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Tag Archives: Make A Difference

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Keys to Hybrid Sports Car

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Collage of 3 photographs of Leonardo diCaprio. Left photo is of Leo in a grey suit and standing in front of a white banner at a special event. Top right is a silver sportscar. Bottom right is Leo standing next to a silver sportscar in a showroom

Ah, life is good for film star Leonardo DiCaprio.  Dating “Gossip Girl” actress Blake Lively, we first caught a glimpse of Leo relaxing onboard motoryacht SEVEN SEAS, Steven Spielberg‘s multi-million dollar superyacht, during the recent Cannes Film Festival 2011.

Now we hear di Caprio is about to take delivery of a 2012 Fisker Karma hybrid luxury sports sedan.  And not just any Fisker Karma – the very first one ever built.

The actor is known for leading the green enviro movement in Hollywood, and his latest toy, like his Toyota Prius is built with sustainability in mind. The Karma is designed by Henrik Fisker, formerly of Aston Martin, and has been developed around an aluminium chassis. 

The plug-in Karma is driven by a a pair of electric motors totaling 403hp, powered by a 22 kWh lithium ion battery, or a 175kW generator turned by a 2.2L gas engine.

Even with its eco-friendly background, the Karma features a 125 mph top speed and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

Also waiting in line for his own hybrid is Al “An Inconvenient Truth” Gore.

Just imagine the buzz if Leo were to invest in a hybrid mega yacht charter vessel?!

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Contact 1-800 Yacht Charters at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/
to learn more about the newest generation of green superyachts and to charter your own eco-friendly yacht for vacation.

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CEO of 1-800-YACHTCHARTERS Balances Work with Passion for Animal Rights

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Arranging luxury yacht charter vacations for celebrities and corporate titans requires Jana Sheeder to mix and mingle with the rich and famous at cocktail parties and special events like the Super Bowl and the Sony Ericsson Miami Open tennis tournament. While it sounds glamorous, Sheeder is quick to tell you she is happiest in a pair of workboots, cleaning a horse stable at an animal sanctuary.

Arranging  a Caribbean or Mediterranean yacht charter vacation on a superyacht is my vocation, but my passion is animal welfare,” says Sheeder, CEO of 1-800-YACHT CHARTERS.

Jana Sheeder CEO 1-800-YACHTCHARTERS

It is a balancing act that requires tight scheduling and unwavering commitment to protecting abused and homeless animals. A typical day begins with releasing butterflies that Jana has raised to help pollinate the environment, then on to business meetings and emails to prospective megayacht charter customers.  Throw in the occasional personal inspection of a newly built superyacht, as its crew prepares the yacht for entry into the yacht charter marketplace. Later in the day, Sheeder exchanges her business suit for a pair of bluejeans and heads to the local animal shelter to assist in a pet adoption event.

Weekends are a blur, as Sheeder often volunteers to help transport 5 to 20 rescued dogs and cats to a sanctuary 100 miles away. When not transporting animals, Sheeder spends time at a horse sanctuary, feeding and caring for abused and abandoned horses and other livestock, like goats, chickens, cows, and pigs.

Jana Sheeder - transport of rescued dogs

Recently, Sheeder drew the attention of TV’s Animal Planet as well as radio, news media, and newspapers after a serial cat killing spree left over two dozen dead and mutilated cats in South Florida. Sheeder worked with local animal rights advocates to arrange a safety seminar for hundreds of residents. A suspect was arrested just three days before the seminar. Sheeder cancelled the seminar and used the allocated time to spend the day volunteering at the county animal shelter!

It’s all about making a difference in others’ lives – human OR animal.

Book your private luxury yacht charter through 1-800 Yacht Charters to make a difference together.

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Hometown Miami Yacht Charter Maven Promotes Give Miami Day to Support Local Charities

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As private luxury yacht charter brokers, working and living in South Florida is truly a blessing.  This is the yachting capital of the world, and we are blessed with warm weather, great beaches, and year-round access to the newest and largest yachts in the world.

