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Miami Grand Prix Yacht Charter?  It May Happen!

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Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines….and captains, prepare to cast off!

Formula One (FIA Formula One World Championship), the foremost auto racing league on the planet, is actively scouting Miami, Florida (USA) as a possible site for a new Grand Prix race.  If Miami is selected as a venue, expect to see dozens of luxury yacht charter vessels lining the course, with thousands of spectators crowding the decks for a bird’s eye view of the action.

Four race cars on a winding street beside the ocean. Lalique and Black Label banners behind the cars as they whiz by.

According to a report by the Miami Herald, F1 execs visited Miami in November, and met with the mayor and government officials to discuss potential racing circuits and logistics for an annual event in the downtown area, along Biscayne Bay.

Events director for the city of Miami, Vicente Betancourt, says the goal is to add Miami to the Formula 1 season in 2020. “It’s like the Super Bowl of auto racing,” said Betancourt. “Hopefully we can make it happen.”

Will the amazing Michael Buffer possibly be the announcer for a Miami Grand Prix Formula One race?

Wouldn’t you love to see professional race car drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, or Verstappen…and high tech Mercedes, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati racecars on the downtown streets of sunny Miami?

This would be a wonderful boost for the South Florida economy, and it would provide corporate sponsorships from such companies as Amazon (founder, Jeff Bezos, graduated high school in Miami, Florida), Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Hotel Intercontinental, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Spa, The Forge, The Biltmore, Britto, Norman Braman, and 1-800 Yacht Charters.



Each year, from April through November, the Formula One’s series is comprised of 20 races in cities around the globe (Singapore, Budapest, Sao Paulo, Monaco, et al).  Currently, there are 15 road courses and five courses laid out on city streets.

Formula 1 is under new ownership (Liberty Media) and is looking to expand its U.S. presence.  Like professional soccer, F1 has a massive fan base across the globe, but lags behind other sports in the United States, like football, basketball, and NASCAR.  Currently, its lone United States Grand Prix race is  in Austin, Texas. Chase Carey, Liberty Media’s CEO of the Formula 1 Group, has been saying he wants another American race to join the one already held at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin.  An event in Miami, or possibly Las Vegas or New York, has been publicly discussed.

Carey wants to see F1 grab a foothold in “destination cities” like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, or Las Vegas in order to create a week-long celebration capable of attracting people from all over the world.



Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters believes Miami is a natural fit for a F1 event.

“Of all the races held annually by F1, the two premier events are staged in Monaco and Abu Dhabi,” says Sheeder.  “Both locations have courses along the waterfront, and thousands of spectators enjoy the race and the festivities from the decks of dozens of luxury yachts.  The Miami Grand Prix would duplicate that unique setting, as the course would pass through downtown Miami, along our beautiful waterfront area – and we have many superyachts that already make South Florida their home port.”

According to, Formula One filed on November 1st for a new trademark on a race event in Miami (as well as Las Vegas and New York). The next day, Sean Bratches, Formula One’s director of commercial operations, came to Miami, with his track engineers, and met with Mayor Francis Suarez and checked  out the city streets near the downtown area, along the waterfront. Betancourt, who has been in communications with F1 since May said nothing was finalized. “We’ve got to see if it works and what it would cost them to actually bring it out. I think the ball is pretty much in their court.”

Sheeder points out the idea of a major road race and spectator yachts is not new for the city. In the 1980’s, the Miami Grand Prix was a major annual event (but not affiliated with the F1 series).  “Private luxury yacht charter vessels would line up, stern-to the seawall in the area that is now the Bayside Marketplace, and spectators would watch the race from the deck of their superyachts. In the evening, many of the yachts would host private parties for the charterers, as well as the owners, drivers, and corporate sponsors of the racing teams.”


Sheeder is optimistic a new F1 week-long race event will become a marquee attraction for South Florida.  “Assuming the financing and logistics make sense for Formula One, a corporate hospitality Miami Grand Prix  yacht charter could easily rival the excitement of a Monaco Grand Prix yacht charter or an Abu Dhabi yacht charter.  Yes, Monaco has the edge thanks to many decades of exposure, but Miami could make a big splash.  We have the best weather, and the largest inventory of luxury yacht charter vessels anywhere in the world.  Throw in the sexy appeal of nearby South Beach with world-famous hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and celebrities, and Miami is a world-class big-event town.”

