Captain Steve Barker of Benetti’s 59m Meamina is all for the yacht’s charter broker using his name to help promote Meamina’s charter offerings – it adds the human element, he says. “Why do people charter yachts? Relaxation? Travel? Luxury? Celebration? Business? Experience? All are great reasons to charter, made better by a good captain – someone who understands the human element and the importance of going the extra mile," he says. "Being a charter boat captain is not only about taking guests to amazing locations, organising great experiences and making sure the yacht is impeccably presented. It’s also, and perhaps most importantly from a guest perspective, about relationships."
“Clients generally charter the same yacht and become repeat guests because of the captain, and often when the captain moves to another yacht the guests will follow,” explains Captain Barker.
And it is for this reason that the use of a captain and his name to market a charter yacht is a tool at the heart of the charter broker. It is a tool adopted by Hill Robinson Yacht Management Consultants and one its charter and yacht manager, David Price, believes is invaluable.
- David Price, charter and yacht manager, Hill Robinson Yacht Management Consultants
“Given the charter rates for larger yachts, the selection of yacht type and style can be as important as the captains’ personality, nationality and relevant experience and I would expect all charter clients eventually become concerned about the captain they have on board," notes Price. "The global charter experience will hinge on the crew’s overall ability which eventually dictates repeat business. The charter brokers are definitely concerned as the captain eventually spends more time with the client than they do, so a captain with an excellent reputation generally has a good following.”
Moreover, adds Price, there is a benefit for the captains, too. “The captains are proud to be associated with their commands and build relationships with charter brokers over the years," he says. "They are looking to build on their charter reputations, their yacht’s success should improve along with their salary and potential gratuities.”
Though often covered by its own secrecy blanket, the superyacht industry is not shy when it comes to promoting a yacht’s offerings. And when those hearing about a yacht’s offerings are potential owners and existing investors in the industry, promoting the professionalism and success of our industry’s best captains can only be viewed as another tick in the ‘pro’ column.