by Kim Kavin
Hundreds of brokers worldwide can help you book a charter yacht vacation. The system is similar to real estate, in which one company holds the listing and all the other companies bring clients. That’s why most charter management companies have diverse fleets of crewed yachts, with sailing yachts, fast powerboats, slow displacement boats, and more. They want to offer a little bit of everything to attract as many clients as possible.
Theoretically, a charter company focusing on a single brand of yacht makes little sense unless the goal is to help charter clients fall in love with the brand itself. There are two companies that have—in just the past few years—become the first examples of this formula working quite well.
Sunseeker Charters, based in the United Kingdom, and Sunreef Yachts Charter, based in Fort Lauderdale, have quickly and quietly amassed nice-sized fleets of yachts built primarily by their namesake shipyards. Sunseeker Charters is an independent company with an affiliation to the builder, while Sunreef Yachts Charter is a division of the Sunreef company. Both are now thriving with charters being booked all over the world.
Sunseeker Charters has a fleet of nearly 30 boats available for charter, with all but a handful of them having been built by Sunseeker. The yachts range in size from 48 to 90 feet LOA and are available for everything from day charters to week-long charters in destinations including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, and beyond. Weekly base rates range from about $20,000 to about $80,000.
Sunreef Yachts Charter now has a fleet of about 15 boats available for charter, almost all of them sailing catamarans built by Sunreef Yachts. They range in size from 60 to 114 feet and include the world’s second-largest luxury catamaran for charter anywhere (she’s called Che). Weekly base rates in the Sunreef Yachts Charter fleet range from about $15,000 to about $80,000. Available destinations include the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South Pacific, and more.
One reason these two companies have seen so much success in just a few years’ time is that they are not accumulating the types of yachts that are the most valuable to traditional charter management companies. Boats smaller than 100 feet tend to fly under the radar at larger management houses, and that is the size range on which both Sunseeker and Sunreef focus.
By contrast, a leading Dutch megayacht builder launched a charter division back in 2008, and as of today has only one of its own recently launched megayachts under charter management. All of its other new launches have signed with traditional charter management companies that aggressively pursued the business, which can bring 15-percent commissions as high as $75,000 to $150,000 on a single week’s charter booking.
Stay tuned to see if other builders of smaller yachts decide to pursue the same path that Sunseeker and Sunreef have charted.
For more information, visit the company websites.