Ever since I have been involved in nautical tourism, I have been trying to find a model of how to extend the charter season. This is something my friends from charter companies and myself have talked about over and over again. We have discussed many ideas so far – some of them have turned out to be pretty successful, but that is not enough.
Wise people would say that the simplest ideas are always the best ones. That has been proven numerous times throughout history. The real job, though, is to find one such idea. Recently, I have come across a great strategy that really could extend the charter season – “bed and breakfast afloat”. This is something I have found on a U.S. marina website, which advertised accommodation aboard a boat. It took me a while to understand what they were really offering, but then I realized that this really is a solution to extending the charter season.
A large number of yachts is not in use off season and they do not bring any money to their owners. On the other hand, the weather is not very favorable for safe sailing, so it is difficult to charter them in the usual way. Why should we not offer our yacht out of season as the relatively cheap, but unusual and interesting accommodation?
An average charter yacht is equipped with everything a decent backpacker or a globetrotter needs. There is a bed, the basic item of furniture, a shower, on board or within the marina, and a toilet. The galley is perfectly equipped to prepare a simple meal. On the other hand, marinas are usually well connected to major towns or are situated in a town’s center, which means that visitors do not have to travel a lot to experience history, culture and life of the place they are visiting.
The price of such accommodation should not be too high because the yacht is not supposed to sail out. The only costs a charter company can have are the final cleaning and some administration. I am planning to turn this strategy into reality and suggest it to my other friends in charter business. I will probably come back with another post, sharing with you all the advantages and disadvantages of such business, but let us wait and see. If the demand for such type of accommodation is high enough, then this really could solve the problem of the extended season.
What do you think about this strategy? Instead of sharing a hostel room with strangers, would you like to spend a night afloat? Share your thoughts in the Comments section!
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!