Where else can you go to an upscale event, wearing little more than sandals and a bathing suit, where the best “seat” in the house is in an on deck Jacuzzi on a private luxury yacht???

women in white bikini tops sipping champagne in the hot tub of a yacht


Attending a Grand Prix event on a yacht is the ultimate in corporate hospitality.  Come experience the excitement and glamour of Formula 1 racing in 2018.  For more information about a Monaco Grand Prix yacht charter, or to rent a yacht for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix or for any other F1 race, CLICK

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Miami Yacht Show Gives Yacht Charter Maven Leg Up On The Competition

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There’s an old saying in football – when your team is on offense, “take what the defense gives you.”  In other words, make the most of the opportunities that come your way.

No one understands that mentality more than our head honcho – Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.

Every President’s Day weekend, Jana rallies our team, and we invade the Miami Yacht Show, held in Miami Beach.  This year’s show runs from February 15 – 19, 2018.

Known predominately as a “sales” show, few yacht charter brokers attend, preferring to wait until the charter-only show season in late Spring.  What they don’t realize (and Jana does) is that many charter yachts are quietly listed  for sale, and they attend shows like Miami before entering the charter season.

We use this opportunity to inspect yachts and interview crews privately – without  our competitors trying to eavesdrop on our conversations.   With fewer distractions and interruptions, we can spend more quality time with the crews – discussing our past charters, planning fresh itineraries and activities for guests, and always looking for ways to deliver a unique Superyacht Experience to our repeat clients.


Of course, having more time to see the yachts only matters if you can get to the yachts – a tall task when the superyachts are spread across Miami Beach in two locations – one in front of the classic hotels along Collins Avenue, and the other 4 miles to the south, at Jungle Island Deep Harbor Marina.

Anyone who has visited Miami Beach during the yacht show knows the roadways are snarled by heavy vehicle congestion. It can literally take an hour in traffic to travel just one mile along Collins Avenue, with drivers cruising slowly to gawk at and take photos of the hundreds of yachts docked just feet away from the roadway.  Whether in a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or private car – it’s all the same: traffic, traffic, traffic…

Fortunately for us, Jana developed the ultimate solution to avoid gridlock – we zip around the marinas and pull up at the docks via boat!  Professional, fun, and unique – wonder what she has up her sleeve for the future?

Jana Sheeder leans on side of Jupiter yacht as it races along Miami skyline at sunset


For this year’s show, we used a Jupiter 31 center console model (after our Van Dutch 55 had mechanical problems).  [Side bar:  The Van Dutch is a stylish cruiser, and some of our superyacht clients had flown in to inspect several luxury yacht charter vessels with us.  We thought they would be bummed not to cruise “in style” on the Van Dutch 55.  Turns out they had a blast with Jana – roaring around Biscayne Bay in the fast Jupiter, and cruising up the Miami River for a dockside late lunch and sunset at the Casablanca Seafood Restaurant.  A special bonus was the sighting of a manatee and dolphins!  The Miami Magic…]



Some of our most popular charter yachts (and crews) came to town, including:

  • DOUBLE DOWN – 213 Foot Codedasa superyacht selected last season by one of our clients for a 10–day Greek yacht charter odyssey through the Ionian islands. [Click on the yacht name to see photos we took at the Miami Yacht Show…] 
  • BLISS – 145 Foot Heesen charteryacht – a fantastic modern yacht with a fun-loving crew who delivered a memorable Balearic islands yacht charter holiday to one of our Dutch clients and his family last July.
  • QUITE ESSENTIAL – 180 Foot Heesen – eco-friendly motoryacht with impressive looks and great interior comfort.  Another great superyacht for clients.



We also took the opportunity to inspect some brand new yachts for sale.  Why would we look at yachts not currently in charter?  Many buyers in the market for a brand new yacht will often buy a yacht, then enter it into the charter marketplace.  If this is done after the boat show season, there may not be an opportunity to inspect the yacht for many months.  We prefer to promote charter yachts that we have inspected, and while that’s not always the case, taking the time to look at popular, newly-built models increases the odds that we will see a new charter yacht before our competitors do.  We’re always looking for ways to stay a step ahead!

Our favorite new model at this year’s show is the NAVETTA 33, from the custom series of yachts built by Italy’s Ferretti Yachts.

Ferretti Custom Line 33 superyacht underway - heading to left of screen


Ferretti has already sold ten hulls since the model was launched in 2017.  After inspecting this yacht, it is easy to see why. The Navetta 33 Ferretti features a voluminous interior flooded with natural light through  floor-to-ceiling windows.  We walked through with one of our clients who has designed contemporary interiors for luxury suites in NBA arenas – and she was just as impressed!



So there you have it – another great yacht show for 1-800 Yacht Charters.  Jana took our team (and our clients) on some of the most popular luxury yacht charter vessels found anywhere in the world.  We also saw newly built yachts, and we’re anxious to see them enter the charter market.

Most importantly, we had the opportunity to spend quality time with our clients and share with them another aspect of our dedication to Delivering The Superyacht Experience… 

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