One side effect of the global economic downturn has been that anyone with cash to spend now can negotiate really good deals on big-ticket items. I’ve seen promotions for everything from luxury cars to waterfront homes—and, now, megayacht marina slips into and beyond the year 2020.

The Yacht Club at Isle De Sol on St Maarten is one of four marinas with discounted rates, under IGY's Anchor Pass program.

Island Global Yachting, a Fort Lauderdale-based company that operates marinas in the Americas, Caribbean, and Middle East, has just announced two new deals. The first, Anchor Pass, targets transient megayachts. The second, HomePort, is designed for megayachts that base year-round in a single location.

“Anchor Pass is the result of us surveying about 60 yacht captains,” said Sarah Bensimon, IGY marketing and sales manager. “They all wanted more flexibility within our network of marinas, so that is what we are now offering.”
Under the Anchor Pass program, you pay for 120 days of dockage and receive 365 days for use at Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas, The Yacht Club at Isle de Sole in Sint Maarten, Simpson Bay Marina in Sint Maarten, and Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia. For megayachts in charter, the participating marinas would provide one base each in the Virgin Islands, the Northern Caribbean, and the Southern Caribbean, giving captains flexibility no matter where charters are booked.

Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas offers a Virgin Islands base for charter boats.

I asked Bensimon to work up the financials on Anchor Pass for a 125-foot motoryacht. Normally, she told me, that owner would pay an average of $4 per foot at the participating marinas, which is $500 per day. If you paid for a full 365 days, the bill would be $182,500. With Anchor Pass, the total bill is $60,000—a savings of $122,500, or about two-thirds off.

“You’re buying in bulk and saving up front,” she said. “That’s the whole idea.”

The same idea is behind HomePort, which allows less-transient yachts to lock in rates for as long as ten years at a single participating marina. I asked for the rates on a 125-footer at Yacht Haven Grande for the next five years. At $3 per foot, Bensimon says, the five-year total would normally be $684,375. With HomePort, IGY would provide the same access for $374,430. You put 10 percent down when you sign up, and you pay the full balance on the date that your long-term plan begins—and you save more than $300,000.

A night view of Yacht Club at Isle De Sol

These deals come with two concerns, to my mind. One: You may pay in advance and then not use the slips. Two: IGY or the participating marinas may go out of business before your deal ends. The former concern only you can address. The latter, I think, would be worth bouncing off your attorney before you sign the papers.

But once those concerns are satisfied, the savings to be had are substantial—and for many years to come.

kim_kavin-headshotKim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of six books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine, and writes the blog at