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USVI Charter Yacht Show kicks off; Catamaran Central named official yacht sales and charter company

by Carol Bareuther 4 Nov 2021 10:13 PDT November 7-10, 2021
Wiley Sharp and Laura Jagielski, owners of Catamaran Central. © Catamaran Central

The U.S. Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show kicks off Sunday, November 7 at IGY Marina's Yacht Haven Grande St Thomas.

Approaching 50 yachts with their crews will exhibit, and over 130 charter brokers from the Caribbean, U.S., and Europe will attend either on-site or virtually, including Florida-headquartered Catamaran Central, the Show's official Yacht Sales & Charter Company.

This industry event, organized by the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), gives yacht brokers a chance to meet crews and visit the fleet of yachts aboard which they will book clients on future week-long, all-inclusive vacations. The 4-day event is still open to late registrations by yachts and charter brokers alike. All show participants are required to be fully Covid vaccinated and rigorous Covid Safety Protocols are in place to assure the well-being of in-person attending brokers, exhibitors, and island residents alike.

"Welcome Back to the United States Virgin Islands for the 2021 Charter Yacht Show on the island of St. Thomas. The beautiful Yacht Haven Grande Marina provides a perfect venue to showcase our returning charter vessels and new additions to the fleet. Yacht Haven Grande is truly worthy of their title as 'Superyacht Marina for 2021' and we are bringing the Caribbean's best boats to you... get ready to step onboard into the finest USVI boat show ever. The Charter Yacht Show is a grand event for the U.S. Virgin Islands because it says to people around the world that global yachting is alive and well and we are keeping it in the USVI where it belongs," says the Honorable Albert Bryan, Jr., Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sponsor: Catamaran Central

What differentiates Catamaran Central is that husband and wife founders and owners, Wiley Sharp and Laura Jagielski, specialize only in catamarans. Sharp and Jagielski also bring a wealth of industry experience to their 2020-launched business.

"There are thousands of makes and models of yachts, making it difficult to be an expert in all categories. By focusing solely on the catamaran space, we can hyper-focus on the technical data. It's a big differentiator with us. We're catamaran specialists rather than a jack of all trades. As such, we offer a boutique approach to sales of new and pre-owned multihulls," says Sharp, who is a founding member and past board member of VIPCA.

"While we do work as charter brokers, our concentration is on yacht sales," adds Jagielski. "For example, for someone who has taken a charter, fallen in love with the vessel, and is interested in purchasing it, we have the expertise to put together a program with the right crew, right management company and successfully bring owners into the charter world. Also, we assist owners who have yachts in charter and either want to sell and get out or move up to a larger vessel."

Sharp says it is important to attend the USVI Charter Yacht Show because "it helps me keep a pulse on what's happening in the charter catamaran segment of the market."

Catamaran Central is the exclusive North American dealer for C-Catamarans, built by Comar Yachts. The Italian-based company has built monohulls for decades and now designs, builds, and sells its semi-custom performance line, ranging from 37- to 62-foot.

Brokers - See a boutique fleet

Brokers have made the USVI Charter Yacht Show their go-to Caribbean event for staying up to date with the fleet of boutique yachts and their crew. In fact, VIPCA is delighted that CYBA (Charter Yacht Broker's Association) will host its Annual General Meeting for Members at the Show on November 8th at 5 p.m. Nearly 50 yachts are registered to exhibit at IGY's Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas marina for the USVI Charter Yacht Show. The show fleet, which collectively averages 56.8-foot LOA, includes a diverse mix of vessels: sailing catamarans up to 77-feet and motor yachts in the 100- to 120-foot range. One of these is the 120-foot Palmer Johnson motor yacht, Burn Rate.

"Since M/Y Burn Rate stands out from the other yachts in the show and offers a different kind of yachting experience. At the moment, there are not that many options in this size and luxury range available for charter in the USVI. Most people in this market gravitate towards Fort Lauderdale and the Bahamas. We have such great sailing grounds in the Virgin Islands, and all within a local flight from the states. So being in the show is a good opportunity to let the brokers and their clients know that we are available in the USVI, and we can accommodate charters for them," says Captain Evert Theron.

Size and luxury are Burn Rate's points of differentiation, Theron adds. "We can cover great distances with speed and comfort. Even though we are a large yacht, we draw a shallow draft making it possible for us to fit into most bays and anchorages. Apart from that we also offer a wide variety of high-end toys such as e-foils, sea-bobs, and Offshore Fishing and wakeboarding with our 39ft Hydrosport tender. Within minutes we can be on the South drop catching Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, or Tuna."

Sailing catamarans feature as the largest contingent of the show. One of these is Justified Horizons, a 65-foot Lagoon built in 2021.

"We feel that the yacht show is beneficial for everyone involved whether it be crew, brokers, vendors, local businesses, and the yachting community. The brokers can see, in person, what each boat has to offer and match us with their clients to ensure a perfect vacation. It provides an opportunity for the crew to get to know each other as we are a huge support system for each other out on the water. The show also allows us to give back and support local businesses that make our industry successful," says Captain Ryan Querry, who with his wife and Chef, Dani Querry, and first mate, Christian Doyle, brings over a decade of combined experience as crew to the new vessel.

Justified Horizons is the only 6-cabin Lagoon 65, which enables up to 10 guests.

Don't Miss - Industry update, competitions and more

The 'Industry Update Seminar', which provides an informed look at the season ahead, will take place on Sunday, November 7, at 4:30 p.m. at IGY's Yacht Haven Grande St Thomas. The Show Culinary Competition and Cocktail Competition are set for November 8 and 9, respectively. The judges this year will be Chef and Pro-Boxer, author of My Modern Caribbean Kitchen and St. Thomas native Julius Jackson, Chef Ralph Motta of Motta Cuisine on St. Croix, Chef Colin Auchincloss of Island Edge Culinary, and Eron Brown of Sugar Brown Farms. The Silent Auction for a 12' AB Aluminium Tender with a Yamaha Four-Stroke 20hp outboard with a manual start ends at noon on November 9. Participating yachts will be open to view by brokers 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on November 7, 8, and 9 and 8:30-1 pm on November 10.

"With the competition amongst our bespoke charter companies for the sharpest edge, their crews finessing culinary skills to almost Michelin star, water sports offerings into the space-age with the latest technology and the territory constantly unveiling new things to add to an itinerary... It's no longer a secret, the U.S. Virgin Islands has the sure-fire elements for a charter of dreams. Since the U.S. Virgin Islands has become so popular, it's more important than ever that charter yachts wishing to stay at the forefront of the charter broker's minds and to make their mark need to exhibit in the Show, whether revealing a recent refit, introducing a new crew, or simply to reconnect and reforge relationships since the pandemic," says Oriel Blake, Executive Director of VIPCA.

Covid Information

For information about Covid protocols to enter the USVI, visit: usvitravelportal.com. For USVI Charter Yacht Show Covid protocols, visit here. Walk-in Covid testing is available at Yacht Haven Grande Family Practice on November 8, 9, and 10 for $100 with results available in 15 minutes. Appointments required: www.redhookfamilypractice.com.

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