Kathleen Mullen, Regency Yacht Vacations
In my opinion as someone who manages charter yachts in addition to booking them for retail clients, it is actually a strong relationship with a retail broker that clients should care about more than the company that manages any particular charter yacht.
There are a lot of good charter yachts with excellent crew that move in and out of different management company fleets, and no matter the quality of any given management company, it is the retail broker’s job to be able to connect clients with those top-quality boats, protect any money that changes hands, and ensure that correct contracts are signed.
For anyone booking a charter vacation, a strong retail broker who can work on these types of details with various levels of management companies is the ideal partner, no matter what management company represents the particular boat that you are planning to charter.
Ann-Wallis White, retail broker who regularly books boats that are part of Nicholson Yachts fleet
I think the quality of a yacht’s management company matters—a lot.
Retail charter brokers want to work with management companies that they can trust completely, as opposed to companies that have been known to steal clients during the booking process. Your needs as a client will be better served by a retail broker working through a management company that she trusts, because the broker can be forthcoming about your needs and work completely openly with the management company.
This should be the norm, but it is actually a rarity in the charter business. And it is especially important if something goes wrong, because the trust and working relationship between your retail broker and the yacht’s management company will be key to sorting out any problems to your benefit in a quick, cooperative way.
If I am out on a limb for you as a client, then I want to know that the yacht’s management company is out there with me—not sawing the limb off behind me.
Ami Ira, C U Yacht Charters
As someone who manages charter yachts in addition to doing retail bookings, I know that you, as a charter client, need certain information that your charter broker is simply not able to give you without corresponding through the yacht’s management company or central agent. This includes the captain's name and telephone number, the yacht's proof of insurance, and the fully executed contract signed by the yacht’s owner. A central agent’s failure to deliver this information to your charter broker in a timely and professional manner can prevent you or your broker from speaking with the captain about a number of important issues, such as any food allergies you might have, or from acquiring any paperwork that is needed for you to purchase charterer’s liability insurance. One real doozy is if you have signed the contract, sent the funds to your broker, and booked your flights—but the central agent has not yet forwarded the contract countersigned by the yacht’s owner. Where does that leave you if your charter is less than a week away?
Some central agents are extremely well organized, giving your broker the needed information even before being asked. Others central agents are not as diligent. Responses may come slowly, or never at all. And in the latter cases, an unprofessional central agent might also be a sign of an unprofessional yacht owner. If he is satisfied with lousy service from the agent, he might also be satisfied with lousy service from his crew—a red flag to you before you charter any yacht.
For all of these reasons, the central agent that manages a yacht can potentially make a huge difference your overall satisfaction during any charter vacation.