The following article is reproduced courtesy of www.thecrewreport.com
The superyacht world is a fantastic and unique industry to work in, but with it comes unique demands and pressures that means an efficient yacht agent can be the key to the smooth running of a yacht cruising in remote and unfamiliar regions. It takes someone accustomed to the unusual nature of the industry to fully understand what is required from a yacht agent.
In October 2012, superyacht captain Nick Line took up the challenge of launching his own yacht agency in Antigua, Anchor Concierge and Superyacht Services. In light of the agency’s recent partnership with Deckers Uniforms, business is progressing, so The Crew Report caught up with Captain Line to investigate how his experience as a superyacht captain has given him the advantage of having an insiders knowledge of what busy superyachts need from a yacht agency.
“As a full time resident and supporter of Antigua,” Captain Line explained, “It has always frustrated and disappointed me that the shore support here was not on a par with other islands in the Caribbean, or elsewhere in the world. There seemed to be an apathy and lack of willingness to go above and beyond to meet the needs of the modern, busy charter yachts. I felt there was a gap in the market.”
Captain Line saw, from a captain’s perspective, that there were certain factors that the existing agencies in Antigua lacked. “The first thing you notice in Antigua,” he says, “Is that the agents rarely leave their office and come to the yacht and instead they have the captain or crew come to them. Nobody seems to understand just how busy and stressful the life of a modern, busy charter yacht captain is, and the last thing the crew need is to have to go running around to sign this here, or that there or pick up packages themselves.”
“Usually the best agencies are run by those with a passion for, and direct experience of, the yachting industry.” – Captain Nick Line
Captain Line also observed a disinterest of the smaller requests in Antigua: “It seemed that the existing agents often “cherry picked” their work and would only do what paid best rather than offer a full service, and decline to assist with the less profitable jobs. But taking care of all requests, regardless of profitability, generates very satisfied clients who know that your are attending to the details.”
Captain Line has felt that his yachting career has highlighted some of the deficiencies that yachts visiting Antigua can experience and has hence given him a better insight to providing the sort of service that superyacht captains expect and need from shore support.
“As a captain, over the years I have had to use yacht agencies all over the world,” explains Captain Line, “And you get some good ones and you get some bad ones. Usually the best agencies are run by those with a passion for, and direct experience of, the yachting industry. The industry is still a foreign concept to most people who are not directly involved and trying to get things done quickly takes a lot of foresight on our part to make sure that nothing is left to chance.”