Thanks to Lee Stephens for this article.
This article is beneficial to people who enjoy private yacht charter vacations or who operate their own private yacht or enjoy sail boat charters.
Boating safety education requirements have changed in Florida effective January 1, 2010.
Boat operators who were born on or after January 1, 1988 must pass an approved boating safety course and possess photographic identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to legally operate a boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more.
“We want to encourage everyone, regardless of when they were born, to take an approved boating safety education course, because all of us can learn something new, even if we have been boating all our lives,” said Captain Carol Keyser of FWC’s boating and waterways section. “For some, it is now required to take the course.”
There are a few exceptions. For instance, a person born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates a boat within 90 days after purchasing it, does not need a boating safety education identification card if a bill of sale, which meets the requirements of Florida law, is onboard. After the 90-day period ends, the boat operator needs to meet the educational requirements. Those who possess a current United States Coast Guard license are also exempt.
“Licensing is always a good thing when dealing with on-water motor vehicles. There are simple rules for right-of-ways, for example, that must be followed on the water. We’ve seen too many accidents on the water because of incompetence related to boating. I applaud the FWC for upgrading the licensing and rules so that everyone is on the same page on the water.”
For inquiries, contact FWC‘s Division of Law Enforcement at 1-850-488-5600.
One of the biggest hurdles for large families and groups seeking to enjoy a private yacht charter vacation has been partially lifted by the yachting registration authorities in Malta.
In late December, 2016, Transport Malta, the administrative authority that oversees regulations for yachts flying the flag of Malta, introduced new guidelines for private yachts that carry more than 12 guests.
Long a stumbling block to the charter industry, most private charter vessels, no matter the size, were restricted to carrying no more than 12 passengers, even if enough cabins were available to accommodate more than 12 guests. Yacht owners who wanted to bypass this restriction were forced to build their vessels to standards established for commercial ships and cruise liners – adding enormous costs to the project. Most yacht owners elected to avoid the extra costs and burdensome regulations – and built luxury charter vessels for 12 or fewer guests.
Maltese authorities saw an opportunity to reduce restrictions on private yachts built to high safety standards, and to allow these safe, well-built and professionally-operated vessels to carry more than 12 passengers. Ivan Sammut, registrar general for the Maltese flag, explain how Malta saw a gap in the market. “You have to evolve to stay relevant in this marketplace,” states Sammut. “Malta hopes to be more than just a European flagging alternative; we have a holistic view of the superyacht market and want to become a turnkey destination for private and commercial superyachts alike.”
The new certification, summarized in the “Guidelines for Pleasure Yachts Carriage Capacities,” is part of an ongoing Maltese initiative to introduce contemporary standards in the area of private yachting. To qualify, a superyacht seeking to register in Malta and fly the Maltese flag:
Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, views the new regulations as long overdue. “It’s discouraging to turn away a large, extended families of 13 or more from their dream of enjoying the superyacht experience together on one yacht. We anticipate many superyacht owners with vessels that feature cabins and capacity for more than 12 guests to register their yachts in Malta. This is one more contemporary component in the growth of our private luxury yacht charter industry, and we hope other flagging authorities will follow Malta’s lead.”
Interested in a luxury yachting experience for your large family? Text “MORE THAN 12” to 305-720-7245 for more information or fill out our convenient online booking form, and our team will be in touch with you right away.
This entry was posted in News Educational and tagged Jana Sheeder, Laws, Education, Superyacht, Malta, yacht charter Mediterranean, family yacht charter, 12 passenger yachts, rules, yacht charter malta, yacht constructionPosted on
The tiny nation of Belize took a giant step today in a global effort. It decided to safeguard the oceans by banning all forms of trawling in the country’s waters.
At first, Belize ignored international calls to ban the destructive fishing gear. But when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently threatened to strip the Belize Barrier Reef of its World Heritage Site status, the government finally took notice.
Facing UNESCO repercussions, Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration took action. He negotiated the buy-out of the country’s commercial shrimp trawlers. He also initiated a ban on all future trawling.
Shrimp trawls are notorious for the amount of bycatch they haul in. Thousands of sea turtles, marine mammals, and untargeted fish are caught in shrimp trawlers around the world every year. Meanwhile, bottom trawlers’ weighted nets effectively bulldoze the ocean floor with every pass. This destroys sensitive corals and anything else in their way.
Particularly at risk is the Belize Barrier Reef, which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. This is the second largest coral reef system in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The reef is a destination for sailors, divers, and snorkelers around the world.
Both bareboat and crewed catamaran charters have increased significantly in recent years along the coast of Belize. Seasoned sailors and vacationers seeking less-crowded anchorages have discovered the unspoiled charm of the Belize Barrier Reef.
In conclusion, the stoppage goes into effect December 31st. Belize then becomes one of the first countries in the world to institute a complete and permanent ban on trawling in all its waters.
