The annual Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen brought out the best in all who participated, including 100+ brokers and agents from 43 different charter yacht companies, 23 sponsors, 15 exhibiting vendors, 40 non-exhibiting vendors and captains and crews of 25 luxury yachts, ranging in size from the 60’ (18.3m) sailing vessel Beau Geste, presented by Bristol Marine, to the 198’ (60.4m) motor yacht Blue Moon, presented by Northrop and Johnson. The show, owned and managed by Newport Shipyard, took place on the company’s 10-acre waterfront facility for its second consecutive year over June 19-23 and was conclusively “bigger and better.”
“This is a much more open and public charter show than the others,” said Herman Pundt of Hargrave Custom Yachts, who liked that tourists and others from the community could walk the docks and check out the wares and services of exhibiting vendors along the main thoroughfare at Newport Shipyard, “and this year it evolved to have an even better flow, with everything close together and easy to navigate.”
A giant tent, adjacent to the participating yachts, vendor area and Newport Shipyard’s popular eatery Belle’s Café, was used for an opening party on Monday and provided a staging area for the Best Charter Yacht Chef Competition on Tuesday. The American Yacht Charter Association Seminar was held on Thursday morning, with 75 people in attendance, and a dinner party and crew competition awards took place on Thursday evening.
“At shows like Barcelona, where you have 60 or 70 yachts, you start getting lost,” said Pundt, who represented the 116’ (35.3m) motor yacht Renaissance at the show. “Here, you don’t feel rushed showing the boat, and the brokers don’t feel rushed going through the boat. You’re able to host broker lunches aboard, so you are sitting down, talking about the boat and the industry, and they are getting to see the crew at work, getting to know them.”
The crew members aboard Renaissance showed their fun, creative side and became the talk of the show when they changed the name on their transom to S.S. Minnow and launched into full Gilligan’s Island theme mode for Wednesday evening’s festive Yacht Hop. The yacht’s chef, Ian Gabbe, also won Best Charter Yacht Chef, a designation that goes far in chartering circles. (Other judged contests at the show looked for inspiration in “Tablescaping,” a Captain’s Drone Challenge, and the creation of “Signature Cocktails” and “Designer Water.”)
“When someone goes all out they become the talk of the show, and that’s what we did,” said Pundt. “The owner of Renaissance was present for the show, and he sat in on the lunches and saw what we did, and by the end of the show he could see why the Newport Charter Yacht Show is a good marketing tool.”
While the show revolves around New England as a summer charter destination, it also develops relationships and impressions that apply broadly to the business of booking charter vacations in different parts of the world.
“More than 30 brokers visited us each day,” said Bryce Simpson, captain of the 130’ (39.6m) motor yacht Aphrodite, which was represented by Northrop & Johnson and measured in as the show’s third-largest entry. “A lot of those are looking to book not just for summer but also for the winter.” Aphrodite is new to New England chartering and spends its winters in the Bahamas and Caribbean. “I’ve done the Antigua show and this show, and size is the biggest difference. It’s slower here, which I think is better. You get a better feel for the brokers, they get more time for us, it’s just a more intimate show.”
Jay Lasky of Helly Hansen, who was the event’s presenting sponsor and who took orders for crew outfitting at its pop-up store, also liked the vibe of the event: “There was a lot of enthusiasm, some new yachts and crews we haven’t seen before, and a lot of people who had never been to Newport before. It was a bigger, better show, and we’re honored to be here at Newport Shipyard, to be a sponsor and just be a part of this great industry.”
Other exhibiting vendors included AERE Marine Group; Cloud City Drones; Global Satellite USA LLC; WheelHouse Technologies; Cutco Cutlery; Swarovski Optik; Pantaenius Yacht Insurance; Velofix; Newport Yacht Interiors; Beyond by Aerus; CaptureRI; Vanquish Boats; Marigot Bay Resort and Marina; and Truffoire. U.S. Superyacht Association had its own sponsors showing under the organization’s own special tent.
Bank Rhode Island and Hodgdon Yacht Services sponsored a daily breakfast under the main show tent catered by Newport Shipyard’s popular eatery Belle's Café. Special events started with a captain and crew’s briefing and happy-hour social on Monday sponsored by Engineered Marine Coatings, Sea Hawk Paints, Providence Jet Center, and Sentinel Limousine Drinks for the briefing were sponsored by Bridge Liquors. On Tuesday evening, a drone competition presented by Cloud City Drones (captains only) took place after the show closed for the day. The popular yacht hop took place on Wednesday evening; an industry-led educational seminar hosted by American Yacht Charter Association took place on Thursday morning; and the ever-popular Best Charter Yacht Chef sponsored by ISS GMT and Denison Yacht Sales happened on Tuesday, with Tablescaping, Signature Cocktail (sponsored by Keel Vodka) and Designer Water competitions happened onboard the yachts Tuesday and Wednesday. A party and awards dinner, sponsored by Ward’s Marine Electric and KVH Industries took place on Thursday evening before the show’s final day on Friday.
Helly Hansen Newport is the presenting sponsor of the 2017 Newport Charter Show. Helly Hansen, the oldest Helly Hansen licensed store in North America, has been owned and operated by Jay Lasky since 1992. Known for Outfitting Active Lifestyles for Big Weather, Helly Hansen Newport strives to be the trusted solution for the best quality outdoor gear for active lifestyles and everyday needs. Helly Hansen Newport prides itself on delivering an exceptional customer experience and has been serving online customers since 1998. For more information, visit: www.bigweathergear.com.
About Newport Shipyard:
Newport Shipyard, owner and producer of the 2017 Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen, is also host to many other prestigious yachting events. 2017 is no exception with the Oliver Hazard Perry Gala to be held June 30; the annual Candy Store Cup Superyacht Regatta July 27-29; the Newport Yacht Rendezvous benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Newport Country August 11; and the J Class World Championship August 21-26.
Newport Shipyard is a full-service marina and shipyard with over 3,500 linear feet of dock space that can accommodate yachts up to 300+ feet LOA. Newport Shipyard owns and operates four Marine Travelifts, one of which (500 MT), is the largest lift in Newport. One of the most popular and recommended shipyards in the USA, Newport Shipyard offers many amenities to captains and crew including: dockside café, ship store, fitness center, courtesy vehicles, crew housing and more. To capture the complete Newport Shipyard experience, visit: www.NewportShipyard.com
Click on photos above for download or click here for 2017 full photo gallery.