Organizers tout changes to Rhode Island charter show

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The 30-year-old Newport (R.I.) Charter Yacht Show was held June 18-21 at the Newport Yacht Center under new management.

Now owned and managed for the first time by Newport Harbor Corp., the four-day event had positive feedback from attendees, according to organizers.

“There were many positive comments about the look and feel of the show and the opportunities for networking,” show director Nancy Piffard said in a statement.

Industry professionals — especially charter brokers — had the most to gain from boarding the 27 participating charter yachts, which ran the gamut from the 43-foot sailboat PR Princess, offered by Northstar Yacht Charter, to the 160-foot motoryacht Newvida, offered by Northrop & Johnson, Piffard said.

“Our goals for 2013 will be to enrich the land-based functions and double the in-water fleet of yachts by using adjacent facilities to the Newport Yachting Center, such as Bannister’s Wharf and 41 North,” Piffard said. “At the same time, we hope to continue to stand apart by maintaining a more personal, quality experience — for the brokers as well as the skippers and crews — that can’t be replicated at the larger shows, such as Monaco and Antigua.”

Capt. Sean Meagher, a Master 3000GRT who runs Newvida, agreed that the Newport show wasn’t as hectic as the others.

“It afforded me a longer time to talk to the charter brokers, and the ones that came aboard I really wanted to talk to,” Meagher said.

One of the show’s seminars had a “Discover New England” theme, which enlisted the Newvida captain to present his take on how to feature Newport to charter guests.

“We are not in the service industry so much as we are in show business,” Meagher said. “The first day of a charter is like opening day of a production on Broadway, and you can’t get a better stage than this.”


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