Meet the Crew
Well it all kind of started with four Bangkok based friends wanting to charter yacht from Ocean Marina, which is just south of Bangkok and was, at the time, the biggest and flashiest Marina in Thailand; we just could not believe that there was not a single sailing boat available for charter! That was about 1998!
So we set-out to buy a boat with a very limited budget, but we found what turned out to be just the thing and aptly named; Double Trouble! She was an Australian designed 31ft Catamaran built locally in Thailand. She was located in Koh Samui, so our first big voyage was crossing the Gulf of Thailand to Ocean Marina, some 240 nm’s. We spent three years week-end cruising, visiting just about every island and beach in the Gulf of Thailand. Every trip worked to confirm our belief that the Gulf of Thailand had plenty to offer the Global Yacht Charter Market.
Not so humble start-up
Island Spirit (Formerly Gulf-Charters Thailand) was established in 2001, to bolster the business we leased this awesome vessel to operate day trips and dinner cruises; Seraph, a 100 year old Danish schooner with traditional running gear (read no winches).
We operated Seraph for three years and wow, what a learning curve! Like all of those before us, Seraph consumed all of our time and most of our money, but all things said and done, she left behind a great team of staff and a lot of valuable experience and knowledge.
Bareboat Charter & Sailing School
We had built up quite a fleet of smaller yachts, mostly as a result of the import duty on yachts dropping from 50% to 0%; the bigger fleets in Phuket were replacing their old vessels with new ones and they needed a home for their old boats… we snapped them up.
So in 2004 we opened a Yacht Charter base in Koh Chang, a Marine Park Southeast of Bangkok, very close to the Thai/Cambodia border. At the same time we partnered with International Yacht Training, establishing the first IYT Sailing School in Thailand, well in Asia for that matter. Being the only active company in the Marina at the time we added a yacht brokerage to our offering and got involved with quite a lot maintenance projects.
Train, rent, sell, manage.
Mostly born out of necessity, we ended up with a pretty good program; we could teach people to sail a yacht, we could rent them a yacht once they knew how to sail, or we could sell them a yacht and if they liked, they could give the boat back to us and earn money off their yacht in charter; and that remains pretty much as is today.
See us on the web
We know, every web site has these buttons, but really, this is a good way to get a closer look at who we are and what we’re doing. Clicking these links won’t require you to sign up for anything or automatically share anything, your click will just open a new window with our respective media page open for you to browse through.