As owners continue to look further afield for the ultimate superyacht experience, SuperyachtNews sat down with the founders of Pelorus, Geordie Mackay-Lewis and Jimmy Carroll, to discuss their new venture. The pair, who first met while serving in the British Army, launched Pelorus a year and a half ago to deliver bespoke experiential expeditions to superyacht clients.
To date, Pelorus has worked with five yachts and currently has eight more in the pipeline. According to the founders, what sets Pelorus apart from their competitors is that they “start with the experience,” preferring to focus on the creative side of the expedition initially, concerning themselves with the logistical challenges once the itinerary is put in place . “We like talking about the fun stuff,” they explain.
Recently, Pelorus managed a successful recce for a 90m superyacht in Eritea. The intention was to do a diving expedition in the region, but was proving to be particularly difficult in a place that “doesn’t understand what a pleasure craft is”. In order to make the trip a reality, the Pelorus team spent two days negotiating with seven different ministries to get the requisite special permissions to engage in a whole host of activities, thereby unlocking the doors at government level.
"It keeps the owner happy too so it's a win win all round"
In recent years, there has been a noticeable uptick in owners wishing to get off the beaten track and, according to Pelorus, this phenomenon doesn't seem to be dependent on how long people have been in the industry. Carroll explains that Pelorus has several “new, younger clients that are approaching their early their thirties. The West Coast tech billionaires particularly want to do more with their yachts and, to a certain degree, they know what is possible.” However, they have also had a lot of interest from the more “experienced yachties” who know what they want to do but are looking for someone to help and guide them.
The responsibility for sort this kind of expedition has, traditionally, been put on the shoulders of captains, which Pelorus believes is the wrong way to approach such a voyage. “The captains are already so busy that it becomes a real headache for them to deliver these trips themselves and they don't have the background and the experience. They are very well travelled and know certain parts of the world very well because they have been in the game for years, but when you start to branch out they need someone to relieve that pressure for them. It keeps the owner happy too so it's a win win all round,” says Mackay-Lewis.
“Captains can’t afford to lose a crew member to go and do a recce, so then you find yourself relying on a third party and that can be a big chance to take. Most of the time a client won’t accept one error, let alone two. You have to be watertight - excuse the pun,” says Carroll.
Pelorus offers a turn key experience to private yacht owners, building the entire experience for them. For charter yachts its very similar to what the owner gets, except the client has to pay for the yacht as well. They are not affiliated with any particular brokerage house but have worked closely with several brokerages and can lead individuals to one that they feel would be a suitable fit.
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