FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2020
Offshore Marine Named an Official Sponsor of USVI Charter Yacht Show, set for November 12-15, 2020 – VIPCA Outlines Show’s COVID-19 Protocols
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Offshore Marine, the Yamaha distributor and Caribe Inflatables importer to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands as well as the AB dealer for the USVI, has been named the official supplier of Outboard Engines and Inflatable Dinghies by organizers of the USVI Charter Yacht Show, set for November 12 to 15, at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande. Also, of key importance, VIPCA releases its USVI Charter Yacht Show COVID-19 Safety Protocols, designed to assure the well-being of event attendees and island residents alike.
Offshore Marine, located in Subbase on the western side of the Charlotte Amalie harbor, is a premier marine company and principal USVI Charter Yacht Show sponsor that also services what it sells. To introduce their newest addition to their line of quality boats, Offshore Marine is offering an AB 13 VS Inflatable paired with a Yamaha F40 with tiller steering, power trim/tilt and electric start – a practical and versatile yacht tender rated for 7 people and with enough horsepower for watersports – for this year’s silent auction. The auction will open during show days to show attendees only, with proceeds benefiting the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA).
Photo: The team at Offshore Marine, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Courtesy Offshore Marine.
“For over 30 years Offshore Marine has been the Yamaha-brand outboard engine distributor for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands,” says Abrie Cilliers, owner of Offshore Marine. “We take pride in not only selling the best outboard engine for the popular cruising and charter markets but also have our factory-trained technicians on stand-by for service and repairs. Ever-changing challenges make for uncertain times and we hope, like everybody else, that our industry will bounce back next season and exceed our expectations. Charter boats standing by for guests, marine vendors standing by for charter boats, we are all in this together. Offshore Marine maintains a positive outlook, continues its support and sponsorship of VIPCA and the USVI Charter Yacht Show, and continues to work on extending its existing business and services to serve our customers even better.”
Offshore Marine, which started as Offshore Inflatables in the 1980s, to this day lives up to its heritage and affiliation with Inflatable Boats. Selling a reasonably priced and reliable product helped Offshore Marine become one of the largest sellers of Caribe Inflatables in the Caribbean. In 2019, to offer a wider variety of products, Offshore Marine also became a dealer for AB Inflatables. AB and Caribe both use the same Hypalon fabric which has proven itself to withstand the harsh environment and the demands of our market.
“A tender, especially the size and power of the one being auctioned by Offshore, is a hugely important component of a charter. It’s integral to everything from providing a steady platform for guests when traveling from the boat to shore to offering watersports like pulling kids on tubes, traveling to a remote dive spot, or serving as a chase boat for kiteboarding,” says Michael ‘Hank’ Hampton, co-owner along with Steve Schlosser of Paradise Yacht Management, based in Red Hook, St. Thomas. “We have 18 yachts, all catamarans and ranging from 45- to 80-foot, entered in this year’s show. One we’re especially excited to show is new to our fleet, Lagoon 56, A3, with seasoned crew Captain Colleen Korona and Chef/First Mate Matt Proto. All of our vessels showing will adhere to the full COVID-19 protocols in place.”
