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Luxury Yacht Charter Maven Reflects on Industry in 2013

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Many of her clients are still onboard their yachts enjoying their 2013 year-end St Barts yacht charter vacations.  Jana Sheeder, President and Co-owner of SailAway Yacht Charters and 1-800 Yacht Charters comments. She takes a few minutes to reflect on the year that was (and offers us a glimpse of what’s to come in 2014.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters standing with yacht Vertige female crewmember on dock in front of boat. Jana wearing halter long dress and gold name badge, and crewmember wearing short black skirt and white short-sleeved shirt.

Q:  The charter industry still seems to be recovering from the global economic downturn of the past couple years.  Did 2013 represent an uptick in the volume of charter business?

Sheeder:  “Our research indicates 2013 showed significant improvement in charter revenues when compared to both 2011 and 2012.  Many newly-built yachts enter the  charter marketplace in 2013.  These are builds that had stalled while under construction during the height of the downturn.  As the global economy began to pick up, delayed construction projects commenced.

The result is a beautiful new fleet of superyacht charter vessels that hit the seas in time for the 2013 summer Mediterranean charter season.”


Q:  Did the year end on an uptick?

Sheeder:  “We haven’t seen any industry data yet, so we can’t speak for our competitors.  We can tell you in terms of the Caribbean yacht charter marketplace,  SailAway (1-800 Yacht Charters) had its strongest December in over 3 years. While the inquiries for smaller vessels did not grow, our bookings of superyachts – some of the largest yachts in the world –  increased significantly.

Presently, we have the two largest charter vessels currently docked in St Barts for 9 night charters – motor yacht LAUREL (240 feet, $525,000 per week) and the Lurssen yacht charter motoryacht MARTHA ANN (230 feet, 600,000 EUROS per week).”



Superyacht Laurel underway.  Navy blue hull and white superstructure. There is a mountain in the distance behind her. She is headed toward the lower left side of the photograph.

Q:  What was the biggest change you witnessed in 2013 in the charter industry?

Sheeder:  “I would have to say the ending of VAT exempt charters in France. For many years, our clients enjoyed St. Tropez yacht charters and summer vacations along the Cote d’Azur, free of the burden of VAT.  That all changed in the summer of 2013 when the French yacht charter VAT went into effect.   As of July 15, 2013, charterers can expect to pay an additional 9.8% for their Côte d’Azur yacht charter.”

Q:  Are you optimistic as you look ahead to 2014?

Sheeder:  “Our team is extremely optimistic as we focus on incremental growth in 2014. During the economic downturn, while many of our competitors hunkered down to ride out the storm, we took a contrarian approach.  We focused our efforts on increased marketing. Our strategy was simple – stay in touch with existing clients and prospects. We wanted to be “easy to find” once the economy turned around.

Internally, we call it our “Tip of the Tongue” project.  Clients had tightened their belts during the downturn, and we were committed to be the brand they remembered (always on the tip of the tongue) when they were ready to loosen their discretionary income belts again!



Now that 2014 is here, we are excited to announce that, for instance

  • Our newly-designed website is nearing completion
  • We are launching a new subsidiary to provide luxury yacht tenders to megayacht owners
  • Our additional satellite offices are opening 
  • We are focused on charitable causes — helping others, helping marine life, and helping the environment — Paying it Forward and Making a Difference for all that’s been given to us! 

The sky’s the limit!  It will be an exciting, challenging, and awe-inspiring year!”



For more information about yacht vacations around the world, contact us. Please visit 1-800 Yacht Charters at .  Share our information with your friends, family, and associates!  #yachtcharter

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Neptune Awards – New Yachts Dominate

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Photograph of multiple Superyacht Award trophies. They are called Neptunes. They look like little men holding a pitchfork, as if Neptune, underwater.


The mega yacht charter industry has dominated the nominations for the World Superyacht Awards 2009. Over a dozen luxury Mediterranean yacht charter and Caribbean yacht charter vessels, all available  through SailAway Yacht Charters and 1-800 Yacht Charters, have been nominated as finalists for the World Superyacht Awards 2009.



This year has a record number of nominations.  Luxury yacht charter megayachts lead the way with 14 new yachts.  The nominees represent some of the newest and largest yachts available for Caribbean yacht charter holidays. In addition, Mediterranean yacht charter adventures represent, also.



The winners of the prized Neptune awards areannounced soon. Specifically, at the World Superyacht Awards 2009 gala evening. Notably at London’s historic Guildhall on Saturday, May 16, 2009.



