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Tag Archives: Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Monitoring International Laws Keeps Yacht Charter Maven On Her Toes

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Digging Deeper

You would think Delivering the Superyacht Experience to boating clients would be pretty straightforward:  A client expresses interest in a yacht for a family vacation; the charter broker presents several options; and the client makes a selection.

In reality, it’s not nearly so clean and to the point  – at least not for the handful of super-brokers who handle the world’s elite travelers.   Just ask luxury yacht charter maven Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.

According to Sheeder, matching a yacht to the client’s budget is just the starting point.

“While our clients are most interested in a yacht’s layout, amenities, and price, we dig deeper – into the yacht’s registration, the nationalities of the crew, and any governmental regulations and laws that might impact the success of the charter and comfort and respect of our clients.”


photo of large red Maritime book on its side with a gavel lying on top


El Método Español

As an example, Sheeder mentioned the rules affecting yachts for hire in Spanish waters.  “We’ve seen a significant increase in interest in Spain, particularly Balearic Islands yacht charter vacations,” says Sheeder.  “Many yachts based in the South of France and Monaco are willing to deliver to the Balearics to accept theses charters.  However, yachts not in possession of a Spanish charter license are at a significant disadvantage, and face restrictions as to where the charter can begin and end, and what nationalities are permitted in the crew.  Something as simple as bringing on a Spanish resident to offer therapeutic massages to the charter guests could be a problem if the yacht is not licensed for charter in Spain.”

Other licensing and legality issues Sheeder and her staff monitor are:

  • Local regulations regarding the charter guests’ use of watertoys such as waverunners.
  • VAT implications of chartering in certain European Union countries.
  • Advance entry requirements prior to arrival in certain ports of call.


“Not understating these regulations and laws can result in a negative experience for the charterer and  guests, and in some cases increase the overall cost of the charter by 10% or more – a significant sum considering many charters are priced in the €500,000 to €1,000,000 per week range.”                 


La Manière Française

Currently, Sheeder is monitoring the possible impact of French social security tax responsibilities on yacht crews.  In March 2017, a decree was passed to require crewmembers and their non-French employers (the yacht owners) to make contributions to ENIM – the French mariners’ social security agency. Any yachts and crews spending more than 90 consecutive days in France or French waters are subject to the tax.  The decree was suspended Sept 13, following a disastrous summer tourist season that saw France luxury yacht charter revenues plummet by 40%.

Sheeder is waiting to see if the decree is actually overturned in 2018, or if it will come back in a modified form. “These increased costs associated with crew wages end up being are passed on to the charterer, in the form of higher rates for yacht rentals,” says Sheeder.    If the decree is reinstated, Sheeder plans to either offer her clients yachts with French crew, or to convince them to bypass French waters and charter elsewhere in the region.


Going The Extra Mile

Do affluent charter clients realize the level of detail involved in orchestrating a vacation on a superyacht?  Sheeder chuckles at the question: “Probably not, but that’s fine with us. It’s like an attorney getting your traffic ticket dismissed in court.  You don’t care how he or she does it –  as long as you don’t have to pay the ticket!  It’s a similar scenario for us – we obsess over the small details in order to deliver a memorable vacation experience to our clients.  A pat on the back is nice, but a satisfied charterer who becomes a repeat customer is even better!”


A luxury yacht charter is the ultimate vacation for today’s elite travelers.  Wired, connected, and driven by sustainability and the greater social good, they want to immerse themselves and participate in unique cultural events. 1-800 Yacht Charters understands that their chartered yacht must serve as a platform to an eco-friendly adventure – a chance to reconnect with family and friends, embrace diverse cultures, and rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit.  If this sounds like your next vacation, CONTACT our charter consultants at:  1.800.922.4824 (North America) or 305-253-7245 (local South Florida and international) today.


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Smaller PWC Better Fit for Private Yacht Charter Vessels Under 100 feet?

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The sales market for waverunners and jetskis – also known as personal water craft (PWC) – has been on the decline for several years, in part due to the fact PWC have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry.

While the price issue is of lesser concern to the owners of charter yachts, the size and fuel consumption issues do factor into the decision of whether or not a megayacht will carry one or more of these toys onboard for the use of the charter guests.

Now, a smaller, lighter, and far more fuel efficient model has been introduced, and it might have an impact on smaller megayachts, particularly in the 80 to 100 foot range.

Sea-Doo Spark raspberry and silver jetski personal watercraft

The Sea-Doo “Spark” is approximately half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange PWC, and burns nearly ten times less fuel than other waverunners.

Storage space is a major concern on yachts in the 80 to 100 foot range. The aft garage on a mid-size megayacht is rather tight – yet carrying an assortment of watertoys is important as many charterers clamor for water-based activities during their time onboard.  Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a Florida yacht charter vacation, in the warm, pristine Florida Keys, without spending time in the ocean, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and riding along on a waverunner.  The Spark is smaller and lighter than other PWC, and it is easier to get in and out of a cramped yacht’s toy garage.

Many vessels forgo carrying a large PWC, not just because of the size but also because the typical PWC guzzles LOTS of fuel, requiring the storage of large amounts of gasoline to operate the waverunners. This is both problematic and, for yacht owners and crews concerned about sustainability, an ecological issue.

The Spark is the most fuel efficient PWC on the market, burning just 7.3 liters (1.9 gallons) of fuel per hour on the 60-horsepower model, or 9 liters (2.4 gallons) per hour on the “High Output” model. Compare this to a 250-horsepower Sea-Doo RXT-X model, which swallows 76 liters (20 gallons) per hour, and the Yamaha FX Cruiser requiring 80 liters (21 gallons) per hour.  Carrying a Spark on a charter yacht would require less gasoline to be stored, and leave a far smaller carbon footprint on the environment.

Yes, there is a trade off in top-end speed, but many charterers have little-to-no experience on a PWC, and high speed can be quite dangerous.  In fact, operating a large PWC often requires a special license.  Consider the typical language used on most charter agreements between clients and the owners of the yacht for hire.  There is often a clause that states:

“The use of any personal watercraft (waverunners) is at the operator’s sole risk and is only permitted subject to the operator having the applicable license, if required, and meeting local regulations.
Any liability arising from noncompliance regarding the use of personal watercraft is entirely at the operator’s risk.”

For most charterers, the speed of the Spark should not be an issue, as the Spark can easily hit 80 kilometers per hour (around 50 mph)!

Sea-Doo Spark personal watercraft with man riding and nose of waverunner in the air - fast

It’s too early to tell how the charter industry will react to the Spark, and whether owners of mid-size megayachts will choose this new PWC for their toy garages. At approximately half the price and half the weight, the Spark delivers 90% of the speed (and fun) of a more expensive PWC.  Hopefully that will be enough to “spark” an interest in eco-friendly yacht owners…


WHAT do you think? Will the Spark catch on with megayacht owners and crews?  Share your comments with us, and we’ll send you a complimentary eco-friendly tote bag, courtesy of 1-800 Yacht Charters.

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