You can see whether your favorite airline or hotel has availability, and book instantly. Why can’t you do the same with berths at your preferred marinas? You can, in some regions of the world, due to LuxBerths. While the online service is just rolling out today, it aims to make things simpler for yacht captains and owners, as well as marinas themselves.
James Wickens, CEO of LuxBerths, says he and his partners identified the opportunity through personal experiences. They previously worked with the Singapore and Thailand boat-show organizers plus the brokerage house SuperYachts Monaco. In that time, they noticed marina websites listed how many slips they had, but no real-time data on availability.
Thus, LuxBerths was born. The website lists more than 500 marinas from the Asia Pacific region to the United States, with berths for rent or sale. For now, just Asian marinas offer live-updated booking capabilities. Wickens says it’s due to their experience in Asia, plus Asian marinas having the biggest need for more global visibility. However, LuxBerths is in talks with others worldwide. Wickens adds that the next six months will see marinas in Australia and New Zealand, plus the Middle East, offer bookings. (It’s currently summertime in the Southern Hemisphere, for example, so it’s a seasonal approach.)
We weren’t able to try LuxBerths’ platform in beta testing. However, the process is meant to be user-friendly. Search by destination or marina name, plus length, draft, and beam (in meters). Enter dates, too. Destinations in the database range from megayacht meccas to off-the-beaten-path countries like Slovenia. Furthermore, once your captain books a slip, he or she can upload all relevant documentation. This saves both captains and marinas time. Wickens believes this particular aspect will make more marinas appreciate the concept.
LuxBerths intends to target European, American, Caribbean, and Bahamian marinas later this year. Simultaneously, Wickens believes captains who start using LuxBerths will urge more marinas to sign on, too.
Prior to that, though, the LuxBerths app will be available. Wickens says it will help captains manage bookings. Luxberths research shows that initial searches occur on laptops or other large-screen computers, with mobile devices used for post-booking needs.