Finalists include the 240′ Nobiskrug yacht SIREN for the Best Displacement Motor Yacht, 1300GT to 2999GT; along with the 196′ Benetti yacht AMNESIA, and the 196′ Benetti yacht XANADU, and the 177′ CRN yacht MARAYA, for the Best Displacement Motor Yacht, 500GT to 1299GT.



Other mega yacht charter vessel nominees include 141′ CRN yacht HANA for the Best Displacement Motor Yacht below 500GT, and the 143′ Heesen yacht SEDATION for the Best Refitted Yacht award.



The World Superyacht Awards are designed to recognize the talents of the naval architects, designers, builders and ultimately, the visions of the owners who bring together the teams that work to create these masterpieces of modern design and manufacture.



Over four hundred distinguished guests will gather in May to witness the presentation of the highly coveted Neptune Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the super yacht world – during a glamorous gala evening attended by an elite guest list of megayacht and super yacht owners and leading industry



Rounding out the charter yachts nominated are Lürssen yacht MADSUMMER; Corsair yacht NERO; yacht SEA FORCE ONE; Hakvoort yacht MY TRUST; Horizon yacht MISS ROSE; Mondomarine yacht PANTHER II; Benetti yacht SALU; and sail charter vessels Alloy yacht RED DRAGON and Perini Navi yacht SALUTE.



SailAway and 1-800 Yacht Charters continues to lead the way with the NEWEST and LARGEST Yachts in the Worlds’ BEST Destinations. Make your reservation today at 

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Ocean’s Distress Foreshadows Mass Extinctions

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photograph of plastic bags and garbage floating in the ocean. The photograph was taken from deeper in the water, and it was taken facing up toward the surface of the ocean.


Time may indeed be running short for marine life, according to a new report released this week.
The scientific study led by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) suggests that
Life in the oceans is at “imminent risk of the worst spate of extinctions in millions of years due to threats such as climate change and over-fishing.”  It goes on to say, “We now face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation.”


 The report by twenty-seven (27) ocean experts is to be presented.  Specifically to the United Nations in the coming weeks. This is in the hopes of persuading governments to take action.  Read a summary of the report at


Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants and 1-800 Yacht Charters, feels that everyone involved in the private yacht rental industry needs to take warning.

“No matter how you are involved in the ocean, you need to take responsibility.  For instance, if you are a yacht rental agent. In addition, the owner of a mega yacht charter vessel. Or subsequently, the crew onboard a superyacht.  You have a stake in what is happening to our oceans, “ says Sheeder.



Photograph of a colorful coral reef with tropical fish swimming through it. The predominant color is neon green.


“Part of what appeals to people who rent a private yacht is the chance to interact with nature. To swim among the creatures of the sea and to witness the rainbow of colors of a living coral reef. When you see a report like this, you realize just how at-risk our reefs really are.” 


Sadly, the report paints a grim picture. “Unless action is taken now. [snip] The consequences of our activities are at a high risk. [snip] Of causing, through the combined effects of climate change. [snip] Over-exploitation, pollution and habitat loss.  The next globally significant extinction event in the ocean,” it said.
The scientists list five mass extinctions over a 600 million year period.  The extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago is the most recent.


The findings may be shocking.  However some solutions can be implemented almost immediately. Over-fishing,for example, is the  easiest for governments to reverse.  “Over-fishing is now estimated to account for over 60 percent of the known local and global extinction of marine fishes,” according to William Cheung of the University of East Anglia.  “Unlike climate change, it can be directly, immediately and effectively tackled by policy change.”

Sheeder worries about the financial repercussions of an ailing ocean.  
Everyone in our industry must accept our responsibility as stewards of the seas, or we risk the end of our industry and our livelihoods.”


Together, all things are possible!

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Om into Spring on a Luxury Yacht Charter

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Photo of a sandy beach with the word, gratitude, written in the sand. The waves are approaching the word. White waves, then teal water, then dark blue water, with an island in the background. The photo was taken iwith a round lens.


I stumbled across a wonderful blog the other day.  I wanted to share it with the SailAway Yacht Charter and 1-800 Yacht Charters readers.  It’s so important to focus on gratitude in our lives.  Even when aboard a magnificent superyacht for the vacation of a lifetime.  It is important to remain grounded (no pun intended) and to be grateful for our privileges. Remember to practice Random Acts of Kindness daily, also.
Jana Sheeder, President, SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants and 1-800 Yacht Charters



Credit to Monique Minahan ( for the special blog that makes us all think. In addition, it reminds us to be grateful.  



