FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2019
Gowrie Group Official Insurance Sponsor of the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The off season is an excellent time for an annual review of your yacht insurance and an exam of your crew medical and health insurance. This sage advice comes from Gowrie Group, which manages the comprehensive health insurance and yacht insurance programs offered to active members of the Virgin Island Professional Charter Association (VIPCA). Gowrie, based in Westbrook, CT and one of the USA’s Top-50 independent insurance agencies, is an official sponsor of the USVI Charter Yacht Show. This show will take place November 11-14, 2019 at IGY Marina’s Yacht Haven Grande.
Photo: L to R Mark Gargula, Yacht & Personal Insurance Specialist and Rick Bagnall, Senior Vice President, of the Gowrie Group.
“Personal health insurance is extremely important, especially in the U.S. and its territories such as the Virgin Islands. Most emergency situations will end up on the U.S. mainland for treatment and you want to make sure your coverage extends into the U.S.,” says Rick Bagnall, Gowrie Group’s senior vice president and specialist in marine benefits and health insurance. “We are pleased to partner with VIPCA to offer this program to its members, to support the Yacht Show and to host a table at the Show where we look forward to meeting crews, captains, fleet managers and VIPCA members and answering questions.” Bagnall adds that Gowrie Group’s insurance policy available through VIPCA has been modified for 2019-2020 with changes that will positively affect each member.
“We have provided access to health insurance for our VIPCA Crew Members for over two years now,” says Oriel Blake, VIPCA executive director. ‘The Gowrie Group have proven immaculate with their rapid response time and continued support of VIPCA and its members, particularly with this third consecutive year of show sponsorship.”
Gowrie Group’s VIPCA health insurance plan is available to captains and crews as well as qualified vessel owners and suppliers. Plan highlights include worldwide coverage, coverage in the U.S., two plans to choose from, up to $5,000,000 per policy year limit, monthly credit card or EFT deductions and waiver of pre-existing conditions with creditable coverage.
Gowrie Group’s Yacht/Fleet Insurance Program is available to active Vessel Members of VIPCA. The program highlights include comprehensive marine insurance protection, coverage in the US and Caribbean, Jones Act coverage, personal property coverage, a large network of claims surveyors, and more.
“We have been duly impressed with the outstanding customer service Rick Bagnall and Mark Gargula have provided as we transitioned both our boat and health insurance to Gowrie Group,” says Steven Carroll, captain of the charter 50-foot St. Francis catamaran, Paradigm Shift. “We’ve only had to use our health insurance for a few prescriptions which were totally covered. We hope to never need our boat insurance of course, but the peace of mind and their flexibility made the transition a no brainer,”
As one of the nation’s Top 50 independent insurance agencies and the largest independent marine insurance group in the US, Gowrie Group provides total risk management services to individuals and organizations with complex insurance needs. Gowrie Group offers comprehensive insurance solutions matched with trusted advice and a commitment to service excellence. Gowrie Group’s portfolio of offerings includes commercial, home/auto, equine, marine, and yacht insurance, as well as employee benefits solutions, crew medical & health insurance, and safety services. www.gowrie.com
Register Now for the USVI Charter Yacht Show!
Over 60 crewed yachts are already registered for the USVI Charter Yacht Show. Among the largest are the 105-foot sailing catamaran Bella Vita, 92-foot classic monohull August Maverick, 77-foot newly built sailing catamaran Babac, and 74-foot power-cat SeaGlass.
Photo: Spacious forward Pilot House on August Maverick.
“This will be our first show and we know it’s the best way to get August Maverick and her amazing Captain and Crew out there,” says Jackie Courlas, chief of sales, marketing and logistics for Becket Benders, which owns and operates the yacht. Courlas adds that over the past 12 months, crew, which includes Captain Shawn Deweese, a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and founder, captain and chief of operations and leadership of Becket Benders, has made a number of improvements. These include completely renovated guest suites, a custom swim platform, and addition of a new wine cooler/mini-fridge and icemaker as well as enhancements guests won’t see but will enjoy like a reverse osmosis water maker and electrical and engineering system upgrades.
“Most people are immediately impressed by the incredibly bright and spacious Pilot House aboard August Maverick,” says Courlas. “With plenty of space for lounging, snacking, a wet bar and fridge, Bluetooth stereo system, as well as a great view of the helm, you can’t go wrong here. It’s a space that really lets you soak in your surroundings and the experience of being on August Maverick. Plus, the pilot house is just the first of three levels of equally impressive spaces for lounging, relaxing and dinning. Almost everyone that comes aboard comments on the huge amount of interior space and that it seems to ‘just keep going’.”
Crewed Yachts can register online at: www.vipca.org/vessel-registration/
Some 110 charter brokers registered last year, with even more expected for the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show. These brokers are based in the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe.
Charter Brokers are also encouraged to register online at: www.vipca.org/charter-broker-registration/ Visit www.visitusvi.com for accommodation. Accommodation discounts are available at the Emerald Beach Resort and The Green Iguana Hotel. Book transport at www.vitaxiassociation.com.
Latest Show Updates
There are a number of exciting activities this year, says Blake. “This includes a culinary demonstration for yacht chefs by Chef David Benjamin at the Blue Eleven restaurant, located on the Yacht Haven Grande property. This takes place during the final afternoon after the show, on November 14. Chefs can register for this and the ‘Caribbean Fusion’ themed Culinary Competition online at: https://vipca.org/culinary-competition/. Best Stoli and Captain Morgan’s Cocktails will also be judged at the Blue Eleven restaurant during the course of the show.”
Photo: Yachts on the docks at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande Marina for the 2018 USVI Charter Yacht Show. Credit: Phil Blake.
The 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show’s dynamic action-packed schedule features four days of yacht viewing: an outstanding opportunity for yachts and crews to highlight signature services, features and amenities to brokers. Plus, there will be a crew cocktail party, awards dinner, sunset cruise, marine expo, and the always anticipated ‘State of the Industry’ address, which highlights many of the off-the-beaten-track anchorages in these world-famous cruising grounds.
Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; Gowrie Group; Denison Yacht Sales; Moe’s Fresh Market; Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Stoli, distributed by West Indies Company; Northern Lights Generators, distributed by Parts and Power; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers and La Royale Cosmetics.
ABOUT VIPCA: VIPCA is the territory’s 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership supports include producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; gaining ease of access for charter vessels between the USVI and Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; moving forward a proposal to manage territory wide new transient moorings; marine vocational training for V.I. youth; and surveying and cleaning up bays and mangroves under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), VI Marine Rebuild Fund. vipca.org