Fun trumps talks of VAT
Three marinas near Antigua’s English and Falmouth Harbors welcomed 95 charter yachts for the annual Antigua Charter Yacht Show in December. Motor and sailing yachts from 58 to 229 feet competed for about 300 industry professionals’ attention. The new WallyAce Kanga’s crew distinguished itself with lively 1980s music and dockside hamburger grilling. The nearby and much larger A+R Silver Cloud, a SWATH vessel that has navigated 60,000 miles since her owners took delivery in 2008, threw a humongous helideck party. Another crowd pleaser a few feet down the dock was the teppanyaki grill aboard the newly delivered 178-foot Amels Spirit.
The Pacific in general, and French Polynesia in particular, seems to be growing in popularity as a charter destination. Several of the yachts that met in Antigua this year—including the 167-foot Alloy sailing yacht Red Dragon, the 90-foot motoryacht Tivoli and the 145-foot sailing catamaran Hemisphere—plan to head in that direction within the next few months. This shift in interest may have to do with the impending changes in Value-Added-Tax (VAT) collection on charters in the European Union. Its members are pressuring France to comply with EU-wide tax rules. Even popular Croatia, which is about to enter the EU community, is a question mark next season—no one seems able to confirm tax rates. A group of enterprising charter brokers are lobbying the EU to establish a standard tax rate across member states.
For a list of our Top 10 Charter Yachts from the Antigua show last December, click here.