Chartering superyachts in remote locations is rapidly growing in popularity. Destinations previously thought too remote or too isolated are now attracting world-class charter yachts providing a truly unforgettable experience for guests. Accessibility to these lesser known – off the beaten track destinations has been made possible by a range of factors including technological advances in propulsion and fuel, the establishment of vast yacht transport services, a greater network of shore support and facilities, changing attitudes of travellers, growth in regional stability and bigger & better marinas. Superyachts are going off the beaten track in record numbers!
However, with that comes common challenges in operating in remote regions. After working with a number of Captains who operate these programs, you soon understand the importance of having the right crew (and personalities!) and the right vessel to ensure the program can successfully operate in these environments. We caught up with Michael Gooding, Captain of M/Y Silent World II who provided great insight into some of his experiences chartering in down under Australian waters and how yacht agents are one of the keys to a successful charter.
Where are some of the most exciting places you have gone that are considered “off the beaten track”? Which trip would you recommend the most and why?
Cape York and the Kimberly region. They are still part of mainland Australia but the location is definitely remote. Cape York has that raw earth of much of Australia that brings thoughts of the richness that the land can offer. It has beauty in the raw essence. The Kimberley region has much to offer with waterfalls dropping into the ocean and rivers that give life to large populations of marine life.
How do you and the crew prepare for such a trip? And how do you plan for provisioning, engineering and travel/permit applications?
I value the knowledge of agents. They have local knowledge of the area and also keep up to date with changes on legislation and what we are allowed to do. They also provide us with opportunities that we may not have thought of in the way of itineraries.
As far as engineering onboard, what can you recommend as the most important things to bring with you for your engineer to manage off the beaten track trips?
I give the engineer the opportunity to put together a list of spares we may need without purchasing the entire list of parts that are available. We have a planned maintenance system in place that enables us to see if there are particular parts we are likely to require.
Is there a particular vessel type or size you recommend for handling this level of adventure?
Some boats are happy in the harbour but we like to have a vessel that enables us to travel long distances in comfort and safety.
Do you have any recommendations for Captains looking at proposing an off the beaten track itinerary to ownership?
Ask questions and have faith in your agent. They are one of our key sources of information. I also ask my peers who have been there before. We don’t have all the answers but need to be willing to do our research using all avenue
Superyachts will continue to test the limits of ocean travel for years to come. There are still amazing places untouched by superyachts and as technology and shore support advances, so too will the number of adventures Captains, crew and charter guests.
Interview provided by Matthew Hyde
Technical director of Hunter Oceanic and the co-founder of seahubsoftware.com