Tony King fell in love with sailing at the age of 7. It was his first sail and he was hooked. He later went on to a naval school in the UK and eventually earned his USCG 100 ton Masters license.
Today, Tony, along with his wife Gail, have put their love and knowledge of sailing, sailing vessels and yachts to good use by helping match individuals wanting to book a sailing vacation together with a boat and crew that best fits their needs. The Kings started their company, Boat BVI as a way to stay in the sailing industry and to help others experience the joy of a sailing vacation.
Tony and Gail know the Caribbean and Bahamas well. They have sailed all over the region and have lived in St. Thomas, Tortola, Puerto Rico, and the Florida Keys, both aboard their Hatteras yacht and on land. When I asked Tony what his favorite sailing destination was, he said, ” The BVI has to remain my favorite place of all. I’ve been there countless times but it still remains fresh and enjoyable every time. I’m a fair weather sailor (unless I’m racing) and love the protected waters and gentle trade winds that practically guarantee you a great vacation!”
In 1998, the King’s founded the company American Yacht, the parent company of Boat BVI. That same year, they decided to try their hand at chartering and being the crew of their own boat. Knowing nothing yet about the crewed charter industry and not having a clue what to expect, they took their boat down to the USVI from Florida, joined a clearing house and bingo, they were suddenly in the business. Quite scary. Thankfully everyone in the industry was incredibly helpful and they’ll eternally be grateful to their early colleagues in St. Thomas and Tortola who acted as mentors.
After about 4 years of learning the business from the ground up by working in the role of captain, mate, chef, and engineer, they decided to sell the boat and head to Miami where they set up shop, first as a clearing house (Flagship Florida) and later as charter brokers with two websites: boatmiami.com and boatbvi.com.
The King’s company, Boat BVI, specializes in crewed charters in the BVI, but can also assist in finding a charter in other Caribbean destinations. Tony and Gail decide which boats and crews to represent by attending charter shows in St. Thomas, Tortola and Antigua to check out all the charter vessels and talk with the crews. An online industry database is used that has the pictures, specs and availability nicely laid out so they can present beautiful color brochures to their clients. As a norm they only present yachts that they know personally. If they need to go outside of their network during very busy seasons like Christmas or Spring Break, they make sure to get recommendations from their industry colleagues.
Tony and Gail mentioned that there are many things to consider when choosing a crewed charter, from destination, boat type, and type of crew; fully crewed, captain only or bareboat, and the King’s expertise can help individuals navigate the charter waters to find just the right fit. Boats available in their database include sailing catamarans (the most popular), single hull sailing vessels and motor-yachts. There are some motor catamarans available as well.
As we know from our experience with crewed charters, it’s important to get matched with a boat and crew that have complimentary interests and personalities. Tony and Gail excel at getting to know their clients and finding a good match from their extensive database. As part of the booking process, they interview their clients by phone or via email. It’s important to find out what their interests are and what type of vacation their looking for. Once they have a sense of clients personalities and expectations, they are able to match them with a boat and crew that compliments their needs.
And lastly, said Tony and Gail, when deciding upon a sailing vacation, it’s important to find a reputable charter company that you can trust with your vacation. Boat BVI has been in business for nearly 15 years and will take care of all of the technical aspects of setting up your charter so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy.
Have you always dreamed about taking a sailing vacation in the BVI or other areas of the Caribbean? Tony, Gail and Boat BVI can answer your questions and help you find just the right boat and crew for the vacation of your dreams!
This is a sponsored post. Although we were compensated by the company who sponsored it, the views are solely our own and we only recommend products or services we believe our readers will enjoy.