<<  In this busy world that we live in, I think it is very important for our body AND mind, that we practice skills such as Yoga. We need time to decompress, relax and unwind, and for the most part, people would agree that Yoga can do this. When we are able to relax our body, even though it is still working to get into specific poses, it is a great time for us to stop and think of the many things that we are grateful for. Sometimes it is a person, sometimes it is an object that helps us, sometimes it is an emotion that we feel….and the list goes on and on! I think that moving our bodies in different ways, is beneficial to our health, and also taking time to stop and think about all of the things we should be grateful for, by either writing them down, or verbally acknowledging our appreciation, will help us lead more valuable lives. Who knew how powerful two little words could be….”THANK” and “YOU”

How to Cultivate Gratitude Through Yoga

Our yoga practice is a multifaceted gem. It’s like a prism that reflects a different color depending on how the light hits it. Our practice can reflect back to us different emotions, feelings, or thoughts depending on how we approach it.

Yoga can draw out parts of ourselves we know exist but have difficulty accessing at times, such as strength, flexibility, balance, trust, love, and gratitude.

These are often physical traits we tap into on our yoga mat. Interestingly, we often find after practicing that we have access to them on a mental and emotional level as well. >>



<< I first noticed this transformative quality of yoga while practicing backbends. The steadiness and strength they require revealed to me the power and the past housed in my back body. The more I allowed this opening process physically, the more I was able to allow myself to open more fully to the people in my life. Seeing this natural evolution, I started adding intention to the mix.

I often bring to my backbend practice people or situations I’m having difficulty “loving.” I visualize them through my practice and try to allow myself to soften and open to them mentally as I soften and open physically.

I’ve been able to transform how I relate to many challenging relationships in this way.  >>



<< Gratitude is a powerful quality we can develop deeply through yoga. This is especially helpful when we experience times in our lives where we don’t feel so grateful. Maybe our lives or loves just fell apart and we don’t feel grateful for anything.

This is when our yoga practice can help.

Great gratitude comes ultimately from a place of great humility. Replacing expectation with awe, we see the world through childlike eyes. Everything is a gift, everything is alive, everything is thrilling.

We let the quality of life fill us up instead of the quantity. >>



<< In yoga poses it’s easy to forget the quality aspect sometimes also. The quality of our breath, the quality of our skin, the quality of our heartbeat.

In poses that require strength, when we simultaneously relax our hearts, minds, and bodies into the muscles that are holding us up, it feels vulnerable. It also feels liberating, delicious, and open.

We now have a fertile space for true gratitude. Gratitude for our bodies, for our minds, for our lives, for the floor that supports us and the air that inspires us.

In that space we can plant seeds of gratitude, love, trust – whatever we need in our lives. We can notice where we are taking things for granted and we can connect with the whole part of ourselves that allows us to give freely.  >>



Developing a quality of gratitude can infuse our lives with deep peace and joy. I like making gratitude lists, especially on occasions like birthdays. Try it on your next birthday. Make a list of the 20 or 35 or 45 things you’re grateful for.

Dig deep for gratitude and you will often find gold. It’s always right in front of us, but we can’t always see it through the dust of daily life that makes it look ordinary and unimportant.

I leave you with this gratitude poem and a sweet gratitude practice by Jeanie Manchester  >>


I am grateful for my limits
that teach me patience and pace

I am grateful for challenge, defeat, and loss

They teach me hope is not a light at the end of the dark tunnel
It’s the ember burning within me that I forgot to fan

I am grateful to my teachers
for introducing me to myself

I am grateful for my past
that has delivered me to my present

I am grateful for all I have found and all I have lost
Both remind me I can live with and without

I am grateful for silence and for laughter
And for my ears that can hear both

I am grateful to my heart
that beats and breaks and heals

I am grateful for the fullness of my life
For the brief, heartbreaking, heartwarming fullness of life.


I highly recommend Jeanie Manchester’s Gratitude Flow as a practice for cultivating gratitude. Enjoy!   >>

Monique Minahan is a writer, yogi, and lover of life. She’s inspired by nature’s simplicity and the healing power of love. She finds true liberation in living life fully from the inside out. Her intention is to offer her heart to the world through words that motivate, inspire, and encourage. You can visit her at her blog, >> 

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SailAway Group Testimonials

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testimonial word cloud for 1-800 Yacht Charters. Photograph of a superyacht at anchor with words written over the top of it inside of a word bubble symbol, like you would see over someone's head when they are speaking in a cartoon


At The SailAway Group, 1-800 Yacht Charters has a mission to understand and work with the ever-changing needs of our clients FIRST.  Second, we are dedicated to improving and providing top-notch experiences and service. As humanitarians with a passion for boating and the ocean, and we want to hear your stories, too!


