In January we informed our readers of a new Italian yacht tax signed into law in December 2011. Effective May 1, 2012, the tax will assess a fee for each day a yacht is in service in Italian waters.
Superyacht industry experts, like Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters and 1-800 Yacht Charters, and others, urged Italian authorities to analyze the economic impact of the pending legislation.
“Our concern was the quest for increased tax revenue might have a far-reaching effect on both the charter industry, and ancillary businesses that support yachting such as marinas, fuel brokers, shipyards, and tourism offices,” said Sheeder. “Even if you exclude charter revenues, support-related industries on their own generate €200,000,000 in annual revenue.”
To their credit – the Italian lawmakers listened…
On Tuesday, February 21, the 10th Commission of the Italian Senate for Industry, Commerce, and Tourism passed the Grillo and Cutrufo amendment to the Italian berth tax legislation. The amendment stipulates the berthing tax will only be applied to Italian citizens who own a vessel, even if the yacht flies a foreign flag. Foreign citizens who own a boat or Mediterranean yacht charter vessel are exempt from this tax, regardless of their length of stay in Italian waters.
Fulvio Luise, President of Federagenti Yacht Division, expressed his satisfaction: “The passing of this amendment is an important recognition to the economic impact the yachting industry has in Italy and we look forward to welcoming new and returning megayacht clients to Italian waters this summer.”
Sheeder echoed Luise’s sentiments:
“This amendment will allow Italy to continue to compete on an equal playing field with neighboring countries for the charter sector of the Mediterranean yachting market. We’re hopeful that the Italian yacht charter market will continue to flourish for many more years.”
Lawrie is a yacht agent, a rather non-descriptive title, but an integral participant in most private luxury yacht charter trips passing through St Barts and other nearby ports of call (e.g. Nevis, St Kitts, Anguilla, etc.). A yacht agent’s services include assistance with immigration and port services, banking, provisioning, charter guest and yacht crew concierge services, medical arrangements, and yacht parts purchasing.
“Our responsibility is to deliver The Superyacht Experience to our clients,” says Sheeder. “The hiring of the yacht is just one component of a successful charter. Our goal is to use the yacht as the platform to deliver an unequalled and flawless vacation for our clients. While the captains of the yachts are responsible to create an itinerary for the clients, it is often the yacht agent who coordinates the logistics for the yacht before it arrives at a particular destination.”
Lawrie and his Mango Mango team can:
Arrange dockage for a yacht days before arrival in St Barts, and once in port, assist the crew in clearing the charter guests through customs
Order provisions. Crews will often send Lawrie a list of provisions requested by the onboard guests, and Lawrie will make arrangements for these items to be delivered to the yacht
Organize onshore activities. Captains will call Lawrie before arrival with a list of activities the charter guests wish to enjoy while in St. Barts
“A captain and his crew need to focus on the safe operation of the yacht while the charter guests are onboard,” explains Sheeder. “You don’t want a captain or the crew spending time on the phone or Internet trying to organize sighstseeing tours, arranging dockage, or making restaurant reservations.”
This is where Lawrie and Mango Mango excel. Many important details are handled by yacht agents. When performed well, it’s a seamless, professional process – invisible to the charter guests. All the charter guests see is an empty slip in a marina, ready for their arrival. As they disembark, a driver is standing by, with a car or limousine – ready to take them where they want to go. There’s no need for charter guests to stand in line at the local customs office, because Lawrie has already cleared the passengers, using passport details forwarded to him via email by the yacht’s captain. Fuel and fresh provisions will be delivered to the yacht, so when the charter guests are ready to depart for the next port of call, the yacht and crew are ready to go.
Many times, a yacht owner who normally keeps his/her yacht in the Mediterranean will decide to re-position to the Caribbean for the winter season. Often, the crews of these yachts are not familiar with the islands of the Caribbean, and are at a loss when it comes to necessary yacht services – fuel bunkering, entry requirements, foreign currency exchanges, etc. For these yachts and crew, Lawrie is truly a miracle worker. Sheeder points out, “Not only does Kevin handle the typical yacht services, he’s available 24/7 for the little things that seem to pop up out of nowhere. If a crewmember suddenly breaks a tooth, Kevin will jump right in and secure an emergency appointment with a local dentist.”
Scott Macahonic, Chief Officer of M/Y Spirit understands the value of a local yacht agency like Mango Mango: “We have used Kevin numerous times over the last two seasons in St.Barths, and I can’t even tell you the number of ‘potential guest situations’ he has gotten us out of! New Year’s eve table reservations, 20 person taxi with no warning, coconuts immediately, fresh fish when needed. You name it…he’s helped us always in a professional, quick and friendly manner. We will definitely be using him the next time we can get back to the beautiful island of St.Barths.”
Mango Mango has expanded their services to also include villas. They provide:
• Arrangement & coordination of all contractors (pool, garden, plumbing, electric)
• Administration & payment of all accounts & services for the villa
• Housekeeping, chefs, babysitting & personal security services
• Meet & Greet at the airport / yacht / ferry
• Freshest products provisioning
• Exclusive concierge services
ST BARTS OPEN-4-BUSINESS
While recent hurricanes Irma and Maria brought much destruction to the Caribbean including St Barts, Lawrie states the island is up and running and ready for visitors. “St Barts is effectively open for business this winter season,” says Lawrie, “and we would love to see you down here and we can promise that it will be a memorable season offering you the same level of professionalism as usual and you will be welcomed with open arms and a warm smile wherever you go ashore.”
Well said, Miracle Man!
For up-to-date information about scheduled post-hurricane restaurant and hotel openings in St Barts, or to rent a luxury villa, contact Mango Mango Yacht and Villa Services at + 590 690 77 81 13 or email: email@example.com
She represents one of the major challenges in yacht design, for instance, creating a look that is distinctive but not outlandish. Trinity yacht MINE GAMES, a trideck superyacht, has just the right balance. Her deck house side windows nest in elongated ovals to create a sleeker superstructure. Her prominent bow and raised bulwarks make her look much larger.
At last news of a $1.5 million price reduction for the 49.9m superyacht. St. Martin yacht charter enthusiasts need not worry – MINE GAMES remains available for luxury yacht charter. She is available in both the Bahamas and the Virgin and Leeward islands of the Caribbean.
MINE GAMES is a 2007 build – conforming to ABS class and MCA compliance. She accommodates up to 12 guests. Her accommodations include a master, three doubles, and a twin. Her twin includes a Pullman berth. The yacht cruises at a swift 18 knots.
EXTERIOR AND TOYS
Mine Games is helicopter-capable, and she has a very large swim platform/beach deck. To sweeten the deal, a Triton two-person submarine (a favorite toy for yacht charter guests) is included in the new asking price of $31.45 million.
COMPANY PRESIDENT COMMENT
Jana Sheeder, President and Co-owner of 1-800 Yacht Charters and SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants says of the yacht,
“MINE GAMES has always been a favorite in the yacht charter marketplace. Her submarine, in particular, has made her a standout, and it has been a huge draw for people interested in a new experience during their vacations. Unique toy + gorgeous yacht = winning combination.”