Caribbean?

“The Winter Season is a different animal,” says Russell. “It’s looking solid if not quite so spectacular. However we have quite a few yacht-owner clients who are now taking their charter yachts to different locations such as New Zealand, Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific generally – that’s very exciting for us and for a whole host of charter guests.”

Those yachts include SEVEN SINS chartering in French Polynesia this winter ahead of her world tour and OCEAN’S SEVEN2 who will be chartering in New Zealand.

For Winter availability and choice locations:

Une superbe photo


Available in French Polynesia

  • Builder: Heesen
  • Length: 43.80m / 143ft 8in
  • Year: 2005
  • Crew: 8
  • Cabins: 3 Double, 2 Twin
  • Sleeping: 10
  • Winter Rate p/w: USD 137,500

For more information, click here >>



Available in New Zealand

  • Builder: Trehard
  • Length: 32 m / 105 ft
  • Year: 1998
  • Crew: 4
  • Cabins: 4 Double
  • Sleeping: 8
  • Rate p/w: USD 49,000

For more information, click here>>