Jana Sheeder, President and Co-owner of The SailAway Group and 1-800 Yacht Charters is humbled by the incredible feedback received from clients, both new and repeat.

“My company and The Superyacht Experience has been referred to as, ‘the best yacht charter broker,’ ‘the only brokerage I would work with or refer to my friends,’ and ‘the best experience I’ve ever had.,’ Those words and sentiments push us to make every experience better. We are so grateful to be in this amazing industry, and are humbled to be able to give back to charity with each charter.  Words cannot express how grateful we are to our wonderful clients and friends!” 



We know how memorable a boating trip can be, and we want to hear about it (and so does the rest of the world).  How can we improve without your feedback?  We also want to hear and share your VACATION PERFECTION!



Please contact us to let us know how you feel about your yacht charter vacation and about our service. First, did it meet all of your desires?  Second, how could it have been better?  Third, when do you want to charter again?  Let’s get started on the planning NOW!



When people see your selfies of your enjoyment during your yacht charter vacation, they can’t wait to do it, also.  We’d love to be a part of your vacation!  Bring on the selfies!



Click to send us your comments, photos, and any information that you’d like us to know.

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SailAway to Cross-Promote as 1-800-YACHT CHARTERS

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yacht charter marina. Photograph of boat marina in the caribbean


We reflect upon the continued expansion of business from sailing yachts to motor yachts.  Things change so much, and so do we.  SailAway now cross-promotes its private yacht rental brand as 1-800-YACHT CHARTERS.  To illustrate, all names are a part of The SailAway Group.



We began in the 1970’s as a business focused on luxury sailing charter vacations in the Virgin Islands.  For instance, smaller boats (mostly sailboats), typical itineraries between the islands, smaller selection of watersports toys.  SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants has grown into a web-based network of the newest and largest yachts, in the world’s best destinations, with charter personnel worldwide.



Company President, Jana Sheeder, has witnessed the change.

As a result, Sheeder explains,

“Our industry has not just grown – it has evolved.  In the early years, the term ‘yacht charter‘ was synonymous with sailboat charters in the Virgin Islands.  As the global economy expanded in the 90’s, the penchant for yacht owners to build larger and larger vessels reached a fevered pitch, especially in the motoryacht sector.  These larger vessels had far greater capacity to carry more fuel and supplies and to cruise further than their predecessors.”

 Photograph of a man dialing a cellphone. He is wearing a dark blue suit with blue tie and light blue shirt.
Sheeder continues, “The ability to safely travel to remote destinations led to the expansion of global itineraries.  Existing marinas expanded, and new facilities were built throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the world to accommodate the new superyachts.”  
The increase in the number of available motor yachts for hire allowed Sheeder’s company to grow into a global provider of luxury mega yacht charter vacations. 
Since the company’s name alludes to sailing, Sheeder felt it was time to rebrand the business to reflect the growing trend for large motoryacht rentals. “We secured both a toll-free phone number and a domain name that allow us to cross-promote both sailing and motoryacht vacations under the moniker: 1-800-YACHT CHARTERS,” says Sheeder.

Named by as the “Best Private Cruise in the World,”  Sheeder is proud of the company’s commitment to offer charterers the newest yachts in the marketplace.  “Like 1-800-FLOWERS and similar company names, the 1-800-YACHT CHARTERS brand allows us to offer our customers a point of easy access to a global inventory of new and large sail and motor yachts for hire.

Finally, sail versus power?  Which type of yacht is your favorite? 
 Contact us with your thoughts and opinion by clicking now.

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Travel Insurance – Should You Buy It?

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Photo of a young woman sitting on a baggage claim carousel. She has her head in her hands. There is no luggage on the carousel.

Should you purchase travel insurance to protect the money you have spent on a luxury yacht charter?  The answer seems to vary, depending upon who you ask.  Many travel agents and consumer advocates advise travelers to buy it, while many others say to skip it.

Adding to the dilemma is the difficulty for consumers to understand the components of the insurance.

Typically, there are three components of most travel protection plans – trip cancellation/interruption, personal effects coverage, and emergency medical insurance. Let’s review each of these.

