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Sailing off Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard ~ Photograph © Frank Ficken

Setting Sail for Summer Joy

This article by Carol appeared in the Boston Business Journal on May 24, 2019.

Outdoors & Travel – EXECUTIVE PURSUITS

The boating season has begun. Driving on the highways and city streets, you will see sail and motor yachts everywhere being pulled along on trailers by their owners or boatyards.

115' Classic Teak Schooner EROS has hosted many enduring celebrities and was commandeered to rescue soldiers from Dunkirk!
115' Classic Teak Schooner EROS has hosted many enduring celebrities and was commandeered to rescue soldiers from Dunkirk!

These wonderful vessels, still shrink-wrapped in their white winter clothing, are ready to disrobe and take the spring plunge.

Ahead lies the anticipation of the long days of summer.

The boating life, whether you have a Marblehead town class sail boat, an inflatable dinghy, or your newly purchased 70’ Princess motor yacht, you have the bug.

The obsession to feel the freedom of the sea (or even that enticing lake or pond) sets us free.

My world, as a charter yacht broker, begins in the great yacht fest of Barcelona, then it’s on to Nafplion, Greece; Croatia; and the up-and-coming joys of the Turkish Coast.  Finally, in mid-June we have the Newport Yacht Charter Show, celebrating its 35th year.

But don’t everyone rush to Newport to see some of the most impressive yachts in the world!  This has been a traditional trade show for industry professionals only. This year, however, we have designated a “Pro Guest” day pass, an invitation-only opportunity for clients and travel-related folks, to come onboard 60-foot to 150-foot sail and motor charter yachts. We felt we needed to share the excitement of our welcoming yacht world.

Beginning at the end of April, yachts travel to these desirable marinas to showcase their shiny bright work, newly updated interiors, and most of all, the endearing crew, dedicated to service. All these spots mentioned above are meccas for our crewed charter yachts, which ply the Mediterranean Sea and New England.

“I want your job!” is a comment familiar to charter brokers. Here’s our job: to inspect, record, rate and get to know the often-seasonal change of captain, chef/cook and mates as they prepare for another summer season. Yes, we enjoy visiting yacht shows in beautiful places, and we also work hard interviewing yacht crews with dozens of questions, seeking answers that we can then match up with our clients.

It is an exciting industry to be a part of, where characters are indeed welcome!

“Believe me, my young friend,” Kenneth Grahame wrote in The Wind in the Willows, “there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

Boating is one of life’s fine delights. And what we want is to give more and more people the chance to share the joy!

Carol Kent is president and owner of Carol Kent Yacht Charters, based in Marblehead.

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