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HomeNewsLocal newsYacht Haven Grande Hosts Annual Boating Expo

Yacht Haven Grande Hosts Annual Boating Expo

View from the pavilion at Yacht Haven Grande. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)
View from the pavilion at Yacht Haven Grande. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

Mother’s Day weekend at Yacht Haven Grande saw the return of the Virgin Islands Boating Expo, now into its second year in the Virgin Islands. Thirty vessels ranging from power boats to luxury yachts were on display at St. Thomas’ premiere marina.

Organizers said the boats berthed at Yacht Haven serve as models for would-be buyers to give the once over. Representatives for the manufacturers, charter management companies and would-be sellers hoped those visiting would show the kind of interest that leads to a purchase.

Purchase prices start around $1.5 million. Organizers also staged a marine industry expo and a presentation describing the advantages of buying a yacht here in the territory.

“We’ve got power boats, we’ve got sailing boats. The ideal person here is someone who either is passionate about boating with sails or without sails. What they’ve been looking to do is purchase a vessel and then put the vessel potentially into business in the Virgin Islands,” said chief organizer Oriel Blake, executive director of the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association.

Each year in November, the association hosts the USVI Charter Yacht Show. The difference between this weekend’s boat show and the November event is the business focus, Blake said. The charter yacht show is intended to market vessels available for travelers seeking vacations at sea. The boat show is designed to attract buyers and prepare them to complete the sale of a power boat or luxury yacht.

The event also serves to introduce prospective buyers to the business teams that will help them manage their new acquisitions. Heinrych Pyper and Maryka Neimand of Pyper Yachts said they came to the show to meet some interested buyers.

“We aim to own the entire life cycle for the owner from buying the boat, managing the boat, maintaining the boat, supplying the boat with spares, toys — you name it —  and then selling the boat, upgrading them, making that business a success for them and then putting them in a bigger boat,” Pyper said.

The show continues at Yacht Haven Grande through Sunday.

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