1.  Cancellation Insurance – Coverage can cost anywhere from 5 to 8% of the total cost of travel. For example, travel insurance for a $10,000 Virgin Islands yacht charter vacation would cost between $500 and $800. Before purchasing this insurance, consider the fact you might already be covered under insurance you already have.

If you paid for your trip with a credit card, look into the trip cancellation benefits provided by your credit card company.  Many card companies include some coverage.

2.  Personal Effects – The protection  for personal effects offered in travel insurance plans may also be redundant. Your homeowner’s plan may cover the loss of personal effects when traveling. (REMEMBER – you are probably responsible to pay any loss amount up to the deductible).

What about lost luggage?  Again, you may already be covered, as most airlines reimburse up to $3,300 for lost bags on domestic travel and $1500 for international travel.

If your purchased your flights with a credit card, some credit cards provide lost baggage coverage as well as protection for car rental losses.

3.  Emergency Medical –  This gets tricky.  It is advisable to consider additional travel medical insurance to cover medical emergencies, particularly IF you plan to participate in higher risk activities such as water skiing, scuba diving, and riding personal watercraft, such as waverunners, when traveling abroad.

Let’s say you are on a crewed catamaran charter in the Caribbean.  If you need emergency medivac and treatment, these costs may not be covered by your existing medical insurance.

Jana Sheeder, a yacht charter industry maven and President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants, encourages travelers to check with their existing health insurance provider to determine what is covered when they travel.  It takes only a few minutes to contact them, and it could potentially save you thousands of dollars (and headache).  Says Sheeder,

If your plan does not offer coverage when you are abroad, give serious consideration to purchasing additional medical coverage.”

For more information, visit the website InsureMyTrip.  They represent over 20 insurers with various plans and prices.

So what’s the bottom line?  The financial loss incurred by a cancelled charter is a risk many people can accept, so trip cancellation insurance probably IS NOT necessary;  however, the consideration of medical coverage requires more thought and research.  Major items not covered in your family’s medical plan may necessitate the purchase of travel medical insurance.

How do you feel about travel insurance?  Would you purchase it for your yacht charter vacation or not?  Please share your opinion with us at

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Yacht Awards for Charter Boats

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Yacht Awards location - aerial photograph of Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida


Presenting the winners of the 2011 ShowBoats Design Yacht Awards.  Held at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, mega yacht charter vessels beat private yachts for awards in design excellence. This is the second year in a row for such charteryacht success.



Back of sailboat yacht under sail.  Boat has black hull, white superstructure, and white sails.
Superyacht owners and creative talents attended the event.  They watched the luxury charter sailboat TWIZZLE, win.  Her category was Recreational Area for Guest Use and Interior Design categories.  Justin Redman of the design team at
Redman Whiteley Dixon accepted the Neptune award for TWIZZLE.

Photograph of a neptune award statue.




Other charter yachts receiving honors included:

  • Motor yacht EXUMA – Best Exterior Design & Styling Award: Displacement Motor Yachts 100?-199?
  • Powerboat CALLIOPE – Best Exterior Design & Styling Award: Semi-displacement Motor Yachts
  • Superyacht BIG FISHNaval Architecture Award: Motor Yachts
  • Sail yacht KOKOMO – Naval Architecture Award: Sailing Yachts




Motor yacht EXUMA  received an Environmental Protection Award.  She is 264 feet long, and was built by the Perini Navi Group and Picchiotti.  Exuma has exterior design by Vitruvius Ltd and naval architect Philippe Briand,

Bow profile of yacht Exuma


“For the second year in a row, the world’s finest yachts for hire were in the spotlight,” beamed Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants and 1-800 Yacht Charters“There’s a deep commitment by these yacht owners to build vessels with amenities and aesthetics that are appealing to prospective charter clients.  We are so proud to represent these amazing yachts, as they are among the newest and largest yachts available in the world’s best destinations.”



Aerial photograph of motoryacht Palladium underway. The waves ripple underneath the yacht as she does a semicircle movement in the water

Private yachts are award winners, also.  The 312 foot Blohm & Voss motor yacht PALLADIUM was the evening’s biggest winner. Designers Mick Leach and Mark Smith took home 4 Neptune Awards for her.  She won Tender Design, Bespoke Furniture Item, Exterior Design & Styling and Interior Design.


Many award-winning yachts are available for hire this winter
and spring in warm weather destinations, including Grand Bahama
St Barts, and St LuciaContact the 1-800 Yacht Charters destination pros at for further details about yacht charters in the Caribbean.

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