Jacqui Pascall is the co-owner of Horizon Yacht Charters in Grenada and St Vincent. We spent some time with her recently to delve a little deeper into their business philosophy as they approach their 20 year anniversary in Grenada.
You seem to be on a mission to “get people sailing” with your commitment to value, tell me about where that motivation comes from?
Our clients come from all walks of life, but many sail with their local clubs during the summer on the lakes. In the winter we offer the opportunity to continue sailing in the warm Caribbean Sea. A lot of guests come to Grenada and St. Vincent on the direct flights from Toronto and New York; they can be at the base in less than six hours flying time and settled onboard very quickly. We want to make this adventure as affordable as possible for clients who work with a budget.
We always make it very clear what costs are involved from the start so a realistic budget can be worked on. This would include such things as yacht insurance, clearance fees, marine park fees and incidentals. We don’t like to spring any extra costs upon our guests once they have arrived at the base. We are very mindful that guests work hard through the year to enjoy the getaway and support them to get the best from the sailing trip. During the chart briefing we will share details about the best places to visit, sightseeing tours, island history and points of interest. Our team is very knowledgeable and will share with our guests great insights to the places they will visit.
Who benefits from this commitment?
We welcome repeat clients back often. We have clients who have known us for 15 years or more. Gary and Amy for example live in Colorado and have sailed with us almost every February bringing a different group of friends each year. This year their friends chartered a catamaran also so they sailed in tandem taking a chef onboard to assist the group.
What do your boat owners think of being able to keep a boat after the traditional “charter” lifetime?
Our boat owners are keen to keep their yacht in charter after the usual five years where it will be well maintained and looked after so when they wish to sail they can arrive, jump onboard and sail with family and friends. It takes the worry of yacht ownership away from them. They have the comfort of charter income to offset the costs and the yacht retains value. Many of our owners are working towards becoming full time cruisers, taking the yacht out of the fleet when they retire and sailing full time. We are always happy to work with these owners to upgrade to cruising mode maybe adding solar panel systems and larger water tanks for example
As well as price “value”, why else are people booking with you?
I believe people understand the value of owner operated companies. We live here in the islands and our staff and colleagues are our family. We visit the islands as the guests will, and have strong relationships with the island people. We know who to call upon in case of assistance and support the service providers in the smaller islands.
Where else do they experience the Horizon value?
We have a strong working relationship with many businesses throughout the Grenadines. They are more than happy to welcome Horizon guests and give utmost service to them. We have a discount program in place with the Welcome Club and guests can benefit from this.
How do you manage to retain so many previous sailors?
I believe we retain previous guests because they always remember the warm and friendly people that they meet. This is genuine warmth and our team goes far beyond to ensure that guests have everything they need and expect. Our booking process is personal and tailored to your exact request, upon arrival our customer service team will be there to welcome you and make sure your briefings are on time to suit you. While on charter you can call and ask us for advice on where to anchor or eat dinner. We are always available and glad to assist.
What effect does this drive have on the Grenada economy – what does it mean beyond the sailor?
Over many years, James and I have supported the marine industry growth, with junior sailing programs being at the heart of what I get involved in; setting up junior sailing programs so that the island children can get into dinghy sailing that instills many qualities in the young life. James has been a driving force implementing changes in the marine industry, yachting act with parliament and conservation. We are all integral members of the Grenada community; we love the island and are always eager to share that with our guests.
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