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2022 Charter Yacht Show Kicks off Saturday at Yacht Haven Grande

Charter Yacht brokers view yachts along the docks of IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas at the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show. (Photo by Phil Blake)

Dozens of vessels will be on display as the U.S. Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show kicks off Saturday at IGY Marina’s Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas.

The show, organized by the non-profit Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association, will run through Tuesday, with nearly 70 sail and power, monohull and multihull, and term charter yachts on exhibit along with their crews.

More than 160 charter brokers from the Caribbean, U.S., and Europe will attend, according to a VIPCA press release announcing the event. Local marine businesses such as Offshore Marine, the show’s official supplier of inflatables and outboard engines, also will be onsite to provide sponsorship and support, it said.

The four-day industry event provides yacht brokers a first-hand opportunity to meet and greet the crews and yachts on which they will book visitors to the USVI on week-long, all-inclusive, crewed charter yacht vacations, according to VIPCA. The show also spotlights this key segment of the USVI marine tourism sector, which contributes upward of $88 million to the territory’s economy annually, it said.

View the full event schedule at the VIPCA website.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. extended a welcome to the brokers, noting in the release that “the USVI is experiencing unprecedented growth in the marine and tourism industries as we rebuild our infrastructure and resurge from a global pandemic. This significant progress reflects a strong yacht charter sector that offers first-class dock facilities with a full array of services and amenities and provides a multitude of distinctive and luxurious vacation options for guests.”

Last month, the USVI launched its Naturally in Rhythm tourism campaign, said Bryan. “We encourage the yachting community to experience an authentic connection with the sea, our land, and our culture. The USVI is an oasis for guests to escape the stresses of city lifestyles and tap into the more natural rhythm of life. Sail, swim, or dive in one of the most amazing marine environments,” he said.

Offshore Marine, which supports the nearly 100 term charter yachts that base for the season in the USVI, is the official sponsor of the show. Located in Sub Base on the western side of St. Thomas Harbor, the four-decade family-owned business is the Caribe distributor for the USVI and Yamaha distributor for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

AB Tender with F70 and larger tender with F425 outboard motors from Offshore Marine. (Photo courtesy of Offshore Marine)
An AB tender with F70 motor and larger tender with F425 outboard motors from Offshore Marine. (Photo courtesy of Offshore Marine)

In 2023, the company plans to introduce a dinghy/tender concierge service for scheduled service calls and repairs for yachts at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St Thomas, Crown Bay Marina, the St. Thomas Harbor, and Elephant Bay to Honeymoon Bay, on Water Island, according to the release.

“In yachting, a high-quality tender is a must, and is an important access point to the beautiful islands of the Caribbean,” said Dare Blankenhorn, co-founder, and director of Charter Caribe, a St. Thomas-based yacht management and sales company.

What’s New

As term-charter yachts depend on their tenders as supporting arms, attendees of the USVI Charter Yacht Show depend on the Wi-Fi Lounge to support their daily business while in the marina. This year the Business Lounge will not only buttress the show’s activities by providing an air-conditioned working environment to charter brokers, but it will also host daily seminars and presentations, the release stated.

Viya will provide free wifi for the lounge and throughout the event area as well as boost the wifi inside the marina on the docks, according to the release. Also new for 2022, Seachange (seachangevi.com) will sponsor the show’s Business Lounge furniture.

“Seachange is excited to introduce the charter community to our local interior design and furnishing services. Thoughtful design can elevate a space, and we’ve designed the 2022 USVI Charter Yacht Show’s Business Lounge to be an inviting place to relax and meet with old and new friends,” said Grant Maxwell, who owns the business with his wife, Ginny.

Registration Still Open

Broker and yacht registrations are still available at usviyachtshow.org. Charter brokers can join VIPCA at vipca.org/brokers-associates-vendors-membership to receive one free broker show registration in addition to many other membership benefits.

Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; the Gowrie Group representing Trawick and Cigna; Parts & Power Ltd., distributor of Northern Lights; Mango Media; Cardow Jewelers; Offshore Marine; Catamaran Central; Grey Goose, distributed by West Indies Company; Veuve Clicquot and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Maho Crew; Moe’s Fresh Market; VIYA Business Solutions; ZUP, Harbor Shoppers; Seachange, and the Charter Yacht Broker Association.

For more information about the USVI Charter Yacht Show, visit usviyachtshow.org. For information about VIPCA, whose purpose is to preserve, protect and promote the charter yacht sector of the U.S. Virgin Islands marine industry and the businesses that sustain them, visit VIPCA.org, email info@vipca.org, or call 340-642-0656.

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