The question of whether or not to put your own yacht into charter is one almost every owner faces at some point. Kim Kavin talks to the team at YPI Charter to uncover some answers
As with most of life’s pleasures there are definite advantages and inconveniences to putting your own yacht into charter. The secret to finding the right answer is to properly understand the pros and cons as they relate specifically to your own yacht and wishes – whether an occasional booking or two will suffice or a heavy charter revenue stream is more what you are after. It is a choice specific to you.
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“What’s nice about our fleet is that we keep it to about 30 yachts, which is perfect for a personalised service provided by two or three experienced charter managers,” explains Annemarie Gathercole, Head of YPI Charter, which provides both charter retail and management services. “We customise the charter plan to each owner’s requirements. Some owners want their boats advertised in every magazine and seen at every boat show, whilst others prefer a more discreet presence. We adapt out approach accordingly.”
The advantages of putting a yacht into charter often outweigh the challenges. On the financial side, chartering generates revenue. Even yachts that charter only occasionally can recoup 10% or more of their annual operating costs, whilst yachts that charter heavily in popular destinations can recoup a full 100% of their annual costs.
There are also significant savings to be enjoyed once a yacht is commercially registered for charter, including the ability to purchase tax-free fuel, wine and spirits.
“Crew are often happier when a yacht charters,” Annemarie adds. “Each charter booking gives them a reason to stay motivated, fresh and upbeat.”
Having a yacht in charter also means it will be moving around, which leads to more potential clients seeing it for future charters and an eventual sale.
We’ll often have clients phone us up and say, ‘I’m in Porto Cervo and just saw such-and-such a boat… is it for charter?” explains Senior Charter Fleet Manager Alena Zilayova. “The same is sometimes true for clients looking to buy a yacht. A boat sitting at a marina… well, it is only ever seen by people at that one marina.”
While the benefits of chartering are easily seen, some yacht owners still have concerns about issues such as ‘wear and tear’ – something that does naturally increase when a yacht charters frequently.
“In reality,” says Annemarie, “yachts that are regularly used often have fewer mechanical problems than yachts sitting at the dock – engines and other systems are continually being run and maintained whilst yachts that go unused for long periods can have systems seize up.”
Whilst owners may also have concerns about insurance, generally speaking, charter yacht insurance costs about the same as private yacht insurance.
“What’s really important is making sure the yacht is compliant with the MCA Code, for example, and can be commercially registered,” explains YPI Charter Manager, Linda Ehrenstrahle. “Owners considering chartering out their yacht will often work with us either during the build process or when they are buying on the brokerage market to help ensure the yacht has everything in place to satisfy compliancy requirements.”
Some owners also balk at the idea of having other people use their yacht. Not everyone wants strangers sleeping in their beds or eating with their forks.
“We are quite experienced at working with captains and crew to alleviate those concerns,” Annemarie says. “Many owners of charter yachts have entirely different sets of linens, towels, china, flatware, and even toiletries and sun products for the charter clients. We advise owners to bear in mind that everything can be changed out for charter, right down to the mattresses. We also can check the references of potential charter clients to be sure they are the type of people the owner wants onboard.”
THE YPI OWNERS PROMISE
The YPI Charter team offers these services, and more, thanks to the 40 years` experience in charter-yacht management. YPI Charter offers extensive contacts both within the yachting industry and with potential clients. Owners who put their yacht into charter with YPI can feel secure that the boat will be marketed as part of a well-respected and diverse fleet featuring everything from power to sail, new and classic alike.
One particularly important aspect of working with YPI Charter is that owners can expect complete transparency in the charter process. YPI Charter can provide weekly reports covering charter marketing efforts as well as financial matters, or the team can meet with the owners every month or once a year, depending on the level of reporting required.
“Transparency is something I insist upon,” Annemarie says. “We don’t make promises that we can’t keep. We are honest with our yacht owners. We tell them realistically what to expect given their yacht’s specifications and current market conditions, and then we follow through on all levels. Owners who charter with YPI are never part of some ‘one-size-fits-all’ programme. We tailor everything, and we work hard to ensure our owners receive everything we told them to expect.”
contact YPI Yacht Charter Management CLICK HERE