Travelling back to Antigua is always such a delight having spent 9 winter seasons in the Caribbean, it’s a place very close to my heart. Antigua and Barbuda are stunning, boasting 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, it’s a beautiful place with friendly locals, giving you the real Caribbean experience as well as some of the finest super yachts in the world.
This year the show was extended to 5 days. The 5th day was an optional dock viewing day or some yachts took selected brokers on sailing days.
With over 90 yachts entered, on the opening day there were over 70 ready and waiting. Due to equipment failure and late crossings some yachts didn’t make it, as their priority is to be in tip-top condition for their Christmas Charters. Still 70 yachts in 5 days is a massive commitment.
My first priority was the 100ft and under, then all sailing monohulls, sailing and motor catamarans, then power and a couple over 100ft because they looked amazing and you never know when you might need to recommend one.
Needless to say I was never disappointed. Every yacht is so unique, it’s really exciting as you enter inside and see what interior they have designed.
I was also lucky enough to have 3 breakfast invites and each of these were again individual to the chef’s preferences. With specials requests like a bacon and egg waffle sandwich to a chai seed, banana & coconut energy pot and cappuccinos a plenty!
Over the event on 3 evenings the different marinas host a ‘Yacht Hop’, it’s up to the individual yachts if they wish to open for drinks and canapés. It’s another great opportunity for the crews to show off their skills to brokers that may not otherwise have visited their yacht. Some go all out with a theme and the crew dress up, other’s create specialty cocktails, and some just go for the full on party and hire a DJ and band. It’s always a fun few hours and a great insight into what life onboard could be like for our clients.
One of the great things to see on the yachts is their attempts to be greener. Most yachts are now offering purified water from the taps, some even had sparkling water on tap therefore reducing all the plastic bottles that aren’t well recycled. There were organic toiletries & sun creams. And all the chefs are enjoying the local produce and adapting their menus to incorporate them.
Being part of the yachting industry is really special, as brokers we are facing a tougher time as web platforms are trying to take out the middle man. However they aren’t here at the shows, they aren’t viewing yachts and they aren’t going to be able to personally recommend a yacht, when we say your yacht options are hand-picked, we really mean it. They aren’t going to write you your own personal itinerary and will they pay attention to your preference sheet, check through it before sending to the crew and then work with the crew to make sure everything is perfect for you? Almost definitely not.
Over the next few weeks I’ll tell you more about the individual yachts I visited.