Monday, December 10, 2007

Antigua "super yacht" show.

Antigua is one of the most important places on the planet during the winter months for super yachts also known as "mega yachts". Generally the Caribbean is where many of the world's largest private yachts come to cruise around during the winter months when its just too cold for boating in the Mediterranean.

Antigua, St. Martin and St. Barts are the three most important islands in the Caribbean at the moment for the huge "yachting industry" and when i say yachting i am speaking about the big ones, and not the little ones like they have in the BVI and other islands.
What exactly is a mega yacht or a super yacht? Wiki says that they are very expensive private yachts that are professionally crewed. I think that's too broad of a definition. I think there should be a price or a length in there to narrow it down a bit. For example a private yacht like my friend's that is professionally crewed couldn't be called a mega yacht or super yacht but could i guess be called a "luxury yacht". Its funny because i looked on google for a definition and saw this lame try at it. That made me chuckle. Anyway, according to Jim Gilbert, editor-in-chief of Fort Lauder dale -based ShowBoats International, "Typically, true luxury yachts start at 60 feet, with mega-yachts starting in the 80-foot to 100-foot range and the super mega-yachts at 200 feet and up," Gilbert said. "The 80-foot to 100-foot sizes were overlooked for some time, but are now the fastest-growing segment." The above was taken from South Florida Business Journal from back in 2002 and can only be described as old news. Since 2002 i would think that the 200 foot and up boats have seen the largest growth in the industry. I mean, if your boat isn't 200 feet these days why are you docking in Gustavia or Antigua Yacht Club? Funny...... kinda. Each year some boat comes into port with loads of people straining to get a look at "the biggest privately owned sailing yacht" or the "biggest powerboat" or "biggest single masted yacht of all time". BUT this keeps happening each year like there are people out there trying to compete for the biggest boat title. Anyway, this years Boat Show here was a little less dramatic than it has been over the past few years with some lovely yachts on show, but nothing as crazy as i have seen before. St. Martin's boat show is now going on during the same week in an effort to disrupt ours. Not exactly sure of the reasons but you hear grumbles from some of the yachties down south. I know that over the past few years St. Martin and other islands have sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into their Mega Yacht industry and now are on par or even bigger than Antigua for yachts. Grenada is trying very hard with their Port Louis mega marina this year. They are in every yachting magazine you open. Its big business in the Caribbean. My friends Roddy and Ian over at aqua films have been very busy this past week and have a new promo film out which they have been showing off at the show. It's not on their site yet, but should be soon. You can also see some of their other stuff now if you go there. Cool vids of massive yachts.

I took a walk last night along the Antigua Yacht Club and Marina docks and saw some lovely yachts. The photos at the top of today's blog were taken by me last night and the others last season. While in Antigua over the winter months you should definitely take a drive down and have a look. Lots of eye food.

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