While our mission is to Deliver the Superyacht Experience to our clients, our business is built for the specific purpose of generosity:  We strive for success in order to share our blessings with our community.

This week, on Thursday and Friday, EVERY PERSON AND CORPORATION in South Florida has a unique opportunity to be generous, by participating in The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day — a 24-hour period in which donations can be made online to more than 500 charities. The blitz begins 12:01 a.m. Thursday and runs for 24 hours.

 

flyer for Give Miami Day

Now in its third year, Give Miami Day has gained popularity with each campaign, with more and more charities coming on board. This year, Give Miami will include 115 new charities — among them Goodwill Industries, the South Beach Chamber Ensemble, the South Florida SPCA Horse and Large Farm Animal Rescue, and Honor Flight South Florida.  Returning charities include Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Inc., and Shake-A-Leg Miami – a sailing program for the physically-challenged.

Here’s how it works:  Simply go to the website www.givemiamiday.org, look at the profiles of each charity, and make a donation to any charity (or charities) that touch your heart.  Donations between $25 and $10,000 will qualify for a bonus for the recipient, distributed based on how much is raised and how much is collected in the bonus pool on Give Miami Day. The Miami Foundation, Knight Foundation, and other sponsors have contributed to the bonus pool as an “incentive” for giving.

One of the participating charities that we at 1-800 Yacht Charters support is Project PetSnip. Their mission is to stem the staggering pet overpopulation problem in Miami by providing free and low-cost spay and neuter services, along with veterinary health care to animals in need.  Last year, we are proud to say, our company President, Jana Sheeder, donated over $4000 to Project PetSnip for the purchase of an autoclave – used to sterilized their medical/surgical tools.  Jana explained how our participation helps: “By having additional clean instruments available, more animals can be cared for each day.”

Last year, Give Miami Day received more than 10,000 individual gifts like Jana’s, and raised $3.2 million to support 407 local nonprofit organizations.

There are so many worthy charities participating in give Miami Day – certainly there are one or two that will call out to you.  ANY amount will help SO MANY!

Please join us Thursday and Friday for Give Miami Day.  As Jana likes to say, “You can make a difference and you can change the world.”


TO DONATE

What: The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day

When: Thursday, November 17 through Friday, November 18

How:  Visit givemiamiday.org and either click on the charity of your choice, or search through the database. Donations between $25 and $10,000 qualify for a percentage of the bonus pool.

Social media: @MiamiFoundation on Twitter and Instagram — and (hashtag) #givemiamiday

For more information: givemiamiday.org.

In the meantime, please click to follow 1-800 Yacht Charters on just two of our many social media channels:  instagram.com/1800yachtcharters/    @yacht-charters
Thank you!

#1800yachtcharters #thesuperyachtexperience

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Luxury yacht charter vacationers? What’s in Store for 2-0-1-4??

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Trends for 2014:

  • Smartphones, tablets, and any handheld computers are the norm (versus desktop computers). Even people resistant to change in their personal and professional lives are changing to adopt technology. Everyone has access to computers and smartphones…regardless of his/her “station in life.”smartphones iphone samsung galaxy android htc 2014 trends smart phones and handheld computers and tablets
  • The “personal touch” between family, friends, businesses, and clients must receive direct focus in order to stay an important aspect of life.  The “use it or lose it” belief is alive and well.
  • Handwritten communication is fading into the past, without direct use and practice.  Schools no longer teach personalization in life. Technology has center stage, which is a blessing (technological medical advances move closer to cures ever day…diagnosis, treatments, and surgeries are complete different than they were in the past)…and a curse (what happened to handwritten communication and face-to-face meetings).
  • Society in general is moving more toward caring for others (think: Pay It Forward, Practice Random Acts of Kindness) and for animals.2014 trends make a difference pay it forward practice random acts of kindness charter luxury clients care
  • People are stepping up to help others (and to keep others – and animals – from harm) in my experience.  Companies are making more sustainable products and being more environmentally responsible.
  • All aspects of life are being directed toward recycling, reducing, and reusing….just loving the Earth and caring about our surroundings.reduce reuse recycle in all aspects of life save the earth what can i do to help the earth
  • There’s a dramatic shift toward “Making a Difference.”

