Owner/President, Northrop and Johnson Yacht Charters, Newport, Rhode Island
Date interviewed: November 2006
When and how did you get started as a charter broker?
I was yacht charter crew from 1983 to 1988 and then came ashore and started working for Northrop and Johnson as a charter broker in 1988. In 1997, I became the owner of Northrop and Johnson Yacht Charters.
What kinds of boats do you typically book?
Crewed yachts only on a worldwide basis, all sizes sail and power.
What are some of the best charter destinations you’ve personally visited?
I have visited quite a few charter locations as I feel that is very important in helping a client with a charter in that area. Personally, for my next charter, I would go back to Bora Bora and the Society Islands. I also quite like cruising in Greece and Turkey.
What is the first thing you ask a new charter client?
If they have chartered before, so I can understand what they might know about charter and what they might need to know to understand charter.
Describe your ideal charter client.
Everyone is an ideal charter client, however this is a customized product where we specialize in providing that which the client specifically wants, so it’s great if they can provide as much information as possible on interests, the charter group, what they want to do and see.
Describe your nightmare charter client.
With a customized product, with so many options including customizing menu, bar, and itinerary, not receiving any information on choices can create a less than optimal situation, as it is difficult to then meet all expectations.
Describe a previous booking where you worked “above and beyond” for a client.
I arranged a charter in a very isolated worldwide location without fine wines available on shore. All fine wines needed to be shipped into the cruising area in advance. After the clients were onboard, it was found that more wine was wanted than expected.
I found another charter yacht in the area in another harbor and arranged for the captain to cruise to their anchorage and borrow additional wine from the other yacht’s boat stores to finish the charter.
What are a few of your favorite charter yachts, and why?
There are so many different yachts that fit different clients’ interests and cruising choices. In general, I think any charter yacht should be well maintained with a supportive owner interested in providing a great charter experience
Who are a few of your favorite yacht crew, and why?
Again, there are many different crews, and we make an effort to match charterers with the right crew. However, a crew with a "can-do" service attitude is what we look for.
What makes you different from other charter brokers?
We strive to be on top of the worldwide charter marketplace both in legalities and quality of product, including both the yacht and crew. We look to provide a charter compliant with all cruising laws on a yacht and with a crew that we would ourselves want to spend time on board with.
The client should receive a quality product for their money.
What else should CharterWave readers know about you and your business?
Yacht charter is a moving product with yachts flagged to different countries operating in various other countries’ waters. It is a more complex booking process than booking a stationary villa in one country. There are different contracts applicable and various licensing requirements. This can influence the selection of yachts available in various locations and contracts used.
This is all addressed for the charterer’s protection and is an important part of charter booking. The charterer should be aware and expect all aspects to be addressed on their behalf and understood.
How can CharterWave readers contact you?