Keeping up with the 50 metre charter M/Y JO.
Few yachts can keep up with the impressive charter track record that Benetti’s 50 metre M/Y JO has complied over the past decade. At the helm of this full-on guest pleasing oasis is Captain Bruce Handyside, who has been in charge of delivering world class service with a smile backed by his highly trained crew for the last 10 years. The yacht, who has been un- der the same ownership since her launch since her launch in 2004, has provided the ideal platform to do just that, and today offers her return guests a true home-away-from-home experience. Captain Bruce lets us in on what makes JO so special.
Can you share with us the secret to the success of JO as a charter yacht?
The answer to this question doesn’t lie with any single reason, though having a great crew is essential to the success of any charter yacht in my view. A good rotation on board for captains and chief engineers has also played a central role and assured each of their presence on board for over 10 years. This in turn has lead to the yacht being impeccably maintained with not one charter missed. The owner understands the importance of regular maintenance and the need to update tenders, jet skis & water-sports equipment on a bi-annual basis.
The owning family has been exceptional in making the crew feel at ease and unreasonable de- mands are never made. Crew are expected to be professional but relaxed and comfortable in their environment – this is transferred and felt by all that step aboard. The Chef and other im- portantpositionsarerewardedwithenoughholidaytimetokeepcrewturnovertoaminimum.
Running a charter yacht is a business and we have an excellent charter manager in Alex Garro (C&N) who works hard on our behalf to market the yacht. Good relations and trust has to exist between all parties from the owner to the charter manager to the captains and the crew for this operation to succeed.
Can you share with us some interesting statistics on the charter history of the yacht?
As an active charter yacht JO has hosted a total of 77 charters lasting 837 days. Over this period we logged a total of 216,418 nautical miles including 22 Atlantic crossings. This is equivalent to circumnavigating the globe 8.5 times. The yacht has only missed two seasons over the past 12 years due to engine maintenance and paint work operations. JO spends her time following the superyacht seasons cruising the east and western Mediterranean as well as the Caribbean seas.
In what ways would you say is JO set up specifically for charter use?
JO’s deck spaces were designed with charter in mind – the sundeck sun-pad offers 20 sq m of cushioned sunbathing area complete with shade. On bridge deck a large dining table that comfortably seats 12 guests is ideal for ‘alfresco style’ dining. There are three additional tables that can seat a further 12 – 15 guests which makes this perfect for hosting parties.
What do you find is the best way to keep your crew motivated? And how important is this aspect to a successful charter yacht?
JO has a reputation for being a busy charter yacht and so all the crew that come aboard understand that their hard work will be rewarded, which is a good motivator in itself.
Regular crew bonding events – dinners, wine tastings etc. are organized to have crew interact outside a work environment. If the crew weren’t motivated, then the charter would be disastrous.
What has been your most memorable destination visited?
On JO it would have to be Croatia and Montenegro, having spent the last 7 years pretty much ensconced in the Adriatic. The Croatian coast with its crystal clear waters and immaculately preserved medieval ports are exemplary and sailing into the ria of Kotorski with Kotor at the head of the bay and its steep sided precipitous cliffs can only be described as a unique experience.
How important are events such as the Benetti Yachtmaster to the running of a successful charter yacht?
The Yachtmaster event brings together Captains of the industry which is useful for both information sharing and future contacts. The event, through its structured class room events and seminars, is a useful learning tool for everyone involved.