USVI Charter Yacht Show COVID-19 Protocols Now Available
In this climate of the COVID-19 pandemic the organizers of the USVI Charter Yacht Show, the Virgin Island Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), are taking the matter of protecting its show attendees, exhibitors, vendors and staff very seriously. In preparation for the November 12-15, 2020 show VIPCA has developed a revised schedule of events with crowd-free alternatives to gatherings and protocols for a safe, hygienic, productive, and high-quality organized event. VIPCA carefully developed its Show protocols to provide charter brokers and yacht crew with the necessary assurance that they will be able to safely connect during the event. These protocols will include compulsory COVID-19 testing and thermal screening for all participants, the use of personal protective equipment, heightened cleaning and personal hygiene, physical and social distancing, as well as individually (compostable) pre-packaged food and beverages. For the full text of the protocols, please visit https://vipca.org/covid-19-safety-protocols/
Photo: Charter Yacht Brokers view yachts along the expansive docks of IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande at the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show. Credit: Phil Blake
“I look forward to returning to IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande every November to kick off a new season at the USVI Charter Yacht Show,” says Kristi Marquart, VIPCA board member, and crew aboard the 58’ SY Sea Esta. “The community of brokers, crew, marina staff, and marine vendors that come together is something special, a family reunion of sorts! VIPCA Board Members have put a lot of research and thought into creating a safe and comfortable environment for our marine family in attendance this year. I’m proud to be on a team of leaders who are proactively handling the challenges presented by Covid-19 and I encourage brokers and boats to register if you haven’t already. Show attendance by yachts, crew, brokers, and vendors directly impact the success of the upcoming season, supports so many local businesses, and allows VIPCA to continue to provide non-profit information and services to its members."
Boat & Broker Registration Open
More than 40 yachts were registered for the USVI Charter Yacht Show as of August 1, with over 70 yachts expected to show. The show fleet includes a diverse mix of vessels: sailing monohulls and catamarans up to 80-feet and longer and motor yachts in the 100- to 150-foot range. To register, visit: https://vipca.org/vessel-registration/
Over 150 individual charter brokers from the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe attended the 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show, and over 100 are expected to attend this year’s ‘must-do’ show for international yacht charter professionals.
“I believe every broker will assess their own personal risk factor in traveling to the VIPCA Show and for me, the protocols and changes adopted by the show organizing committee to protect every broker, crew, and individual going to the show is the reassurance I needed. Every aspect of the show from registration to yacht hosted lunches to evening events have been painstakingly analyzed to conform to best safety practices,” says Nancy Van Winter, charter yacht consultant with Envy Yacht Charters, based in Frederick, MD, and the International Yacht Charter Group Inc., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL. “For brokers, it is in our professional best interests to attend the show to see firsthand the new measures each yacht has in place to not only protect our clients but to give them feedback as they approach this charter season. Those that do attend the show will benefit by being able to have more meaningful discussions with their potential clients as well as existing client base.”
Bluebeards Castle, located on Bluebeard’s Hill in Charlotte Amalie and within walking distance of the show, is offering charter brokers the 20% discounted rate of $189 per night. The discounted accommodations are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and are limited. Brokers must call the hotel directly to make the reservation. (340-774-1600;www.bluebeardscastles.com). For more information and to register for the show, brokers can visit: https://vipca.org/charter-broker-registration/
New for 2020
The theme of this year’s USVI Charter Yacht Show Culinary Competition, scheduled for November 12th, is ‘Lunch and Dessert on Arrival’.
“Your ‘health-conscious’ charter guests are arriving just before noon,” says Capt. Jan Robinson, culinary contest coordinator and author of the Ship to Shore Inc. cookbook line. “They have had a long journey and are hungry but interested in some light and healthy dishes both savory and sweet. They would like also to experience local tropical food that the Virgin Islands (or the Caribbean) has to offer. Chef, this allows you to show off your talents preparing the lunch and a dessert. They love the liqueur Grand Marnier, so please include it in either the lunch main dish or the dessert. This delicious luncheon may be served in the location of your choice – aft deck, sun deck, dining saloon, or saloon.
Registration for the Culinary Competition starts September 1, 2020, and is first-come-first-serve: https://vipca.org/culinary-competition-2020/. Judging takes place on individual yachts at pre-arranged times on November 12th.
Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; the Gowrie Group; Denison Yacht Sales; Moe’s Fresh Market; Grey Goose, distributed by West Indies Company; Veuve Clicquot and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers; and, La Royale Cosmetics.
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 includes producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; facilitating access for charter vessels between the USVI and Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; installation of territory-wide new transient moorings; and marine vocational training for V.I. youth under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), the Marine Rebuild Fund.