 

Here’s to another wonderful year ahead!  Thank you for making a difference with 1-800 Yacht Charters!

 

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Making A Difference – Six Simple Tips To Reduce Plastic Onboard Private Yacht Charter Vessels

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Drawing of red earth on white background with the saying plastic constitutes 90 per cent of all trash floating in the ocean

 

 

Back in April , we took a look at the problem of trash in luxury yacht charter marinas, and offered suggestions on things we can all do to make a difference in the fight to protect our natural resources and ultimate planetary health.  It’s always reassuring to know that our voice is just one of many, as evidenced by a wonderful article written by Angela Orecchio, a yacht stewardess, and author of the blog Savvy Stewardess.   Angela outlines six ideas that can help reduce plastic onboard yachts.

Much of what Angela suggests is particularly useful for people who own their own boats, and for bareboat yacht charter customers.  Perhaps you’re not a boat owner.  That’s ok – even guests onboard a fully-crewed private luxury yacht charter vessel will find some helpful ideas in Angela’s message.

Here’s a reprint of Angela’s story (with a few comments of our own):

Six simple ways to reduce plastic onboard

“While I care a great deal about the environment, I’m just as guilty as anyone when it comes to buying plastic items for convenience.

Plastic is a major issue for the environment. Ocean Crusaders says there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our ocean. It also has this startling fact: 1 million seabirds die from plastic. I also read that we have no idea how long it takes for all of the plastic we consume to fully break down.

Have you heard of the Great Garbage Patch floating in our ocean? It’s heartbreaking, yet there are things each of us can do daily to take care of the health of the planet.

  • RECYCLE

This is the last resort of reducing plastic. But it’s important. Start by talking to the captain about setting up a recycling program that works onboard. Create the specifics of the program and hold a meeting/training about it. Ensure that everyone knows what to do and how important recycling is. Designate one crew member to be in charge of making sure the program is successful.

One way to start recycling is to have a “non-recycle” bin for usual trash, and then one set up for plastic, paper and other recyclables. Designate the removal and proper distribution of the recycling to the watch keeper as part of his/her end-of-night duties.

Double check on how and what to recycle as the yacht travels; it changes from place to place.  If the port or marina where the yacht is docked does not have a recycling bin, first talk to the captain to get permission to meet with the yacht’s agent, DPA or dockmaster. Work with them to help set up a recycling program.

If they cannot help, reach out to the nearest recycling center. Either it can provide a recycling bin or someone there can identify where the nearest one is. If it’s a trip away, then potentially, this can be a bulk run done by one of the crew members when they go out every few days.

  • WATER BOTTLES

A lot of boats still buy cases of bottled water. Ask the engineer how water is filtered on board. If no one is sure if it’s potable, buy a water test kit and check it.  If it’s not drinkable, get an external filter that sits under the sink in the crew mess and/or galley. Work with the engineer on what will work best for the boat.  Reusable plastic water bottles are a better option than one-time-use plastic. Still, they become worn after a short time. I prefer a glass bottle with a rubber sleeve, which prevents the bottle from breaking.

[1-800 Yacht Charters Comment: some bareboats, and almost all luxury yacht charter vessels, have state-of-the-art watermakers onboard, capable of generating hundreds of gallons of clean, fresh water during a charter vacation.  1-800 Yacht Charters offers reusable glass bottles in rubber sleeves to our charter clients, as a way to encourage them to forgo disposable plastic bottles during their vacation.]

