The annual Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen will showcase 25 large and luxurious charter yachts at the docks of Newport Shipyard this coming Monday (June 19) through Friday (June 23).

While the public is invited to peek from shore at these beauties and interact with sponsors and vendors showing and selling their wares under dockside tents, the show really is about sharing with charter brokers from across the country and the world which yachts are available for on-water vacations in New England for summer and fall. Brokers come to the show to learn about the different amenities each yacht offers (deck layout, interior living spaces, furnishings, water toys and the like) as well as the personality and special talents of its captain and crew, which goes a long way in creating perfect matches for discriminating clients.

“There are two sides of the charter business,” said Shawn Laird, North American Charter Management Director for Northrop & Johnson. “Charter managers are on the wholesale side of the transaction, representing the owners and captains and working with the brokers. Brokers are on the retail side, working with the clients who wish to charter.”

Northrop & Johnson, which is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale and has an office in Newport and 15 other cities around the world, has four motor yachts in the Newport Charter Yacht Show. The 198’ (60.35m) Feadship Blue Moon, built in Holland, is the largest in the show, while the 142’ (43.3m) Praxis, also a Feadship, is the second largest. (The third and fourth are the 130’/39.6m Westport Aphrodite and the 92’/28.2m AB Yachts Silver Mama.)

The 198’ (60.35m) Feadship Blue Moon is the largest vessel in the Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen. Crewed by a team of 15 professionals, its amenities include a glass elevator and indoor/outdoor dining. (photos courtesy Northrop & Johnson)

Blue Moon, a multi-award winner, was meticulously designed to offer the utmost comfort. Its on-deck master suite includes an office and gym while a lower deck has five additional staterooms with private bathrooms. Three different dining areas include a “panoramic” on the bridge deck, with floor-to-ceiling glass panes that open to the aft deck for indoor/outdoor entertaining. A stunning glass elevator transports guests from lower deck to sun deck, and two tenders – one a chic original 1972 restored Riva 28 – stand at-the-ready for transport ashore. Its Captain Emile Bootsma commands an international crew of 14.

“Brokers come aboard, inspect the product, have lunch and participate in the yacht hop so they can experience the service aboard the yacht,” said Eva Hiebert, a charter manager with Northrop & Johnson who handles Blue Moonspecifically. “Newport Charter Yacht Show is an intimate show compared to others around the world, and there are good, quality brokers who participate.”

And motor yachts aren’t the only vessels participating.

Nicholson Yachts, which is headquartered in Newport and, like Northrop & Johnson, handles both charter yacht management and charter brokerage, has three boats in the show that are strictly sail: the 100’ (30.5m) Giorgetti & Magrini design Jupiter, the 74’ (22.5m) Hoek design Copihue, and the 53’ Oyster design Contingency.

For chartering, the 53’ Oyster design sailboat Contingency offers an alternative to large motor yachts; a chef is optional.
(photo courtesy Nicholson Yachts)

“People sometimes think chartering is only for the very rich,” said Nicholson Yachts President Karen Kelly Shea, “but Contingency, for example, offers a captain and chef or a captain-only option, which makes her quite affordable, especially if people want to go ashore for dinner (which they like to do in New England!) or do their own cooking aboard.”

Timeless architecture and picturesque beauty are but two of many things New England offers those who explore its coast by sea, and there are ports both north and south of Newport in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire that each have a unique character and are filled with American history.

“People love the fact that we have such great cruising conditions here on the East Coast,” said Shea. “I hear that over and over from charter guests. A lot of brokers from Florida, the Caribbean, even Europe, don’t really know New England, and this is their chance to check out the boats, drive around and see how user-friendly Newport is as far as provisioning and things for charter guests to do.”

Business mixes with pleasure at Newport Charter Yacht Show during a “yacht hop” and crew competitions that include culinary contests.(photos by Billy Black)

Newport Charter Yacht Show’s Director Veronica Brown says she is very pleased with the lineup of yachts at the show, especially since some yachts that had wanted to be here got tied up with charters at the America’s Cup in Bermuda. “The largest yachts are bigger than the yachts that participated in 2016, and we have 19 yachts that are new to the show, which is very exciting. That gives you an idea of how the word about this opportunity is spreading and how charter yachts, brokers, agents and other industry professionals from the Med, the Caribbean, New England – from all over the world, really – are trying to stay connected.”

The Newport Charter Yacht Show schedule of events includes an industry-focused educational seminar, a wealth of crew competitions (including culinary contests), and a yacht hop where crews pick a party theme and get creative with costumes and music while serving specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres to their guests.

Newport Shipyard, one of the most popular and recommended shipyards in the U.S., is a full-service marina and shipyard with over 3,500 linear feet of dock space that can accommodate yachts up to 300+ feet LOA. Its amenities include a dockside café, ship store, fitness center, courtesy vehicles and crew housing.

Click here for the full list of boats registered to date.

Newport Shipyard, which hosts and services visiting superyachts year-’round, is the home of Newport Charter Yacht Show
presented by Helly Hansen. (photo by Billy Black)

As presenting sponsor, Helly Hansen will have a mobile pop-up shop on-site throughout the show. Exhibiting vendors, showing their wares along the main thoroughfare at Newport Shipyard, will include AERE Marine Group; Cloud City Drones; Global Satellite USA LLC; WheelHouse Technologies; Cutco Cutlery; Swarovski Optik; Pantaenius Yacht Insurance; Velofix; Newport Yacht Interiors; Beyond by Aerus; CaptureRI; Vanquish Boats; Marigot Bay Resort and Marina; and Truffoire.  U.S. Superyacht Association will have its own sponsors showing under the organization’s own special tent.

Bank Rhode Island and Hodgdon Yacht Services will sponsor a daily breakfast under the main show tent catered by Newport Shipyard’s popular eatery Belle’s Café.  Special events start with a captain and crew’s briefing and happy-hour social on Monday sponsored by Engineered Marine Coatings,  Sea Hawk Paints,  Providence Jet Center,  and Sentinel Limousine  Drinks for the briefing are sponsored by Bridge Liquors.  On Tuesday evening, a drone competition presented by Cloud City Drones (captains only) will take place after the show closes for the day. The popular yacht hop will take place on Wednesday evening; an industry-led educational seminar hosted by American Yacht Charter Association will take place on Thursday morning; and the ever-popular crew competitions sponsored by ISS GMT and Denison Yacht Sales (for Best Charter Yacht Chef, Tablescaping, Signature Cocktail and Designer Water) are happening onboard the yachts Tuesday and Wednesday. A party and awards dinner, sponsored by Ward’s Marine Electric and KVH Industries will take place on Thursday evening before the show’s final day on Friday.

Helly Hansen Newport is the presenting sponsor of the 2017 Newport Charter Show. Helly Hansen, the oldest Helly Hansen licensed store in North America, has been owned and operated by Jay Lasky since 1992. Known for Outfitting Active Lifestyles for Big Weather, Helly Hansen Newport strives to be the trusted solution for the best quality outdoor gear for active lifestyles and everyday needs. Helly Hansen Newport prides itself on delivering an exceptional customer experience and has been serving online customers since 1998. For more information, visit:

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).