Owners and their yachts are invited to become partners of the credit-based fleet interchange programme, which provides full management and crew services and whereby weeks of use on a partner’s yacht is exchanged for credits that can be applied to usage of other participating vessels. In addition to the offering of partnerships to existing owners, three levels of membership are available, based upon block credit purchases, that allow members to apply their credits towards any usage of the various yachts in the fleet; USD 250,000 is the minimum membership buy-in cost, while the highest level of membership, providing the most credits, will cost USD 1 million.
“Michael Saylor saw a big need to simplify not only the ownership of yachts but also the need to streamline the charter process,” Captain Glen Allen, fleet captain of Fleet Miami, tells The Superyacht Owner. “Mr. Saylor hates inefficiency. He looked at how when we added a second and then third yacht to his stable, the crew became much more efficient. He saw that with multiple yachts we could utilise the crew much more efficiently. But then the inventory of available days of use grew and he was not able to fill those days – he felt we needed a system to take advantage of that.”
Though perhaps set against a different landscape with its targeting of existing owners, Fleet Miami, officially introduced to market at this year’s Miami International Boat Show, does show parallels with fractional ownership programmes – structures that have seen little success in the superyacht industry. However, Captain Allen suggest this initiative’s reliance upon existing rather than potential owners makes all the difference. “The companies we have seen to date had limited resources and were trying to sell shares with a large financial obligation and had limited resources to manage the programme efficiently.” The difference: with a fleet of yachts including 50m Usher and 45m Harle, the yachting experience can be offered without relying on investors.
In the past the financial aspect has been troublesome when it comes to alternative (or innovative) ownership structures. But where in the past finance has been the key behind different ownership structures, Fleet Miami’s creation really comes down to the enjoyment of yachting, and when I ask Captain Allen, “Why now?” his answer is clear. “Simplicity,” he says. “Life is complicated enough with business, family and all of the other things that come up. Why worry about leisure time? If we show potential new charterers that we can simplify this whole experience and make their leisure time care-free they will want to continue with this experience in the future. We want to make it as easy and simple as possible to everyone to have a great experience in yachting and become part of our yachting family.”
More information on Fleet Miami and its partnership and membership programmes can be found here.