Jana Sheeder sitting on the aft couch of a yacht in a marina

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and 1-800 BAREBOAT with Eco-Hero Reusable Tote Bag

 

 

 

  • SHOPPING BAGS

Many countries no longer give out shopping bags at checkout for free. It is easy to build up a collection of long-lasting shopping bags. Just remember to put them back in the crew car or somewhere they won’t be forgotten. Reusable produce bags are great alternatives to the plastic ones found on the roll in the produce sections.

[1-800 Yacht Charters Comment: at the end of this blog we tell you how you can get a complimentary Eco-Hero tote bag. Read on!]

 

  • FOOD CONTAINERS

Most boats use Tupperware of some kind. This is a fantastic alternative to zip-top bags. Still, Tupperware tends to wear eventually, especially after being stained by food and multiple dishwasher runs. A great alternative to plastic Tupperware is glass or stainless steel. Many companies make durable glass Tupperware with lids that can go in the oven, microwave and dishwasher. While the lids are plastic, the base will last for many years.

  • RESEALABLE BAGS

Avoiding zip-top bags on a yacht can be quite tricky. They are so convenient and they don’t take up much room like rigid food containers. Still, they are plastic. Some alternatives are re-usable sandwich bags, stainless steel or glass containers, and muslin wrap.  If zip-top bags are a must, wash them out and reuse them. Get organized and designate one location for clean-but-used bags for less than sterile needs.

Logo for Skip the Straw and Save a Sea Turtle Project

  • STRAWS

Plastic one-use straws are easy to replace. There are so many alternatives out there, including metal, glass and multi-use plastic or silicone straws.”

 

 

Our thanks to Angela for doing her part to protect our oceans, and for spreading the word – we can all make a difference!

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Are you an Eco-Hero?  Have you got any tips of your own on how you help protect our environment?  Share them with us, and we’ll send you a complimentary “Eco-Hero” reusable tote bag.  Email us at info@1800yachtcharters.com

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Making a Difference: What to do with Old Saddle Pads

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I know what you’re thinking – you’re saying to yourself, “What do horse saddle pads have to do with boats, and private yacht charters, and the ocean?

The truth is, while we love our work and are passionate about sharing the Superyacht Experience with our clients and friends, we also love to spend time away from the water – on a ranch with horses, and pastures, and clean, country air.

Last week, I noticed a stack of old saddle pads in the barn. They were still usable – soft and thick, but starting to fray on the ends.

Rather than pitch them in the trash, we came up with a good idea – a way to “recycle”  the pads and put them to good use.

So, we put washed the pads, tossed them into a couple of reusable, eco-friendly  1-800 Yacht Charter “Eco-tote” bags, and took them to our local animal rescue shelter, PAWS4YOU.   It turns out, saddle pads make a perfect bed for dogs!

The pads are mostly rectangular in shape, and filled with soft, cushiony fabric.  The same thick fabric designed to protect a horse from the impact of a rider and saddle when riding makes a nice “bed”  for a small to medium-sized dog.

Actual dog beds that you buy at a pet store are expensive and beyond the budget of most pet rescue organizations.  It sure felt good when “Bernard” a rescued beagle available for adoption at PAWS4YOU came out to accept our donated saddle pads.  We also had the extra satisfaction of knowing we made a difference on November 13th, World Kindness Day!!!

Bernard the rescued beagle dog and volunteer sit beside bag of donated saddle pads for shelter dogs

 

Our hats are tipped to the many volunteers at PAWS4YOU, and all they do to help shelter and adopt homeless and abused pets in Miami, Florida.

So, the next time you find old towels, blankets, (or, if you ride horses, a saddle pad or three) in your house (or barn), don’t throw them away.  Wash them and find a local animal shelter in your community.  Make a difference and donate them to help the animals!

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Seabirds Eating Plastic At Alarming Rate

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The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America has released a disturbing study detailing the threat of plastic pollution in the ocean, and its impact on seabirds.  Plastic trash is found in 90 percent of seabirds. The rate is growing steadily as global production of plastics increases.

According to the Academy, the “Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing.”

seabird surrounded by plastic and trash in yacht charter destination

The areas of impact facing the greatest threats are the southern boundary of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.

