Why Private Yachting Is on the Rise, According to a Charter Captain

We operate differently than some of the 100-meter boats, which may have 50 or 60 crew. When we have a group on board, they get to know all 13 of our crew. If there’s an engineering issue, they talk directly to the engineer. They hang out with the chef in the galley. There’s an interior team of five who are constantly working inside the rooms, or serving and bartending. And then we have our deck crew, outside doing water sports, driving the tenders, and maintaining the boat.

We always wear masks when we leave the boat and we have kits to test our crew. There are temperature checks onboard, but we don’t require our guests to be tested. And once everyone is onboard, we’re like family. It’s hard to keep your masks on all the time in such a small environment. It doesn’t make me nervous though because we don’t have exposure to a lot of different groups; we had one charter recently for a whole month. They came from Bermuda and were tested before they boarded the yacht. We wore masks until they were comfortable, and then we just stopped.

There’s no typical day for us. We cater to whatever the guests feel like doing, which is generally a lot of water sports, land excursions, sightseeing, or shopping. Some people want to relax and do nothing. Others might play on the toys: We’ve got a floating trampoline, Sea-Doos, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks. Our deck crew is out there quite a bit, driving the jet skis and playing in the water with the kids. Anytime I can get on the slide, I’ll take that opportunity.

We’ve spent the majority of our summer in Italy, and there haven’t been any additional testing requirements [to enter a port]. France has been quite easy, too, but it gets more complicated if you try to dock in Greece, Turkey, or Croatia. We usually spend winter in the Caribbean, but we’re not going this year. We decided to stay in the South of France instead and do an extended refit, taking advantage of what could potentially be a slower charter season.

I’m ready for 2021, and to just get on with our lives. As soon as people can start traveling again, the charter industry will bounce back. It’s a fantastic way to be self-sufficient in your own little bubble.

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