This entry was posted in Yacht Charter News Educational and tagged Laws, marine life, trawling, UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, bycatch, Belize yacht charter, yacht charter Belize, Belize Barrier ReefPosted on
The restriction that kept superyacht charter vessels away from Thailand has officially been lifted, opening the door for more foreign-flagged yachts to offer vacation rentals in Thai waters.
In September, the Thai government issued a Royal Decree to allow yachts to apply for a Superyacht Charter License for Thailand. Until now, only Thai-flagged yachts were allowed to operate charters in the countries territorial waters, with foreign megayachts restricted from beginning and ending their trips in Thai waters (although temporary entry was allowed).
According to Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, the new license, in effect, has created a new destination for private yacht charter vacations. “We can now offer an exciting new cruising destination in Southeast Asia to our clients,” says Sheeder. “The decree will make it easier for charter yachts to relocate for the winter at the conclusion of the summer Mediterranean season.”
Thus far, 3 licenses were granted in Bangkok on the same day the decree was issued. The first license issued was granted to 41m OCEAN EMERALD, one of three identical charter yachts (OCEAN SAPPHIRE and OCEAN PEARL the others) well known in the Mediterranean.
In related news, Thailand’s Prime Minister has announced the new Thailand Yacht Show will take place at the Ao Po Grande Marina in Phuket in February 2016. Located in Phang Nga Bay, the marina is undergoing major upgrades including berths for up to 200 yachts, a permanent breakwater, provisioning outlets (ideal for Thailand bareboat charter clients), and luxury condos overlooking the marina.
For information on arranging a charter vacation in Thailand, email your request to us at email@example.com, call us at 1-800-YACHTCHARTERS (1-800-922-4824), or use our convenient online form. We look forward to working with you.
This entry was posted in Destinations News and tagged 1-800 Yacht Charters, Destinations, 1800yachtcharters, Laws, yacht charter Thailand, bareboat charter, yacht charter southeast asia, Thailand yacht showPosted on
In what appears to be a case of “Security versus Tourism,” the British Virgin Islands (BVI’s) have initiated a new policy wherein everyone coming into the territory by sea is now required to present himself/herself IN PERSON to immigration authorities. This includes guests on both bareboat yacht charter and superyacht charter vessels.
The policy takes effect immediately…
According to a government spokesperson, Her Majesty Customs of the Virgin Islands has, “…taken this step to minimize the potential entry of criminals, firearms and illegal substances into the territory.”
Will the revamped policy affect charter passengers? Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, explains how the new procedure differs from prior requirements: “In the past, only the captains of yachts were required to disembark and take with him or her all of the passports of the onboard guests. Now everyone is required to present themselves with their passports and their belongings.”
No one disputes the sovereignty of the local authorities to safeguard their islands and residents. Still, for an island economy that depends heavily upon charter yacht tourism, the new policy seems a bit draconian, especially when there is little evidence to suggest tourists, and not local residents of the US and British island chains, are responsible for any uptick in criminal activity.
So, are local authorities barking up the wrong tree? Sheeder thinks so. She questions the necessity to impose upon well-heeled travelers who have already been “pre-screened” through the yacht charter reservation process. “The idea that firearms and illegal contraband will be brought ashore by luxury yacht charter guests is misplaced,” says Sheeder. “Clients sign a charter agreement that clearly outlines firearms, narcotics, and contraband are not permitted onboard. Furthermore, being in possession of such contraband can lead to the immediate termination of the charter – without refund.”
If any illicit materials are discovered by the crew, the yacht will proceed to the nearest port, where the guests will be escorted off the yacht. With so much at stake, there seems little need to further screen these guests and their crews upon entry into the BVI.
How will the new regulations impact yacht charter tourism in the BVI? It’s too soon to tell, as the new rules went into effect September 1st. It is possible charter vessels will simply bypass the British portion of the Virgin Islands and modify their itineraries to focus solely on the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, where captains can still clear the passports for all onboard guests.
In the the short-run, Sheeder is confident the impact upon charter clients can be minimized. “We pride ourselves in delivering the superyacht experience. We will offer our clients alternative destinations in the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, and throughout the Caribbean. For those clients who still wish to explore the BVI, we know we can rely on the captains and crew. If they need to carry the luggage and escort the guests into the immigration office and back to the yacht, we know that they will do so in the most efficient, professional, and friendly manner.”
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This entry was posted in Caribbean News Educational and tagged Jana Sheeder, 1800yachtcharters, Laws, Virgin Islands, Ask The Pro's, bareboat charter, Ask the Yacht Charter Pros, president of 1-800 Yacht Charters, caribbean yacht charter, British Virgin Islands yacht charter, British Virgin Islands, Spanish Virgin Islands, SecurityPosted on