Plastic found inside birds includes bottle caps, plastic shopping bags, and tiny pieces the size of rice that have been broken down by the sun and waves.

After reading the study’s abstract, Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters commented on the health impact facing the seabirds.  “Living along the coast of South Florida, I have seen the small plastic pieces of plastic that wash up into our mangroves and our shoreline,” says Sheeder.  “The wildlife rescue groups that we support tell us sharp-edged plastic pieces can kills birds by punching holes in their internal organs. Some seabirds eat so much plastic, there is little room in their stomachs for food.  Lack of food affects their body weight and jeopardizes their health.”

Sheeder echoes the concerns of scientists and environmentalists:  “At current levels, virtually every seabird will be consuming plastic by 2050.  If we don’t address this issue, we are looking at a major contributing factor to the possible extinction of many seabird species. We can’t let that happen.”  

Sheeder feels her yachting industry can do more in terms of effective waste management to reduce the threat.  “Almost all of the yachts we represent for private yacht charter vacations have the onboard capability to generate fresh drinking water. Now, when our clients request plastic bottled water to be placed onboard prior to their charter, we encourage them to forgo plastic and drink the yacht’s purified water.” 

In lieu of plastic water bottles, Sheeder even offers her clients complimentary reusable beverage containers.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters poses with garbage bag during bay cleanup

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, cleaning plastic and debris from coastline near her home in South Florida

 

Sheeder is confident the tide can be turned. “While the report by the National Academy of Sciences paints a grim future, it also points out that effective waste management can reduce the threat.  Protecting our future means preserving the marine environment and promoting responsibility onboard our yachts, in the seas, and along our shores.”

Sheeder further comments, “Everyone can do something.  Even just one thing every day.  It’s not hard to take that extra moment to help another. Sadly, so many prefer just to stick their heads in the sand rather than being role models and making a difference.”

She encourages others to:

  • Be the change and leave all areas better than you found them
  • Pick up trash
  • Properly dispose of your own trash
  • Give back to the environment, to animals, and to others
  • Practice random acts of kindness to people, animals, your community, and the environment
  • Show your #Gratitude for the beauty of the wildlife and joy that they give you by protecting them
  • Use reusable totebags (versus plastic shopping bags) and be a 1-800 Yacht Charters Eco Hero!

Calling all eco heroes!   Comment on this post and include your email address,  and we will contact you to send you your own customized totebag so that you can be an #ecohero with us!

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Trash in Luxury Yacht Charter Marinas. It’s Simple to Make a Difference.

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sampling of debris picked up on dock in a marina - washer rope bolt fishing line plastic cloth

We took this photo during the Yachts Miami Beach Boat Show.  We were inspecting several private luxury yacht charter vessels docked at the Deep Harbour Island Gardens marina, near downtown Miami.  As we walked along the docks, I noticed our company President, Jana Sheeder, often pausing, bending down, picking up something, and putting it in her “Eco-Hero” tote bag.  I asked Jana what she was picking up, and she paused and poured a few of the contents of her bag onto a locker box on the dock.  “Take a look,” she sighed. “This debris can easily end up in the water where it becomes part of the ocean pollution problem, as well as a threat to birds and marine life.”

 So, I snapped the photo you see above…

THE IMAGE

When I look at this photo, I see beautiful superyachts that serve as a gateway to experience the wonders of our oceans.  I see a segment of the tourism industry – private luxury yacht charter – that generates millions of dollars of revenue annually.  I see a support network of thousands of crewmembers, dockhands, marina workers, and maintenance and repair staff – all supporting their families from a livelihood that is inextricably dependent upon healthy oceans.

For me, the trash in the foreground of the photo is a harsh reminder that the refuse we see floating in marinas and along the seawalls and walkways is a direct threat to the health of our waterways, and therefore, a threat to our own livelihood.

As you read this blog, I can guess what some of you are thinking – “I’m not part of the problem – I would never throw trash in the water.”  Good intention, ladies and gents, but you or someone you know might still be directly responsible for pollution in our waterways.

