Tag Archives: Mega Yacht Services

The Ins and Outs of Private Yacht Charter

The author John ‘Mac’ McDonald, Owner of Mega Yacht Services,
originally hails from Newport, Rhode Island. He spent his early years
sailing lasers, 420s and 470s which initiated a life long passion for sailing and the ocean/water sports.  A career in finance pulled him away from the water for an extended period and he spent 18 years working on the Chicago and New York options exchanges. It was during this time that his burgeoning interest in food and wine led him to start exploring
investment opportunities in this sector. In 2015 he took the plunge and purchased Mega Yacht Services, a business established in St. Maarten 16 years previously. His business acumen and experience on Wall Street
provides him with a unique understanding of what high net worth
individuals want and expect from a service provider in this market. Mega Yacht Services is now entering a new chapter as John drives the
company’s expansion into Europe.


There’s a big world to explore and with all the charter options
available to you, both by air and sea, the world is getting smaller every day. There’s no time like the present to break out a map and pick a place to see next. If private yacht charter is new to you, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before booking your super yacht charter. There is a yacht for everyone. Start with the basics, and let the luxuries take care of themselves.

1. Plan Your Destinations

Do you want to marvel in the uncharted, natural treasures of the
Bahamas or Virgin Islands from your own remote white sand beach? Maybe you want to spend some time exploring the culture and night life at your favorite Caribbean ports. Perhaps you prefer to stay stateside and head down to the Florida Keys or chart a course to Greece for the history and food?  There’s a big world to see. Luckily you have more than one season to see it all. Consider the time of year you would like to travel in order to match up with the best weather.

2. Consider Your Budget

Starting with a budget will allow you to plan your perfect trip within parameters that will work for you. The destination will play a role in your budget, as well as the size and type of yacht, and whether it is wind or motor powered. When planning your trip ask yourself…What are the costs and are they paid up front, or will you be billed at the end of your charter? Who is handling that payment on your end? How many toys are you bringing or will your yacht charter supply them? If you are planning to use toys (i.e. jet skis, scuba gear, surf boards, etc.) what will you need or be bringing with you and how many of each? Small extras from factoring in extra stops, to fighting for coveted dinner reservations, can add up quickly. Have your total budget in mind and find a company that will work backwards to give you the best experience for your money.

 

3. Be Mindful of Your Guests

Discuss your guests’ needs and wants with your charter company. They will want to know how many people you’ll be bringing and where they are coming from. If there are going to be children on the trip, make sure you relay their ages and any special requests for
entertainment on board or at sea, as well as any special dietary
restrictions or preferences. If you are bringing pets, you’ll want to communicate this information as well to set expectations with your charter company. This information affects everything from the
provisioning to the schedule you set, so know who you’re traveling with and what their needs are when you start your planning.

4. Stay in Range

The nautical range and duration of the trip is high on the list once the guest count has been decided upon. You’ll want a company that is well versed in logistics planning, a company who is able to
implement contingency plans if travel gets interrupted.

5. Determine Your Vacation Duration

The size of your boat, distance you’re looking to cover, and whether you need to pick people up on the way, can affect your port
selection. Some people just want to get to their destination while others prefer to travel without time constraints. Communicating your travel style will help your charter company plan an itinerary that works for you.

Once you’ve decided these five things, the right charter company can make vacation planning basically plug and play. The right
company will listen to the client’s needs and wants and help them to understand the difference between the two. Knowing this
information will help your charter company put you into the ideal yacht that checks all the “need” boxes and as many of the “want” boxes as possible, within the given budget.

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The Super Yacht Industry in the Wake of the 2017 Hurricane Season

The author John ‘Mac’ McDonald, Owner of Mega Yacht Services,
originally hails from Newport, Rhode Island. He spent his early years
sailing lasers, 420s and 470s which initiated a life long passion for sailing and the ocean/water sports.  A career in finance pulled him away from the water for an extended period and he spent 18 years working on the Chicago and New York options exchanges. It was during this time that his burgeoning interest in food and wine led him to start exploring
investment opportunities in this sector. In 2015 he took the plunge and purchased Mega Yacht Services, a business established in St. Maarten 16 years previously. His business acumen and experience on Wall Street
provides him with a unique understanding of what high net worth
individuals want and expect from a service provider in this market. Mega Yacht Services is now entering a new chapter as John drives the
company’s expansion into Europe.


As St. Maarten recovers from the worst storm we have faced in over 100 years, it gives me a little time to reflect on the super yacht
industry and its past, present and future. Formerly dominated by sheikhs and tsars and Russian oligarchs, we are starting  to see a more diverse mix of people getting involved in the Super Yacht and Private Jet world. A new class of 30-something American tech
millionaires are entering the market for the first time with 54 meter motor yachts, along with new purpose-built expedition boats
running the Northwest Passage and heading to Antarctica. Along with new destinations, they’re bringing with them a change in the quality and type of the experience they expect. No longer are caviar and champagne nights on the yacht at anchor or at the dock the standard experience. These super yachts are starting to get used as designed, moving frequently between ports with support
crew moving along with the yacht, while private jets are tasked with dropping guests and owners at one port and picking them up
elsewhere at the end of the week. It’s a dynamic time in the luxury travel industry and I am looking forward to what is to come as the mentality incorporates more mobility, and as new ports open up, which means new opportunities.

This trend towards seeking out new experiences has led to more
super yachts towing ‘tenders’ (28’ to 40’ center consoles and even 35’ sport fishers) this season than ever in the past. They allow guests quick, dry access to more remote spots while aboard, or spots where the water is too shallow for the yacht. On one trip through the Northwest Passage, the towed tender was the thing that made the trip for the bosses and guests, giving them closer approaches to
icebergs and creating life-changing memories like seeing narwhals and other sea life surfacing next to the boat. As that owner and many others make plans for their next big trips, the towed tender will be a big part of the equation.

Along with new experiences come new challenges. These new must-see destinations include locations that are not accessible by general aviation for transfers. This has really opened the door for private jet charter companies to step up and offer destinations that are not easy to get to directly from normal aviation options.  As the yacht industry becomes more dynamic, transportation options have to
follow suit.  Clients who might have previously settled for a small commercial flight are now landing at private terminals, being
shuttled to the yacht via helicopter and then returning the same way, and discovering that they prefer it, for security and privacy as well as convenience.

It is an exciting time to be in this industry.  As far as purchases, we are seeing a smaller inventory in what is for sale in the 150’ to 170’ range; boats are moving and people are stepping up in size as
vacations become more bespoke and charter guests make the move to become owners. As mobile access and working from home or
remote becomes more commonplace, I expect to see more people using their yachts as an intrinsic part of their lifestyle rather than just for vacations and short breaks away from the norm.

John ‘Mac’ McDonald
Mega Yacht Services
Plaza Del Lago
Simpson Bay SXM
721.524.4608
mac@megayachtservice.com
www.megayachtservice.com