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Taking It Up a Notch

A fractional yacht ownership company got a fraction bigger last fall with the announcement by California-based SeaNet Fractional Yachts that it was expanding its offerings upward in size and farther afield.


Since its inception in 2003, SeaNet has operated on a regional basis, offering clients fractional ownership in 60- to 80-foot motoryachts on the U.S. West Coast, in South Florida and other locations. It also offers a jet-style card program for those who prefer to use the company’s fleet without taking an equity stake in a yacht.

At the 2011 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the firm announced it has partnered with Benetti to offer quarter shares in the Italian builder’s new Delfino 93 models. SeaNet’s Benetti Fleet will be based in many of the world’s most popular international cruising destinations, including the Caribbean, the western and eastern Mediterranean, the U.S. East Coast, the Bahamas, the U.S. West Coast and Mexico. The program will provide clients the opportunity to enjoy a broader yachting experience throughout the year.

“We chose the new Benetti Class range for our International Fleet Program because these Italian-built yachts offer an incredible combination of style, seaworthiness and space-planning that will maximize our clients’ yacht ownership experience. The 93-foot Delfino feels like a 120-foot yacht,” said Michael Costa, SeaNet Fractional Yachts President and CEO. “We are starting out with four hulls, and we’ve spec’d them with every conceivable option. Benetti’s partner Fraser Yachts is providing our yacht management services, so we know the job will be done right.”

Shares in the new SeaNet International Fleet Program start at €1,735,000 ($2,246,825), plus an equal share of the operating expenses, which entitles clients to 50-plus days aboard a new, fully crewed Benetti Delfino 93, or an identical Delfino 93 in another location.

Other large-yacht fractional ownership programs divide shares among more people and offer less flexibility on dates, Costa said.

“We don’t allow more than four owners per boat. That provides a different experience than most other fractional ownership programs. A lot of the time, our boats are available on short notice. At least one week a month is potentially available for each owner.”

The appeal of his program, said Costa, extends to those in existing SeaNet programs who want to move up in size and cruise in different locales; to those who want the yachting experience, but don’t want the hassles or expense connected with whole-boat ownership; and to yacht owners who want to cruise farther afield, but may not want to move their boats to desirable destinations such as the Med or the Caribbean.

The first of four Delfino 93s SeaNet has ordered will be delivered this year and will end up on the U.S. West Coast after spending time in the Med and the Caribbean. The second will end up on the East Coast. The remaining two likely will stay in the Med in summer and the Caribbean in winter. Benetti will benefit by having the model available for exposure to potential new-build clients.

The Delfino 93 accommodates 10 to 12 guests in a main-deck master suite and four large guest suites—two of which have Pullmans. The model’s contemporary yet timeless interior styling, is reminiscent of an upscale beach resort. In addition to an open main-deck living and dining area and an aft deck that lends itself to alfresco meals overlooking the sea, the yacht has a spacious sundeck with a bar, seating, sun pads and a Jacuzzi.

Costa said the company eventually will add larger boats to its fleet.