Testing the waters on the 2011 Med season might seem unproductive – since the response you receive depends entirely on who and when you ask and how they feel like answering – but you’d bemissing the point.
While no one has a crystal ball in hand, plenty ofpeople have their finger on the pulse of the yachting community. Who better to speak with than JacquiLockhart of Select Charter Services and Chair of the MYBA Boat Show Committee? “The 2011 charter season got off to a very good start inJanuary and February. Bookings slowed down in March and April, but by May mostyachts had a few bookings. The MYBA Charter Show in Genoa in early May marks thestart of the [summer] charter calendar and is an important event to showcase a largeselection of yachts available on the market for the season ahead. By allaccounts, 2011 is looking to be a successful charter year,” reported Lockhart
Capt. Dave Cherington of M/Y Il Cigno favoured busy over boring,having had strong enquiries at the MYBA Charter Show. “By allaccounts, there was quite a lot of optimism from the captains I spoke to at theshow, many of them had bookings already. My yacht is fairly new to thechartering scene, but we showed very well. I'm looking forward to a busy season of chartering and owner trips,”Capt. Cherington said.
But one yacht captainremarked, “The way I seeit: yes, there are people out there wanting to charter, but the owners have tobe prepared to negotiate and entice them back to the industry. Let’s not forgethow bad the last two to three seasons have been. The trend needs to be reversedor the clients will be lost to a different luxury industry.”
Successfulcharter Capt. Robert Bleecke of M/Y SeaBluez is cautiously optimistic having already had a couple of static, localcharters before the vessel set sail for Venice at the end of May. But he agreedthat price remains an important issue, “I think most of the charters arestill last minute bookings with almost everyone still looking for a bargain.”But he does have one slot booked for next year at the London Olympics at West India Dock where they arebuilding a mini Riviera right in the heart (sort of) of Ye Goode Olde LondonTown.