When it comes to chartering in the Caribbean, St. Thomas has always stood apart for its convenient airport and top-notch shopping district in downtown Charlotte Amalie. But after Peter Nielsen’s exceptional experience at the St. Thomas Rolex Regatta, I wanted a taste of what else the island had to offer.
“Back then, when you wanted to start a company in the BVI, you had to talk to two people: the governor and the chief minister,” explains Brian Chestnut, co-owner of Conch Charters in Road Town, Tortola. “After a few cocktails, they told us the secret to getting tourists down here was yacht chartering. And just like that, we were in yacht chartering.”
Weaving through the throngs of boats anchored off Annapolis, Maryland, on the 14ft Topaz CX14, I felt like a kid again—a really giddy kid who had just scored a ride on a the coolest boat in the harbor.
Two hundred and fifty miles north of Seattle and 3,400 miles from home, our crew of six was more than a little slaphappy after a long day of travel. As we drove toward Comox, British Columbia, we decided to create a wish list for the charter trip ahead.
Gunboat, manufacturer of high-end racing and cruising catamarans, announced the opening of its new boatyard in Wanchese, North Carolina. The company will employ 71 people at the new 30,000 square foot facility, from which it will be able to haul, launch, sea trial and service boats year round.
From June to September, the Cove is open to the public, and twenty families live and work there together. In the off-season, the number decreases to 12 residents and fuel and water are only available three days a week. In the words of another local, “Refuge Cove is for the sort of people who max out after three months of socializing.
Find out what's new in 2012 from your favorite yacht charter companies, including deals and new boat additions. If you're thinking of chartering this year, read this first for valuable booking information.