The sailing season in Finland is slowly coming to an end so planning next year’s sailing can therefore start! To help you prepare for future yacht charter tours, Sail in Finland has the pleasure of introducing a new guest blogger. Incila Oezmert from Sailvation is a real sailing and chartering multi-talent. She has done pretty much everything in the book from sailing to charter operations and therefore has a ton of experience to help charter customers make the most out of their trips. She has also started the Sailvation which is a company that provides guidance on how to make the most out of your charter tour.
Sail in Finland (SiF): Welcome Incila, really great to get the benefit of your experience here on Sail in Finland.
Incila Oezmert (IO): And thanks to you for your kind invitation, is a pleasure to be here.
SiF: Your sailing and chartering experience could fill a whole book, but could you give a brief overview of all the things you have been doing?
IO: After completing a circumnavigation as deckhand and cook on board a Bruce Roberts 53 I arrived in Göcek in 1999 and started working for charter companies. I soon realized that this job was almost custom made for me and since then, I have been running the operation department for E.G.G. Yachting, along with 3 years base manager for Sun Charter in Göcek. On the side I looked after the Bay Express, a bay and restaurant guide for the Turkish coast and also was partner in 3 big sailing events with 400 participants and 70 sailing yachts, being in charge for the ground operation in Turkey. As I work freelance I am also active as a professional skipper and sometimes work as crew on Mega Yachts. I like to stay busy and have lots of variety in my professional life.
SiF: It’s exactly your charter operations experience that you will share with Sail in Finland readers. In your experience, what are the top three things to consider when bareboat chartering so that the sailing trip becomes the dream trip it was intended to be?
IO: The top three things springing in to my mind….It depends on your stage of experience really, but I definitely would ask the question if the sailing experience is enough to safely skipper the boat and assure the safety of the crew. If necessary I would perhaps consider to do a skipper training course up front, in order to gain more confidence.
Second point would be, to carefully choose the crew and make clear, while planning the cruise, what life on board entails. It is very important here to paint a clear picture on the accommodation, participation while sailing, certain rules and the fact that everybody will be living quiet closely together. It helps a lot, if first time sailors understand the energy on board, so that they don’t have wrong expectations and in some cases a disappointing holiday.
The third thing, which is equally important to above, would be to carefully choose the company you charter with, as it is crucial to have a well maintained and well equipped yacht in order to enjoy safe and stress free sailing, without any unpleasant surprises, i. e. technical failure of the yacht.
SiF: I know you have much more elaborate information for bareboat charterers on Sailvation. What is Sailvation?
IO: Sailvation was founded by me, after I worked years with bare boat skippers, doing the boat hand overs and providing them with help when they had technical problems on board. I developed a program, which allows the skipper (and the crew), to get familiar with the technical aspects of their charter yacht, prior their holiday. The idea behind this is to provide as much information as possible up front, so that the skipper can look into the usage of the yacht from home, in a quiet environment and therefore is better prepared at arrival on the charter base. Turn over days on charter bases can be stressful and hectic and there is a lot for the skipper to consider….it is not only taking over a new boat, in maybe a new cruising ground, there are many things to organize before the relaxing time will start. Our Check in film and technical hand books will prepare them well for the boat hand over and can be used to re read while sailing. We also provide a trouble shooting with the basic technical hick-ups, allowing people to solve minor problems on board.
SiF: As you mostly work in the Mediterranean region, how specific to that region are the Sailvation guides? Do they apply up in Finland as well where we have a very different charter business situation?
IO: Our guides are applying for any kind of charter boat in any part of the world, as we kept all information general and this can be used for different charter yachts. I like to stress that the boat hand over at arrival is still essential on the chartered yacht, and a good charter base will show you all details, for instance location of fuses, batterie breakers, sea cocks and so on, but our guides give the skipper a general knowledge about the systems, i.e. board electronics, battery systems, engine start, anchor winch use, bilge pumps, etc, etc, etc….it leads to a better understanding about the whole subject.
SiF: Finally, what about a few hints for the charter companies in Finland. In your experience, what are the hot trends in the charter industry right now? What are customers mainly looking for when chartering?
IO: What I can see over the years is, that charter clients more and more expect the yachts to be equipped with modern devices, such as chart plotter, electric windlasses, and everything else, making the stay comfortable. The trend seems to go to bigger boats and a generous equipped yacht always goes down well. Recently Wifi on board is very popular, some companies even provide a mobile phone to their clients, in case of technical questions or emergencies while at sea. But the most important thing, next to a well maintained and fully equipped yacht, is the customer service provided by the charter base and the personal contact while taking over the yacht and lots of support when they are technical questions or while providing info about the cruising area.
SiF: Thank you so much, Incila.