 

MYTH BUSTING —

It’s a common misconception that most trash comes from people throwing things directly into the water…  

“Believe it or not,  much to the trash in our waterways comes from litter thrown out of cars, litter that blows from surrounding areas into the waterways, illegal dumping, and this item really irks me – cigarettes left on the ground,” says Jana.  “During a big rainstorm, all that junk ends up in the watershed, and some of it eventually makes its way down to the bays, harbors, marinas, beaches, and worse – onto our fragile coral reefs and into the stomachs of marine life (like fish and turtles) and shorebirds.”

 

CLEANUP  EFFORTS

Efforts are underway to rid our waterways of trash.  In Baltimore, Maryland, two (rather cute) trash wheels are pulling debris from the harbor before it flows into Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Trash Wheel (male) and Professor Trash Wheel (female with eyelashes) are solar and hydro-powered trash interceptors in place in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Over a million pounds of trash has been pulled out of the water by Mr. Trash Wheel since it was installed in May 2014 (Professor Trash Wheel was installed in December 2016).

Mr. Trash Wheel in a marina

 

Professor Trash Wheel - with eyelashes

John Kellett (a true ECO-HERO!) invented the trash wheels and tracks the debris collected.  Since May 2014, when Mr Trash Wheel went operational, almost nine million cigarette butts and over 300,000 plastic bags have been collected.   Additionally, Mr. Trash Wheel picks up an average of 14,000 Styrofoam containers a month – second only to cigarettes.

Kellett echoes Jana’s thoughts that the problem starts on shore.  “I thought we were being ambitious with the harbor, but now people are talking about cleaning up the ocean,” Kellett said. “But I think the most effective solution is to get the trash before it gets there.” 


WHAT YOU CAN DO

No matter where you live, you CAN make a difference and help protect our natural resources.  Let’s review some simple steps we can all take:

  • No butts about it!  Are you a smoker, or know someone who is?  Don’t throw your cigarette butts out of your car window or onto the ground.  It takes just a second more to locate an ashtray or garbage receptacle.
  • Say “NO” to single use, disposable plastic products.  Reusable shopping bags are available everywhere!  They’re affordable and many places give them away as promotional items.  Please think twice when your grocer asks you, “paper or plastic?”  Say no thank you to either option, and hand your grocer a reusable bag.  Many stores give discounts (Target and Whole Foods, for example) when you use them, and you can turn your discount around and donate it to charity, through the store!
  • Pick up at least one piece of “someone else’s trash” and properly dispose of it today.  If everyone did this, it would make a HUGE impact and keep trash from finding its way into our waterways and environment.  It’s amazing how many people just don’t care…  (Many people refer to picking up refuse left by others as “karma trash,” or cleaning up poop at dog parks as “karma poops.”  It’s just good KARMA to help the earth and the environment!)
  • Be the change you want to see in the world.  If you have children, lead them by example when they are young and/or are especially eager to learn.  Show them that you refrain from disposable plastic bags… Get them to drink from reusable water bottles and not plastic water bottles.  Take them to the beach and show them the pollution that washes up on the shore and share with them how it harm the birds, creatures, and corals in the sea.   Track down a video of a sea turtle eating a plastic bag (thinking that it is a jellyfish)…or a seabird or sea lion with a plastic six-pack ring around its neck (which can easily eventually kill the animal).  They will follow your lead!

What do I hope will happen?  I look forward to the day that Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel are forced to take days off because there is no debris for them to clean up!

Jana Sheeder sitting on the aft couch of a yacht in a marina

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and 1-800 BAREBOAT, with Eco-Hero Reusable Tote Bag

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If you are ready to make a difference, text HERO to 305-720-7245 and we’ll send you an “Eco-Hero” tote bag – just like the ones Jana carries with her and also uses at boat shows.  It’s Jana’s gift to you – from Jana and our team at 1-800 Yacht Charters!

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