So many of our charter guests are talking about buying their own boat to keep here in the Caribbean; we’ve seen a great increase since the start of our latest sailing season. And why not? Antigua offers year round sailing, consistent trade winds, a tropical climate and you don’t have the expense and hassle of having to put your boat on the hard at the end of the season and then counting the days until launch. It almost seems like the winter is just the waiting time until you can get sailing again – we know about this, we used to live in the UK!
But yacht ownership is a big investment, so it pays to think long and hard about what kind of boat would suit your sailing ambitions – not just this year, but also for the next few years. Where do you want to sail, who do you want to sail with and what kind of return do you want to achieve? It certainly pays to be fussy – it’s a big ticket item. Sometimes we are talking to people for a year or so before they are ready to commit to yacht purchase.
We hear that people in Europe and the UK are having to decide on the size of their boat based on the rising cost of the mooring fees. We’ve met people who would love to go for a 45′ monohull but find themselves compromising with a smaller yacht as the mooring fees are so expensive. It’s certainly not cost-free here in Antigua but when you have a yacht in a Yacht Ownership Programme, you are offsetting all of those costs so you have the freedom to choose the boat that is exactly right for you.
You also have to consider the sailors who will be chartering your yacht. What is going to make them excited to book your yacht? That’s where we are able to advise on most popular cabin configuration and cockpit layouts etc. You also need to think about resale value down the line; many of our owners start off with a certain size of yacht and then upgrade to another size 5 years later. You need to think carefully about what is going to sell and hold its value. Just some of the many things to consider and where our experience can add so much value to your thought process.
What makes our yacht owners unique is that they get to work with us to determine what is going to make their boat a perfect yacht for them – with Bavaria yachts, for example, our yacht sales specialists are directly in contact with the factory in Germany. From the color of the saloon cushions, to the size of the engine – the specification is personally tailored.
Our yacht owners also tend to want to sail their own boat when they come to the Caribbean; we understand that. Our owners get to know their yacht’s sailing characteristics and feel comfortable and confident in the performance; in all kinds of sailing conditions. From our charter base in Antigua, you can explore so many cruising areas that you could be in St Martin on one trip and Dominica the next; it’s the ideal start point to visit many Caribbean islands in the Leewards.
So the next time you have that dream of owning your own yacht, be fussy – it certainly pays.