Roughly one billion euro worth of super yachts sailed into Antigua last week for the Antigua Yacht show. The (super) yacht marina’s are filled to the brim with the multi-million dollar yachts which are crammed next to one another on the decorated pontoons. The flags are cheerfully waving in the Caribbean wind while the crews are welcoming guests at the walkways in their best outfits. Objective of the show? To rent out super yachts while the owner is not on board. Pricetag starting at about one hundred thousand us per week running up till about one million.
Gallivanting on the pontoons
Rich folks gallivant on the decorated pontoons and discuss the different options with posh accents. The dress code seems to be white. I overhear a British lady who complains with her female friends that it is somewhat of a disappointment “it is totally not what I expected, I thought Antigua would be more like St. Tropez”. I don’t understand what’s wrong with this woman because for us it is paradise here, but then again, who am I? Meanwhile helicopters pass over regularly while Champaign and caviar flow abundantly and the most pretty stewardesses stand smiling in white skirts at the walkways.
Superyachts are booming
Worldwide there are more than five thousand super yachts and every year thousands of rich people book a Christmas week on board. The industry is bigger than many people think with the added value of the yachts probably exceeding a hundred billion euro. Many of the owners charter out their yachts to earn back some of the millions spent on maintenance. This is done via an agent who sells the charter. Mind you, the charter is entirely custom made; food, drinks, route and activities. For a Christmas charter in the Caribbean many people choose the U.S. or British Virgin islands. Of course diving equipment, jet skis, speedboats and helicopter all come along on board, of course.
The Netherlands can be proud
The Netherlands can be proud as it is internationally known to make excellent super yachts with yards like Fead Ship, Holland jachtbouw, De Vries, Amels en Icon. With regard to crew the Netherlands is not doing so well in an industry which is mostly dominated by the British. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack to find Dutch crewmembers in the industry. Kinde of a shame as the salaries in the industry are excellent.
Swan, a romantic Yacht
After a couple of days in between the super yachts, I run into a jewel of a yacht. A classic Swan 55, built in 1975 with Dutch-British owners and in perfect state. The Swan is crewed by a young couple who know from last season. We catch up and they talk about what they do. They take up to four guests around the islands of the Caribbean for about € 2000 per person. If you are interested, send me a message via Facebook and I bring you in touch with them.
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Hope is sailing the world with a Carl Stahl Yachting rig
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